Though “Star Wars” takes place in a galaxy far, far away, some locations are much closer to home.
Principle filming for “The Force Awakens” took place at Pinewood Studios, located near London, but the cast and crew travelled to several locations around the world to film scenes for different fictional planets.
In a new video released by Discover Ireland, director J.J. Abrams talks about the importance of filming in real locations.
“When I saw ‘Star Wars’ for the first time, it was all practical and real,” he said of the 1977 original film and its impact on “Force Awakens.” “You knew it when you saw the movie, so I felt that the standard had to be authenticity. The standard had to be reality.”
One of the locations featured in the new “Star Wars” is Skellig Michael, a rocky island off the western coast of Ireland.
“I can’t believe they let us shoot there,” Abrams said of the island in the video. “It was so beautiful.”
See some of the filming locations for “Force Awakens” below:
Rey's desert home planet is where Poe Dameron heads to try and find the map to the missing Luke Skywalker, and it's where Dameron and Finn crash-land after escaping from Starkiller Base. Finn and Rey eventually meet on the planet and escape from attacking Stormtroopers on the Millennium Falcon.
This former RAF airbase was used as the Resistance's airbase on the planet D'Qar. You can see the location as the pilots prepare to head out on their mission to Starkiller Base. Poe and Finn reunite on the base after being separated in the crash on Jakku.
Puzzlewood is a woodland site in the Forest of Dean in Gloucestershire, England. Lucasfilm president Kathleen Kennedy told the BBC that the filmmakers were searching for the 'most magical forest on the face of the earth' and Puzzlewood 'defined everything that we were looking for.'
The film's final scene shows Rey encountering Luke Skywalker at his hideout, a remote, rocky island. It was shot about eight miles off the coast of Ireland on Skellig Michael, a UNESCO World Heritage Site and the larger of the two Skellig Islands. A sixth-century Christian monastery is located on the island and can be reached after a climb up 618 steep steps.
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