[Warning: This post contains SPOILERS for Star Wars: The Force Awakens.]
Finding the right location is crucial for any film shoot, but director J.J.Abrams certainly had a daunting task for Star Wars: The Force Awakens. Episodes I, II and III were heavily criticized for their reliance on green screen technology. Of course, given modern technology capabilities, green screens come in useful, but there can be too much of a good thing.
Abrams recognized that, and so sought to make The Force Awakens more realistic, simply by shooting large parts of the movie on location, rather than in a studio. As a result, The Force Awakens showcases some truly breathtaking scenery, found on locations across the globe. Perhaps the most impressive location of all, however, is the remote island where we find Luke Skywalker (Mark Hamill) has been living in solitary isolation.
It might only be seen in the final few moments of the movie, but the jagged island, with its massive high peak and many, many stone steps which Rey (Daisy Ridley) climbs, looks awesome and majestic in its beauty. But where was it? Off the coast of Ireland, on the Skellig Islands to be exact, and Love Ireland have released a behind the scenes feature which examines the shoot in more detail. Take a look, above.
As well as more glorious shots of the island, J.J.Abrams talks once again about his love of the original Star Wars triolgy as a child, recalling how it all felt so real. In an effort to capture this once more for The Force Awakens, Abrams states that he felt the standard for the movie had to be reality. The crew set about finding locations specific to their needs, that would look like they came from another time and place. Skellig Island certainly fulfills that brief, as well as holding the grandeur needed to fully capture the moment Rey tracks the elusive Luke Skywalker to his hideout.
Rick Carter, the film's production designer, adds that "The places matter. They're really related to who the characters are." Perhaps no more so than this final shot, and Luke's big reveal. After all, he looks as craggy as the island, and as wild and remote, too, leaving everyone to wonder what will come next for the now wizened Jedi Master and his new student in Episode VIII.
Star Wars: Episode VII – The Force Awakens is now in theaters, followed by Rogue One: A Star Wars Story on December 16th, 2016, Star Wars: Episode VIII on May 26th, 2017, and the Han Solo Star Wars Anthology film on May 25th, 2018. Star Wars: Episode IX is expected to reach theaters in 2019, followed by the third Star Wars Anthology film in 2020.
Source: Love Ireland