Tourism Ireland launch this Star Wars billboard 33km into the sky
Even the aliens will be dying for the 'Wild Atlantic Way' after this
Tourism Ireland have launched a Star Wars billboard approximately 33.3 kilometers into the sky ahead of Star Wars VIII: The Last Jedi's release on 15 December.
The billboard, which ended up in the Earth's stratosphere, was inspired by the latest film's use of various Irish locations along the "Wild Atlantic Way", used as the spot where Luke Skywalker spent years in hiding - these include the iconic (and stunning) Skellig Michael, Co. Kerry, Malin Head, Co. Donegal and Loop Head, Co. Clare.
Strapped to a weather balloon, the billboard marks the first time a tourist ad campaign was sent into outer space, according to the organisation.
Ireland's Wild Atlantic Way is getting ready to welcome travellers from galaxies far, far away with this billboard in space! To find out more about #StarWars #TheLastJedi and the filming locations in Ireland visit https://t.co/tF6gso7uCm pic.twitter.com/Tdf2bqjLxO
— Discover Ireland (@DiscoverIreland) December 7, 2017
The decision by Lucas Film to turn the craggy island of Skellig Michael into the planet Ahch-To in both The Force Awakens and The Last Jedi has brought a huge surge in tourism to the west coast. Since 2011, overseas visitors to Co. Kerry have risen by 27%, going from 829,000 to 1,050,000 in 2015.
Ballyferriter on the Dingle Peninsula has definitely been riding high on this wave of attention after announcing that a Féile Star Wars will be held in the Kerry village from 14 to 17 December, while a Star Wars Visitor Experience now allows fans to pull a pint on the very spot that Mark Hamill, a.k.a. Luke Skywalker did in one particular Kerry pub.
Still, the one that takes the Force-infused cake is the village, Portmagee, which swallowed its pride to rename itself after a creature already hyped as possibly the worst character to be included in the new film: the Porg.
Rechristened Porgmagee (brilliant, you'll agree), after the critters that were inspired by the puffins, which live on Skellig Michael, the west will stop at nothing to revel in the glory of The Last Jedi.
Somehow a weather balloon ad campaign comes out as the most grounded of all these ideas.