An Archaeology of Star Wars: A Long Time Ago On An Island Far Far Away

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View from Skellig Michael – Image: regienbb / flickr (CC BY 2.0)

Rumours abound that this Thanksgiving weekend in the States will see the release of the first teaser trailer/preview of the new Star Wars (7) film – scenes for which were shot on the early medieval monastic island of Skellig Michael, Co. Kerry. In anticipation, here’s a little something on the early history and archaeology of Skellig Michael itself – and why its perhaps appropriate that ‘an unearthly corner of planet earth, left behind on an island far, far away’ continues to be (re)used as the setting for a re-booted mythical blockbuster. Or something.

What better place to depict an ancient, mystical, martial asceticism in a galaxy far, far away than an actual ancient, eremitic, settlement dripping with stone-cold monastic austerity, located at what was for centuries the very ends of the earth, seven miles off the very tip of a western Irish peninsula?

Skellig Michael: An Island Far, Far Away is available on JSTOR Daily – the online magazine of the academically indispensable JSTOR digital library. The whole idea behind the magazine is to showcase the extent and content of JSTOR itself. As such, all related links within the article are available to all, whether you have institutional access or not.

So, regardless of the article itself, there’s a whole rake of Skellig & Early Christian related archaeological, historical and literary material, just sitting there, waiting to be perused.

Just sayin’.

6 thoughts on “An Archaeology of Star Wars: A Long Time Ago On An Island Far Far Away

  1. Thanks for writing that. Reading through your links, I was really taken by the idea of a high rock in the sea having the same important qualities as the solitary sanctuaries of the Desert Fathers. The boundless sea standing in for the boundless sand.

    Have you visited Skellig Michael yourself?


    • Cheers. Only as a kid. Something I had to leave mostly out was a little more on the westerly location. Perhaps more than ‘boundless’ sea, was a concept of the ‘boundary’ of the known world. As far west as one could conceivably go. A big motivation and influence in skelligs distant origins.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Pingback: Around the Archaeology Blog-o-sphere Digest #11 | Doug's Archaeology

  3. Pingback: Star Wars: Archaeology of the Jedi | vox hiberionacum

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