‘It’s like a fairytale’: Mark Hamill and the Star Wars Crew on Ireland’s West Coast

Actors Mark Hamill and Daisy Ridley had some very nice things to say about filming in Ireland.

WHILE IRISH FANS show their appreciation for the latest Star Wars movie The Last Jedi, which was released this month, the cast and crew of the film have also been gushing about the beauty of Ireland’s west coast.

Today, Tourism Ireland released a video of director Rian Johnson, Star Wars veteran actor Mark Hamill (who plays the famous Luke Skywalker) and the star of the latest installation Daisy Ridley, who plays Rey gushing about Ireland’s coastal beauty.

“It’s like a fairytale world – the sheep and the cows, the pastures and the ocean. You just can’t believe your eyes,” Hamill says, whose character lives in hiding on Luke’s island – which is filmed on Skellig Michael.

Ridley said that “Ireland has been great” to the Star Wars team, and that “the weather [was] fantastic” (surprising for Ireland’s ‘Wild’ Atlantic Way).

The director of The Last Jedi, Johnson, said that Skellig Michael was “a gorgeous place”.

“I feel very, very lucky to be able to get it on film.”

Skellig Michael is a UNESCO heritage site which features distinct stone beehive-huts from a Christian monastery that that date back to at least the 8th century. It’s one of the two Skellig islands, which are located off the coast of Kerry.

Because of the island’s cultural heritage significance, the blockbuster’s crew were only permitted to film on the island for two days in 2015.

To continue filming on location, the crew returned in 2016 and built replicas of Skellig Michael’s beehive huts on the mainland.

The location scouts then handpicked areas in Cork, Kerry, Clare and Donegal to represent the planet Ahch-to in the latest Star Wars installation.

Mally Chung, the supervising location manager for The Last Jedi, said that Malin Head in Donegal welcomed the crew “with open arms”.

“The kids were out in the street waving at us, they had welcome plaques, they all put teddy bears outside – it’s been phenomenal.”


Published: thejournal.ie, 27 December 2017