The Irish tourism industry will surely boom this year thanks to the exposure the ancient island Skellig Michael off the coast of Co. Kerry receives in Star Wars: The Force Awakens, which is making history at the box office – but the force might not be with Skellig for the next installment in the franchise.
The stunning island presents treacherous terrain and was difficult to film on, so producers have reportedly recreated Skellig Michael at a studio in London to make things easier according to an all things Star Wars site.
“The Skellig Michael sets have been built and in some cases recreated at Pinewood,” writes websitemakingstarwars.net. “Filming at Skellig Michael was just too complicated for environmental reasons. Migrating birds have more power than any corporation over that isle.”
There were definitely environmental concerns raised during the shooting of The Force Awakens on Skellig Michael. Filming took place for three days in 2014, and environmentalists were furious that some of the birdlife was displaced during the shoot. But director J.J. Abrams was grateful for the chance to film there.
“I can’t believe they let us shoot there, it was so beautiful,” Abrams said. “I felt the standard had to be authenticity, the standard had to be reality.”