Star Wars
Star Wars: The Force Awakens cast members (L -R) Oscar Isaac, Daisy Ridley, John Boyega, writer, director and producer J.J. Abrams, producer Kathleen Kennedy and show host Anthony Breznican appear at the kick-off event of the Star Wars Celebration convention in Anaheim, California, April 16, 2015. The Star Wars Celebration runs through April 19 at the Anaheim Convention Center. Reuters/David McNew

“Star Wars: Episode VIII” has reportedly set its sights on Skellig Michael Island as one of its film locations. J.J. Abrams’ “The Force Awakens” previously shot some scenes on the said area to represent Luke Skywalker’s place of refuge.

The report came after Minister of State for the Diaspora Jimmy Deenihan told the Irish Times about the “Star Wars” crew’s plan to “return to the island next month.” Deenihan, who was reportedly also responsible for bringing “The Force Awakens” to Skellig Michael, expressed his excitement over the possibility of the island becoming even more of a tourist attraction with the filming of “Episode VIII.”

“I think that this will expose Skellig Rock to the world and I think it will bring thousands of tourists over time to Skellig Rock, weather permitting. Both Star War films are going to show what a gem Skellig Rock is to the world,” he told the Irish Times.

Deenihan reportedly confirmed the filming of “Star Wars: Episode VIII” on the island location during his speech at the closing ceremony of the Daniel O’Connell Summer School in Derrynane in south Kerry. The former minister for arts further said during his speech that the inclusion of Skellig Michael “in two Star Wars films is going to expose it to an audience of billions of people around the world.”

Deenihan has reportedly been very supportive of Disney and Lucasfilm in allowing the studios to shoot it’s sci-fi film on the island, which is considered to be a Unesco World Heritage Site. He told the Irish Times that personally he thought that bringing the two “star Wars” films to Skellig Michael is a good thing for Ireland, since it develops the island into one of the must-see tourist attractions in the country.

However, it’s still uncertain if J.J. Abrams’ and his “Star Wars” crew will return to the island off the County Kerry coast to film some last-minute scenes for “The Force Awakens.” There were previous rumours of the film going back to Skellig Michael for some “pickup shots.”

A report from Jedi News earlier in August claims the cast and crew will return to Skellig Michael mid-September. It’s believed “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” has been given a four-day production duration, which will start on Sept. 14.

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