The cast and crew of Star Wars have heaped more praise on Irish island Skellig Michael, the setting for one of the most iconic scenes of the latest film.
The franchise has announced that they won’t be returning to the island for the next two films at least, but all those who did experience the stunning landscape and surroundings will not forget it.
A behind-the-scenes video released by discoverireland sees director JJ Abrams and his team describe their excitement at discovering the majestic isle, and how they knew it was the perfect setting for filming part of their movie.
Production designer Rick Carter said: “We wanted to make sure that wherever we went in this movie you always felt that you were really there.”
While hunting for the perfect location for filming, Carter came across a photo of Skellig Michael and sent it to his executive producer Tommy Harper and director JJ Abrams.
Harper recalled: “JJ immediately wrote back and said ‘I love you, this is the best!’”
He then added: “I remember when we all flew in, it was special and we knew it.”
Abrams exclaimed: “I can’t believe they let us shoot there, it was so beautiful.”
The Star Wars team were helped every step of the way by the Irish Film Board and the tourism sector. Minister for Arts, Heritage and Gaeltacht Heather Humphreys said: “It’s just amazing, the scenery is amazing, the heritage is amazing, and the wildlife is amazing. People are going to see the beauty of this area.”
Take a look at the behind-the-scenes video below.
The fact that international franchise Star Wars chose to shoot part of their film on Skellig Michael has provided a major boost to the tourism industry.
Tourism Ireland are hopeful that 2016 will a rise of 4% people visiting Ireland thanks to the Star Wars effect.
Skellig Michael was recently named one of the top places to visit for Star Wars fans.
Legendary actor Mark Hamill also spoke about his love for Skellig Michael and described the wave of emotion he felt when filming there. He also enjoyed his downtime off set by visiting a local pub in Co Kerry and pulling a few pints for himself and the locals.