Do you have a client who's a big fan of Star Wars? With the Force Awakens smashing box office records, destinations from Ireland to California are touting attractions that can give travelers a taste of the movies.
In Ireland, the (spoilers!) secret ending to Episode VII was filmed in September 2014 on Skellig Michael Island, a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Skellig Michael is accessible only by boat. Today it's inhabited solely by birds, but monks settled in the area over a millennium ago and the beehive huts that they lived in are restored and can be visited from May to September each year. We hear advance booking is essential.
Kerry is also one of only three Gold Tier International Dark Sky reserves in the world. The beautiful band of the Milky Way, the Andromeda Galaxy, star clusters and nebulas are just some of the naked eye wonders to see without the aid of any astronomical equipment or filters.
In California, several places are offering "behind the scenes" experiences that will allow fans to feel like a part of the Star Wars universe.
LEGOLAND California is continuing to expand the Star Wars area of its Miniland, recently adding a scale model of the Death Star, a 1,900 monstrosity made with half a million plastic bricks. New additions to the seven LEGO-constructed landscapes include a Jawa sandcrawler on Tatooine and an underwater Opee sea killer on Naboo.
At Rancho Obi-Wan, travelers can see the world’s largest private collection of Star Wars memorabilia and props. The guided tour lasts two to four hours, and adult-accompanied kids 12 and under get in free. Tours are available by appointment only.
Death Valley National Park has Dante's View, the place where the Mos Eisley spaceport scenes in Episode IV were filmed. Located about 16 miles from Furnace Creek, this Black Mountain spot was where they filmed the view as seen by Luke and Obi-Wan.
Finally, for a more real-life space experience, the Los Angeles observatory hosts public parties on one Saturday of each month where resident astronomers help guests explore our home galaxy.