Director Rian Johnson has refused to confirm or deny that some of the scenes for the upcoming instalment of the Star Wars series may be filmed in Balix Hill near Plumbridge despite rumours that the new film will be named ‘Star Wars 8 – The Battle of the Balixes’.
Balix, sometimes named Belix or Ballix, has long been touted as the perfect location for a Star Wars film such is the out-of-this-world atmosphere and the remarkable number of natural C-P3O and Chewbacca look-a-likes in the area.
Set designer Harry Devlin is confident that the Star Wars production van will be pulling into Plumbridge within a month:
“We need to get in there now before the holiday season begins and the throngs of tourists start to flood The Plum, Cranagh and Glenelly. We’ve already done a few runs to the area and are pleased to see hundreds of natural Chewbaccas to choose from at short notice, from both sexes. And in Balix Hill we have the ideal location for inter-galactic battles.”
This is not the first time that Balix Hill has captured the imagination of the world’s top film directors. In 1966, Sergio Leone apparently filmed over 400 hours of footage in the area for his masterpiece The Good, The Bad and The Ugly. He admitted years later that he was forced to abandon filming and head to Rome and Madrid after failing to find anyone to play The Good despite hundreds of the other two roles readily available in the area.
Clint Eastwood however fell in love with the area and is often spotted during the winter months roaming about Glencoppogagh on his own with his trusty dog, Dog.