Along with dreaming up the deserts of planet Jakku, the lush forests of Takodana, and the frozen tundra of Starkiller Base, director J.J. Abrams and his creative team had to find somewhere truly unique for the final scene of Star Wars: The Force Awakens, and he did on Ireland’s Skellig Michael.
In a new video from Discover Ireland, the filmmakers talk about what drew them to the small, rocky island, which is home to the ruins of a small monastery and many sea birds.
“When I saw Star Wars for the first time, it was all practical and real,” Abrams says in the video. “You knew it when you saw the movie. So I thought that the standard had to be authenticity, the standard had to be reality.”
Of Skellig Michael, the larger of two Skellig Islands, he says, “I can’t believe they let us shoot there. It was so beautiful.”
Moviegoers can expect to see more of Skellig Michael in the future, as Rian Johnson’s 2017 sequel, currently known as Star Wars Episode VIII, shot sequences there in September.
Watch the video with Abrams and crew above. Star Wars: The Force Awakens is in theaters now.