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Star Wars begins filming on Skellig Michael

Filming for the upcoming Star Wars film has begun on Skellig Michael this morning.

The island, off the Kerry coast, is being used in the opening scenes of  Star Wars Episode VIII.

Cast and crew members flew into Kerry Airport yesterday morning on a private jet from London.

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 Cast: The film’s cast at the official first reading of the upcoming Star Wars flick | TWITTER

Filming was due to begin yesterday but it was cancelled due to high winds and rain surrounding the island.

Skellig Michael is a UNESCO-designated World Heritage Site and a national monument with its birdlife protected under the Habitats Directive.

The Department of Arts said strict environmental and ecological conditions would be set to ensure filming does not have a negative impact on the site and its bird life.

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Danger: The rocky mountainside of Skellig Michael | TWITTER

Last week permission was granted to Disney Lucasfilm to return to the island to film the opening scenes of Star Wars Episode VIII.

Since then members of the production crew have been back and forth from the mainland to make preparations.

The upcoming installment of the trilogy is directed by Rian Johnson and the cast is expected to include Oscar Winner, Benicio del Toro.

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Close call: Mark Hamill could have been a goner | TWITTER

This is not the first time Lucasfilm has shot on the island with part of forthcoming Star Wars movie, The Force Awakens, was filmed there last year.

It was reported yesterday that Star Wars actor Mark Hamill had to be rescued when he slipped on the steep mountainside of Skellig Michael during filming.

According to an eyewitness, the actor, who plays Luke Skywalker, would have been in serious trouble if a guide hadn’t caught him before he fell.

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