The first time I saw that stony green island where Rey (Daisy Ridley) finds Luke Skywalker (Mark Hamill) at the end of Stars Wars: The Force Awakens, I said to myself “I know that place…I’ve seen it before.” But I wasn’t sure where or when. The island is called Skellig Michael, and is located about 12 kilometers off the west coast of Ireland. Today I finally remembered. I first saw the island near the end of Billy Wilder‘s The Spirit of St. Louis (’57). It happens about 15 minutes before the finale. Jimmy Stewart‘s Charles Lindbergh, exhausted and bleary-eyed after 30-plus hours of flying, looks out and spots a pointed, rocky island that he eventually realizes is his very first glimpse of Irish soil. No question about it — it’s the same damn island.
Skellig Michael at it appears in Star Wars: The Force Awakens.
The same island as it appears in Billy Wilder’s The Spirit of St. Louis.