The cast and crew of the new Star Wars film have descended upon a remote island off the south-western coast of Ireland to shoot a part of the project.

Star Wars JJ Abrams
Jj Abrams is directing the new Star Wars film

The tiny, picturesque island of Skellig Michael, a Unesco World Heritage site, has been closed to the public for the next three days in order to shoot scenes from the movie, the seventh instalment in the saga.

Dozens of sci-fi fans have flocked to the village of Portmagee on the Irish mainland, the main departure point to access the island, to try to catch glimpses of the action. Hotel and B&B operators in the village report being solidly booked for the week surrounding the filming.

Stories like this only underline just how hotly anticipated the new film is. In addition to starring Irish actor Domhnall Gleeson, it will also feature actors from the original trilogy – Mark Hammill, Carrie Fisher and Harrison Ford are set to star. Directed by JJ Abrams, who is no stranger to big budgets having helmed the third and fourth Mission Impossible films, scenes have already been shot in London and Abu Dhabi.

MORE: Harrison Ford injured on the set of the new Star Wars film

Skellig Michael might seem a little more ‘Father Ted’ than a galaxy far far away, but the majestic landscapes and craggy cliff faces of the remote island are easily imaginable as the surface of an alien, inhospitable planet.

The new film is widely predicted to break box office records when it is finally released, which is still due to be in December 2015 despite the setback surrounding Harrison Ford's injury on the set.