WEEKS AFTER SPECULATION that they were set to film in Donegal, Lucasfilm has confirmed it is to head to Ireland’s Wild Atlantic Way.
In a statement today, Candice Campos, the vice president of physical production at Lucasfilm, said the company “is thrilled to return to Ireland to film several sequences for the next chapter in the Star Wars saga”.
The beauty of Skellig Michael in the final scene of The Force Awakens was stunning and we know the new locations along the Wild Atlantic Way will prove to be equally as beautiful in Star Wars: Episode VIII. We want to thank the people of Ireland for their warm welcome and continued support. Ireland has become an important part of Star Wars history.
Recent speculation suggested that Lucasfilm would be heading to Malin Head in Donegal for filming, but this was not confirmed today.
It is anticipated that Lucasfilm may confirm the specific filming locations in the coming months.
The Minister for Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht, Heather Humphreys TD said that the return of Star Wars to Ireland is yet a further boost for the film sector here.
“My department has been working with Disney Lucasfilm over recent months in a bid to accommodate the return of Star Wars to Ireland,” she said.
“Disney Lucasfilm have developed a strong affinity for Ireland, and I am delighted to see them return to Ireland for further filming around our beautiful and dramatic coastline.”
We have already seen how the most recent Star Wars film has brought Sceilg Mhichíl and southwest Kerry to a global audience. Now, further locations around the Irish Coast will experience similar exposure, providing untold benefits to the tourism and film sectors.
James Hickey, chief executive of Bord Scannán na hÉireann/the Irish Film Board, said they are delighted to welcome the filming “to some of our most spectacular locations along the Wild Atlantic Way”.
“The Irish film industry has experienced much success this year on the back of major international awards and nominations for Irish films Room and Brooklyn,” he added.
He said the film board believes the latest Star Wars filming will help to build on this success, “creating further opportunities and growth for the Irish film industry, resulting in increased levels of job creation, incoming tourists and foreign direct investment to Ireland.”
Skellig Michael played a significant part in the ending of The Force Awakens, leading to a very high level of secrecy around filming on the protected island.