'Star Wars: Episode VII' to Shoot on Tiny Irish Island
Skellig Michael, off the coast of County Kerry, is lined up to join London's Pinewood Studios and Abu Dhabi as a filming location, authorities say.
LONDON – A tiny Irish island could soon be welcoming a galaxy far, far away.
According to local media reports, Skellig Michael, 7.2 miles west of the coast of County Kerry in the Atlantic Ocean, is set to join the list of Star Wars: Episode VII filming locations. Ireland’s Office of Public Works confirmed that a shoot would be taking place to local newspaper Kerry's Eye.
"Skelling Michael is being made available for a film production shoot on the island. This production is being fully supported by the Department of Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht and the Irish Film Board," a spokesman said.
It has also been reported that the island will not be open to visitors at the end of August for three days for the filming to take place.
A UNESCO World Heritage Site and covering just 0.08 square miles, Skelling Michael is the larger of two Skellig islands off the coast of County Kerry in southwest Ireland.
While currently unpopulated, a Christian monastery was founded on the island at some point between the 6th and 8th century, and later abandoned in the late 12th century. Star Wars bloggers have suggested that the monastery looks like something from the film franchise's universe, and could very well appear in J.J. Abrams' latest installment.
Disney declined to comment when asked about the report of the location shoot on the Irish island.
Star Wars veteran Mark Hamill took time off from shooting Episode VII in London's Pinewood Studios on Thursday evening to attend the premiere of Guardians of the Galaxy. Speaking to the BBC from the red carpet, he said that Harrison Ford was recovering well from the broken leg he suffered on set in June.
"It was really terrible, but I hear he’s doing really well," he said. "It will take more than that to stop Harrison Ford!"