Sunday 22 April 2018

WATCH: 'I was sure it was a special effect' - Luke Skywalker's priceless take on Ireland

Mark Hamill has heaped praise on the Irish landscape in Star Wars, saying he was "sure it was a special effect".

The actor's glowing endorsement comes in a new Tourism Ireland video celebrating Ireland's Star Wars connections (above).

Much of Star Wars: The Last Jedi was filmed in locations along the Wild Atlantic Way, including Skellig Michael, the Dingle Peninsula and Malin Head, Co. Donegal.

“To come back to Ireland was a great treat for all of us because the beauty of that country is unmatched," Hamill - AKA Luke Skywalker - enthuses. "You get up in the morning and see vistas where I was sure it was a special effect”.

“The people are so nice. They make you feel like family, they were so welcoming, so accommodating and so friendly. We felt like we were home,” he added.

“Having lived in New York for many, many years I wasn’t sure how to take it!

“I would urge anyone planning a vacation to go to Ireland.  You’ll never find another place like it ... I wish we could have shot the entire film there.”

Star Wars: The Last Jedi has been breaking box office records since its December release, bringing the Wild Atlantic Way (as the fictional Planet Ahch-To) to an audience of millions.

Tourism Ireland has been campaigning to reap visitor dividends.

A €500,000 marketing and advertising campaign has included several videos, social media promotions, press releases and even a billboard in space.

"Tourism Ireland has been taking every opportunity to capitalise on the publicity around the film," says its CEO, Niall Gibbons. "Our aim is to help whet people's appetites to come and visit the Wild Atlantic Way and Ireland.”

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