If you’re a Star Wars fan (and there are millions of you!), this article from Irish Central might just entice you to take a trip to the Emerald Isle to re-trace the steps of the cast and crew…
A Star Wars fan since I was gifted a VHS box-set of A New Hope, The Empire Strikes Back, and Return of the Jedi for my 9th birthday, I was pretty much beside myself with excitement for the premiere of Star Wars: The Force Awakens back in 2015.
Watching it in a packed theater on opening weekend, I cheered along with the audience when familiar characters like Princess Leia (the late, great Carrie Fisher) and Han Solo (Harrison Ford) graced the screen and was dazzled by the new inhabitants of the Star Wars universe like the courageous Rey (Daisy Ridley) and terrifying Kylo Ren (Adam Driver).
But the appearance that filled me with the most joy and awe didn’t happen until the end of the movie, and it wasn’t even a speaking role. No, I’m not talking about Luke Skywalker (Mark Hamill), I mean the Irish island of Skellig Michael, which was the setting for the planet where Skywalker had been hiding.
Having spent time traveling Ireland and writing about the Emerald Isle daily, I know full well how majestic, other-worldly, and stunning the Irish landscape is, and with The Force Awakens, I was excited for Ireland to get its prime-time, big screen moment. Sure enough, there were audible gasps and “wow”s when the cameras first panned over Skellig Michael and Little Skellig. Later, talking about the movie with friends, I was proud to tell them that yes, that was, in fact, a real place, and it was in Ireland.
It seems that Lucasfilm producers and the Star Wars cast were also very impressed, because they spent even more time in Ireland filming the next installment, The Last Jedi, and went to an even greater number of Ireland filming locations in Kerry, Donegal and West Cork.
With The Last Jedi in theaters now, chances are that in addition to attempting to work on your Jedi mind control powers, you might also be yearning for a trip to Ireland to walk in the footsteps of Luke and Rey and see all the stunning filming locations in person.
Whether planning a dedicated Star Wars trip or incorporating these attractions into a larger tour of Ireland’s tremendously popular Wild Atlantic Way coastal route, here’s how to plan the ultimate Star Wars fan trip of Ireland.
Images from irishcentral.com, giphy.com