A Star Wars Location to Jedi For. Star Wars: The Last Jedi Is Released on December 15. NICK MCAVANEY Travels to a Galaxy Not So Far Away to Find out What's on Offer in Skellig Michael / for Information on Skellig Michael Visit Failteireland.ie and for More on the Last Jedi Film, See Starwars.com NEED TO KNOW

Daily Post (Liverpool, England), December 9, 2017 | Go to article overview

A Star Wars Location to Jedi For. Star Wars: The Last Jedi Is Released on December 15. NICK MCAVANEY Travels to a Galaxy Not So Far Away to Find out What's on Offer in Skellig Michael / for Information on Skellig Michael Visit Failteireland.ie and for More on the Last Jedi Film, See Starwars.com NEED TO KNOW


I'M BOUNCING around our fishing boat with unbridled glee as we steer towards the Skellig Islands off the west coast of Ireland.

Christian monks inhabited the island for 500 years a millennium ago, but it was the arrival of the Millennium Falcon in 2015, in Star Wars: The Force Awakens, that has shot the small rocky outcrops to international stardom.

a I do wonder what the monks of the Middle Ages would make of the sudden influx of Star Wars tourists, and the fact their monastery will feature as a Jedi outpost for Luke Skywalker in the latest Star Wars instalment, The Last Jedi.

Approaching Skellig Michael, the larger of the two islands, is a magical journey. There are loud squawks as we pull into the dock, and puffins zip past my ears as I wander along a cliff path to the foot of the ancient walkway leading up the mountainside.

Only 13 boats are licensed to make the journey to Skellig Michael, but they won't dock if the water is too rough. Thankfully, the Force is on my side and I'm one of the lucky 114 visitors that's allowed to walk on the protected island on the day of my visit.

But we're still outnumbered by puffins at least 10 to one.

The delightful birds, with bright orange beaks and feet, are everywhere, poking their heads out of every nook and cranny along the hillside as I hike to the island's cradle.

me to Our guide tells they're not used human contact, and so appear fearless as I creep closer for photo. They do, however, look extremely nervous when considering a flight out to sea.

te nd Daisy Ridley final scene The Force filmed on They are the complete opposite of the gannets and petrels who also inhabit the island and soar majestically through the air above.

Using the slate steps as little runways, the puffins waddle towards the edge, pausing to consider their options, their saddened expressions silently asking: "Do I really have to do this?" th Then suddenly, they launch into the air flapping their wings madly and, without a hint of plunge to the watery depths below.

w grace, p as Rey in the Star Wars: Awakens, Michael I wonder if they fly so close to us because they are truly not scared, or simply because they are incapable of steering clear of obstacles while in flight.

Those returning to the island land with a thud, and then waddle towards their nests to answer the call of their chicks - an eerie 'moo' that sounds like a combination of a wounded cow and a lost sheep.

"The puffins come for the tourist season," our guide tells me as I head up the slated steps, as Rey - played by British actress Daisy Ridley - did on her journey to meet Luke, until I reach the island's cradle.

Rey must have run straight past Luke on her way to the monastery, which is further up beyond the point where they meet in the film.

I take a few minutes to soak up the splendid views out to Little Skellig and Co Kerry, posing on the spot with a lightsaber and Yoda toy that someone has thoughtfully brought with them. …

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A Star Wars Location to Jedi For. Star Wars: The Last Jedi Is Released on December 15. NICK MCAVANEY Travels to a Galaxy Not So Far Away to Find out What's on Offer in Skellig Michael / for Information on Skellig Michael Visit Failteireland.ie and for More on the Last Jedi Film, See Starwars.com NEED TO KNOW
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