First Harrison Ford broke his leg in an on-set accident, and now it turns out the other star of December’s Star Wars: The Force Awakens, Mark Hamill, nearly lost his life while filming last year on the treacherous Skellig Michael off the coast of Co. Kerry.
An onlooker told the Sunday Times of London that Hamill was climbing the Skellig Michael rocks and slipped, only to be saved by a guide from the Irish Office of Public Works.
Hamill, 63, who played Luke Skywalker in the early Star Wars films, would have been “a goner” otherwise, the witness told the Times.
That’s not a stretch. Skellig Michael is simply stunning and is noted as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, but it’s quite dangerous to climb. Two American tourists fell to their deaths there in 2009.
The new Star Wars film, certainly the most anticipated of the year, filmed several scenes on Skellig Michael in July of 2014. Plans are also in place to return to Skellig Michael this month for the next episode of Star Wars, which is due in May of 2017.
Not everyone is happy about the exposure such a high profile project will bring to the tiny island. University College Cork lecturer and noted archaeologist John Sheehan told The Irish Times that the Irish government was turning the historic location into a “commodity”, and “those charged with protecting and preserving it are being silenced.”