Top heroes in the latest Star Wars epic, The Last Jedi, say Ireland was a dream destination for the making of the movie. Skellig Michael, off the coast of Co Kerry, features as the home of Luke Skywalker (played by Mark Hamill) in the latest instalment of the sci-fi adventure.
Capitalising on the franchise’s success, Tourism Ireland commissioned a behind-the-scene film by Lucasfilm, showing the making of the movie in Ireland in 2015 and 2016. The making-of movie was released on December 27. Filming on Skellig Michael took place over two days in 2015, before moving to the mainland.
To continue filming on location here, the crew returned in 2016 and built replicas of Skellig Michael’s sixth-century monastic ‘beehive’ huts on the mainland. The location scouts were so taken with Ireland’s Wild Atlantic Way that locations in counties Cork, Kerry, Clare and Donegal were handpicked to represent the planet Ahch-to in Star Wars: The Last Jedi.
Star Wars director Rian Johnson and actors Mark Hamill and Daisy Ridley (Rey) praise this special location they chose for filming, with Hamill saying “it’s like a fairy-tale world… you just can’t believe your eyes”.
Describing Ireland, Rian Johnson said: “It’s a gorgeous place. I feel very, very lucky to be able to get it on film.” To view Tourism Ireland’s behind-the-scenes film, click here.
“We are extremely grateful to Lucasfilm and the Star Wars team for their tremendous generosity in agreeing to make this wonderful behind-the-scenes film, to help us promote the Wild Atlantic Way and Ireland,” said Niall Gibbons, CEO of Tourism Ireland.
“Since its release, Star Wars: The Last Jedi has been breaking box office records everywhere and Tourism Ireland is capitalising on this positive exposure, highlighting the Star Wars connection with Ireland and bringing the magnificent scenery of the Wild Atlantic Way to the attention of millions of people everywhere.”
Tourism Ireland’s Star Wars campaign is rolling out in 15 markets – Britain, the United States, Canada, Germany, France, Spain, Italy, the Netherlands, Belgium, the Nordic region, Australia, New Zealand, Japan, India and the GCC.