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Skellig Michael

Skellig Michael

The ancient Irish hermitages of Skellig Michael were used as a location for filming the new Star Wars movie.

Skellig Michael (IrishSceilig Mhichíl), or Great Skellig (IrishSceilig Mhór) is the larger of the two Skellig Islands located 11.6 km west of the Iveragh Peninsula in County Kerry, Ireland.[2] A Christian monastery was founded on the island at some point between the 6th and 8th century and remained continuously occupied until its abandonment in the late 12th century.

I have a suspicion that Luke Skywalker is holed up there as a Jedi Knight-Monk. The movie comes out in a few weeks. If you go see it watch out for the link with ancient Christian monasticism.

One of the things I like about the Jedi Knight aspect of Star Wars is that the Jedi Knights are also monks. The monastic element of their training and life is clearly shown, and it establishes in the popular imagination the possibility that one can be a warrior and a mystic.

This is a recurring theme within popular culture. It comes up in the Batman movies, in Eastern martial arts films, Indiana Jones and in other science fiction films. Unfortunately, Christian monasticism is no longer associated with battle.

Perhaps the popularity of this theme in films is our culture calling out for warriors to be more spiritual and noble in their calling and for monks to be more like warriors in theirs.

Skellig Michael was inhabited in a time when men took seriously the call to follow Christ into the desert and do battle there with the forces of evil.

Learn more about Skellig Michael here.