A schoolboy stayed up way past his bed-time — waiting nine hours — to meet his hero Luke Skywalker.
Shea Healy, 8, from Derry, convinced his father Gregory and mother Laura to drive from their Derry home on Sunday to stake out Mark Hamill aka Luke Skywalker at the star’s top secret hotel in Redcastle, Co Donegal.
The family had been so determined to find the star — they got the information out of a journalist as to where the Star Wars actor was staying — and drove 24km to find Hamill at his four-star hotel after shooting scenes at Malin Head.
Greg said: “It was a struggle for Shea to get up for school [Monday] morning but it was worth it because he is buzzing.
“We found out where Mark was staying from a journalist and drove up to the hotel but he was filming so we decided to wait.
“We waited from 3pm until just after midnight because Shea just had to meet Mark. He is a huge fan of Skywalker.”
The Chapel Road Primary School pupil is experiencing his own slice of fame today as his school friends all enquire just what the Jedi is like in the flesh.
“We waited in the hotel lobby, watched the football, had something to eat, and we didn’t want to give up, but we almost missed him — because it was very late and we were about to leave,” said Greg.
“Mark was an absolute gentleman and he was happy to pose for photos. But it was a struggle for Shea to get up for school this morning.”
Mark Hamill tweeted about his meeting with Shea: “He may be more handsome, but I was easily MUCH taller. #LessHandsomeHamill.”
Meanwhile, the Star Wars juggernaut — more accurately called the Star Wars Boeing 767-300 aircraft, with some 260 people on board, landed at Cork Airport around 2.30pm yesterday.
Hamill, Daisy Ridley, who plays Rey, and Adam Driver, who plays Kylo Ren, will shoot key scenes, understood to include Rey undergoing Jedi training, in and around Brow Head in West Cork until tomorrow.
The Irish Aviation Authority had enforced a no-fly zone in the area, in a bid to block drones from operating.
The production is then expected to move to the Ceann Sibeal headland in Kerry, where Jedi temple sets have been built.
The IAA is enforcing a 21-day no-fly zone in the Dingle peninsula, banning the operation of craft within an 8km radius of Sybil Head and Dunmore Head.
© Irish Examiner Ltd. All rights reserved