Mark Hamill invites Star Wars fans to, “Escape the Dark Side along Earth’s Wild Atlantic Way”; New tourism film celebrates Ireland’s Star Wars connections

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Mark Hamill invites Star Wars fans to,
“Escape the Dark Side along Earth’s Wild Atlantic Way”

New tourism film celebrates Ireland’s Star Wars connections

Dublin, 18 December 2017: Ireland’s Wild Atlantic Way has been wowing audiences around the globe in screenings of Star Wars: The Last Jedi. To celebrate the film’s Irish connections, Tourism Ireland has just released an irreverent promotional film about holidays along the Wild Atlantic Way, featuring Mark Hamill – aka Luke Skywalker.

From the craggy summit of Skellig Michael, off the south-western shores to Ireland’s most northerly tip, Malin Head, key locations were handpicked by Star Wars location scouts to represent Ahch-to – the oceanic planet which became home to an exiled Luke Skywalker.

Filmed using  the trademark Star Wars screen-wipe transitions and sound effects which Star Wars fans around the globe will recognise, Tourism Ireland’s new promotional film features a number of beautiful holiday destinations along Ireland’s western seaboard. At the end of the film, Mark Hamill addresses the camera: “Escape the dark side along Earth’s Wild Atlantic Way – the perfect place to get away from it all.”

The Wild Atlantic Way made its first Star Wars appearance in the final moments of the 2015 blockbuster, The Force Awakens with Skellig Michael doubling as Luke Skywalker’s hide-out island.

In September 2015, actors Mark Hamill and Daisy Ridley returned to Skellig Michael, this time with director Rian Johnson to embark on a new Star Wars adventure, with The Last Jedi’s very first scenes shot on the UNESCO World Heritage Site. But the journey didn’t end there. In May 2016, Rian returned to Ireland with his cast for a second shoot in Malin Head on the Inishowen Peninsula,  County Donegal – Ireland’s most northerly point.

Locals were amazed to discover that the next Star Wars movie was being filmed in their community. Hugh Farren, of Farren’s Bar recalls the excitement: “It was unbelievable that Star Wars was filming a mile and a half away from us. The buzz that we had for the month was surreal”.

Other filming locations included Loop Head in County Clare, Ballyferriter in County Kerry – where the crew recreated the 6th century monastic ‘beehive’ huts of Skellig Michael along a spectacular headland called Sybil Head, and Brow Head near Crookhaven, County Cork.

To view Tourism Ireland’s promotional film, video, click here.

More background and stories about Star Wars filming on the Wild Atlantic Way are available here www.ireland.com/starwars

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