Why is Star Wars VII going to film in a World Heritage Site in Ireland?

Although Star Wars is set a long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away, it has to be filmed in the here and now. The cast and crew of Star Wars VII have been hard at work in Pinewood Studios in Buckinghamshire, England, with some scenes being shot in Abu Dhabi and Iceland. Now it looks as if J.J. Abrams' production will be heading to a much more interesting location: Skellig Michael, Ireland.

According to ComicBookMovie, "The Office of Public Works (OPW) has confirmed to a local publication that Disney/Lucasfilm will be shooting scenes for Star Wars: Episode VII off the coast of Co. Kerry in Ireland. Apparently they'll be filming around Skellig Michael (Irish: Sceilig Mhichíl) -- an island in the Atlantic Ocean, 11.6 km west of the Iveragh Peninsula in County Kerry." 

What's so interesting about Skellig Michael? It's a UNESCO World Heritage Site, which means it's a place of cultural significance. And it's significant for its abandoned monastery, built between the sixth and eighth centuries.

As you can see from the picture, the island looks monastic: small, removed from the rest of the world, and beautifully bleak. It would be an excellent choice for the home of people who vow never to marry, who live lives of discipline and who practice meditation daily.

Just like Jedi.

We may be overreaching, but we suspect Skellig Michael may be the place where Luke Skywalker will hold the new Jedi Academy. After all, what better place to film the future of the Jedi Order than a monastery?

According to Wikipedia, only a dozen monks lived on the island at any time before it was abandoned in the 12th century. As ComicBookMovie has said Star Wars VII will be filmed around -- and not on -- Skellig Michael, presumably the island would be used for exterior shots, keeping the number of crew on this island to a minimum. 

Via ComicBookMovie.

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