Star Wars: The Force Awakens director J.J. Abrams has told how honored he felt to film part of the new movie on the Kerry island on Skellig Micheal and about his own connections to Ireland.
The movie has already set records with a $120 million dollar opening day release and great reviews.
Abrams, who is Jewish, is married to Irish American Kate McGrath who worked for Senator Edward Kennedy and has always been proud of her Sligo roots.
He told the Mail on Sunday that he loved Sligo, Clare, Galway and Kerry and found Ireland’s legendary green landscape incredibly visual.
He was also influenced by his mentor Steven Spielberg who became enamored with Ireland after filming part of Saving Private Ryan there. Spielberg still goes to Ireland quietly on relaxation trips.
Speaking of Skelig Micheal he said he had choices all over the world but the Kerry island could not be surpassed.
“They brought us a ton of images of various places – as location managers do – and there were incredible options but nothing that touched what Skellig Michael offered.
“The question was, would we be able to shoot there and the Irish film commission was extraordinarily cooperative and eager and helpful.
“There were people I knew who had been involved in Irish film making and they were very helpful and told us what we might expect shooting there,” he told RTÉ TEN.
The 49-year-old also revealed that the scenes shot on Skellig Michael are some of the most visually stunning scenes in the movie.
“We got to go there and film a sequence which I think is certainly visually one of the most stunning in the movie.
The movie was launched on Friday night in Dublin.
See Tourism Ireland footage on our You Tube clip: