The new JJ Abrams edition of Star Wars is currently having a short shoot on the Irish Island of Skellig Michael off of the coast of County Kerry. A recent article in The Location Guide offered insight into the shoot on the island, which is home to a historic Christian monastery and was declared a world heritage site in 1996. Due to the shoot, local businesses are seeing a surge in local income, including shop owners, local hotel owners, and the security guards hired to watch over the site.
Ireland’s Office of Public works mentioned that their staff would be onsite to provide support during the shoot. “They will be continuing to manage visitors throughout and will, obviously, continue to safeguard the national monument and the island, which is a world heritage site. This production is being fully supported by the Department of Arts Heritage and the Gaeltacht and the Irish Film Board.”
Pinewood Studios based in London has thus far served as a home base for the film thanks to the UK’s generous tax credits. Other short-term locations for Star Wars include Abu Dhabi, which offers a 30% filming incentive and could potentially serve as the planet of Tatooine in the film. A recent announcement from Lucasfilm mentioned that the rest of the trilogy will also be based at Pinewood in 2015.
The Daily Mail reported that all of the local hotels and B&Bs in the surrounding area have been booked for the week. John O’Sullivan of local tourist company Skellig Experience has confidence the island will make for a gorgeous location. “If the weather is fine, the camera work out there could be stunning. The scenery is spectacular up there. It’s a majestic and mysterious place.”
Star Wars: Episode VII goes into theaters December 18, 2015.