Donegal is buzzing as Star Wars hero Mark Hamill makes his way to the county – but despite being photographed the actor tried playing Jedi mind tricks with the media claiming he wasn’t there at all.
Hamill, 64, who is famous for his role as Luke Skywalker, and Daisy Ridley, who plays Rey in the latest installment of the franchise – set down at Belfast Airport today.
But Hamill took to Twitter to claim he wasn’t actually in Ireland.
— Mark Hamill (@HamillHimself) May 13, 2016
The stars are to start filming Episode VIII this weekend and the atmosphere has reached fever pitch across Donegal and in particular Malin Head, where the set has been built.
Hamill stopped to wave at fans and photographers while Ridley, 24, dressed in a disguise of a hood and sunglasses, rushed through the airport.
Also at the airport was Adam Driver, 32, who plays the villain Kylo Ren.
Driver being spotted at the airport is somewhat of a spoiler for fans because in the last installment of the franchise, The Force Awakens – partially filmed in Kerry – his evil character was left for dead after Rey realised her Jedi power.
American director Rian Johnson also arrived at the airport with his case ready for filming.
Locals who live near the film set in Malin Head, the most northerly point of Ireland, have signed secrecy contracts so they are forbidden from speaking about filming.
While a tight ring of security has been installed across the area.
Movie makers have erected what is believed to be the Millennium Falcon – at least 50 feet (15m) across and 10 feet (3m) high – on cliffs a mile from Bamba’s Crown in Malin Head.
Meanwhile the locals are enjoying the movie mania with people dressing up as stormtroopers and stalls selling Star Wars memorabilia.
At the end of the last movie, Rey met Skywalker on Skellig Michael in Kerry – the remote spot where the Jedi had been in hiding.
It is thought that the pair will go through training together and some of this could be filmed on Malin Head.
To make matters even more intriguing, effective no-fly zones are being implemented by the Irish Aviation Authority over some of the Republic of Ireland’s most scenic headlands to facilitate the filming.
Crowds of Star Wars enthusiasts have been arriving for a glimpse of the set.
But if security is as tight as it was in Kerry when the stars filmed there in 2014, it will prove very difficult to see any of the actors or get close to filming.
No fly zones have been introduced by the Irish Aviation Authority preventing any filming from the sky or drones attempting to covertly snap any images.
In 2014, the Irish navy assisted in keeping the media away from Skellig Michael – a matter of controversy.
While the fact that filming was even allowed on the UNESCO heritage site, where rare birds live, was also frowned upon by wildlife experts.
Watch clip below to see a stormtropper in Farrens pub, Malin Head.
And watch the children of Malin Head perform the Star Wars theme tune here in anticipation of the stars coming: