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15 Apr 2016

Skellig Michael is “just indescribably beautiful” – says Luke Skywalker

Tourism Ireland unveils another ‘behind-the-scenes’ film – phase 3 of its Star Wars campaign

Tourism Ireland today launched phase three of its special Star Wars campaign, targeting fans of the science fiction franchise around the world. It involves another superb, specially-commissioned ‘behind-the-scenes’ film, created during the filming of Star Wars: The Force Awakens on Skellig Michael in 2014.

Tourism Ireland commissioned Lucasfilm to create this short film (and its first film, unveiled in January), in which Star Wars actors, the director JJ Abrams and other crew members discuss why they chose this special location for filming.

   “It’s just indescribably beautiful” – Mark Hamill (Luke Skywalker)

   “It was unbelievable” – Daisy Ridley (Rey)

   “It’s sort of a miracle this place ….. we could not be more honoured to be here”   
    – director JJ Abrams

To view the film, click here

The fact that the next episode, Star Wars: Episode VIII, is also being shot on location along the Wild Atlantic Way, is another fantastic coup for Irish tourism. Candice Campos, Vice President, Physical Production, said: “Ireland has become an important part of Star Wars history.”

Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport, Paschal Donohoe TD, said: “Star Wars: The Force Awakens was one of the most eagerly anticipated films for years. To have our phenomenal landscape feature so prominently in it filled Irish hearts with pride and gave the rest of the world a taste of what we have to offer. Phase three of Tourism Ireland’s special Star Wars campaign builds on that and will further encourage people to visit us in greater numbers and continue the success we have seen in the tourism sector in recent years. It will also, crucially, reward fans with new behind-the-scenes footage, which, I have no doubt, will be the source of much enjoyment for many.”

Niall Gibbons, CEO of Tourism Ireland, said: “Since its release, Star Wars: The Force Awakens has been breaking box office records everywhere and Tourism Ireland has been capitalising on this positive exposure, highlighting the Star Wars connection with Ireland and bringing the magnificent scenery of Skellig Michael and the Wild Atlantic Way to the attention of millions of people everywhere.”

Tourism Ireland will share this latest film in 14 different markets – including Britain, the United States, Canada, Germany, France, Italy, Spain, the Netherlands, the Nordic region, Australia, New Zealand, India, the GCC and South Africa. It will be shared via social media – including Facebook, Twitter and YouTube – targeting Tourism Ireland’s digital audience of 600+ million around the world.

Phase one of Tourism Ireland’s Star Wars campaign was unveiled in December, around the film’s global release. It involved:

  • a specially created page on Tourism Ireland’s international website,, which attracted about 16.6 million visitors last year;
  • extensive social activity, with posts on Facebook (Tourism Ireland has over 3.4 million fans worldwide) and Twitter (323,000+ followers); and
  • a major PR and publicity push to Tourism Ireland’s 20,000+ international media contacts.

Phase two of the campaign was Tourism Ireland’s first behind-the-scenes film, unveiled in January. 

Tourism Ireland liaises closely with the Irish Film Board and Northern Ireland Screen, to attract and facilitate film-making in Ireland; Tourism Ireland’s work in this area also involves maximising the promotional opportunities of popular films and TV programmes filmed on location here.


Notes To Editors

  • Tourism Ireland is the organisation responsible for promoting the island of Ireland overseas as a leading holiday destination.
  • Tourism is the island of Ireland’s largest indigenous industry; responsible for in excess of 4% of GNP in the Republic of Ireland and employing approximately 220,000 people.
  • In 2015, we welcomed approximately 9.3 million overseas visitors to the island of Ireland, delivering revenue of about €4.7 billion.
  • Tourism Ireland’s international website is, 29 market sites available in ten language versions around the world, which attracted about 16.5 million visitors in 2015.