The Empire Strikes Ireland
By Katie Gotta
Film and Television have become such a large part of our culture. Whether it be by analyzing or enjoying a well produced show- this form of media has become an integral part of our everyday lives.
While I knew very little about Ireland before this trip, I did know that Game of Thrones films here, but I had completely forgotten that one of my favorite movie series of all time, Star Wars, had been filmed in various locations throughout Ireland for the 7th installment and that they are currently filming for the newest (8th) one here as well. It nearly broke my heart when Dave, our tour guide, said as we arrived in Donegal “Star Wars is currently filming here” only to find out that they had wrapped in the small town just 3 days prior to our arrival and were now filming all the way down in Cork. I guess my dreams of being an extra in the new film would have to be put on hold… for now.
I love that wherever we go there is some sort of reference to these shows and films, and that these once hidden gems have become so public. An example of this would be, the
Dark Hedges of Northern Ireland. Although a stunningly beautiful location, many (including myself) would’ve been completely unaware of had it not been featured on Game of Thrones. These locations seen in films & tv have grown to be tourist destinations, with people flocking to stand where so many of our beloved characters have stood. I myself have already asked to visit various set locations, and I’m sure that I would probably cry if I stood where (SPOILER ALERT) Rey offers Luke Skywalker his old lightsaber at the end of the 7th movie. These different films have brought light to so many stunning and unknown locations, providing such a huge boost to tourism throughout the world.
The power that comes with having a location being featured is astounding, and the change it can bring to a small village is truly one of a kind. With Ireland’s low tax rates and their welcoming environment to film crews, we are sure to see even more of our beloved TV and movies be filmed here creating many more (not so secret anymore) wonders for us all.