The Porgs are the runaway sensations of Star Wars: The Last Jedi, but their adorable appearance could ultimately be deceiving. After the cute droid BB-8 won over the hearts of millions a couple years ago, Rian Johnson one-upped J.J. Abrams in that department with the Porgs, puffin-like creatures that are native to the planet Ahch-To. Already, they are merchandising giants, becoming the must-have toy of the holiday season long before general audiences get a chance to see the finished film. Their role in the movie is largely being kept under wraps, though Johnson has shared some small details about their various traits and quirks.
Star Wars has a complicated history with creatures and characters that are "cute," which has caused some viewers to fear the Porgs are this generation's Ewoks and are there merely for marketing purposes. Johnson has promised the Porgs earn their spot in The Last Jedi, and we know one becomes friends with Chewbacca, possibly going off-world and exploring the rest of the galaxy. It's clear to say Porg-mania has taken over, but one member of the Lucasfilm family is a little wary about what they're capable of.
In an interview with EW as part of their Last Jedi cover story, John Boyega offered his thoughts on the Porgs, saying that when they amass in numbers, they aren't nearly as fun-loving as you might expect:
"I just remember doing some stuff and seeing a lot of porgs around. And they are interesting, but for me, I had a love/hate relationship with them. They’re very, very cute, but when you put them in a bunch, in holes, on the Millennium Falcon, that’s when they start to become really, really freaky... They’ve got real big eyes, all bunched together. There were, like, little tiny ones and little big ones that would just…yeah, it looks like a rash.”
EW notes that "Porgs look out for porgs" and have razor-sharp teeth, so they may not be as amicable as you'd think. It certainly would be a twist if the Porgs were more dangerous than their cuddly aesthetic implies, and it would be in keeping with Star Wars tradition. After all, the Ewoks were set to cook Luke Skywalker and Han Solo for a meal, and later helped the heroes defeat the Empire during the Battle of Endor. It'll be interesting to see what Johnson has in store for the Porgs, as it doesn't sound like he included much filler in his installment. Even the "crystal foxes" factor in at a critical moment in the story, so the Porgs should come across as a necessary inclusion as any of the main characters.
To date, many of the most pressing Last Jedi mysteries revolve around Rey's parentage and Supreme Leader Snoke's mysterious past, but the Porgs have been the topic of much speculation as well. One of the more curious images to come from a behind-the-scenes video showed Chewie with the feather of a porg in his mouth, leading some to believe the Wookiee eats one of the galactic birds as a snack. That's just one of the many questions that will finally be answered when Episode VIII premieres in a few weeks' time.
- Star Wars 8/Star Wars: The Last Jedi (2017) release date: Dec 15, 2017
- Star Wars 9 / Star Wars: Episode IX (2019) release date: Dec 20, 2019
- Solo: A Star Wars Story (2018) release date: May 25, 2018