All About Porgs: The New Star Wars Obsession
The obsession with Star Wars‘ new fluffy characters, porgs, exploded after one of the black-eyed “seabirds” was revealed flapping its wings and crying out beside Chewbacca in the Millennium Falcon in the official trailer. Before even hitting the big screen, porgs have already been immortalized in memes, tweets, fan art, and more.
Porgs are from planet Ahch-To, which happens to be where the first Jedi temple is located. According to Entertainment Weekly, Rian Johnson, writer and director of Star Wars: The Last Jedi, says that the porgs were inspired by puffins that he saw while visiting the Irish island of Skellig Michael, which lies west of the Iveragh Peninsula in County Kerry, Ireland.
The island is the setting for the final scenes between Luke Skywalker and Rey in Star Wars: The Force Awakens. Johnson saw how the native puffins were “part of the island” as he was scouting, and he wanted the porgs to be a part of “that realm.” Having the creatures there also prevented Skywalker from being isolated on the island. Who wouldn’t want a murder of porgs as your only companions?
A “murder” is what a group of porgs is being referred to, with their babies known as porglets, according to Wired. Johnson also revealed through his twitter that porgs have varying colors, and that “males are slightly larger than females.” The inquisitive creatures are capable of flying “short distances” as well. According to Vogue, the porgs also nest.
Neal Scanlan, the Oscar-winning special effects artist that assisted in creating the porgs and who also runs the Star Wars Creature Workshop, provides further details on Chewbacca’s new pal. Speaking with Empire, Scanlan revealed that the porg audiences saw crying out in the cockpit of the Millennium Falcon in the trailer is “befriended by Chewie,” and even has coloring and patterning on his fur that is similar to the Wookiee’s.
Pablo Hidalgo offers a look behind the scenes, saying: “The porgs are realized through a variety of effects, depending on what’s needed. Sometimes they’re puppets, with the puppeteers digitally removed from the shot. Other times, they’re entirely CGI.” The creative executive of Lucasfilm Story Group goes on to discuss the draw of the new characters, saying that with the porgs being so cute, you “fall into those deep, soulful eyes.” Hidalgo predicts that fans are going to want to have a porg as a pet, and from the strong reactions online, the man is certainly onto something.
Besides being adorable, it will be interesting to find out if a porg’s only purpose is keeping Luke company on the island, providing comic relief, or becoming best buds with our favorite Wookiee. No matter what the future holds for the fluffy lifeforms, fans will certainly enjoy every time they pop-up onscreen.
Star Wars: The Last Jedi will hit theaters on December 15, 2017.