A still shot from Matt Cruickshank’s St. Patrick’s Day Doodle animation. (GOOGLE 2017)

IF TODAY’S beautiful Google Doodle looks familiar, perhaps it’s because you’ve trekked near Ireland’s County Kerry. Or, on the other hand, maybe you’re simply a Star Wars fan.

Google celebrates St. Patrick’s Day this year with a verdant-green Doodle. The home-page animation, by London-born Google artist Matt Cruickshank, features shamrocks high-fiving on Skellig Michael, a rocky, beguiling isle where seabirds perch about seven miles off Ireland’s southwest coast.

The Google art includes a representation of a circa-sixth-century monastery — some 600 steps above where visitors dock — that enhances the mystical aura of this remote World Heritage site.

Those qualities made Skellig Michael a desirable location for Star Wars filmmakers, who sought just the sort of destination where a gray-bearded Luke Skywalker might live alone in monastic exile. Rather than green screen, the directors wanted emerald reality.

And so, at the end of J.J. Abrams’s “The Force Awakens,” Rey (Daisy Ridley), lightsaber in hand, finally finds Luke (Mark Hamill) on Skellig Michael — where Team Star Wars also shot scenes for Rian Johnson’s “The Last Jedi,” due out in December.


When Irish isles are smiling: This “bonus draft” Doodle art — with green Star Wars lightsaber — is by Google artist Matt Cruickshank. (Google 2017)

“I thoroughly enjoyed populating this magical island with shamrock people, even one from a shamrock galaxy far, far away,” Cruickshank says on the Google Doodles page.

Happy St. Patrick’s Day. May the luck be with you.

Read more:

St. Patrick’s Day Doodle: Google artist reveals the real inspiration behind elegant Irish logo

How Ireland’s Tomm Moore creates such Oscar-nominated animated films as ‘Secret of Kells’

More Google Doodles with Matt Cruickshank:

‘Doctor Who’: Hello, Dalek! Celebrating 50th birthday with BBC special, interactive Google Doodle game

155th anniversary of Pony Express: The art of a letter-perfect Google Doodle game