Lonely Planet Writer

The Millennium Falcon is being built in Donegal, a county far, far away

The fastest ship in the galaxy is about to get a new origin story as the Millennium Falcon is currently under construction in Co. Donegal.

The Millennium Falcon is currently being built in Donegal.
The Millennium Falcon is currently being built in Donegal. Image by North West Newspix

The production team from Star Wars: Episode VIII have been located near Malin Head – one of the northernmost points of Ireland – for the last three weeks constructing a set for the latest installment of the Hollywood space epic. Filming starts this weekend and locals and tourists alike have been keen to catch a glimpse of the action.

While the set has largely been kept under wraps from prying eyes like ours, recently a large structure has emerged that is impossible to hide; a Millennium Falcon-shaped construction on top of the rugged Donegal cliffs. At the very least, the spaceship might be useful to navigate the notoriously tricky rural Irish roads.

The Lucas Film crew hard at work.
The Lucas Film crew hard at work. Image by North West Newspix

The local council has confirmed the surrounding roads and the popular Malin Loop will be closed off in the coming days. Despite this, hundreds of tourists are already descending on the local town every day.

With the Lucas Films crew booking out many of the local B&Bs and holiday homes around the time of filming, the local area is already starting the feel the force of the ‘Star Wars effect’, a phenomenon which can only continue in the run-up and release of the next movie.

Donegal's other-wordly landscape is taking centre-stage in the new Star Wars film.
Donegal’s other-wordly landscape is taking centre-stage in the new Star Wars film. Image by Michelle Kroll / CC BY 2.0

Ireland’s Arts Minister was reported in the Irish Times as welcoming the multi-million dollar production to the area saying “This will be a massive opportunity to promote the area globally. I would also see it as a superb opportunity to highlight the Wild Atlantic Way and all it has to offer.”

Star Wars has been a huge tourism draw for Ireland with tailored campaigns cropping around the latest movies, which previously filmed on the dramatic Skellig Michael off the coast of Kerry.