ByKristin Lai, writer at
MP Staff Writer, cinephile and resident Slytherclaw // UCLA Alumna // Follow me on Twitter: kristin_lai
Kristin Lai

Caution! The post ahead includes a spoiler for Star Wars: The Force Awakens. If you still haven't seen the movie, keep reading at your own risk. I'll give you this Admiral Ackbar GIF now so that you have enough time to click away.

For those of you who have taken part in the cinematic space adventure that is The Force Awakens, you'll know that the film offers a universe filled with even more stunning locations just begging to be explored — one of which we don't get to see until minutes before the credits roll.

Brian Lawless/PA
Brian Lawless/PA

The mysterious planet of Ahch-To that kept Luke Skywalker hidden from the galaxy looked like the perfect place for any Jedi Master to find some peace in exile, and it's almost too good to be true. But as it turns out, not only does is this location very real, but you can actually visit it.

The island, Skellig Michael, is a UNESCO site which can be found right off the coast of Ireland. At some point between the 6th and 8th century the island was the location of a Christian monastery.

J.J. Abrams and his production team had a bit of trouble earning approval to shoot on the land initially. But after following strict licensing operations, stringent biosecurity protocols, and working with an ecologist to ensure the land was being taken care of, Lucasfilm was allowed enough time to film its final scenes.

In an interview with Abrams for The Irish Times, the Star Wars: The Force Awakens director discussed filming on Skellig Michael, saying:

“I can’t believe they let us shoot there, it was so beautiful. I felt the standard had to be authenticity, the standard had to be reality.”

As such a beautiful and historic land, only about a dozen licenses are given to boat operators to give tours. However, if you're lucky enough to snag a spot on one of vessels, it promises some truly unforgettable sights and now a little piece of Star Wars history.

Which planet in the Star Wars universe would you want to live on?
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(Source: UNESCO, The Irish Times)


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