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Dying “Star Trek” fan gets private “Into Darkness” screening

Thanks to Reddit and director J.J. Abrams, a terminally ill man with just weeks to live got to see the next Star Trek film.


Mike Fenn


Posted on Dec 31, 2012   Updated on Jun 2, 2021, 4:34 am CDT

A terminally ill Star Trek fan had his wish to see Star Trek Into Darkness come true, thanks to director J.J. Abrams himself—and Reddit.

On Christmas Day, redditor ideeeyut posted a thread to the r/startrek subreddit entitled “Please come to the rescue of a Star Trek fan.” On Dec. 26, the same story was posted to the r/scifi subreddit.

In the post, ideeeyut described a bout of medical issues that unexpectedly plagued his friend “Dan,” who is not only a Star Trek fan but also a general movie buff.

After being diagnosed with leukemia at the age of 38, Dan not only endured chemotherapy and radiation treatments, but also developed a second strain of cancer as well as an “EXTREMELY rare vascular tumor that is crowding out his healthy liver tissue.”

“There is nothing left to do but make him comfortable, at 41, he is jaundice & his liver is enlarged, his body has had enough, he has weeks to live,” ideeeyut said in the post, quoting Dan’s wife.

The post finished with Dan being unable to see the nine-minute preview of Star Trek Into Darkness due to hospitalization. The latest Trek doesn’t come out until May 2013, but a preview was made available before certain screenings of The Hobbit during that film’s opening weekend.

Within hours, redditors were doing everything they could to help. Some posted contact information for Paramount Pictures, while others asked friends and family members with connections in the film and TV industries. The r/startrek thread achieved over 300 upvotes; the r/scifi version earned over 65.

The plea was posted to MTV Geek and picked up by several national news sources, including ABC News.

Redditor GradyHendrix, who identified himself as a personal friend of Dan’s, posted an update on Dec. 27.

“Thanks everyone, and a huge thanks to OP ideeeyut for posting this. JJ Abrams just called Dan’s wife and left a message. He’s going to try to arrange a screening for Dan, either of the film or at least of the 9 minute promo reel.

I’ll never say anything bad about JJ Abrams again. Seriously. He is now beyond reproach as far as I’m concerned,” he wrote.

The same day, ideeeyut posted a similar update.

“Holy cow everybody!!! I just heard from his wife that they are going to do it!! I don’t know who it what the path was to get there but thank you so much to everyone that tried to help!!!”

Sure enough, within three days of the post, a screening of the film was set up for Dan, without much public fanfare from Paramount or Abrams himself. In a Dec. 29 follow-up post to r/startrek, ideeeyut updated supporters and well-wishers.

“He got to see it a couple of hours ago and loved it. JJ Abrams is the man. I’m going to buy an extra ticket for Dan when it comes out,” he wrote.

Photo via Gage Skidmore/Flickr

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*First Published: Dec 31, 2012, 1:05 pm CST