Wednesday 18 January 2017

Star Wars makers confirm they are to return to Kerry to film next episode

Published 18/03/2016 | 17:30

The Wild Atlantic Way and Skellig Michael, above, which is in the new ‘Star Wars’ movie, feature heavily in a new guide from Discover Ireland. The Western seaboard is ‘an enormous draw’, said Irish Hotels Federation president Stephen McNally. Photo: Valerie O'Sullivan
The Wild Atlantic Way and Skellig Michael, above, which is in the new ‘Star Wars’ movie, feature heavily in a new guide from Discover Ireland. The Western seaboard is ‘an enormous draw’, said Irish Hotels Federation president Stephen McNally. Photo: Valerie O'Sullivan
The Star Wars crew on Skellig Michael
The famous beehive huts on Skellig Michael that are now being recreated at Pinewood Studios
The Skellig Michael islands were used in the new Star Wars movie
Composite image of Skellig Michael (Photo: Valerie O'Sullivan/Fáilte Ireland) and Star Wars director JJ Abrams on location (Screengrab: Tourism Ireland/YouTube).

THE firm behind the filming of Star Wars on Skellig Michael has spoken for the first time about their return to Co Kerry for filming of the next episode of the famous movie franchise.

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Lucasfilm have confirmed that they are to return to Kerry in the near future.

Preparations are already underway with the construction of a metal roadway on the slopes of Ceann Sibéal on the Dingle Peninsula.

The company is expected to return in a number of weeks to film several sequences for the next Star Wars film.

Candice Campos, Lucasfilm vice president of physical production, said Ireland is “an important part of Star Wars history”.

“The beauty of Skellig Michael in the final scene of ‘The Force Awakens’ was stunning and we know the new locations along the Wild Atlantic Way will prove to be equally as beautiful in ‘Star Wars: Episode VIII’.  

“Lucasfilm is thrilled to return to Ireland to film several sequences for the next chapter in the Star Wars saga.”

The filming will come 40 years after ‘Ryan’s Daughter’ was filmed in the area.

Local farmers and landowners have signed contracts with the production company with many of them bound to secrecy about the filming.

Fishermen and locals in Ballinskelligs were tied to similar agreements during filming on Skellig Michael.

Irish Film Board chief executive James Hickey said the announcement was another boost for the film industry here on the back of major international awards and nominations for  Irish films ‘Room’ and ‘Brooklyn’.

“We believe that having 'Star Wars Episode VIII' film on location in Ireland will also help to build on this success, creating further opportunities and growth for the Irish film industry, resulting in increased levels of job creation, incoming tourists and foreign direct investment to Ireland."

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