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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.”

See more:

Force of Nature: 15 killer photos of Kerry's Star Wars locations Close

Skellig Michael, seen in an aerial photograph this winter. The island, with a monastic settlement dating from 588AD, is a major location in Star Wars: The Last Jedi. Photo:Valerie O’Sullivan

Skellig Michael, seen in an aerial photograph this winter. The island, with a monastic settlement dating from 588AD, is a major location in Star Wars: The Last Jedi. Photo:Valerie O’Sullivan

Skellig Michael's six beehive huts seen from the air - the island became a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1996. Photo:Valerie O’Sullivan

Skellig Michael's six beehive huts seen from the air - the island became a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1996. Photo:Valerie O’Sullivan

Skellig Michael is home to thousands of Atlantic puffins, at least from March to September. These colourful, enigmatic seabirds spend their summers on the island, breeding and fattening their chicks on locally available food which often comprises of high calorie sand-eel and sprat. Photo: Valerie O’Sullivan

Skellig Michael is home to thousands of Atlantic puffins, at least from March to September. These colourful, enigmatic seabirds spend their summers on the island, breeding and fattening their chicks on locally available food which often comprises of high calorie sand-eel and sprat. Photo: Valerie O’Sullivan

The monastic Island of Skellig Michael was founded in 588 by Saint Fionán - for 600 years the island was a centre of monastic life for Irish Christian monks. It's a main location for Star Wars: The Last Jedi, the second film in the Star Wars sequel trilogy. Photo: Valerie O’Sullivan

The monastic Island of Skellig Michael was founded in 588 by Saint Fionán - for 600 years the island was a centre of monastic life for Irish Christian monks. It's a main location for Star Wars: The Last Jedi, the second film in the Star Wars sequel trilogy. Photo: Valerie O’Sullivan

Skellig Michael, home to one of Europe's better known but least accessible monasteries. The word 'Scellic' means a steep rock. Photo:Valerie O’Sullivan

Skellig Michael, home to one of Europe's better known but least accessible monasteries. The word 'Scellic' means a steep rock. Photo:Valerie O’Sullivan

Skellig Michael's monastic huts - for 600 years the island was a centre of monastic life for Irish Christian monks. Photo:Valerie O’Sullivan

Skellig Michael's monastic huts - for 600 years the island was a centre of monastic life for Irish Christian monks. Photo:Valerie O’Sullivan

Located 12 kilometres off the coast County Kerry’s Inveragh Peninsula, Skellig Michael is the most spectacular of all the early medieval island monastic sites. Photo:Valerie O’Sullivan

Located 12 kilometres off the coast County Kerry’s Inveragh Peninsula, Skellig Michael is the most spectacular of all the early medieval island monastic sites. Photo:Valerie O’Sullivan

Ceann Sibéal or Sybil's Head, on the Dingle Peninsula, Co Kerry. It features as a location in Star Wars: The Last Jedi. Photo:Valerie O’Sullivan

Ceann Sibéal or Sybil's Head, on the Dingle Peninsula, Co Kerry. It features as a location in Star Wars: The Last Jedi. Photo:Valerie O’Sullivan

Ceann Sibéal or Sybil's Head, on the Dingle Peninsula, Co Kerry. In Star Wars: The Last Jedi, the location is used to replicate the monastic Island of Skellig Michael. Photo: Valerie O’Sullivan

Ceann Sibéal or Sybil's Head, on the Dingle Peninsula, Co Kerry. In Star Wars: The Last Jedi, the location is used to replicate the monastic Island of Skellig Michael. Photo: Valerie O’Sullivan

An aerial shot of Skellig Michael, which has six beehive huts situated almost at the summit of the 230-metre-high rock. Photo:Valerie O’Sullivan

An aerial shot of Skellig Michael, which has six beehive huts situated almost at the summit of the 230-metre-high rock. Photo:Valerie O’Sullivan

Skellig Michael first became a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1996. Star Wars: The Last Jedi hits cinemas on December 15. Photo:Valerie O’Sullivan

Skellig Michael first became a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1996. Star Wars: The Last Jedi hits cinemas on December 15. Photo:Valerie O’Sullivan

View from Skellig Ring, Iveragh Peninsula, Wild Atlantic Way. Photo: Valerie O’Sullivan

View from Skellig Ring, Iveragh Peninsula, Wild Atlantic Way. Photo: Valerie O’Sullivan

Ceann Sibéal or Sybil's Head, on the Dingle Peninsula, Co Kerry.  Photo:Valerie O’Sullivan

Ceann Sibéal or Sybil's Head, on the Dingle Peninsula, Co Kerry. Photo:Valerie O’Sullivan

Telling a few ‘Porgies’…Local Guide Muiris Walsh of Iveragh Historical Tours dresses as ‘Chewbacca’ in the newly named ‘Porgmagee’ (Portmagee) Co Kerry, where Film Stars and crew departed for Skellig Michael, the Location of Star Wars: The Last Jedi. Photo:Valerie O’Sullivan

Telling a few ‘Porgies’…Local Guide Muiris Walsh of Iveragh Historical Tours dresses as ‘Chewbacca’ in the newly named ‘Porgmagee’ (Portmagee) Co Kerry, where Film Stars and crew departed for Skellig Michael, the Location of Star Wars: The Last Jedi. Photo:Valerie O’Sullivan

Spectacular: Skellig Island, taken from the air. Photo: Valerie O'Sullivan

Spectacular: Skellig Island, taken from the air. Photo: Valerie O'Sullivan

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Skellig Michael, seen in an aerial photograph this winter. The island, with a monastic settlement dating from 588AD, is a major location in Star Wars: The Last Jedi. Photo:Valerie O’Sullivan

 

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