A platoon of Malin Head residents have spoken of their delight after witnessing their homeland become part of movie history in Star Wars: The Last Jedi.
Around 200 residents decamped on mass to Century Cinemas in Letterkenny for an exclusive showing of the visually stunning ‘The Last Jedi’, as thousands more local people converged on cinemas in Derry and across the north west for the midnight screenings.
A large portion of The Last Jedi was filmed in Ireland, and there was delight that the scenes filmed with Mark Hamill as Luke Skywalker and Daisy Ridley as Ray at Malin Head made the cut.
After the Malin Head posse were greeted by Storm Troopers, Hamill delivered his own thank you in a specially pre-recorded message for all those who had helped the cast and crew during their filming at Malin Head, Skellig Michael and other parts of Ireland.
He said: “I can’t wait to come back to a country that made me feel like a member of the family. So may the force be with you all and pour a pint of Guinness for me, will you.”
Joe and Geraldine Divers’ farmland at Malin Head was used as the film crew’s base camp. Mr Divers said: “To see the magnitude of the galaxy and how small Malin Head is, it’s absolutely amazing.”
Mrs Divers said she spotted the landscape she knows so well at different points in the film. “It’s amazing to see it now and it’s lovely to have been part of it,” she said.
Scaffolding expert Eddie Gallen and his team built the Millennium Falcon on one of Malin Point’s rocky cliff edges, while the rope skills of Bren Whelan, who runs a climbing company. were used to safely transport Hamill and Ridley on and off rugged outcrops. Bren said: “Mark Hamill and Daisy Ridley were brilliant - really, really nice people, so easy to work for and work with. It was really a dream job.”
Dominic McDermott, who served coffee and tea on set from his mobile refreshment bar said: “Mark Hamill always stopped with us. He loved being in Malin Head, he loved being in Ireland and he loved the people - he would chat and chat to people - it was just a joy to see him.”
Hugh Farren from Farren’s Bar said: “When people see it on the screen it’s going to make another big reason for people to come this far north. Mark Hamill came to the bar on the Sunday night, after the third day of filming, he came to the bar and I got a photo with him and he signed a boot so I got a little bit of memorabilia to show people - the photo’s up on the bar now as well.”