Star Wars: Episode VIII recently finished shooting in Ireland, with writer and director Rian Johnson taking to Twitter to wish a fond farewell to the country.
But it looks as though the rest of Ireland isn’t too upset to see the back of Star Wars 8, as it’s now emerged that the blockbuster’s shoot has caused quite a few issues to locals.
The National has reported that quite a number of individuals from the small village of Ballyferriter, which is on the southwest coast of Ireland, have been complaining about the increase of press and tourism to the area, while also voicing their discontent about the fact that locals haven’t been given jobs.
Eamon Houlihan, who is the owner of the Black Cat shop in the village, explained the situation to the publication.
“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.”
— AFP Entertainment (@AFPceleb) May 26, 2016
This sentiment was echoed by Christy Mac Gearalit, who is the owner of a local restaurant, who remarked to the same publication.
“I don’t know if the force is with us but it has certainly forced us to work a lot harder because of the increase in the number of visitors.”
Another local insisted that the chaos and popularity of the Star Wars 8 shoot had caused a rather big disruption to what’s already regarded as one of the most popular tourist attractions in the country. In fact, businessman Louis Mulcahy has complained about the huge traffic congestion.
“The increase in numbers certainly won’t help.”
But it hasn’t been all bad. Another local businessman insisted the exposure is good.
“There’s a buzz around and the exposure worldwide is unbelievable,” while several other locals were quick to heap praise upon Mark Hamill, who plays Luke Skywalker in the saga, as he was praised for just how friendly and down-to-earth he is as he has mixed it with people in the area.
Around 450 people were working on the shoot, and, as you’d expect, security around the sequel to Star Wars: The Force Awakens has been hugely tight, and there have been huge measures to stop any leaks regarding the film from hitting the internet.
In fact, the owners of land that’s being used for the shoot have also signed agreements not to discuss anything related to the film. Because if they were to open their mouths regarding the production or their payments then they wouldn’t receive the payments owed to them.
Some of the huge precautions being made to keep Star Wars 8 clouded in secrecy has seen employees being forced to check in their mobile phones ahead of entering filming, while the Irish Aviation Authority has also taken steps to impose a no-fly zone over the area of the production.
Despite these supposed complications, Rian Johnson was unanimous with his praise for the entire country of Ireland after working there for so long on the film. You can check out the writer and director’s message to the nation below.
That’s a wrap on the emerald isle. Thanks to all the lovely amazing people here who have made our shoot extraordinary.
— Rian Johnson (@rianjohnson) May 26, 2016
Star Wars: Episode VIII will be released on December 15, 2017, after being delayed by six months. Not only will Mark Hamill, Carrie Fisher, Adam Driver, Daisy Ridley, John Boyega, Oscar Isaac, Lupita Nyong’o, Domhnall Gleeson, Anthony Daniels, Gwendoline Christie, and Andy Serkis return, but Benicio Del Toro, Laura Dern, and Kelly Marie Tran have joined the cast, too.
[Image via Disney]