Donegal road renamed to R2D2 in tribute to Star Wars character
Name changed on road near Malin Head to mark location where franchise was filmed
A Tusken Raider character poses with an R2D2 droid replica at the opening of the R2D2 road in Malin Head, Co Donegal on Monday. Photograph: Niall Carson/PA Wire
A road in Co Donegal has been renamed the R2D2 in tribute to one of Star Wars’ most famous characters.
New signs were unveiled on what was the R242 near Malin Head to mark the location where scenes from the most recent instalment of the franchise, The Last Jedi, were filmed.
A replica R2D2 droid joined other Star Wars characters on the island’s most northerly point to celebrate the novel tourism initiative.
The name change on a road that runs through the scenic Inishowen peninsula has been approved by Donegal County Council.
It was initially agreed on a temporary basis but the switch is now set to become permanent.
Jack Murray, a local councillor who also works with tourism organisation Explore Inishowen, first proposed the rebrand.
“It is so simple, because we had the R242 and just the one letter change and you’ve captured Star Wars and one of the famous characters in Star Wars – R2D2,” he said.
“Hopefully for a long time tourists will come and get their photo taken with the R2D2 sign and see the beautiful location where Star Wars was filmed.”
The signage has been erected ahead of Inishowen’s first May The Fourth festival next month.
Star Wars events are held around the world on May 4th – due to the date sounding like the phrase synonymous with the movies – May The Force Be With You.
The three day event in Inishowen will celebrate the area’s links with the franchise.
Various locations along Ireland’s Wild Atlantic Way were used as locations for Star Wars.
The rocky island of Skellig Michael off the coast of Co Kerry provided backdrops for the Last Jedi and the Force Awakens.
Kerry already started its own May The Fourth festival last year.
A range of dignitaries attended Monday’s ceremony at Farren’s Bar close to where the Last Jedi was shot at Malin Head.
Star Wars superfans Adrian Hanna and his son Jack, from Downpatrick, Co Down, who are members of re-enactment group the 501 Legion Ireland Garrison, brought their home-made R2D2 droid as the special guest.
Irish education minister Joe McHugh, a TD for Co Donegal, formally cut the ribbon at the ceremony.
“Today is about reinforcing something good that happened here a couple of years ago through Star Wars and the film creation,” he said.
“Now we have the possibility of having an annual event here and it’s very much community focused as well.”
Tourism promotion body, Fáilte Ireland, has announced details of the festival programme on Inishowen.
It includes a Star Wars themed 3km Fun Run, Soda Yoga on the beach and outdoor drive-in movie screenings.
The latest instalment in the sci-fi franchise was recently revealed with a new title, Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker and new trailer, which dropped earlier this month. The film will be in cinemas this December. – PA