The Last Jedi on Skellig Michael

Posted by The Skibbereen Eagle | April 14, 2017 0

The Force is with us again: The first trailer for Star Wars: Episode VIII – The Last Jedi made its debut on Friday at Star Wars Celebration 2017.

It looks as if the people at Star Wars got their money’s worth from Skellig Michael. The island off the coast of Kerry (not yet renamed Star Wars Island) is all over the first teaser trailer for Rian Johnson’s Star Wars: The Last Jedi. It begins with Daisy Ridley, back as intergalactic heroine Rey, slapping her hand on what we take to be a little bit of the UNESCO world heritage site. A voice then asks us to “Breathe… just breath”. We get to see Rey (Daisy Ridley) undergo training and wield a light sabre. We witness what looks to be an attack on the Resistance. And we hear Luke Skywalker (Mark Hamill) utter an ominous sentence: “It’s time for the Jedi to … end.”

The Last Jedi, directed by Rian Johnson, is the follow-up to 2015’s Star Wars: Episode VII — The Force Awakens. That instalment, directed by J.J. Abrams, breathed new life into the franchise. Though it bears more than a passing resemblance to the original 1977 film, it reminded many fans of what they love about this story of a galaxy far, far away — from the unforgettable characters to the weird, colourful worlds to the pew-pew-pew battles to the nefarious villains. It also ended on a cliff-hanger, with Rey meeting Luke, and together it seems they are the titular “last Jedi.”

The Last Jedi is the next chapter in Rey’s journey toward determining her place in this world, filling in the details of her relationship to Luke, and of course, fighting in the epic battle between good and evil.

Parts of the new film were shot in other Irish locations such as Malin Head in Donegal and Ceann Sibeal in Kerry. Whole new tourism industries have been kicked up as a result. The monastic Island, Skellig Michael founded in the 7th century, for 600 years the island was a centre of monastic life for Irish Christian monks. The Celtic monastery, which is situated almost at the summit of the 230-metre-high rock became a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1996. It is one of Europe’s better known but least accessible monasteries. 

Star Wars: The Last Jedi is scheduled to hit theatres on December 15 the wonder of the UNESCO World Heritage site is there all year round.  However there are only two boats who operate to the Island in summer and numbers are tightly controlled both to protect the Island from damage and ensure the safety of visitors.

The Skibbereen Eagle

In 1898, to widespread bemusement, a small Provincial Newspaper in an equally small town in the South West corner of Ireland sonorously warned the Czar of Russia that it knew what he was up to and he should be careful how he proceeded for “The Skibbereen Eagle” was wise to his game and in future would be keeping its eye on him! It is doubtful that Nicholas II, Emperor and Autocrat of All the Russias, even noticed the Eagle’s admonitions but as history soon proved he should have paid closer attention to the Eagle’s insightful opinions!

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