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UPDATE 3! First Pictures & Rumors from the Skellig Michael Set. Good Weather Expected Tomorrow!

Skellig 02Next week’s shoot at Skellig Michael for Star Wars Episode VIII is rapidly approaching… and we’ve got rumored information about the set-up, along with a few behind-the-scenes images of the set-up for filming.



Before we get into the good stuff, there’s a little headline we missed out on reporting earlier. Irish newspaper Kerry’s Eye mentioned details about the plans for shooting film at the island. (Thanks to The Cantina regular MagnarTheGreat for making the find.)


Rian Johnson

A huge production crew for Star Wars VIII – the sequel to the film shot on the World Heritage Site last year – arrived in South Kerry on Tuesday and visited Skellig Michael… The director [Rian Johnson], producer [Ram Bergman], and head of photography [Steve Yedlin] for the blockbuster film – along with up to 30 pre-production crew, were ferried on to the island at around 2.30pm. The crew brought no equipment on board the boats with them, but it is understood that they were walking the island and taking pictures, and spent a number of hours surveying the area.


The scouting in question happened roughly ten days ago. Those are some important names for the production of Star Wars Episode VIII, so it appears that, since the crew for The Force Awakens is seemingly absent, there were not any necessary reshoots for that movie in this particular location. There are a few restrictions – but worth noting is that filming at dusk is apparently on the horizon.


On to the good stuff. Recent island visitors have visually confirmed that the crew of the movie was there. Furthermore, a reader of ours snapped a few photos of the set-up showing the tents and some of the equipment. The reader – Ronan Nissenbaum – is not a member of the crew, but he and some of his friends managed to get to the island right before it closed for the weekend.







image6Ronan also apparently heard a few things about what will be involved in the shoot. Rumors – and potential mild spoilers – will be listed from this point on.


Tents and tarps full of equipment were all over the island completely unguarded apart from one tent which lay on top of a fake sandy coloured rock built for the filming… My guess is Luke will be standing on that tomorrow. Talking to people who I can’t name as they were afraid of getting in trouble, we discovered that there were definitely droids already locked away on the island (presumably BB-8 or R2-D2 or both, but couldn’t confirm because they hadn’t seen any of the movies). Along with the droids were weapons, presumably a lightsaber or two. We also discovered that the set had been described as a “Jedi Monastery”, (although I don’t know the validity of that) and scenes were to have wind and rain machines, which we later discovered and took photos that you can see here.


Something we definitely know is that right now, Mark Hamill’s family are in the United Kingdom. Since they were there when he was filming for The Force Awakens – or otherwise hanging out at Pinewood Studios – it can be safe to presume that he will be present at the shoot as well. It is likely that Daisy Ridley will also be there for filming, as she was there the last time footage was shot at Skellig Michael.


#VogueLovesLiberty fun night out with mum

A photo posted by chelseahamill (@chelseahamill) on


Hamleys. Est. 1760. #toys A photo posted by Nathan Hamill (@nathanhamill) on


Stay tuned to Star Wars 7 News as we continue to cover all things related to the Skellig Michael filming this week.






Some photos from this morning:






Due to bad weather the Episode VIII filming scheduled for Monday has been cancelled:


From IrishTimes:


High winds around Portmagee and Ballinskelligs saw filming of Star Wars: Episode VIII on the Unesco World heritage site of Skelllig Michael cancelled on Monday morning, with the small boats which service the site refusing to go to sea.




While the intended start of the shoot on Monday didn’t quite work out, according to one of our sources, Tuesday is apparently going to have more temperate weather and will be a safe bet for filming. The source claims that the cast and crew is made up of 100 people. The statement of the source was also supported by a recent report from an Irish news outlet:


Skellig 04

Final preparations are being made in Co Kerry for filming of part of the next Star Wars movie on Skellig Michael, 12km off the coast. Cast and crew members flew into Kerry Airport this morning on a private jet from London. Filming is due to start tomorrow morning.


Thanks for Terrence Mulvey for the tip.



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  • KungFuCthulhu

    I almost feel like we should change our name to Skellig Michael Island News for the week. :B

    – Pomojema

    • Concealed Courier

      Lol how true..

  • Future-Bound-Entertainment

    Skellig Michael, Skellig, Skellig, Skellig, Michael, Michael, Michael…

    • KungFuCthulhu

      …Hare Krishna?

      – Pomojema

    • Ben Smith

      Stelio. Stelio Kontos. Stelio. Stelio Kontos. Stelio. Stelio Kontos.

  • Crixxxx

    It’s the start of principal photography on Episode 8. If you’re tired of hearing about it, no one is forcing you to read it.

    • Steven Irizarry

      it could be that money shot lightsaber scene that rian johnson was gushing about. he apparently got it from his dreams

      • Bifash

        Please tell me more, not heard about this…

      • AuDiOsAnE

        I wonder if Yoda’s Force ghost will show up here in VIII.

        • Mathew

          I’m curious about that too. I’m interested to see how this is handled: technically, you’d think Luke would still be in contact with Obi-Wan, Yoda and Anakin, so perhaps one or more of them will show up in Episode VII, as well.

          • Tim

            I would hope so, because it make no sense to cut that out. But JJ and company seem to have some suspect ideas, so who knows. Captain Phazma, what a dumb name.

    • Concealed Courier

      I’m excited!

  • Josh Thomas

    I think it’s safe to say that Skellig Michael Island is going to play a huge part in the new trilogy. Exciting times we’re living in!

    • mehmet ersen

      Its such an atmospheric location, you can just imagine what the shots may look like in the movie. There was talk of filming in a large cave somewhere too. Great locations.

      • KungFuCthulhu

        The large cave was in Vietnam, IIRC.

        – Pomojema

  • mehmet ersen

    It’s great to see the Heritage group have taken a break from moaning about endangered pigeons or whatever. This is Star Wars Bi**h!

    • Seanoog

      Local TV, Radio and Printed Papers, all have different opinions, regarding the pro’s and con’s of allowing filming on Skellig Michael. But the heritage group is still very vocal against filming..

      I wish they would make there mind up!
      Do they really want the extra money Disney is spending on filming there, or the extra tourism Star Wars will bring to the area, over the next 10-20 years?
      Or are they really concerned about the welfare of the birds?

      Truthfully, I think they want there cake, and to eat it.
      – The birds have survived hundreds of years, I am confident they will survive a few days of filming…

  • Adavanter Mki

    See? To think some people were worried about the OT crew having minor roles. I think they’ll be just as important as the story calls for. Hard to believe we are only 95 days away… and that R1 is well underway and 8 is just ramping up. CRAZY!

    • Tim

      I think they will have limited role, but be major players. Ep 8 will be more about Luke passing on his knowledge. Luke’s real story ends after ROTJ. It’s gonna be sad to watch Disney mangle Luke. I had hope for this, but the more we find out, the more I realize that this is a horrible story. Luke, someone stole your daddy’s mask, and are acting very Sith like. But they are not Sith, never mind the red saber, black outfit, and the former Sith mask. “These are not the Sith you’re looking for,” JJ.

  • Kenny Ritchie

    So it sounds like Luke, Rey, R2, and BB-8. Luke will be reunited with Anakin’s lightsaber. Will Rey have a lightsaber, or is her primary weapon still the staff? Much looking forward to finding out.

    • red vector

      It would cool if her primary weapon is the staff but is equipped with a short light sabre blade that could be deployed from either end of the shaft. Like a longer version of Darth Maul’s lightsabre. But unlike his the shaft has a protective shielding against being cut. It would be something different that a Jedi would use a non traditional weapon. Rather than a standard lightsabre.

      • Tim

        Oh gosh, I hope not.

  • Tom Edenbrow

    top location

  • RA-7

    I’m friggin’ excited!

  • skoober

    Any news on Mark Hamill almost becoming a force-ghost after nearly falling a long, long way?

    • Jason

      That happened last year. It even says so in the article.

  • Tim

    I think Episode 8 will be better than 7, because 8 will clean up the mess that JJ did to 7.

    Hey Luke. What you been doing for 30 years? “Coming to grips with the fact my daddy was a genicidal maniac.”

    What made you come out after so long? “Some jerk from the Knights of Ren decided to steal my daddy’s mask, and almost got his saber too.” “Grrr,”

    Luke why didn’t you rebuild the Jedi after -Return of the Jedi-: “Because I’d rather sit and watch this dead guy from a Sith tomb and remember the days I was just a boy.”

    Luke are the Knights of Ren Sith? “JJ says no, but if it looks like a Sith, and talks like a SITH, well you know.. But now we can have more than too. For Bain’s sake.”

    Luke, can you believe yet another hero from a desert planet is going to save the Galaxy? “Yea, I’m surprised the First order doesn’t just wipe out desert planets.”

    • Trenzy

      Erm … Lawrence Kasdan wrote the script. JJ helped. ;P

      • Tim

        Even so, doesn’t mean the idea I’ve seen so far doesn’t almost remind me too much of the OT.

        And Powerful dark side force users who use black outfits, red sabers, but are not Sith. What! Come on!

        I get there is much to learn, and I’m open to the idea the incomplete picture taints what we have so far.

        But if the story mirrors what appears to be, it’s gonna be quite disappointing.

        Especially the fact Luke is hardly present through most the film. Decades and you want to make us wait even longer to spend quality time with Luke Skywalker.

        It will let slip by a chance to really thrill fans by giving us a future where the boy from Tatooine seem to complete the mission his father failed to do, become a powerful Jedi, and leader, a master.

        30 years is far too long for Luke to be twiddling his thumbs and becoming one with his family roots.

        • Matthew Murphy

          Who is to say that all the Kinights of Ren only have red lightsabers? We have only seen one of them so far haven’t we??

          • The MacGuffin Guy

            Also, red lightsaber and dark side do not a sith make. Assaj Ventress and the inquisitors (both the old EU kind and the new canon kind) had red sabers and dark side powers but were not sith. I think we will see more and more in this trilogy how the “sith” were a very specific religion. Just because the knights of Ren have similar ideologies (passion = strength etc) dosn’t automatically make them the same religion.

            All that said…I still think andy serkis’ character will be a Sith. All that is confirmed is that Kylo Ren is not (currently) affiliated with the sith religion.

            • Tim

              Although I agree, I’ve always thought that was a dumb cop out too. But at least they were affiliated with the Sith. If Kio Ren and the Ren are not, but carry Sith like cloths, sabers, and abilities, it will be quite sill.

              If Snoke (I hope that’s not his real name) is a Sith, it’s would further muck up the story.

              I’m betting they believe the Sith were weak, with the rule of two and all.

              I guess we’ll see, but Ren storyline doesn’t quite anger me as much as the idea that Luke has been one missed opportunity after another. It looks as if his only real attribute will be to get Vader to kill Sidious, and Rey and Fin to beat The Knights of Ren.

              I hope they think hard about what they are doing with Luke. In the E.U., he was done mostly right. I’m not so sure about this new story.

              • Thretosix

                Don’t watch the movie if you feel is will suck that bad. You whine more than Luke in A New Hope.

          • Tim

            We know for a fact at least one does, and since he has been the center of the entire marketing campaign, it’s safe to say we have a Sith like bad guy who is not a Sith, just a wannabe Sith who mirrors Vader.

      • this whole world

        Nah. Other way around. Kasdan hasn’t made a good movie in 20 years. JJ has never made a good movie.

        • SonOfConstantDiligence

          Very subjective.

    • Josh Thomas

      Have you seen the movie already then? Because your acting like you’ve seen it.

      • Tim

        Nothing I said would indicate that I think I seen the movie. Not one thing. I clearly started my comment by saying, “I think.”

        I’m basing it off of what we know, which is actually a great deal from the toys and cannon books.

        The only subjective aspect of my post is about the rumors of screen time, and Luke bring at a tomb, again I was clear. What is clear, Ren calls Luke the Last Jedi.

        That seems to strongly point towards no rebuilding of the temple or the order.

        Besides, my sim conversation is partly is gist.

        But partly dead on. They’ve gone to great pains to mirror the OT, and it’s beginning to look as if they’ve gone too far.

        What I believe makes the PT worthwhile is the Jedi.

        Heck, the Jedi is part of the Starwars world. The OT was about bringing them back. ROTJ, was the culmination of the return of the Jedi.

        Who would have thought it was gonna be the return of the Jedi too afraid to rebuild the Jedi.

        • Brewer13

          I believe the rumored flashback is said to be about the knights of ren destroying the new Jedi temple and all the Jedi trainees. Luke being the only survivor. Don’t remember where I read that.

          • The MacGuffin Guy

            I am definitely thinking this is the case. Both the supposed stunt training video and the back of the kylo ren costume describing a fight against several force users, this is likely the case. Plus in aftermath/shattered empire Luke is already intent on founding a Jedi academy so I can’t imagine he suddenly changed his mind or that it took him 30 years to do it.

            • Tim

              If it is, then it’s absolutely a horrible idea. Unless he like trains two Jedi, and they don’t get it going.

              The Sith take a long game plot to bring down the Jedi, and Luke brings them back only to have some Sith wannabe with Vader issues bring it down again.

              So when J.J. was asked who is Luke Skywalker, the answer was an epic failure of a Jedi master. Go gosh, this is horrible.

              I get the idea the Jedi would go back to full strength, and the be and flow of coming back may have speed bumps, but that sounds as if just another horrible Skywalker outcome.

              Why should anyone trust Luke then, he would suck.

              • The MacGuffin Guy

                I agree that I hate the idea of the jedi being hunted down and killed AGAIN, but personally for me its better then the alternative. Either luke’s first start at an academy failed, or he just never bothered to start one at all, which would require some darn good character moments to make me buy.

                Since it does appear that there is not an abundance of Jedi, my thought is maybe Luke let his public “jedi academy” fall to make the knights of ren think they won and stop hunting them so luke could train his jedi in secret. Image an army of awesome jedi coming out of nowhere?! It would be like the army of the dead scene from LotR except more awesome.

                • Tim

                  I am beginning to believe that is the choice, it’s one of one two. Either way, the answer to J.J. Answering who is Luke Skywalker would be guy who couldn’t train a team of Jedi, but somehow will be able to do it for Rey, who will accomplish what Luke couldn’t. I’m not sure that is in any way preferable.

          • Tim

            I don’t recall seeing that at all. But that would be even worse. Luke rebuilds the temple only to have the Knights of Ren bring it down.

            And what, the Rey and Fin will somehow have the strength to do what Luke and the New Jedi Order couldn’t.

            That is pretty frightening, I certainly don’t think it could get much worse.

      • Mathew

        I get the feeling that some people would actually prefer it if Episode VII turned out to be awful, just so that they can criticize JJ Abrams/Disney etc for the rest of their lives.

        We won’t know until we’ve seen it, but I am quietly optimistic that it’s going to be awesome :) And if it is, I bet JJ Abrams is too classy to come out and criticize all the people who wrote him off even before the film started shooting.

        • Tim

          I don’t know anyone who wants Ep. 7 to be bad. I was the most excited I could be that J.J. Was chosen, especially when the rumor was he nixed the idea of moving on from the OT hero quickly.now it appears they tried a middle ground where Luke was a main part of the film, without actually being a main part of the film. It’s almost as if they want to make Luke suck, so fans will want to see them move on.

  • JBL

    So has Mark started filming on Skellig?? As the mirror is reporting he’s been involved in an accident there? It’s not clear if this happened recently or last year. But i’ve not heard about it if so. http://www.mirror.co.uk/tv/tv-news/curse-star-wars-strikes-again-6436184

    • Jason

      That incident occurred last year.

    • Dani Català

      It happened last year. He lost his globe that day, that’s why we see the mech arm in the trailer.

  • James Bondman

    An Irish song for you all……
    “Are you right there, Michael, are ye right?
    Do you think that you’ll be home before it’s light?”
    “Tis all dependin’ whether
    The old engine holds together—
    And it might now, Michael, so it might!
    And it might, now, Michael, so it might.”


    I think Luke is Plagueis. Tan robes = Sithsyder.

  • witchingroom

    good god that last photo is beautiful – lovely location, can’t wait to see it in the films

  • Jimm Needle

    I am a million times more excited to see a Rian Johnson Star Wars than I am excited to see any Colin Trevorrow movie. Its obvious he was out of depth of Jurassic World. I don’t see how he fixes that by jumping onto an even picture and more important movie.

    • Grant

      Like Empire, The second film will probably be the best in this new trilogy. That sure wasn’t true of Attack Of The Clones though. lol.

    • The Original Drew #BAEROD

      See I disagree. The best part of Jurassic World were the action sequences. My issue with Jurassic World was the paper thin plot. You don’t have to worry about that with Star Wars due to the fact that the story group has a definitive idea of the story that they want to tell. So I am less worried than most.

      • Dani Català

        Action is far to be the most important thing in Star Wars. It’s about characters. Besides the action sequences in this movies depend more on the stunt team and ILM than the director himself. Who designed Maul’s fight? Stunt team. Who designed the moto-jet chase in Endor? ILM.

        • The Original Drew #BAEROD

          The characters are basically the responsibility of the story group, no? They tell the story and situations these characters are going through. I think they picked a director while has his weaknesses, have the storygroup to pick up the slack of what he specifically lacks if that makes sense.

          • Sean

            No, the story group don’t actually have a say in the film stories themselves outside of helping with continuity issues and such. While they may be called the Lucasfilm STORY Group, their job is NOT actually to come up with stories at all, but to make sure stories that other writers come up with fit into continuity. They do have more power when it comes to the other media, like the books and comics, but have little to no say at all in the films other than an advisory role. Kathleen Kennedy and J.J. Abrams are the main two people overseeing the sequel trilogy, along with a few other producers, and each film’s director, who have a lot of freedom in developing the story for their film. If you don’t like Abrams, Johnson, or Trevorrow, then there is a good chance you won’t like their respective Episode either. Sorry.

          • Dani Català

            Big arks are responsibility of the story group, but directors need to understand characters and own them in order to help the actors throughout the process. Look at how something as typical as a kiss is developed inside the Falcon with Leia and Han in Empire, and then take the scene in the lake from Attack of the Clones where Anakin kisses Padme (zero development, all through stupid dialog). See what I mean?

        • Jimm Needle

          exactly! there still needs to be someone in charge of those people to reign them in- Trevorrow obviously didn’t take any control of the action scenes/ CGI and it showed. It takes a director to make those scenes work by creating tension around them. He failed to do so in incredible ways.

      • Jimm Needle

        Everything about JW is terrible. Trevorrow let the digital storyboard artist control him and make video game like shots with cameras zooming around. Robert Zemeckis talks about how its easy to be controlled by those artist on an episode of the directors chair. JP was grounded and felt real- JW felt like a bigger budget version of JP3. It simply lacked vision.

        • The Original Drew #BAEROD

          I wasn’t arguing that it was a good movie, but it the action sequences were fun. The over reliance on CGI killed the movie for me. Nothing was real and nothing felt real.

          • Jimm Needle

            That over reliance on CGI made the actions scenes not fun for me! haha. Also, I couldn’t buy into the action with how absurd the setup for the action is.

    • this whole world

      He’ll certainly do a better job than JJ Abrams. That guy hasn’t made one film anybody could remotely call excellent or groundbreaking.

      • AuDiOsAnE

        I definitely think that’ll change with TFA. I trust Abrams, not Trevorrow.

      • Jimm Needle

        I assume you are talking about Johnson and not Trevorrow. Trevorrow hasn’t even made something that I would call good let alone reaching the thought of being groundbreaking.

    • Thretosix

      If you are talking about the “depth” of Jurassic World, I don’t think he wrote the movie/script, he just directed it… There is some hope.

      • Jimm Needle

        in fact he is one of the 5 credited story/ script writers, but beyond that I know when I am a producer/ director on a project, it doesn’t go in front of the lens before I approve the script.

        • Thretosix

          Good point, I guess we have to just wait and see.

  • Jeraco