Star Wars Episode VIII is well into production over in Ireland. Director Rian Johnson is leading the team of the highly anticipated sequel on a remote stretch of coastline in southwest Ireland, and Ballyferriter, a small village that’s the closest to the set, is getting a lot of attention because of it. Having the sequel to the third highest grossing movie in the world filming right in your backyard will turn a lot of heads, and the little village has gotten an increase in tourism and business since production began. However, some local citizens aren’t too happy with the commotion and having a blockbuster filmed right next door may not be as attractive as it sounds.
According to The National, some citizens are displeased with the lack of locals who have been hired to work on the set. One local business owner was skeptical about the level of prosperity being reported.
We have seen plenty of cars passing our door to go to the site but you can count on one finger the number of local people actually working there. Everything has been shipped in – it is almost completely self-contained.
There are apparently around 450 working on the set with a tight security team watching over them. (They have to hand in their cell phones when they check in to work). There’s certainly no shortage of odd jobs needed to be done on a film set, so it’s a little upsetting to hear that few locals were hired to help out. Another local resident claims that all the trucks shipping equipment around don’t make traffic any easier. Then again, Ballyferriter is a fairly rural spot and is one of the last remaining areas where Irish Gaelic is the main language. Some residents might simply be set in their ways and don’t like the disturbing of the peace.
That being said, the production does have a positive side. Some locals with four-wheel off-road vehicles have been hired by the film to ferry cast and crew up a temporary road toward the exclusive film set. Some businesses have even taken advantage of the increase in tourism. One pottery shop set up a telescope through its window so people could peep on production. In addition, local landowners rented out their fields for the crew to use.
Though some have not been entirely happy with Star Wars taking over their village, it hasn’t stopped the citizens from gossiping in the town's three bars about the daily goings on from the set. Also, the cast member who seems to be a favorite among the locals? Mark Hamill. He’s been described as "friendly and down to Earth" by those lucky enough to meet him.
The production for Star Wars Episode VIII still has ways to go and won’t hit theaters until December 15, 2017. What do scenes do you think they are filming in Ireland? The Force Awakens filmed its ending in Ireland, so it seems safe to say that it will serve as Luke and Rey’s training grounds and that we’ll see some ancient Jedi temples.