| 11.6°C Belfast

Star Wars: New behind-the-scenes footage shows force awakening on Skellig Michael

Tourism Ireland is continuing the launch of its Star Wars marketing campaign with a second behind-the-scenes film.

The short piece, commissioned from Lucasfilm, features Force Awakens director JJ Abrams and other cast and crew members discussing the Skellig Michael location used in the film,

The UNESCO World Heritage site off the Kerry coast was the scene for a pivotal moment in the latest Star Wars film and features in the new movie currently in production.

Skellig Michael is “just indescribably beautiful,” says Mark Hamill, who can be seen cracking up with laughter amidst moody poses in the shoot.

"It literally looks like a rock that has come out of the sea," says Daisy Ridley, who plays Rey.“It was unbelievable.”

“It’s sort of a miracle this place," says JJ Abrams, who has previously said he "could not believe" he was allowed to shoot at the UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Tourism Ireland's Star Wars campaign, with a budget of €110,000, capitalises on the Irish locations seen in Episode VII: The Force Awakens.

The fact that the next episode, Star Wars: Episode VIII, is also being shot on location along the Wild Atlantic Way, is another coup for Irish tourism.

Up to 35% of tourists are impacted in their choice of destination by what they see on screen, according to Tourism Ireland - which has also developed extensive campaigns around the filming of Game of Thrones in Northern Ireland.

Other elements of the Star Wars campaign have included a special page on Tourism Ireland's website and a previous, behind-the-scenes film.

“Since its release, Star Wars: The Force Awakens has been breaking box office records everywhere and Tourism Ireland has been capitalising on this positive exposure, highlighting the Star Wars connection," said Tourism Ireland chief executive Niall Gibbons.

“Ireland has become an important part of Star Wars history,” said Candice Campos, Vice President, Physical Production at Lucasfilm.

Irish Independent

Irish Independent