No matter where you stand on how necessary the Ewoks were to Return of the Jedi, one thing is irrefutable: they were damn cute, and got kids excited about the series all over again. Star Wars followed that lesson with the recently released behind the scenes trailer for The Last Jedi, which introduced us to the porgs. At first, all we knew is that they looked vaguely Puffin-like and were sure to be our kids’ favorite inclusion. Now, we’ve got some more info on these adorable intergalactic creatures.
Recently, StarWars.com conducted an interview with Lucasfilm’s Pablo Hidalgo and got some key insights into what porgs actually are. According to Hidalgo, Porgs are native to Ahch-To, and can be found dwelling along the cliffs of the island where Luke is training Rey. “In many ways,” he says. “They’re the Star Wars version of puffins. They build nests. They can fly. Their babies are called porglets.”
But are they good guys? Secret spies for the Empire? Or do they not have a Bantha in the race? When asked whether or not they’re friendly, Hidalgo responded, “Given how rarely their island has visitors, their curiosity outweighs any skittishness they may have.”
Hidalgo offered little information into how the creatures came to be, what inspired the design. What we do know is that these things seem specifically engineered to illicit an “awww” from any and all moviegoers. From their big saucer eyes to their baby penguin/harp seal bodies, porgs look like what somebody might imagine after dropping acid and watching a compilation video on the cutest Arctic animals. Which, honestly, sounds like a Star Wars creature meeting.
Besides looking like what fresh-baked cookies smell like, there are probably a few other reasons for including porgs in The Last Jedi. For starters, The Last Jedi has been described by the film’s cast and crew as being especially dark, so the cute dudes could be a tool to bring in some levity. Plus, Disney might want an adorable new character to get more kids to the theater seats. Whatever the strategy is, it worked: one of the most highly anticipated movies of the year has managed to draw even more hype, all thanks to the newfound majesty that is these Furby-like characters.