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Star Wars is coming to Skellig Michael. Photo by: Tourism Ireland

"Star Wars" movie set to film on County Kerry island

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Star Wars is coming to Skellig Michael. Photo by: Tourism Ireland

Scenes from the highly anticipated new 'Star Wars' movie are set for filming this August on Skellig Michael – the small, monastic island off the coast of Co. Kerry.

Irish actor Domhnall Gleeson, son of legendary actor Brendan Gleeson, will likely be sailing out to the steep, rocky island in his new leading role.

A boat approaching Skellig Michael on a clear day.

Skellig Michael (which translates as Michael’s rock) is one of the two Skellig Islands – it stands 700 feet above the surface of the sea. Saint Fionán founded a Christian monastery on the island in the 6th century, which was occupied until the twelfth century.

The island has been registered as a World Heritage Site thanks to the monastic remains, which can be visited by boat. Still standing are a church, an oratory, and the monks' fascinating beehive-like dwellings that are perched over the cliffs.

The beehive-like dwellings of Skellig Michael's monks.

Though boat tours approach the island once a day, actual access is quite hard to gain due to the intensity of the waves and the slipperiness of the island – foot traffic is not permitted when wet or windy, which is quite usual for this area.

The new 'Star Wars' movie is currently shooting in London’s Pinewood Studios, but Skellig Michael will be closed off to visitors for three days in August for filming. The production is being entirely supported by the Department of Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht.

Irish actor Domhnall Gleeson to play leading role in the new Star Wars film.

Gleeson and other new additions like Andy Serkis ('Lord of the Rings') and Gwendoline Christie will be acting alongside original cast members Harrison Ford, Carrie Fisher, Mark Hamill and Peter Mayhew (as Chewbacca).

An iconic site for an iconic film; Episode VII will be released on December 18, 2015.

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