Whether you’re a die-hard Star Wars fan or the most casual viewer, there’s no way that you haven’t been swept up in some form of porg mania. Even if you’ve never seen a Star Wars movie (though, really, how have you not?), it’s been near impossible to avoid these fluffy little avian creatures since they were first introduced at Star Wars Celebration this past spring.
As with any cutesy character in the galaxy far, far away, reactions have undeniably been quite divided. There are passionate porg fanatics, who want to own as much porg merchandise as possible and who can’t wait to see the little guys come to life on screen very soon.
Then there are the rabid porg haters, who decry the cute-ification of their beloved space saga, grumbling about Ewoks and Jar Jar Binks and Chewbacca’s long lost family.
Whichever side of the porg divide you stand on, the odds are that you either love them so much that you want to know all there is to know about them, or love to hate them so much that you feel the same way, to gird yourself with the latest arguments as to why they’re ruining Star Wars.
Either way, it’s safe to say that you’ve come to the right place, as we’ve compiled all the latest intel on these little birdlike creatures.
Here are the 15 Things You Didn’t Know About Star Wars‘ Porgs.
15. They have razor sharp teeth
Warning to all porg lovers out there: just because they look cute and fluffy doesn’t mean that they can’t pack quite a punch. Or, in this case, bite.
According to the early sneak peek look at the designs of the porgs, these unassuming little balls of fluff are equipped with razor sharp teeth. We’re not sure what they’re used primarily for, whether tearing apart their food or warding off potential predators, but it’s definitely making us reevaluate the cuddliness of these little guys.
14. They technically wouldn’t actually be able to fly
It’s not exactly news that the science of Star Wars doesn’t make a whole lot of sense. Science fiction and fantasy, while often rooted in some form of reality, rarely follow our physical, biological, and chemical rules.
And according to an expert in ornithology, they are now able to add yet another scientific failing to their list. In an interview with Gizmodo, Dr. Holly Kirk posits that the porgs, while allegedly puffin-based, resemble other stout birds such as the little penguin Eudyptula minor more accurately.
Based on the small size of the porg’s wings, in relation to its body mass and size, Dr. Kirk explains, it seems highly unlikely that they would be able to fly.
13. Rian Johnson claims the porgs were a “nightmare” to work with
Stories of costars that are drama queens and a hastle to deal with on set are spectacularly common in Hollywood, sometimes even leading to recasting and plot changes at the very last possible minute. However, what are you meant to do with a difficult performer when they are, in fact, made out of various types of fabric, wiring, and a heavy dose of CGI?
In a very serious question and answer session courtesy of the Star Wars Twitter account, Rian Johnson praises the latest Chewbacca, Joonas Suotamo, for being a delight to work with.
When it comes to the porgs, though, Johnson suddenly becomes quite serious, claiming that the pint size space puffins were nothing short of a “nightmare” to work with.
12. Porgs are friends, not food… to most
As soon as a picture of Chewbacca with feathers all over his mouth surfaced on the internet, people began to talk: is it possible that everyone’s favorite Wookiee was, in fact, capable of eating these precious little creatures we were led to believe he’d befriend?
While we don’t know exactly what will become of the porgs in their encounters with Chewbacca, another potential predator has reared its ugly head. Via information in a few Star Wars children’s books, it’s been suggested that the Caretakers, another species native to Ahch-To, may in fact hunt and eat the porgs.
11. They were inspired by puffins seen in Ireland while filming
For the scenes set on the newly introduced planet Ahch-To, where Luke Skywalker has been in hiding for an undisclosed amount of time, filming took place on the island of Skellig Michael in Ireland.
It was during preparation for these scenes that writer and director Rian Johnson first became enamored with the seabirds he found there.
In an interview with Entertainment Weekly, Johnson explained how the prominent puffin population during that time of year led to the creation of Ahch-To’s porgs: “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. 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.”
10. They’re roughly ten inches tall, but male porgs are taller than female porgs
Toys are rarely ever reliable sources of size information for the real thing. There are porg toys out there as small as a few centimeters high, and there are giant four foot tall stuffed porgs out there in the great consumer wilderness, too. However, according to the official report on The Last Jedi from People Magazine, real porgs are about ten inches tall.
Rian Johnson’s quick facts about porgs that he shared on Twitter further complicate this statistic, however, as he notes that male porgs are taller than female porgs. In that case, either male porgs are ten inches tall and female porgs are even smaller, or female porgs are ten inches tall and male porgs are maybe closer to about a foot.
9. Baby porgs are called porglets
A majority of species have adorably small offsprings with similarly adorable diminutive names for these tiny babies: ducks have ducklings, cats have kittens, dogs have puppies, and so on. So of course the cutest creature in the whole galaxy had to have a suitably cute baby name.
According to Pablo Hidalgo of the Lucasfilm Story Group, baby porgs are known as “porglets,” much like baby owls are owlets. We don’t know much about what baby porgs are like beyond that, besides a promise that we will definitely see them in some form in The Last Jedi.
However, if a certain toy design is to be believed… well, they may be a whole lot cuter in name than in appearance.
8. They were created with both puppets and CGI
For much of the press tour leading up to The Force Awakens, J.J. Abrams proudly discussed how they had been able to create much of the movie using practical effects. A few instances naturally required special effects, with Supreme Leader Snoke being an obvious example, but explosions and creatures were primarily practical.
Also, in The Last Jedi, the porgs become an unlikely source for the meeting of both practical and special effects. The fuzzy little seabird aliens were created using both fully formed animatronic puppets and standard CGI editing.
7. A group of porgs is called a murder
Just as baby animals have unique and distinctive names, groups of names are pretty hard to forget as well– a den of lions, a pack of wolves, a mischief of mice, etc.
According to Rian Johnson on Twitter, a grouping of porgs is called a “murder.” Given the lack of clear tone on all things Twitter related, it’s hard to know if he’s being entirely serious. Nevertheless, there is a precedent for a group of birds being called a murder, with both ravens and crows existing in groups known as murders.
6. Okay, fine, maybe they’re a way to sell toys to kids
Star Wars doesn’t have the best track record with fans when it comes to introducing the cute factor into their films. Fans may have come around to the Ewoks, particularly thanks to new generation of fans and an increase of adorable merchandise, but early reactions to the bloodthirsty teddy bear-like creatures weren’t exactly warm and fuzzy.
We all know what happened when Lucasfilm tried to introduce cutesy comic relief into the prequels: the great Jar Jar Binks debate will likely never end. There was also initially a good amount of push back for the BB-8 character, as he was deemed too cutesy and cartoonish for a droid.
Now, we have porgs– perhaps the cutest character in all of the galaxy. So it goes without saying that, if some of these previously mentioned characters were created with a marketing component in mind, the porgs may be the culmination and perfection of the plot-meets-product mentality.
5. They apparently spent a lot of time filming on the Millennium Falcon
With Star Wars being as highly secretive as it is, we really don’t know much of anything about the role the porgs will have in the film, beyond the fact that they’re found on Ahch-To and interact with the characters found there.
However, thanks to a slight slip on John Boyega’s part while being interviewed by Jimmy Kimmel during his special Star Wars-centric episode, we may know a little more about what the movie has in store for the porgs: they may be getting off that island after all. At the very least, they spend a lot of time on the Millennium Falcon.
As Boyega describes it, “on the Falcon, there was a hole, and there were little porgs all bunched together, and then there were big ones… They were there, planted, made, like for the shooting.“
4. They were also inspired by seals and pugs
While the porgs may have originally been conceived of as totally avian, later design influences explain their truly quirky and unique look that has left fans everywhere puzzling over exactly what the creatures are meant to resemble.
According to Creature Supervisor Neal Scanlan, “The idea was that they’re sort of puffins, crossed with seals, crossed with sort of maybe a pug dog.” Once you know that bizarre creative combination, it’s pretty easy to see each source in the finished product. The squat stature fits both the puffin and the pug, with the wide eyes characteristic of both seals and pugs.
3. They’re called “inquisitive creatures,” which basically means they’re troublemakers
Whether it’s in much quoted interview soundbites, on the packaging for any of a number of hard to find porg toys, or in official press releases on what the porgs are like, you’d be hard pressed to find a variation of the porg description that doesn’t refer to them as “inquisitive creatures.”
By emphasizing their curious nature, Lucasfilm and Disney are clearly trying to prepare viewers for porgs who are nowhere near as innocent as their cute and fluffy appearances would lead them to believe.
2. They may not have the best relationship with Chewbacca
For months now, the exact nature of the relationship between Chewbacca and the porgs has been a hot topic of discussion. As soon as it was first suggested that he would bond with the little furry creatures, the internet practically melted at the adorable thought.
However, when it became apparent, due to the previously discussed promotional still of Chewbacca with feathers in his mouth, that they may not be the most well-suited odd couple out there, theories soon took a turn for the darker side of things.
With one of the latest promos showing an irate Chewbacca irritably shoving a poor unsuspecting porg so hard that it flies into a window, we’re gonna guess that these two are much more frenemies, than friends.
1. John Boyega really does not like them
John Boyega very well may be the heart and soul of the new group of Star Wars cast members. Infectiously positive and energetic, and with one of the most hilarious Twitter accounts in all the land, there’s no way that the talented man behind reformed Stormtrooper Finn wouldn’t be a beloved star.
However, there very well may be a dark wrinkle in the tale of Boyega’s unending positivity: apparently, he really does not like porgs– at all. In the press tour so far, he has expressed his immense dislike of porgs many times, including likening them to groups of bugs with bottomless eyes that remind him of holes in trees.
He also copped to being perhaps the only cast member who is decidedly “anti-porg” during the cast’s recent appearance on Jimmy Kimmel Live.
Whether Finn and the porgs interact on-screen remains to seen, but for now, it’s clear that Boyega and the porgs will never have a great relationship off-screen.
Are you pro-porg or anti-porg? Let us know in the comments!
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