Star Wars fans around the world are wishing they could fly off Ahch-To, island home of the adorable Porgs. But until hyperdrive is invented, Mark “Luke Skywalker” Hamill himself is inviting them to do the next best thing and explore the filming sites of The Last Jedi on Ireland’s Wild Atlantic Way, in a new video promoting tourism to the region.
From the craggy summit of Skellig Michael, off the south-western shores to Ireland’s most northerly tip, Malin Head, key locations around Ireland’s Wild Atlantic Way were picked by Star Wars location scouts to represent Ahch-To, site of the first Jedi Temple as seen in the newest Star Wars film. To celebrate the film’s Irish connections, Tourism Ireland has released this promotional film about holidays along the Wild Atlantic Way, featuring Mark Hamill, the actor best known as Luke Skywalker:
Filmed using the trademark Star Wars screen-wipe transitions and familiar sound effects, Tourism Ireland’s new promotional film features a number of destinations along Ireland’s western seaboard. At the end of the film, Mark Hamill addresses the camera: “Escape the dark side along Earth’s Wild Atlantic Way – the perfect place to get away from it all.”
The Wild Atlantic Way made its first Star Wars appearance in the final moments of the 2015 film, The Force Awakens with Skellig Michael doubling as Luke Skywalker’s hide-out island. In September 2015, actors Mark Hamill and Daisy Ridley returned to Skellig Michael, this time with director Rian Johnson, to film scenes for The Last Jedi on the UNESCO World Heritage Site. And in May 2016, Rian returned to Ireland with his cast for a second shoot in Malin Head on the Inishowen Peninsula, County Donegal – Ireland’s most northerly point.
Locals were amazed to discover that the next Star Wars movie was being filmed in their community. Hugh Farren, of Farren’s Bar recalls the excitement: “It was unbelievable that Star Wars was filming a mile and a half away from us. The buzz that we had for the month was surreal”.
Other filming locations included Loop Head in County Clare, Ballyferriter in County Kerry – where the crew recreated the 6th century monastic ‘beehive’ huts of Skellig Michael along a headland called Sybil Head, and Brow Head near Crookhaven, County Cork.
Form more background and stories about Star Wars filming on the Wild Atlantic Way visit ireland.com/starwars, and watch these videos for more about the latest installment in the Star Wars saga: