‘You are a Jedi’: Star Wars set decorator sends gift to terminally ill boy
At his Toronto-area home, Academy Award designer and filmmaker Roger Christian prepares a package to send to a young boy he has never met in Portland, Maine.
Christian was one of the first men hired by George Lucas to work on the original Star Wars film in 1977.
You may not know him by name, but surely you would know some of his inventions.
“Luke’s lightsaber. That’s the first thing we built,” he said nonchalantly. “This is what has become the most iconic prop in the history of cinema.”
So how did Roger Christian come to connect with nine-year-old Jacob Thompson?
“A friend linked us through,” Christian said.
A friend knew Christian could do something to lift the spirits of the young boy who is terminally ill with cancer.
Jacob Thompson has stage 4 neuroblastoma, a rare form of terminal cancer that has spread to different parts of his body. His parents have been told by doctors that he could die “within the month.”
The family put out a plea on Facebook last month because Jacob loves Christmas.
“… we’re doing a ‘fast forward’ to the holidays. Jacob would love to get some early Christmas cards. We’re celebrating next weekend and hope Jacob will have many to decorate his hospital room walls,” the post said.
WATCH: Jacob Thompson has terminal cancer. As Allison Vuchnich reports, the nine-year-old hopes you can show some him some love and support and make his dying wish come true.
As of Thursday, he had received 66,000 Christmas cards.
“It’s just amazing that one little boy has touched lives from all around the world,” Jacob’s mother Michelle Simard said.
Besides Christmas, Thompson’s favourite things in life are penguins, lego and Star Wars.
That’s where Roger Christian comes in.
“He obviously likes Star Wars, most children do, so I thought, you know, I will send a lightsaber with a signature on it.”
WATCH: Christmas tree shoppers help make Calgary cancer patient’s dream come true
Christian is also a father to a young son, and he too has been touched by cancer.
“We had a very young family member go through the same thing and we lost her very early on, and this tragedy is very difficult to cope with for anybody,” he said.
When he heard about Jacob and his “bravery,” he knew immediately he wanted to do something.
The toy lightsaber has been sent to The Barbara Bush Children’s Hospital at Maine Medical Center, along with a photograph of Christian and R2-D2, which he created.
His message to Jacob Thompson in his final days, “Take joy in that this is actually a lightsaber from Luke. These are the Jedis and you are one of them. The force is with you and you are a Jedi so just you embrace that.”
© 2017 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.