A new short film, created by LucasFilms, during filming of Star Wars: The Force Awakens on Skellig Michael has been released with the hope of luring fans of the movie franchise to visit Ireland.
The two minute 'behind-the-scenes’ video was specially commissioned during filming in 2014 and shows Star Wars director JJ Abrams and other crew members discussing why they chose the location for the recent blockbuster.
In the video Abrams recalls his excitement at being allowed to film on the island.
I can't believe they let us shoot there. I mean, it was so beautiful
Martin Joy, who was the supervising Location Manager on the movie said that "were just blown away by it" and said that "it's an extraordinary place. It certainly fed into our Star Wars universe."
Tourism Ireland is hoping that Skellig's starring role in The Force Awakens will encourage more overseas visitors to Ireland and produce a boom for tourism similar to the one experienced by New Zealand following the Lord of the Rings trilogy.
It says that research indicates that up to 35% of people decide on their destination based on what they have seen on screen and they have now launched a promotional campaign in fourteen countries using the new Skellig video.
Niall Gibbons, CEO of Tourism Ireland, said: ‘Star Wars: The Force Awakens has been breaking box office records around the world, bringing the magnificent scenery of Skellig Michael and the Wild Atlantic Way to the attention of millions of people everywhere.
"Tourism Ireland is taking every opportunity to capitalise on the publicity around the film, to help whet peoples’ appetites to come and visit."
The Force Awakens broke the record for the biggest opening day of all time at the Irish and UK box office last month and surpassed the $1 billion mark at the worldwide box office in record speed, putting it on course to become one of the most successful films of all time.