It’s not a galaxy far, far away, but by the time it’s finished, the scene at Ceann Sibéal in Co Kerry will be every bit the intergalactic equal of Skellig Michael, as our exclusive pictures show.
The detailed shots capture the preparations for the latest round of filming of the Star Wars series on the Kerry headland, with work continuing on recreating the beehive- like structures of Sceilig Mhichíl, used to such potent effect at the end of Star Wars: The Force Awakens, which smashed box office records around the world when it opened last December.
Last month it emerged that contractors had begun work on transforming the headland for the next round of filming, including the laying of a 1.5km metal roadway.
It is understood filming will begin next month and could run for two weeks.
Our pictures show a great level of detail in recreating structures similar to those on Skellig Michael, with the island itself visible in the distance from the location on the western edge of the Dingle Peninsula.
Disney Lucasfilm has repeatedly praised the beauty of the Irish landscape, opening up speculation that other points along the Atlantic seaboard may be used in future filming.
Last month, the Irish Film Board confirmed that permits for a project to film on Ceann Sibéal had been granted by the Department of Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht, with the Department confirming that it had approved a proposal for “a limited amount of filming by a film production company on Ceann Sibéal/Sybil Head on the Dingle Peninsula later this year”.
The two periods of filming on Skellig Michael had attracted some opposition, but the department said that its National Parks and Wildlife Service was satisfied that filming on Ceann Sibeal would have no adverse effects on the Special Protection Area or local biodiversity.
A departmental letter of consent listed the strict criteria for filming, including a specification that a helicopter only be used for three days and that it can film 100m from the cliff top for 45 minutes in any one day.
Personnel in the area is to be limited to a maximum of 100 during filming.
Star Wars: Episode VIII will see the return of central characters played by Mark Hamill, Carrie Fisher, Daisy Ridley, John Boyega, and Domhnall Gleeson, with expected new cast members such as Benicio Del Toro and Laura Dern. A trailer for spinoff Rogue One: A Star Wars Story was released this week.
© Irish Examiner Ltd. All rights reserved