The production firm behind the Star Wars blockbuster movie The Last Jedi has received €3.43 million in tax credits from the Revenue Commissioners.
The production crew for the film shot scenes involving Mark Hamill's Luke Skywalker character at Skellig Michael while parts of the film were shot in other Irish locations such as Malin Head in Co Donegal and Ceann Sibéal in Co Kerry.
New accounts for Pinewood Productions Ireland Ltd confirm the payout of €3.43 million during the 12 months to the end of March 2018 for its movie Space Bear. Space Bear was the working title given to the Star Wars The Last Jedi movie that was released in December 2017 to global hype.
The tax credit represents only loose change from the movie's global box office of $1.3 billion (€1.14 billion) – the first instalment of the new Star Wars Trilogy – and Disney made a further global bonanza from the sale of tie-in toys from the movies.
The shooting of the scenes at Skellig Michael has provided a boost to the Irish tourist industry, particularly in west Kerry. The Unesco World Heritage site stole the show in the 2015 Force Awakens film when Daisy Ridley's character tracked down Luke Skywalker in the final scene.
Fáilte Ireland has previously stated that locals have seen a positive economic benefit in business since the filming of Star Wars, particularly with regard to boat providers, restaurants, pubs and accommodation.
To capitalise on the tourist windfall and control, Fáilte Ireland launched a new visitor experience plan for the Skellig coast area in 2017. The Fáilte Ireland plan aimed to bring the Star Wars benefit beyond Skelligs and increase visitor dwell time in the wider region surrounding the iconic attraction.
Last year, movie and TV production firms lodged claims seeking corporation tax credits from the Revenue Commissioners totalling €95 million in 2018 – double the amount claimed in 2016
However, incorrect claims for the tax credits are leading to a backlog of claims being processed by the Revenue Commissioners.