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Pictured: Star Wars cast arrive in Northern Ireland ahead of episode eight filming - Luke Skywalker, Rey and Kylo Ren arrive at Belfast International

By Jonny Bell

The cast of Star Wars have arrived in Northern Ireland.

Film stars, including Mark Hamill who plays Luke Skywalker, Daisy Ridley (Rey) and Adam Driver (Kylo Ren) were snapped arriving at Belfast International Airport on Friday morning.

Hamill waved and greeted fans at the airport, while both Ridley and Diver tried - in vain - to conceal their identities.

Director Rian Johnson was also among the arrivals.

The cast arrived ahead of filming which is to take place in Malin Head, Donegal over the weekend.

The iconic Millennium Falcon has been under-construction at the Wild Atlantic Way for the past couple of days.

More: Star Wars in Malin Head: Donegal caravan park owner braces for battle as Millennium Falcon docks on his doorstep

Malin Head has been at the centre of the Star Wars universe over the week as preparations begun for filming in the area.

Caravan Park owner, Ali Farren, told the Belfast Telegraph there was a lot of speculation in the area as to who would be appearing for filming.

He said: "There's been a  lot of blacked-out limousines and coaches in the area, so we have no idea who is here - and you can't get close.

"We've been told its a walking shot through a glen of some description, but the Millennium Falcon appeared and that's sparked a lot of interest, I can tell you."

The locals in the area have thrown themselves into the spirit of the series with Malin Head Star Wars merchandise and Ali's brother who runs the family pub, Farren's - Ireland's most northerly bar - has painted a picture of Yoda on the gable wall of the premises.

"Skellig Michael was incredible in the films, but Malin Head will be something else," Ali said.

Skellig Michael - a UNESCO World Heritage Site off the Ring of Kerry on the west coast - featured in the 2015 Force Awakens and was centre stage in the first teaser trailer of episode eight.

A Jedi temple has also appeared in Kerry and work is reportedly underway in Cork on a set.

Decembers The Force Awakens, was the highest grossing film of all time and Star Wars: Episode VIII is set for release in 2017.

JJ McGettigan from the Emerald Garrison, a star Wars costuming club, in Farrens Bar in Malin Head, Co Donegal Ireland, as filming for the next Star Wars movie will take place there. PA
JJ McGettigan from the Emerald Garrison, a star Wars costuming club, in Farrens Bar in Malin Head, Co Donegal Ireland, as filming for the next Star Wars movie will take place there. PA
Stormtrooper John Joe McGettigan from the Emerald Garrison, a Star Wars costuming club, in Farrens Bar in Malin Head, Co Donegal
John Joe McGettigan from the Emerald Garrison, a Star Wars costuming club, in Malin Head, Co Donegal
A Millennium, Falcom in Malin Head, Co Donegal Ireland, as filming for the next Star Wars movie will take place there. PA

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