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Ireland Gears up for the Centre Stage as ‘Star Wars: The Last Jedi’ Set for General Release
13 Dec 2017 : Nathan Griffin
Irish cinema goers will be treated to some familiar sights in the latest Star Wars installment, ‘Star Wars: The Last Jedi’, as the highly anticipated movie hits Irish cinema screens this Thursday, December 14th. Ireland is set to feature heavily in latest episode of the franchise with Skellig Islands and dramatic shots of Cork’s Brow Head and Mizen Head, set to showcase Ireland’s Wild Atlantic Way.

Up to 350 of George Lucas’s Star Wars crew and cast spent 10 weeks in late spring/ early summer last year prepping to create a spectacular stunt at Brow Head, which was shot over a three day period; with a 2nd unit shoot taking place at nearby Mizen Head.

The filming of the Lucas film franchise provided significant economic and tourism boosts for the West Cork region, and while cast members dropped by for just a few days, the influence of the filming was felt throughout the community and it is estimated that the local spend was in the region of €1million.

Director Rian Johnson was full of praise when speaking of the local collaboration and hospitality that was shown while they were shooting in Ireland saying:

“In Ireland the local crew we worked with worked miracles building sets cantilevered out over 700 foot cliffs! It was just, professionally I don’t know if I’ll ever have an experience that will quite live up to it again."

A number of other Cork crew were employed on shoot days for traffic management; with Cork County Council’s local engineer and planning department, as well as the Gardai, assisting in facilitating the entire production. Film In Cork, acted as primary point of contact for this logistical support and advised supervising and on-site locations managers throughout. Film In Cork, which is supported by Cork County Council and Cork City Council, provides production, location and training services to those working in film, television, and animation.

Rossa Mullin, who runs Film In Cork said:

 “There’s no doubt about it, the impact of Star Wars: The Last Jedi is, and will be, immense. It was such a coup for the region to secure filming and Film In Cork was delighted to be able to offer on the ground support, making the filming process as efficient and easy as possible for the international crew visiting the region.”

The film franchise used a number of locations along the Wild Atlantic Way, and on December 18th, Tourism Ireland, working with Disney and Lucasfilm, will release a digital campaign to promote the filming locations along the now world famous tourism route. 

Director of the film, Rian Johnson has also spoken of his time prior to shooting while location scouting in Ireland and their time spent in Kerry while shooting with the main cast:

"The memories of the scenery and the towns and the people there will stick with me for the rest of my life. And then when we went there with the crew to film, it was late in the shoot so our whole crew knew each other very well and we spent the majority of our time in Dingle and the people just welcomed us with open arms. Some of my favourite memories of the entire shoot were the times we were in Dingle. We had so much fun."

Irish audiences can also look forward to seeing a greater role for Irish actor Domhnall Gleeson as he returns to play General Hux, alongside co-villains  Adam Driver (‘Silence’, ’Logan Lucky’) and Andy Serkis (‘Lord of the Rings’, ‘Planet of the Apes’).

The Irish Premiere takes place tonight (December 13th) in the Savoy Cinema on O’Connell St., while ‘Star Wars: The Last Jedi’ goes on general release in cinemas tonight at Midnight - Thursday, December 14th.

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