UPDATE: EW has corrected their original article to state that it is in fact Episode VIII and not Episode VII The Force Awakens being filmed at Skellig Michael in Ireland.
As with most major films, Star Wars: The Force Awakens is going to be reshooting shome scenes in Ireland, later this month. Entertainment Weekly is reporting that the film’s director — J.J. Abrams — is headed back to the island of Skellig Michael off the southern coast of Ireland for additional photography. According to EW, Ireland’s Minister of Arts — Heather Humphries — confirmed the news.
There have been some concerns, however, on how the shooting of the film would be handled on the island. And, as reported by RTÉ, an Irish television news channel, Humphries vowed that “Ecologists and observers from the National Parks and Wildlife Service and the National Monuments Service will monitor filming and intercede if anything threatens to damage or disturb archaeological sites or wildlife habitats.”
Skellig Michael is home to many types of seabirds — some environmentally threatened — which caused the Irish environmental group An Taisce to object to filming on the island. The group fears that all the transportation and shipping to the island for the filming — and now reshooting — could bring rats, known to attack these endangered bird’s nests. According to EW, when J.J. Abrams filmed The Force Awakens there last summer, all of the shipping was inspected at a nearby farm before leaving the harbor and heading toward the island.
The island is also home the ruins of a small monastery which was occupied for hundreds of years, until the 12th century. EW notes that the island is a UNESCO Heritage Site and tourism is severely restricted to prevent damage to the ruins. Rumors have been constant since the beginning of filming at Skellig Michael, that Luke Skywalker has made his home here, in The Force Awakens, and the cave systems there hold some sort of powerful Dark Side artifact that the now Jedi Master is guarding. But again, these are just unfounded rumors…we’ll just have to wait until December 18 to find out.
H/T – Entertainment Weekly