Filming Star Wars Episode VIII on Skellig Michael was no mean feat and the producers have shown their gratitude to the local lifeboat crews

Boating enthusiasts watching the latest Star Wars film may have spotted a famous Irish island that stood in for Luke Skywalker’s galactic hideaway.

Skelling Michael (pictured above) is the site of an ancient monastery off the West Coast of Ireland and while it certainly looked impressive on the big screen, filming in such a remote location is not without its risks.

Indeed it would appear that the Star Wars producers needed a little help from the local lifeboat, as Irish newspaper Kelly’s Eye is reporting that they made a €10,000 donation to RNLI Valentia shortly after filming on the island finished

Richard Foran, operations manager at RNLI Valentia, told the news provider: “It was a complete surprise. But I think the lifeboat came to their minds because of what they were doing.”

He added that the Lucasfilm team had filmed on the island on two separate occasions, once for the brief coda at the end of Star Wars Episode VII: The Force Awakens and again for an early scene in the follow-up film Star Wars Episode VIII, which is due out in 2017.

However, the producers didn’t want to court publicity with their donation, declining the RNLI crew’s offer of a photoshoot on the lifeboat.

RNLI Valentia lifeboatIn a world where escaping by X-Wing isn’t possible, we’d imagine that the option of a Severn-class lifeboat is the next best thing.