Logging on to your Twitter account these days can seem like a relatively dangerous thing to do. Certainly, a quick browse down your timeline can easily make you believe that the world is preparing to self-implode. From sexual abuse allegations in Hollywood to controversial decisions made in the White House, there seems to be no way to escape the torrent of bad news that keeps washing over us in angry waves.
However, hiding among the chaos are precious gems – in the form of 280 characters – which have the power to restore your full faith in humanity.
On this occasion, the (Jedi) knight in shining armor is Mark Hamill, the man behind the iconic character Luke Skywalker from the Star Wars franchise. No stranger to playing the hero, Hamill came to the rescue for a young boy stricken with an incurable illness.
The 66-year-old actor may not remember his own kindness, but the family of the young boy and those involved in the moment have never forgotten what he did that day.
This heartbreaking and amazing story was revealed by Ed Solomon. The screenwriter, best known for his work on Men In Black, Charlie’s Angels and Now You See Me, took to Twitter to share the unique story that he’d been a part of.
He began by explaining how one of his friends, Joe Sikorra, had reached out to him for his help after his sick son had requested to meet Luke Skywalker. John was obsessed with Star Wars, watching the trilogy every single day, and was desperate to meet his idol.
Clueless if it was possible, Sikorra reached out to Solomon, the only person he knew with connections to Hollywood, to see if he could make it happen.
“Around 1998, my son, John, was diagnosed with a very rare genetic disorder called juvenile Batten’s Disease (JNCL),” Sikorra, a former police officer, explained to the Hollywood Reporter.
“The disease robs kids of their vision first followed by cognitive motor function. Typically kids die in their late teens, early 20s. It is a very complicated disease and most doctors aren’t that familiar with it. So we lived in the moment, did as much as we could.”
Solomon also wasn’t sure if the request was possible, but he wanted to try.
“Not knowing Mark, I called his agent and explained that this lovely boy watched Star Wars every day and wanted to meet NOT Mark Hammill, but, rather, the actual CHARACTER that he played,” Solomon wrote on Twitter, before adding: “The boy’s own mental state had devolved past the point of being able to grok that Luke was fictional.”
“The agent begrudgingly said he’d call Mark, but also said not to get my hopes up,” Solomon wrote, building the suspense in true screenwriter style. “Ninety seconds later I got a call from Mark Hamill, who immediately said yes and gave me his home address.”