The Star Wars empire returned to The Kingdom recently to shoot scenes for the second instalment in the rebooted space opera and they've said a big thank you to the locals - producers of the movie have donated €10,000 to Valentia lifeboat.

Speaking to local newspaper Kerry's Eye, Valentia Lifeboat operations manager Richard Foran said: “It was a complete surprise. But I think the lifeboat came to their minds because of what they were doing."

Mr Foran added that producers with Lucasfilm contacted the 22-strong lifeboat service, which is completely voluntary and non-stare funded, a few days before filming on Skellig Michael wrapped and offered to make a donation. He said that filming on nearby Skellig Michael involved a lot of sea travel in conditions that are not easy.

“It wasn’t just talk. The money is in the bank,” Mr Foran said. He also said that the Star Wars crew did not want any publicity for their act of largess: “We suggested setting up a photo shoot on the lifeboat and such, but they declined - they didn’t want any publicity. They simply wanted to make a donation."

Star Wars: The Force Awakens is released on December 15.