Everything We Know About the Porgs, Those Adorable Sea Birds From ‘Star Wars: The Last Jedi’

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I love porgs. You love porgs. We all love porgs.

2017 is the year of the porg, a fact confirmed by Monday’s release of the Star Wars: The Last Jedi trailer, where we finally saw (and heard) the cherubic sea bird in action. The internet’s immediate and unabashed love of porgs is similar to the collective response to BB-8, who melted the icy cold hearts of jaded cynics the second he rolled across the Star Wars Celebration stage in April 2015. Star Wars: The Force Awakens was a tour-de-force for the ball droid, but will the porgs get a similar showcase in The Last Jedi?

We may already be in awe of their great big eyes and tiny little wings, but beyond their unabashed cuteness, what do we really know about porgs? Kind of a lot, actually! Here’s a brief but comprehensive run-down of every bit of porg intel we currently have.

The porgs were actually spoiled a while ago

The popular leak site Making Star Wars started teasing the porgs quite a while ago. In an April 2017 post, MSW editor-in-chief Jason Ward gave a run-down of the information he’d collected from behind-the-scenes sources about the new bird creatures, right down to the name “porg.” Ward’s report specifies that porgs are “part of the ecosystem” of the planet Ahch-To, where they’re considered “sacred creatures,” and Luke Skywalker is supposedly quite fond of them. The report also claims that there’s a connection between porgs and the Force.

Most of this information is currently unsubstantiated, as it comes from an unofficial report. But a lot of it aligns with what we’ve seen in promotional material, and Ward is known for getting pretty specific and legitimate information, so it’s worth keeping in mind. Are we about to see some super cool Force birds in action?

porgs sizzle reel

We got our first official look at the porgs in the Last Jedi behind-the-scenes reel

The sizzle reel that played at this year’s D23 expo in Anaheim gave us our first look at what appears to be an animatronic, practical effect porg. No other information was given with the reel, but the bird definitely caught the attention of fans, who fell in love with those deep, glossy eyes.

But there was one other troubling image that came out of the reel: Chewbacca in the Falcon cockpit with feathers in his mouth. Is he going to EAT A PORG? As we’ll get to in a minute, there’s definitely a precedent for porgs-as-snacks.

goddamn motherfuckin porgs

Baby porgs are called – wait for it – PORGLETS!

Lucasfilm creative executive Pablo Hidalgo revealed a lot more about porgs in an official StarWars.com interview on July 20. Hidalgo confirmed the name “porg” and said the birds are similar to puffins, and that they build nests and can fly. He also revealed that their babies are called “porglets,” and that the creatures are more curious than they are skittish.

He also explained that porgs are created using a mix of effects. Some are entirely practical, some a mix of practical and CGI, and others entirely CGI depending on the scene. The article contained a sketch of the birds in action.

porg sketch

The porgs are based on the puffins of Skellig Michael

In August, EW unveiled a new photo of Chewbacca and a porg in the Falcon (pre-digestion, perhaps) along with some more insights about the creatures. According to the article, The Last Jedi director Rian Johnson created the birds to give Luke companionship on Ahch-To and based them on the puffins that inhabit Skellig Michael, where the Ahch-To scenes were filmed.

“If you go to Skellig at the right time of year, it’s just covered in puffins, and they’re the most adorable things in the world,” Johnson told EW. “So when I was first scouting there, I saw these guys, and I was like, oh, these are part of the island. And so the Porgs are in that realm.”

The same article also unveiled the Caretakers, which are fish-like nun creatures who tend to the holy structures on Ahch-To. Like Chewbacca, it looks like the Caretakers may have a hankering for porg flesh…

Porg merchandise

Porgs may, in fact, be delicious 

Star Wars Made Easy, a Lucasfilm tie-in book released this September, features a panel about porgs that describes them as “the island’s most adorable inhabitants,” adding the teaser: “Cute? Definitely. Tasty? Maybe…”

As much as it hurts to admit, it’s looking pretty likely that we’ll see some porg-eating come December. An image posted by Reddit user greatjorb88 from a Star Wars coloring book lends even more credence to this possibility – it shows a few of the Caretakers ready to capture a tree-full of porgs with nets.

Porg plush thing

Porg merchandise has already hit shelves – and it’s pretty insane 

Force Friday, Disney/Lucasfilm’s annual September event where the upcoming film’s merchandise first hits shelves, was our first real taste of the porg as a function of Capitalism. All sorts of crazy porg merch was unveiled, including human-sized plushies, squeezable talking dolls, Funko POP! collectibles, and more. Like BB-8, porgs really showed their marketability on Force Friday.

They are sea birds. Their coloring varies. Males are slightly larger than females. They can fly short distances. They’re inquisitive.

— Rian Johnson (@rianjohnson) September 13, 2017

Porgs are “inquisitive”

On September 13, a fan having a hard day probed Johnson for information about the porgs to lift their spirits. Johnson obliged, sharing that porgs are “sea birds” with varying colors, that males are slightly larger than females, that they can fly short distances, and that they’re “inquisitive.”

Chewie and the Porgs book cover

Honestly, porgs aren’t that important to the story

In an interview with Yahoo!, the director explained that the birds don’t play a big part in the story of The Last Jedi, but that they were borne out of a need for comic relief on the otherwise very serious Ahch-To.

In the same interview, Johnson brushed off concerns that the porgs might be too cute:

“It wasn’t until we got the actual puppets on set and the whole crew reacted with ‘Oh my god, they’re adorable!,’ and also then a few people in the crew were of giving them that suspicious side-eye of ‘These are cute, but are they too cute?’” Johnson said. “But the overwhelming reaction on set was everybody loved the porgs. And I love ‘em, so you know what? I get it if people are a little wary of cuteness in the Star Wars universe, but I personally love them, and I think they have their place in the movie.”

Porgs were clearly the star of the latest Last Jedi trailer

The Monday Night Football unveiling of the Last Jedi trailer – possibly the final trailer before the movie comes out December 14 – was a real showcase for the little sea birds that could. The two-minute and 34-second trailer was chock-full of meaty tidbits about returning characters like Kylo Ren and Rey, but the it was hard to look past the brave little squawk of the porg, in what appears to be the scene from the EW photo of Chewbacca piloting the Falcon with his new companion.

The porg appearance caused quite a stir on Twitter, inspiring several Twitter Moments that featured the reactions – good and bad:

Chewie roaring and then the porg roaring immediately after is officially the best moment in Star Wars history

— A Chris for Wellness (@cevangelista413) October 10, 2017

My roommate who doesn’t care about Star Wars saw the porg and screamed WHAT IS THAT I WANT ONE

— Victoria Graveyard???? (@VictoriaAveyard) October 10, 2017

Welp, it’s confirmed. Porg is dumb as hell.

— NickroBBB2Dope (@Nickrob) October 10, 2017

Who knows what will become of porg mania. As some have already pointed out, The Last Jedi trailer also teased what looks to be majestic, crystalline foxes on the planet of Crait. These equally adorable – and far more mysterious – creatures may well be the real creature stars of the film. What about BB-9E, the BB-8’s little goth brother?

There’s room for every cute creature in the Star Wars menagerie. But for now, porgs are still top.

The post Everything We Know About the Porgs, Those Adorable Sea Birds From ‘Star Wars: The Last Jedi’ appeared first on /Film.

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