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UPDATE 3! Star Wars: Episode 7 to Shoot on the Irish Skellig Michael Island in July 28-30.

Skellig Michael

A local Irish newspaper is reporting that part of the new Star Wars movie will be filmed on the Irish island Skellig Michael…

 

From Kerryseye:

Filming on the much-anticipated Star Wars 7 commenced earlier this year at locations in Abu Dhabi and in studios in London. Details of the plot, cast and the film locations have been closely guarded, but it’s now certain that the World Heritage island off the Kerry coast will become one of the major film location sites.

 

skellig monastery

The Office of Public Works (OPW) confirmed to Kerry’s Eye this week that “Skellig Michael is being made available for a film production shoot on the island… this production is being fully supported by the Department of Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht and the Irish Film Board”.

 

Skellig Michael is an island in the Atlantic Ocean, 11.6 km west of the Iveragh Peninsula in County Kerry, Ireland. A Christian monastery was founded on the island at some point between the 6th and 8th century, and was continuously occupied until its abandonment in the late 12th century. The remains of this monastery, along with most of the island itself, were inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage Site list in 1996. (via Wiki)

 

skellig monastery

 

Some exceptional scenery there. Most likely they will shoot in the monastery. These houses really look like something from the Star Wars Universe.

 

 

UPDATE!

 

Some cool tweets spotted by MagnarTheGreat from the SHH forums:

 

 

 

 

 

UPDATE 2!

 

Some more bits from Herald.ie:

 

“Skellig Michael is being made available for a film production shoot which is happening in late July on the island.

 

“OPW will be providing on site support through our staff who are present on the Island throughout the summer, as normal,” an OPW spokesperson told the Herald today.

 

She added: “They will be continuing to manage visitors throughout and will, obviously, continue to safeguard the national monument and the island, which is a world heritage site.

 

While part of the film will be made on the island, it is far from the only connection that Star Wars has with Ireland.

Actor Domhnall Gleeson has also landed a role in the highly anticipated film which will be released on December 18, 2015.

 

Well it’s already late July, so…

 

skellig monastery

UPDATE 3!

 

Some more info from a local newspaper:

 

From Independent:

‘STAR WARS’ producers have paid €1,000 in compensation to Skellig Michael boat operators for projected loss of earnings due to next week’s film shoot on the Co Kerry island. 

 

They will be unable to bring tourists to the island on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday next week while the UNESCO World Heritage Site is closed to the public to facilitate filming.

 

It is also understood that most of the boats operating between Skellig Michael and the mainland have been hired to transport the film crew, equipment and those employed to help out with the production, to the island each day.

 

The island, which was a monastic settlement dating back to the 6th Century, has been chosen as one of the locations for the highly anticipated ‘Star Wars: Episode VII’, directed by JJ Abrams .

 

Access is strictly controlled by the Office of Public Works (OPW) which confirmed the island, jutting out of the Atlantic 12 km off the south Kerry coast, had been made available to a film company for shooting.

 

In total, there are only 14 licences issued and each boat is only licensed to land passengers once a day.

 

The maximum number of passengers per boat is 12 and fares vary from €50 to €60.

 

So obviously it will be a 3 day shoot (July 28-30).

 

 

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  • Dr.WhoCares

    That place is beautiful.

  • Redski

    Sounds like a logistical nightmare for a large film crew

    • Anonymous

      I would have to agree. A friend of mine has a house there in the town of Waterville, and I have stayed there in the past. Beautiful location, though, despite what it may cost to film there.

      • Anonymous

        Still, I like that they are taking the time money and effort to get to these locations. I admire the product of a film screw that took blood sweat and tears to get to the end result than a crew in some green screen loaded sound stage with awful cartoon looking location plates added later.

        • Ryan

          LOL!

          “Cartoon looking location plates”?

          I don’t know what is cartoon looking about various location plates used in the movies but how do you know that isn’t exactly what they are doing here?

          3 days is nothing. It’s probably second unit stuff like that other shoot in the forest.

          In 3 days you can’t do much so it’s not near as much as say AOTC using Spain and Italy for Naboo lake district shots with principle actors.

          I also have news for you. The other photo that came out with the exterior location on the backlot? Yeah you know how they are going to make that look like it’s really outside? Yep, greenscreen.

          If I were you I wouldn’t watch the extras on the Star Trek discs. It’ll make you cry because GASP! JJ uses greenscreen. That great shot of Spock’s ship and the interior of the Narada? They only built the ramp. The rest was done in post-production.

          If you are going to base your enjoyment of the movie on production processes you will be very disappointed in this film because it’s going to do exactly what the PT and OT did. That is make the movie mostly in the studio. ESB only actually had a very few shots done on location you know.

          • Anonymous

            http://img4.wikia.nocookie.net/__cb20090918164903/starwars/images/e/eb/E2coru38.jpg

            Yeah .. for example this doesn’t look cartoony at all does it? ..
            You’re rant is pathetic. I never claimed I have anything against compositing shots with greenscreen. The original star wars did compositing all the time with blue screen, but they went through the trouble of using real sets and locations, then used the blue screen as a tool. The recent star trek films also went this direction 99% of the time. They built sets or went to locations to film the actors in, then used greenscreen to extend the backgrounds. There were only a couple of sets that were entirely done with actors against greenscreen, but even then there were some props and set decoration. My statement about liking locations and sets has nothing to do with compositing shots with greenscreen..

            “If you are going to base your enjoyment of the movie on production processes you will be very disappointed”
            .. I literally have no idea why or what you are talking about. I mean it’s like me praising the sound effects and then you going on a random rant to me about how I supposedly dislike the music..

            • Ryan

              No more “cartoony” than the same kinds of shots the OT used you just can’t seem to recognize it

              http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-O9C4tyAa2AE/TxQj4F4ZiiI/AAAAAAAAB5M/ykT8TvLT8sk/s1600/FalconPlatform327.jpg

              “they went through the trouble of using real sets and locations, then used the blue screen as a tool. They built sets or went to locations to film the actors in, then used greenscreen to extend the backgrounds…but even then there were some props and set decoration”

              Yes, which is exactly what the PT did. The difference is that with digital technology they could do it many more times over than they could ever dream with analog tech. More real sets created for the PT than ever were for the OT and then on top of that they extended sets and just like the OT they did sets that only had one real element and the rest was made up.

              You also seem to overlook something very basic. The look of the Jedi temple seems a very deliberate throwback “arty” look. If they had really wanted it to be totally photorealistic they would have done it that way and built a miniature like the dozens of other miniatures they created.

              What I don’t understand is why some people can’t face the reality that the PT outdid the OT in practical terms over and over again. It’s not even comparable. The number of sets, props, costumes, models, mattes etc is not close.

              Lucas knows exactly what he wants and if he wants something to look old school art-like then that is what he wants. If he wants it to look real then he makes it look real.

              • Anonymous

                What are you talking about? That doesn’t make any sense whatsoever. You’re essentially saying my argument about cartoony looking plates means nothing because you are giving me ANOTHER EXAMPLE of a cartoony looking plate.. How can you not see how stupid you are being?

                “they went through the trouble of using real sets and locations, then used the blue screen as a tool. They built sets or went to locations to film the actors in, then used greenscreen to extend the backgrounds…but even then there were some props and set decoration”
                “Yes, which is exactly what the PT did.”

                So what? What’s your point? You just repeated my quote. I’m not talking about the PT, I’m talking about the ST. When did I ever mention the PT? What has the PT got to do with my point about the sets and locations of episode vii?.. But anyway, for the record, the PT did location and set work very poorly apart from the first one. Well I mean there actually wasn’t any location work in revenge of the sith at all. Just background plates. The end shot was a real location plate but that was filmed during attack of the clones..

                “The difference is that with digital technology they could do it many more times over than they could ever dream with analog tech.”
                Again, what’s your point? How does the existence of digital filmmaking negate my argument about how they should use locations and sets in episode vii? Hey, Toy story was all CG and worked great but I’m not comparing toy story to the ST of star wars am I..

                “More real sets created for the PT than ever were for the OT and then on top of that they extended sets and just like the OT they did sets that only had one real element and the rest was made up.”

                Please use English because that literally doesn’t make much sense. But if I understand that correctly, that still has nothing to do with my argument about how I want this film to have real sets and location work.

                “You also seem to overlook something very basic. The look of the Jedi temple seems a very deliberate throwback “arty” look. If they had really wanted it to be totally photorealistic they would have done it that way and built a miniature like the dozens of other miniatures they created.”

                ..Still wondering what on earth this has to do with my point..

                “What I don’t understand is why some people can’t face the reality that the PT outdid the OT in practical terms over and over again.”

                Yep, you’ve officially gone off the plot. You’re STILL rabbiting on about the PT and OT when I am talking about the ST. I’ll say it again, it’s like me praising the sound effects and then you going on some random rant about the music.

                “It’s not even comparable. The number of sets, props, costumes, models, mattes etc is not close.”
                Again, this has absolutely nothing to do with my point about the locations and sets of the ST.. But, hey, for the record, ‘numbers’ is different than ‘techniques’. The prequel trilogy had far more effects, so it’s hardly surprising the actual amount of practical effects was still a larger number than the OT. But that’s not the point people make. The argument people bring up is that the balance between special effects and visual effects was far more noticeable in the PT than the OT. The OT had a balance and it worked well to make it feel real. It’s not the actual numbers of effects overall. Of course the OT will win, both practically and digitally. I mean that’s another problem in itself..

                “Lucas knows exactly what he wants and if he wants something to look old school art-like then that is what he wants. If he wants it to look real then he makes it look real.”
                ….Wondeful. Good for him. For a butterfly to fly it must have a body temperature of no less than 86 degrees fahrenheit or 30 degrees celsius. Is that somehow relevant too?

  • Javi-Wan Kenobi

    I must agree with both comments before mine

  • Anonymous

    I bet these stone houses will represent Moraband tombs or something similar

    • Pomojema

      It looks a little too lively to be Moraband.

  • Anonymous

    Holy crap that’s a stunning setting.

  • Anonymous

    Love that Episode 7 will be filmed on real, physical locations, as it will mesh nicely with the OT (Tatooine, Hoth, Endor). In the end it still comes down to the story and the charaters, but its a nice start that the movies will look real again.

    • Anonymous

      I like the fact that they’re filming at real locations too.

      But I also like the CG look of the Prequel Trilogy. I think it works for that trilogy only. The CG quality gives the Old Republic a kind of Golden Age, or storybook quality.

      • Anonymous

        It makes it even more difficult for me to imagine that both trilogies take place in the same galaxy.

        • Rutger1

          they don’t..
          The Prequel Troligy isn’t canon ;-) in my mind anyway.

    • Ryan

      Sorry but that doesn’t make sense. The PT went to Tatooine and Naboo “real” places just as the OT went to “real” places like Tatooine, Hoth and Endor.

      Of course much of Hoth was “faked” anyway as was Endor and Tatooine. The OT also went to “fake” places like Cloud City and Dabobah among others like the “fake” places like Coruscant, Geonosis, Kamino and Mustafar.

      Of course the fact that all these places were “faked” the same way way through miniatures, mattes, models, sets etc doesn’t seem to matter to people who like the one but not the other.

      The only real difference is that the OT was limited in what they could achieve due to analog tech while with digital tech the PT could do what Lucas’ imagination wanted. This of course meant tons more mattes, models, miniatures and everything else that the OT did but many, many times over.

      That’s why the massive Mustafar miniature they spent 8 months shooting was the longest miniature shoot in Star Wars history.

      It’s odd as what OT fans are really saying is that they want LESS practical VFX work than the PT did which is I don’t know how many times MORE than the OT. Like 10x plus.

      • DaveOlden

        I’d like to make a distinction, here, if I may:

        The following places are all *NOT* real:
        Tatooine and Naboo. Hoth and Endor. Cloud City, Dagobah, Coruscant, Geonosis, Kamino and Mustafar? All imaginary, made up, pretend.

        The following places ARE real:
        Tozeur, Tunisia and Caserta, Italy, Hardangerjøkulen glacier, Norway and Crescent City, California, and Yuma, Arizona. You can still visit any of ‘em.

  • Anonymous

    Skellig Michael is a pretty ancient place. Very eerie when it is covered in fog and heavy rain. Wasn’t the threat in Episode 7 described as “ancient”? This would make a great Sith hideout.

    • rinky dinky doo

      or maybe a jedi academy.

      • Anonymous

        Imagine 80´s training montage….looks good in my head :P

  • thereisanother

    Beautiful scenery. Could this be Luke’s hideout??

    • Anonymous

      I was hinking the same. I can see Luke living here alone as a lost Jedi.
      Somebody find him and….bang, we had Episode VII

      • thereisanother

        Right! Seems like a peaceful place an old Jedi would rest after all that trauma 30 years ago.

    • Anonymous

      Or the Nightsister’s monastery.

      • Anonymous

        Enough with the nightsisters already. If I see even 1 in episode VII, I’m writing the whole thing off. They were a terrible inclusion to the franchise from the start.

        • Anonymous

          The Nightsisters would be an amazing concept, if done right – after they learned combat skills to use alongside their Force-driven magic, and hired themselves out as assassins, bodyguards and mercenary soldiers. They would make terrific villains!

          • Anonymous

            The Sith should never be portrayed as witches and warlocks, let alone The Force as some kind of witchcraft. For god’s sake this isn’t Harry Potter. The Force has so much more depth than that. This would be a terribly shallow way for them to continue the saga and I would be very disappointed to see the saga lead in that ridiculous direction.

            • Anonymous

              Wasn’t there a witch in the Ewok Adventure: The Battle of Endor?

              • Anonymous

                As if that movie should be taken anymore seriously than the god-awful holiday special…

              • Why Wing?

                I believe you’re referring to Morag: the Tulgah Witch from the cartoon Ewoks series, but I agree with the Anonymous 20:04 PM. None of that crap should be taken seriously alongside the core 6 movies. I’m not even sure if they’d be considered canon anymore after the Disney buy-out.

              • Anonymous

                I think he’s talking about Charal, the Nightsister who was one of the opposing forces in Ewoks: The Battle of Endor, but that movie was terrible…

                • Jimmy

                  That movie was better than either of the Prequel films.

            • Anonymous

              As far as I remember, the Nightsisters are Dathomiri Witches. Some of them may be Sith also. Their ‘magic’ isn’t the Harry Potter stuff – it’s an illusionary power. They used the art of casting Force illusions. They later became highly skilled in all types of combat techniques which when combined with their force powers make them extremely formidable foes, even for Jedis

              • Anonymous

                Exactly. The Jedi and Sith are orders, there are other Force-sensitive beings out in the galaxy. It makes sense for them to have developed into their own organization without the scientific-like understanding of the Jedi Order, or the Sith. In a primitive culture, like with the Dathomiri Witches, it would seem like “magic” to them. But that doesn’t mean it would be portrayed like in Harry Potter. I’m sure JJ has more sense to keep it along the lines of how it’s traditionally been seen as.

  • Anonymous

    Looks exactly like Ord Mantell as depicted in TOR (granted I know that’s not in the new canon at this time).

    • Pomojema

      Funny you should mention that – we heard a rumor that they may be canonizing TOR in the near future, among other things. I actually have an article on that prepared, and I think it’s supposed to go up today.

      • Anonymous

        Oh cool, hadn’t heard that. Certainly looking forward to that article!

        • Pomojema

          VH actually told me I’ll have to post it later, what with all the SDCC hype going on around here. But rest assured, the piece is coming.

  • Anonymous

    Bif Bang Pow! to produce 3 3/4-inch action figures based on 1980 Flash Gordon movie

    http://www.plaidstallions.blogspot.com/2014/07/flash-gordon-and-bif-bang-pow-team-up.html

    Max Von Sydow played Ming the Merciless

  • Anonymous

    That is what I love about Star Wars. Other scifi films are always set primarily on dark, shadowy, grey spacecraft, (I’m thinking Star Trek, Enders Game) but Star War balances the indoor scenes with the right amount of outside locations and it keeps you fresh and not feeling claustrophobic.

    • Mark

      I agree, which is why Empire Strikes Back feels smaller to me than the other 2.

      • Anonymous

        Makes sense.

        IV: Lots of time spent on Tatooine.

        V: Large-scale Hoth is over after about 20-30 min., to be replaced by relatively smaller starship scenes and Dagobah and Bespin sets

        VI: Lots of time spent on Endor, ending with a sizable battle

    • Anonymous

      I totally agree with that! Star Wars for the most part (Aside obviously from indoor scenes) utilizes real sunshine, not artificial lights and, dare I say it, lense flares. And it really does make a subtle or not so subtle difference on how enjoyable to movie is. So I am excited about the many outdoor locations, not only because they are gorgeous but because it promises a bright Star Wars film like A New Hope.

      • Anonymous

        They got the Death Star lighting in A New Hope right, in my opinion. It was neither too dark (like Enders Game) or too bright (like, ahem, Star Trek). But I agree as well about to much indoor action. Scope and size and detail of real locations make you really feel like you are being transported somewhere else that is tangible.

  • Anonymous

    All these locations, and scenes i wonder what the running time will be on this film.

    • thereisanother

      Hopefully endless.

      But seriously probably 2 and a half hours would be my guess.

    • Anonymous

      I hope that Disney and Abrams don’t get stuck on any official running time for the movie. I rememeber Lucas was stuck on 2 hours and 15 minutes for each PT film, and sometimes you can go longer if a film is good. Episode 3 could have been 2 hours 30 minutes to give it more time to breath leading up to Anakin’s turn to the darkside.

      • Anonymous

        Whereas Attack of the Clones should have been shorter in my opinion. That movie drags on too long.

    • Mr. Anonymous

      Keep in mind, they could be filming some basic intro scenes for Episode VIII, too.

  • So far I’m really digging the locations that are rumored to be Episode 7 sets.

    I can’t wait to see which of these locations are being shot in IMAX?

  • WookieMonster

    This is “NOT” Luke’s hideout….

    I have a friend on the “inside” of the production crew, this location is the home world of the new Sith apprentice.

    They will be using filters to make the location look more “dark and moody”. To give the feel of a dead or dying planet.

    • thereisanother

      Can see that happening. Either way we can all agree this movie has everyone’s mind racing with imagination.

  • I know the buildings look cool and agree they’d be Star Wars-ian; but I actually hope and am fairly certain they won’t use them… for anyone who’s seen the buildings or now knows about it they’ll just recognize them as being structures built by the ancient Irish. I guess we’ll see… but it would be a first for Star Wars if I’m not mistaken.

    • Anonymous

      Leprechauns are force sensitive!

      • Pomojema

        That explains Leprechaun 4: In Space…

    • Anonymous

      You’d be amazed at how lighting and camera angles can change the look of a place.

      Look up the Bradbury Building that was used in Blade Runner.

      • I guess I’m open minded haha… they could add some weird high tech accessories to the structures or something else to make them look different. We’ll see in 16 months :)

    • Anonymous

      If I’m not mistaken, Luke’s underground home in A New Hope was and still is an actually dwelling and was fairly well known at the time.

  • Griffin

    Can anyone confirm that the latest plot rumor is false?

    • Anonymous

      Its not…

      • Anonymous

        It is… Etc, etc ;)

    • Pomojema

      Word on the street is that Luke’s floating hand isn’t a part of the movie, but his first lightsaber (which used to be Anakin’s) is still a part of the plot. Everything else that came from that rumor is apparently accurate, as far as we know.

  • Anonymous

    I immagine that set like an ancient Jedi (or Sith) temple.

  • Starkiller

    I actualy think it’s genuine;y sh*t that these companies have screwed Disney out of that money. Granted, Disney have got money to burn, but think about it for a few seconds – how much more money are they going to make in tourism now that the island is going to feature in Ep7? How many tourists do you think trekked out into the Sahara to see Tatouine before Ep4 filmed there? That’s just f*cking cheeky.

  • Anthony

    My mom comes from that part of Ireland and we visited Skellig many times as children. I know it well. The climb up to the sumit is pretty hairy and there’s not a lot of room at the top. The ride out on the boat can be pretty interesting if the weather is bad! It is an amazing, other-wordly location both in good weather and bad; especially when the rain and clouds come in. Whether it’s first or second unit filming Skellig will prove to be an amazing location, whatever it is used for (personally I hope it’s Luke’s hideout). I’ll be on the phone to my uncle next week to find out more info, especially as he will know some of the fishermen in the village who may be used to ferry out equipment.

  • JJ

    You know the rumor about little people. this is shoots for their home, ( to yoda and his kind)

  • Derth Hund

    Though they would clearly be from different planets, those domed “houses” remind me of the domed hovels we briefly saw in the set pic that was taken down from here around the time of the big leak of set pics. It’s the fact that they are both small domed dwellings and that at least some have longer sticks/stones jutting out around the tops. Maybe Luke recreated an old Jedi style hovel he saw on this planet during his travels (in this scenario I assume he went back here after leaving his Tatooine home?)
    I would love it if Luke has been trying to find out more about the ancient Jedi before they got so entangled with politics.

  • Anonymous
  • Isabel

    This is crytsal clear. Thanks for taking the time!