Tuesday 22 August 2017

In a galaxy not so far away ... Skellig takes leading role in new 'Star Wars' film

The set of the ancient Jedi Temple under construction at Ceann Sibeal in Co Kerry
The set of the ancient Jedi Temple under construction at Ceann Sibeal in Co Kerry

Sean O'Grady

Skellig Michael, or 'Star Wars Island' as it is fast becoming known to sci-fi fans, has a starring role in the new trailer for 'Star Wars: Episode VIII - The Last Jedi'.

The teaser trailer for the highly anticipated blockbuster has been released and features extensive shots of the jagged island. Skellig Michael also featured in the closing scenes in 'Star Wars: The Force Awakens'.

Daisy Ridley in a scene shot on Skellig Michael that features in the new trailer for ‘The
Last Jedi’. Photo: Getty
Daisy Ridley in a scene shot on Skellig Michael that features in the new trailer for ‘The Last Jedi’. Photo: Getty

CEO of Tourism Ireland Niall Gibbons attended this year's annual 'Star Wars Celebration' in Orlando, Florida, to promote the Irish connection to the franchise.

Mr Gibbons is thrilled the island off the coast of Kerry features so heavily in the latest trailer. "'Star Wars: The Force Awakens' broke box office records around the world in late 2015, bringing the magnificent scenery of Skellig Michael and the Wild Atlantic Way to the attention of millions of people everywhere," he said.

"The fact that 'Episode VIII: The Last Jedi', due for release this December, was also shot on location along the Wild Atlantic Way is another fantastic coup for Irish tourism - and we're absolutely delighted that the Wild Atlantic Way features so heavily in the first peek of the next episode."

The director of 'Episode VIII: The Last Jedi', Rian Johnson, returned to Skellig Michael with his cast in September 2015, picking up the story from the iconic moment in 'Episode VII', when Rey found Luke Skywalker on the stony steps of Skellig Michael.

Oscar Isaac as Poe Dameron Photo: Getty
Oscar Isaac as Poe Dameron Photo: Getty

Domhnall Gleeson is set to return as the villainous General Hux in Episode VIII.

The film will also feature the final performance by Carrie Fisher as Princess Leia, after she died last December.

Skellig Michael has been voted as one of the most iconic movie locations of all time. The 200m-high monastic site is one of three Irish locations included in 'Lonely Planet's film and TV guide, alongside Dublin's Grafton Street for 2007 musical 'Once' and the Cliffs of Moher for their use as a backdrop in the 1987 film, 'The Princess Bride'.

The guide features locations from 101 of the most iconic film and TV scenes, including the Indiana Jones films and 'Thelma & Louise'.

Actors John Boyega and Ridley speaking at ‘Star Wars Celebration’ in Florida yesterday.
Photo: Getty
Actors John Boyega and Ridley speaking at ‘Star Wars Celebration’ in Florida yesterday. Photo: Getty

'Lonely Planet' has also singled out two of Ireland's most scenic attractions in a new compilation of Europe's 60 best national parks.

Killarney and Connemara are praised for their natural beauty in the travel bible's National Parks of Europe.

Irish Independent

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