While everyone geeks out over the leaked set photos from Pinewood studios, most sites seem to miss out the most important part of the film: the first Jedi temple.
The Pinewood set is supposed to represent Luke’s island on the planet Ahch-to. However, the Jedi temple itself is being constructed in an entirely different location: the Dingle peninsula in Ireland!
Once again, our intrepid Bothan spies are on the case. Let’s take a look.
From afar, it looks like a bunch of giant eggs perched on a hillside. Let’s get closer.
It’ actually the cone-shaped buildings at the end of The Force Awakens, perched precariously on a cliff!
Here we have a seaside view of the whole complex. There appears to be 8 buildings, and their primitive construction is a far cry from the grand Jedi Temple on Coruscant. Below you can see the scale of the huts compared to humans:
The primitive Jedi temple is being constructed on Ceann Sibéal, a majestic hillside in Ireland’s Dingle peninsula. The location is a stand-in for the island of Skellig Michael where the original ending of TFA was filmed.
The reason for the move is to due to restrictions on the original island. Skellig Michael is a UNESCO heritage site, which posed severe limitations on what Disney and Lucasfilm could do with the island.
While the new location posed less challenges, Disney still had to meet several criteria set by Ireland’s Department of Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht, which include:
- Filming 100m away from the protected cliff top, and for only 45 minutes per day
- Helicopter shots can only be used for a maximum of 3 days
- Filming crew cannot exceed 100 members
- All sets must be completely dismantled at the end of the shoot
Locals have even been approached by Disney representatives, offering to rent their SUVs to transport cast and crew members for the duration of the shoot. The security at the site also rivals the construction of the Death Star, with barricades as far as 2 km away from the cliffside!
It’s amazing how Luke’s lonely island in the film is actually comprised of three different locations. Stay tuned for more Star Wars insights!
Hungry for more Star Wars leaks? Then try to stay away from the supposed plot leak of Episode VIII!