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Star Wars Millennium Falcon lands in Ulster for episode 8 filming

By Jonny Bell

In a small corner of Ulster - not that far away - there's a disturbance in the force.

Cast and crew of the new Star Wars have landed on Malin Head as they prepare to shoot the latest installment of the science-fiction fantasy, the as-yet-untitled episode eight.

And one of the film's biggest - and most notable stars - is beginning to make an appearance on the Wild Atlantic Way.

Construction has begun on Han Solo's famous Millennium Falcon as well as what looks like a star base from a far off planet.

Filming is expected to take place over the coming days and last for months.

Road closures have been in place around the area, but this has not stopped eager Star Wars fans flocking to the area to catch a glimpse of the action to get a clue as to what the next film may have in store.

Holiday homes and B&Bs in the area have been reportedly booked solid for months to accommodate the fleet working on the production.

Photographer James Whorriskey says security around the set is intent on trying to maintain the secrets of film.

He said security tried to put a stop to those trying to take pictures from public areas and even at one point called in the gardai.

Despite this he was able to capture some stunning images of one of the silver screen's most iconic figures.

"It would appear that the building of the Millennium Falcon at the Inishowen beauty spot is something that they're not keen on having documented," he said.

Filming has taken place across Ireland, both for JJ Abrams last film and the new blockbuster.

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.

Episode VII: The Force Awakens was the highest grossing movie of all time on its release in December.

More: Star Wars The Force Awakens review: Revamp lost in space

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