WICHITA, Kansas – Star Wars: The Force Awakens continues to shatter box office records since it came out in theaters less than a month ago.
For one Wichita man, he got to see the film on November 19th, a whole month before it premiered.
Joe Leiker has a been an avid Star Wars fan since he was six years old.
“We took him to see it at six years old, he got hooked on it, we’ve even liked it ever since,” said Judy Walker, Joe’s mother.
Walker said at a young age, her son insisted that other family members call him Luke Skywalker.
Much like the Jedi knight in the films, Leiker has also had to overcome his own obstacles.
“We found out he had a brain tumor almost one year ago, January 9th, we found out, this is his second brain tumor, he had one 20 years ago and overcame that,” said Walker.
The latest tumor has stripped Leiker of many of his motor functions.
Leiker can no longer walk and is slowly losing the ability to talk.
“He said to his sister, I just hope God is going to let me stay long enough to see the new Star Wars movie that is coming out in December,” said Walker.
Leiker’s niece in Nashville wrote a letter to Lucasfilm and Disney, talking about her loved one’s admiration for the Star Wars films and the battle he’s fighting with his health.
It’s that letter that led to the director of the latest star wars film, J.J. Abrams, to personally call Leiker.
During that phone call, Abrams let Leiker know he was granting him his wish.
Abrams said he was sending members of his team from Hollywood to Wichita to set up a private screening of the movie at Leiker’s home.
“You talk about a gift, it couldn’t have come at a better time for our son Joe,” said Walker.
“It’s just a real joy, a dream come true,” Walker added.
Walker says Abrams even told Leiker to call him after seeing the film so they could talk about what he thought of the new Star Wars movie.
Walker adds they had about a 20 minute conversation.