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‘Star Wars’ & ‘Pretty Ugly,’ completely different, yet both carve intriguing stories through the

Pre-holiday movie madness begins in two weeks (Friday, December 15 to be exact) when the long-awaited Star Wars blockbuster, ‘The Last Jedi,’ hits a screen near you.

And there’s a link to suspense novel, ‘Pretty Ugly.’

Not, it’s not (yet) that death-defying Luke Skywalker has agreed to the role of Colm, the intrepid Irish reporter who stumbles upon a devastating secret, though actor Mark ‘Skywalker’ Hamill, says he loves Ireland and would come back anytime, so don’t rule it out.

Or that Daisy Ridley, the delectable Rey in George Lucas’s sci-fi flick, might play Patricia, the beautiful model in ‘Pretty Ugly’ who faces physical and psychological anguish, a ruthless, rich cosmetic company and the paparazzi in an effort to save the lives of thousands.

Nor even that Darth Vader will be the greedy CEO.

It’s that both ‘The Last Jedi’ film director Rian Johnson and ‘Pretty Ugly’ author (that’s me) chose Donegal the ‘Forgotten County’ tucked away in the far corner of Ireland as a key setting for their plots.

During filming of ‘The Last Jedi’ on Ireland’s ‘Wild Atlantic Way’ in Donegal where much of the action of ‘Pretty Ugly’ take place, Hamill said, “It’s such a beautiful place. You just have to walk outside and it’s like a matte painting from an old Hollywood film or special effects. It’s so beautiful it doesn’t look real. It’s just gorgeous. I didn’t want to leave. The people are so nice. They treated me like I was family. I don’t know what it is but there’s something very magical there. I would encourage everyone to go.”

What higher praise can one expect than that of a friendly Superhero who has travelled millions of miles across the Galaxy moving as fast as the speed of light with friends Princess Leia and Han Solo in tow to battle the evil Empire, save the world and end the tyranny of the Sith?

Where’s the popcorn? I’m off to enjoy ...

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