Malin Head awaits the force of new Star Wars movie

Hugh Farren outside his bar at Malin Head in Donegal with a section of the Star Wars Millennium Falcon and a signed boot worn by Mark Hamill who plays Luke Skywalker in the films. Actors and crew visited the bar while filming in the area during 2016. Picture Margaret McLaughlin 9-12-17
Seamus McKinney

RESIDENTS of Malin Head in Co Donegal are gearing up for the release of the new Stars Wars movie which goes on release later this week.

Fans of the intergalactic film franchise have booked out cinemas across Ireland for the first showing of “Star Wars: The Last Jedi” on Wednesday night.

But the screening is being particularly eagerly awaited in Co Donegal as it will reveal for the first time how prominently Malin Head features in the movie.

Ireland’s most northerly point was one of two Irish locations used for the film. Mark Hamill (Luke Skywalker), Daisy Ridley (Rey) and other stars spent a number of days in Malin Head and Skellig Michael last year filming for the new release.

Hugh Farren of Farren’s Pub in Malin Head said the rumours are growing about how prominent the area will feature.

“There are some people saying Malin Head features in 12 different shots in the film; that would be beyond our wildest dreams,” he said.

Mr Farren’s family bar has become a focus for Star Wars fans after Mark Hamill and other actors visited the pub last year. The bar has a huge mural of “Yoda” on the gable wall while Mr Farren has also amassed a large collection of Star Wars memorabilia.

“Mark signed a Stormtrooper's boot which we have in the bar and people like to see that and pose with it. I’ve also managed to get one of the legs of the Millennium Falcon (a mock-up space shop) which was built for the filming and we’ve that in the bar as well,” Mr Farren said.

The Donegal bar owner said there were also rumours that a number of prolonged scenes featuring Daisy Ridley at Esky Bar near Malin Head have been included.

“Since the filming, we’ve been inundated with fans from all over the world. If they come to Ireland, they’re making a point of coming to Malin Head because they’ve heard about it through the film. It’s creating a real feel-good factor.”

The Donegal man intends travelling with a bus-load of fans from the area to watch the first screening of the new film in Letterkenny.

The latest episode also has a poignant resonance for fans as it is the last to feature actor Carrie Fisher as Princess Leia. Fisher died on December 27 last year shortly after completing work on the film.

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