STAFF at a hospice which appealed for help to arrange an advanced viewing of the latest Star Wars film for a dying fan have spoken of their gratitude after Disney confirmed the screening will go ahead.

The Rowans Hospice near Portsmouth, Hampshire, reached out on Twitter for help for their patient.

The final instalment of the nine-part saga – The Rise Of Skywalker – is due for release in UK cinemas on December 19, but time is of the essence for the patient.

The hospice tweeted: “Can you help? We have a patient who’s a HUGE #StarWars fan. Sadly, time is not on his side for the 20th Dec.

“His wish is to see the final Star Wars film #RiseOfSkywalker with his young son. If you know ANYBODY who might be able to make it happen, please share with them. Thank you.”

Social media users offered help, suggesting email addresses and Twitter handles to get in touch with, before Star Wars actor Mark Hamill responded.

Hamill, who played Luke Skywalker originally, tweeted: “Contact @Disney. They are the only ones who can make this happen. Good luck!”

Walt Disney company chief executive Robert Iger got in touch the next day, replying: “Please provide me with the necessary details and we will certainly try.”

Lisa Davies, the healthcare support worker who brought the patient’s wish to the attention of the rest of the staff at Rowans, said: “I am utterly speechless. We cannot thank Disney enough for confirming that they will be able share the film to fulfil our patient’s wish.

“We totally appreciate that they have had to move mountains to make this happen.

“The response from everyone, including the Star Wars community, has been absolutely phenomenal over the last few days. So a massive thank you to every single person that has shared our post and given their time to help make this possible.”

The success of the appeal was welcomed by many people on Twitter, including Michael Eisner – the owner of Portsmouth FC who is a former Disney chief executive.

He posted: “Very happy to see that this is happening! The whole community of Portsmouth on the south coast of England appreciates what @Disney has done.”