Star Wars: The Last Jedi goes global to film intergalactic locations
The eighth entry in the Star Wars saga, The Last Jedi, made use of a wide variety of locations in countries including Ireland, Croatia, Iceland and Bolivia. While a select number of scenes were filmed in Ireland in September 2015, principal photography officially began in February 2016 and ran until July of the same year.
Picking up where The Force Awakens left off, the film sees Rey (Daisy Ridley) being trained in the ways of the Jedi by Luke Skywalker (Mark Hamill). These scenes were shot on location in Skellig Michael, an island off the coast of County Kerry which made a brief appearance in the previous film.
A second unit was used to shoot the scenes at Skellig Michael, which took place during the pre-production stage. The decision to shoot at that time was due to the harsh weather conditions that afflict the location throughout the rest of the year. Additional scenes were shot in County Donegal.
In March 2016, Dubrovnik was transformed into the gambling hub of Canto Bright as the city’s iconic medieval architecture blended with futuristic technology over a period of two weeks.
In detailing the concept for Canto Bright, Director Rian Johnson explains: “it was an early idea I had - and again, it plays into the themes in Finn’s (John Boyega) storyline - that it would be fun to see sort of the Monte Carlo of the Star Wars galaxy. That it would be fun to just go someplace totally different, get a totally new flavor on the plate in this movie. We’ve seen Star Wars luxury before, obviously, in the prequels. The idea behind it was just, everything was nice, everything was beautiful. It’s where the galaxy’s one-percenters hang out. The notion is it’s a huge desert planet and it’s like Vegas. It’s literally this one man-made bay that’s been created to create this one fake luxury city.”
The film’s climactic battle, set on the fictional planet of Crait, was shot in Salar de Uyuni – the world’s largest salt flat. Found in Bolivia, the expansive surface area of Salar de Uyuni is covered almost entirely in salt and other minerals, a phenomenon that takes thousands of years to develop.
Rian Johnson adds: “Crait started with a very graphic idea of red underneath white, and how that could transform during the course of a battle. But the bigger idea behind it is it’s a mineral planet and when it snows, it’s salt that’s snowing down on you and any crevice is filled with crystals.”
London’s Pinewood Studios was utilised during the film’s numerous indoor stage shoots. The facility has also played host to The Force Awakens, Rogue One and the upcoming spin-off, Han Solo: A Star Wars Story.
Productions filming in Ireland can receive a tax credit of up to 32% while Croatia employs a 20% cash rebate incentive. Additionally, any feature film that spends at least 10% of its budget within the UK can receive a 25% tax rebate to offset its production costs.
Star Wars: The Last Jedi will screen in cinemas worldwide from December 14th.
(Photo credits: Film Frames Industrial Light & Magic/Lucasfilm, Jules Heath).
Global Filming Incentive - Ireland (see more…)
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