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episode 7

Here's everything we know so far about Star Wars filming in Co. Kerry

Use the force, boy.

Skellig Michael renovation work PA Archive / Press Association Images PA Archive / Press Association Images / Press Association Images

IT’S ALL GO in Co Kerry this week as some of the cast and crew of Star Wars Episode VII arrive to film on Skellig Michael.

A few days ago it was all just rumour, but now scenes are already being filmed on the monastic island settlement 12km off the Iveragh Peninsula in Kerry.

The arrival of the cast, crew and equipment has been real cloak and dagger stuff, with the production team going to extraordinary lengths to keep things under wraps.

Here’s what we know so far though…

  • Director JJ Abrams has now arrived in Kerry to direct scenes on Skellig Michael.
  • An Irish industry source working at the location has hinted that the final scenes of the film could be shot on the island.
  • The shoot is only likely to last a couple of days with Skellig Michael closed to visitors until Thursday. 
  • reports that two actors will be involved in the scenes.
  • Mark Hamill (Luke Skywalker) is likely to be one of those actors, as he’s already arrived in Portmagee. He’s brought his entire family too and they’ve been pictured travelling out to the set. It’s likely they’re together to celebrate his daughter’s birthday.

Hamill’s son Nathan has posted a Claddagh image on Instagram and has thanked well-wishers on Twitter about his visit to Ireland.

Heart and Hands. Wherever I may be. nathanhamill nathanhamill

  • Helicopters are being used to transport JJ Abrams and other cast and crew members to Skellig Michael, with others are travelling by sea. According to the orange and blue chopper pictured below has been moving between the base camp and the location.

kich1 Two choppers in use by the production team.

I didn't go to Portmagee Harbour in the morning Madeleine Weber / I Love The Skelligs Madeleine Weber / I Love The Skelligs / I Love The Skelligs

mich Crew members prepare equipment for transport to the island Michael Sullivan / Michael Sullivan / /

  • The production team has set up a base camp outside Portmagee 


base Declan O'Donoghue / Declan O'Donoghue / /

  • The Irish Examiner reports that the navy had set up an exclusion zone around the island and the set so keep things top secret. Portmagee and Valentia have also seen an influx of security staff.

  • The Unesco World Heritage Centre has asked for information on the granting of filming rights at the 6th century monastic site. A spokesperson told that the issue is not with the filming, it’s with the effect that filming might have.

Thanks to for permission to use images

Read: Could Star Wars cost Skellig Michael its Unesco World Heritage Status?

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