Ladies and gentlemen, gird your wallets. The folks behind the magic of Star Wars have done it again with another creature creation that’s poised to charm audiences, captivate the imagination of fans and undoubtedly spawn a whole heck of a lot of merchandise, and this might be the cutest one yet. First glimpsed in The Last Jedi‘s behind-the-scenes D23 footage, the tiny little fuzzballs are called Porgs and they’re not just so cute you wanna die, they’re native creatures of the planet Ahch-To, the seaside locale where Rey (Daisy Ridley) tracked down Luke (Mark Hammil) at the end of The Force Awakens.
Lucasfilm Story Group’s Pablo Hidalgo caught up with the folks over at the official Star Wars website and offered some new details on the Porgs, along with some new behind-the-scenes looks at the design of the creature. It only took a brief glimpse at the lil’ snuggly puppets in the D23 footage to capture plenty of attention, so here are the deets.
“Porgs are native to Ahch-To, and can be found dwelling along the cliffs of the island where Luke and Rey are. In many ways, they’re the Star Wars version of puffins. They build nests. They can fly. Their babies are called porglets.”
Porglets. Excuse me, I’m dead. ThePorgsare the creation of director Rian Johnson, who came up with the name and the idea of the creature. And yes, they’re friendly little guys. “Given how rarely their island has visitors, their curiosity outweighs any skittishness they may have,” Hidalgo explains. Since they’re residents of Ahch-To, we can probably expect them to have some relationship with Luke.
Though the D23 footage showed a puppet Porg, the creatures are brought to life through a combination of techniques. “The porgs are realized through a variety of effects, depending on what’s needed,” says Hidalgo. “Sometimes they’re puppets, with the puppeteers digitally removed from the shot. Other times, they’re entirely CG.”
Why does Hidalgo think fans have responded so strongly to the Porgs based on a moment of footage? (Spoiler: they’re cute af.) “Ever since that roadside scavenger let out that belch outside Jabba’s palace in Return of the Jedi, the idea that there’s an entire animal kingdom living amid the drama and adventure of the Star Wars saga is a compelling one,” he says “Besides, porgs are cute. You fall into those deep, soulful eyes. I think a lot of people are going to want a porg as a pet.”