PICTURES: Star Wars comes to the Scottish Highlands after Stac Pollaidh and Suilven star in latest episode of Disney+ show Ahsoka
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A galaxy far, far away came a little closer to home today after the dramatic landscapes of Coigach and Assynt took centre stage in the new episode of the Star Wars show Ahsoka.
Eagle-eyed residents of Wester Ross and Sutherland were left gobsmacked when the latest episode dropped on Wednesday morning when the instantly recognisable silhouettes of Suilven and Stac Pollaidh – and the dramatic lochans and knockans of the wider area – popped up on screen.
[Spoilers follow immediately after the photo below this sentence, so if you have not yet seen the episode, don't read any further until you have.]
And the famous mountains' appearances were no fleeting, 'blink and you'll miss it' quick cuts either – with both them and the wider landscape playing an integral role not just in creating the atmosphere that permeates the entire episode, but even as key settings in the action.
They first crop up early on, with a shuttle containing antagonists Baylan Skoll, Shin Hati and nightsister Morgan Elsbeth swooping in low over Loch Sionasgaig and then Fionn Loch before making an approach to Casteal Liath on Suilven's western end, which had been transformed into a huge base and temple using additional CGI but which was still instantly recognisable as the famous mountain.
A later conversation between Baylan and Shin also thrust Stac Pollaidh into the heart of the action, with the northern flank of the peak clearly framed immediately between the pair as they conversed with their backs to camera.
Later on in the episode, the rocky and wet landscape continued to play its part, with the area's lochans and knockans an ever-present sight as hero Sabine Wren embarked on a quest to find lost Jedi Ezra Bridger.
Although today's episode marks the first time that Star Wars filming has visited the far north, it is not Scotland's first appearance in the blockbuster franchise. Ben Cruachan, its famous hydro-power reservoir and the landscape in the immediate area played a very prominent role across a three-episode arc in the first series of Star Wars show Andor, which aired last year and is available now on Disney+
Ahsoka is exclusively available on Disney+. The first six episodes of the eight episode series are already available, with the final two set to air over the next two Wednesdays. Given its prominence in this week's episode, it seems likely that we haven't seen the last of Coigach and Assynt in the show.