Get ready to see the Wild Atlantic Way go stellar! It’s the day that Star Wars fans everywhere have been waiting for – the hotly anticipated, first look ‘teaser’ trailer for the upcoming Star Wars – The Last Jedi has just been released and it features stunning footage of Skellig Michael on our very own Wild Atlantic Way.
The trailer was released in Orlando, Florida, at the 2017 edition of Star Wars Celebration, the annual fan convention described as the ‘ultimate fan experience’, which attracts Star Wars devotees from around the world. Tourism Ireland, together with three Irish tourism partners, attended the four-day convention – which was another superb opportunity for Tourism Ireland to maximise the Star Wars connection with Ireland and promote the Wild Atlantic Way.
Click to view the trailer.
Niall Gibbons, Chief Executive, Tourism Ireland, said: “Star Wars: The Force Awakens broke box office records around the world in late 2015, bringing the magnificent scenery of Skellig Michael and the Wild Atlantic Way to the attention of millions of people everywhere. The fact that Episode VIII: The Last Jedi, due for release this December, was also shot on location along the Wild Atlantic Way is another fantastic coup for Irish tourism – and we are absolutely delighted that the Wild Atlantic Way features so heavily in the first peek of the next episode, released today. Tourism Ireland will be taking every opportunity to capitalise on the huge publicity around the film, to whet peoples’ appetites to come and visit the Wild Atlantic Way and Ireland.”
Skellig Michael’s appearance in the last instalment of Star Wars presented Tourism Ireland with a truly unique opportunity to highlight the Wild Atlantic Way to fans of the science fiction franchise around the world. The good news for Irish tourism is that this did not signal the end of the Star Wars journey here. The director of Episode VIII: The Last Jedi, Rian Johnson, returned to Skellig Michael with his cast in September 2015, picking up the story from the iconic moment in Episode VII, when Rey found Luke Skywalker on the stony steps of Skellig Michael. The location scouts were so taken with the Wild Atlantic Way that they came back for a second shoot in May 2016. Locations along the western seaboard were handpicked to represent the planet Ahch-to in Episode VIII – due to hit the big screen on 15th December.
The Star Wars folks obviously enjoyed their time here. When the Irish shoot wrapped, Lucasfilm took out no fewer than eight ‘thank you’ ads in local newspapers in the West of Ireland, saying the cast and crew were “captivated by the Wild Atlantic Way and their journey to Ireland”. Mark Hamill even tweeted: “How I will miss IRELAND. Its beauty, its people, its … snackfood” (in a reference to our Tayto crisps!).