Here's a Brief History of Skellig Michael, the Island in Final Scene of 'Star Wars' 7

In the final scene of Star Wars: The Force Awakens (spoiler alert) Rey, played by Daisy Ridley, meets Luke Skywalker on a mysterious island that's supposed to be part of a planet far, far away — but it was actually filmed on the remote island of Skellig Michael, a UNESCO World Heritage site off the coast of Ireland in the Atlantic Ocean.

Skellig Michael, or Sceilg Mhichíl, has been on the figurative map since the 7th century, when it served as a monastery for Irish Catholic monks, according to UNESCO. It's a rigid, steep island that resembles a volcano and is located about 7.5 miles off the coast of Valentia Island, County Kerry, Traveller reported. 

The island is protected as a World Heritage site because its "outstanding universal value being an exceptional, and in many respects unique example, of an early religious settlement" and because it "illustrates, as no other site can, the extremes of a Christian monasticism characterizing much of North Africa, the Near East and Europe," according to UNESCO's website. 

Monks isolated themselves on the remote island between the 6th and 7th centuries in pursuit of becoming closer with God, according to World Heritage Ireland. Two lighthouses were built on the island in the 19th century and it's home to the second largest colony of sea birds in the world, according to the island's visitor's center.

After Nobel Prize-winning Irish playwright George Bernard Shaw visited the island in 2010, according to World Heritage Ireland, he described it as an "incredible, impossible, mad place" and "part of our dream world."

The island's remoteness has prevented it from becoming a popular tourist site, but that could change after the final scene of the first film to sell $1 billion in tickets in 12 days put the geographically unique land on many movie fans' radar. Skellig's visitor's center offers exhibits, educational films and a two-hour boat trip circling the island. 

How likely are you to make Mic your go-to news source?

Jessica Eggert

Jessica is a staff writer at Mic, covering breaking news. She is based in New York and can be reached at jessica@mic.com.

MORE FROM

Episode 5 of 'The Bachelorette' ends with a cliffhanger

The drama is "to be continued..."

‘American Horror Story’ creator Ryan Murphy releases a chilling new clue for season 7

It looks like the election won't be the only scary thing in the spotlight next season.

These are the most glowing reviews for 'War for the Planet of the Apes'

It's far from your average summer blockbuster.

The most awkward 2-on-1 dates from 'The Bachelor' and 'The Bachelorette'

We're ready for Rachel Lindsay's two-on-one date with Kenny and Lee.

Will ‘GLOW’ be renewed for season 2? Even the cast doesn’t know what’s going on.

No official word yet on this nostalgia-filled new series.

Beyoncé's BET Awards acceptance speech thanks family, but stays mum on twins

Beyoncé thanked her family during her BET Awards speech but gave no mention of the twins.

Episode 5 of 'The Bachelorette' ends with a cliffhanger

The drama is "to be continued..."

‘American Horror Story’ creator Ryan Murphy releases a chilling new clue for season 7

It looks like the election won't be the only scary thing in the spotlight next season.

These are the most glowing reviews for 'War for the Planet of the Apes'

It's far from your average summer blockbuster.

The most awkward 2-on-1 dates from 'The Bachelor' and 'The Bachelorette'

We're ready for Rachel Lindsay's two-on-one date with Kenny and Lee.

Will ‘GLOW’ be renewed for season 2? Even the cast doesn’t know what’s going on.

No official word yet on this nostalgia-filled new series.

Beyoncé's BET Awards acceptance speech thanks family, but stays mum on twins

Beyoncé thanked her family during her BET Awards speech but gave no mention of the twins.