The weekend was all a frenzy with Star Wars filming in Malin Head. Donegal, Inishowen and Malin Head are now firmly on the world tourism map thanks to the crew from the film spending the past few days in the area.
I’m no stranger to Malin Head and pop there at least monthly for a walk and a peep. I could sit for hours there just looking over the ocean. And at times I have.
So when I heard Mark Hamill and the gang were coming to town, I knew they’d be well impressed with the set and setting.
To say I’m a huge Star Wars fan would really be milking it. I’m NOT. But I do have a fondness for the man himself, Mark Hamill. Who couldn’t for Luke Skywalker. Hell this is Luke Skywalker. Really, Luke Skywalker. And it was late Friday night that the reality hit me that Hamill might well be staying in my local hotel at Redcastle. The mind started playing games. I might just bump into him. Or would I? Or could I?
And so my weekend was laid out. Around working that is. Once work finished at 5pm on Saturday I decided I was going to have a chat with Mark Hamill before the weekend was out. I normally see my plans through!
I contacted a number of people from Redcastle Hotel, but alas they could tell me nothing. Disclaimers had obviously been signed and confidentiality was in place. But craicon (Muff) wasn’t giving up. This was one chat I was going to have.
That night a friend and I popped to Redcastle for coffee. I happened to see and say hi to whom I now know was Michael Kaplan. If Kaplan was in Redcastle, Hamill was too. I shall get to say hello! I shall.
And so we finished coffee and left. Tomorrow would see him bump into me.
Sunday I went to Malin Head for an hour and really felt the buzz that was enveloping Inishowen for the past few weeks. It really was something special to experience. Ali Farren at Farrens bar made everyone welcome with his artwork of Yoda on the side wall.Farrens bar
Everyone at Malin Head knew there was no chance of getting near the set or the filming and yet everyone was enjoying the knowledge that Hollywoods greatest were just yards away. Malin Head was alive.
And the dolphins were getting in on the act too. We may not have had the chance to watch Hamill and gang at work but we were all given the opportunity to watch these amazing creatures at play. And it was spectacular.
Craicon Muff was having a ball of a day. Then it was dinner and home.
This was going to be the last night of Hamill being in town. Surely he couldn’t leave without saying hello. And true enough, he couldn’t. I again popped into Redcastle for a liquid supper of coffee with a friend. It was all quiet and nothing happening. And then just before midnight Hamill and his crew arrived. I said hello and we got chatting. Mark told me that it had been a long, but good weekend and he and gang were tired. “We’ve got an early start tomorrow so going to bed now.” He then posed for some photos, gave me a goodnight kiss (ooooohh) and took his little dog by the lead and off he went.
Mark Hamill didn’t disappoint. He was genuinely one of the nicest guys I’ve met and was full of fun and laughter for those brief minutes last night. Here’s wishing him and all the crew safe travelling today and good luck with the remainder of filming.
It was an honour Luke Skywalker to just be in your company. I might just watch Star Wars one day soon.