Close
Articles by Year

<<     >>

Articles by Category

EU +353 (0) 91 457 898

Skellig Michael – The Force Awakens

4 min read

By Samuel Brett
More by Samuel

A long, long time ago...

Pursued and persecuted by the empire, a small band of surviving warrior monks find refuge on a rocky outpost, on the very edge of the galaxy. In solitary isolation, they train and pray, waiting the day when the Empire will fall and balance is restored to the force.

It’s no coincidence the 2015 film, Star Wars: Episode VII – The Force Awakens, chose the 8th century monastery on Skellig Michael as a backdrop – or that the 2017 film will return to Skellig Michael. One of the final shots in the film, Skellig Michael is the refuge of Luke Skywalker in The Force Awakens (2015). George Lucas was inspired by many mythologies, cultures and countries around the world including those from Ireland when writing the original Star Wars.

The Force Awakens

The parallels between the film’s central theme and the history of Skellig Michael are fascinating. In the film, the Jedi were fleeing from the Emperor, training in forgotten corners of the galaxy. As for the monks, it was the Dark Ages, so they were fleeing from an anti-learning culture, from bands of savages, and most notably, from the Vikings marauders, who often robbed monasteries as they were full of poorly-guarded treasures and easy targets. In both cases, people fled to the farthest fringes of the known world, seeking isolation and finding Communion with the mighty Atlantic on Skellig Michael.

Skellig-Michael-kerry

Looking down over the amazing Skellig Michael

It is a sacred place. Impossible not to feel the raw power of the vast Atlantic, each step up the near-vertical stairs begs a tentative prayer from the crashing waves hundreds of feet below.

Ironically, though it is a place of peace, Skellig Michael is dedicated to Saint Michael, the warrior archangel who led an angel alliance against the fallen angel Lucifer. In many ways, the desolate Skellig Islands are weapons for both monks and Jedis: their remoteness, crashing waves, and harsh conditions protected and isolated both groups from harm befalling other parts of the world, creating a refuge to continue their ways of life.

Yet, Skellig Michael is not the only island refuge off the western coast of Ireland. At the fringes of Europe, many islands act as natural windbreakers from the crashing waves and strong winds of the Atlantic Ocean.

One must wonder if, amidst the Star Wars fever, something else hasn’t awoken in us. In the camping out of devoted fans outside cinemas worldwide, in the pilgrimage to desert film sets and now as Star Wars pilgrims flock to a holy rock in the southwest. Something powerful. Ancient. Mysterious. Something eternal.

Beehive huts on the Skellig Islands – which made appearances in later Star Wars films. 

See below how you can visit this amazing island.

If you’re looking for a tailor made tour, visit our Interactive Holiday Builder to build the trip of your dreams!

Trip Date Price Availability Book
Hiking and Island Hopping Cork and Kerry 6th Jun - 12th Jun 2020 €1,9108 place(s) leftBook Now
Hiking and Island Hopping Cork and Kerry 11th Jul - 17th Jul 2020 €1,9107 place(s) leftBook Now
Hiking and Island Hopping Cork and Kerry 8th Aug - 14th Aug 2020 €1,9108 place(s) leftBook Now
Hiking and Island Hopping Cork and Kerry 22nd Aug - 28th Aug 2020 €1,9108 place(s) leftBook Now
Hiking and Island Hopping Cork and Kerry 5th Sep - 11th Sep 2020 €1,9106 place(s) leftBook Now

Meet the Author: Samuel Brett

“Samuel Thomas Brett hails originally from Sligo town in Ireland’s northwest, a passion for travel and the exotic has taken Samuel on many adventures the latest and most exciting of which is being a Dad and husband.”

View profileMore by Samuel

News & Offers

Be the first to hear about new trips, locations and activities with our monthly newsletter

We use cookies to ensure you have an exceptional browsing experience on our website. Learn more

Accept