It's been confirmed that Lucasfilm, the production company behind the sci-fi blockbuster "Star Wars," will film the latest chapter of the epic series in my home county of Donegal in May.
It's a wise move. It's an epic landscape that has been rich with myth and legend for millennia.
If you were in search of one of the most idyllic places in the universe to find your center – and perhaps bring a little balance to the Force after a lifetime of battling the Empire - you really couldn't do better than Donegal. Luke Skywalker would be lucky to find it.
Lucasfilm apparently agrees. Their location scouts have reportedly booked up many of the hotels in the most northerly peninsula of Inishowen (the starting point of the Wild Atlantic Way) throughout the month of May so the shoot looks like it's going to be a major one.
Full disclosure: I was raised there. I know how perfect it is. But what do you need to know about the place? It's so heart-stoppingly beautiful, the landscape is so romantic and unspoiled that once you see it the memory of it will remain with you for the rest of your life. Yes I'm biased, but I'm well traveled and I know a good thing when I see it too.
We have yet to find out who will be landing there in "Episode VIII," but my instinct says it will be R2D2 and Chewbacca along with Luke Skywalker and badass newcomer Rey. And thinking about this, my own inner 10-year-old is delighted at the prospect of them landing the Millennium Falcon in my old back yard.
This magical landscape has been inspiring mythic tales for millennia and so "Star Wars" will be just the latest episode in a centuries long tradition.
What we already know (spoilers ahead) is that Luke Skywalker's become a hermit by "Episode VII," holing up on the dramatic Skellig Michael island off the coast of County Kerry, because that's where he was re-introduced to us at the end of "The Force Awakens."
Will the wider planet on which he makes his home look like Donegal? It makes sense. But the landscape of Donegal has a much more sweeping and lyrical character than County Kerry's. The air and light up there are so dramatic and changeable that it's an aesthetic education just walking around.
And, as the cameras will discover, you can have four seasons in an afternoon and all of them will photograph beautifully. In fact you'll feel personally revived just taking the air.
Donegal's landscape teaches you that you're just one tiny person in a giant landscape, an ant on a big rock. It puts you in perspective. It's reorienting. Just the place for a jaded Jedi to recharge.
Being remote from Dublin (and from the levers of power) Donegal has been left to its own devices since the foundation of the Irish state, and some might even put that a little less charitably. There are no direct motorways, no direct train lines, it requires a little effort to visit.
But it rewards that effort in ways that really should have made it one of the world's top vacation spots decades ago. It's completely unspoiled; it's enchanting to look at, and it will work its magic from the minute you see it.
I have no doubt that it will bewitch a new legion of fans (and potential tourists to Ireland) when they set eyes on it for the first time on December 15, 2017.
So my advice to you now is to get there ahead of the crowds to see the land where legendary heroes from Cú Chulainn to Luke Skywalker had the sense to put down roots and make their homes. The force is strong with Donegal, and it always has been.