Why Was Skellig Island Chosen For Star Wars? | The Smugglers Inn, Waterville, Co. Kerry
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Skellig Island Star War

Why Was Skellig Island Chosen For Star Wars?

When one looks at the sheer beauty engulfing Skellig Island, it's not hard to see why the producers of “Star Wars” thought this would be the perfect location for their movie masterpiece. This remote, rocky island rests around 8 miles from the south-west coast of Ireland. In the middle of the mystical, dark blue sea, sits a rocky structure emerging from the waves. It gives the impression of a land lost in time, or possibly even a land from another world.

Skellig Island is remote and difficult to get too and has also been home to Monks; leaving a stunning Christian Monastery which is well known for its impressive architecture. The Island is also home to a UNESCO World Heritage Site and has a sister Island, Little Skellig. The only inhabitants of Little Skellig, however, are thousands of seabirds! Rightly so, Skellig Island attracts visitors who are interested in beauty in its natural form and Irish history.

Although people do like to visit, the difficulty of reaching the Skelligs has kept them relatively remote and quiet. Not only does it take an hour-long boat ride to get there, but tourists are then faced with an intense stair climb. The scarceness of people made Skellig Island a good choice to be home to “Star Wars.”

In Star Wars Episode 7, We see the Monks architecture, the stone staircases, and the Island itself, in the closing scenes of the movie (cast as an unnamed planet were Rey meets Luke Skywalker.) In the next film, Star Wars: The Last Jedi, we see the Island much more, shown in all of its glory.

Locals in nearby Portmagee think welcoming “Star Wars” has been good for the local community. They’ve noticed more people returning back to the area, meaning boosts for small, local businesses. To ensure things don’t get too out of control with the influx of interest in the area, the government have imposed a limit on visitors for the year. That limit stands at 14,000 for one calendar year, and due to the boats small capacity, Portmagee should remain safe from too much development.

If you’re a Star Wars fan, it's possible that you may not have even heard of these Island’s before you watched the movie. I for one certainly didn’t. Maybe it’s the beautiful remoteness of the Island that made it perfect for “Star Wars,” or the intricate beehive buildings built by the Monks. The breath-taking views of the ocean, seemingly going on forever, and the ancient, natural forms of the rocks, make Skellig Island the perfect destination. There is one thing that’s certain, this Island certainly does look like it's from a galaxy far, far away.

About the Author Henry Hunt

Henry Hunt's culinary career began early on, inspired by his parents and their love and respect for quality and tradition. He sought opportunities to further develop his own creativity and trained as a chef in the Caribbean, Australia and Europe. Working in Michelin restaurants L'ecrivian Dublin, Le Cygne Geneva and the Fat Duck Berkshire to name but a few. This culinary pilgrimage gave the basis of The Smugglers Inn and Smugglers Cafe with a mixture of traditional and modern cuisine.

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