Thursday 8 December 2016

Star Wars filming mishaps on Skellig Michael 'will have no long-term impact'

Ciara Treacy

Published 21/10/2015 | 07:57

Filming the latest Star Wars sequel on Skellig Michael resulted in two minor incidents, a report published yesterday revealed.

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The report, launched by Arts and Heritage Minister Heather Humphreys, detailed the impact of filming by Lucasfilm on the island off Co Kerry.

Star Wars: The Force Awakens still from full trailer
Star Wars: The Force Awakens still from full trailer

The latest trailer (see above) for Star Wars – The Force Awakens, which was released on Monday evening in the US, features the return of Han Solo and Princess Leia, played by Harrison Ford and Carrie Fisher.

Skellig Michael, rumoured to be Luke Skywalker’s Jedi retreat, was nowhere to be seen in the teaser, nor was actor Mark Hamill, who filmed on the island last month.

Screen grabbed image taken from the Star Wars YouTube channel of a scene from the latest trailer for Star Wars: Episode VII - The Force Awakens
Screen grabbed image taken from the Star Wars YouTube channel of a scene from the latest trailer for Star Wars: Episode VII - The Force Awakens

From September 15 to 17 the Unesco World Heritage Site served as a location for the new film.

Ms Humphreys said last night that the incidents caused by filming “will have no long-term impact whatsoever and no ecological consequence”.

One involved the spillage of a small amount of diluted water-based paint. It was immediately mopped up, but it is likely that some may have been absorbed into the rock.

An ecologist and ornithologist said birds’ nests were not compromised in any way.

The second incident happened when a crew member snagged his sleeve on the edge of a large stone, causing it to rotate 40 degrees out of alignment. Repairs were carried out by the Office of Public Works.

“The reality is that the filming posed no greater challenge to the island than the 180 people who visit it every day during tourist season,” said Ms Humphreys.

“I look forward to the release of the new Star Wars film later this year, when international audiences will be greeted with images of one of Ireland’s most stunning natural and historical features,” she added.

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