One of the most popular and divisive things to appear in Star Wars: The Last Jedi are those little bird things that are flying around Luke Skywalker at Ahch-To. To some, these creatures are the cutest thing since the Easter bunny. Others find them something entirely different. The porgs were created out of necessity. The inhabitants on island Skellig Michael, discovered by director Rian Johnson, were a bunch of puffins. Johnson had few options for what to do with the locals. This was mainly because the island is a wildlife preserve so there was nothing he could physically do with them. That means that there had to be a creative solution. Digitally removing them in post-production would be a lot of work and could lead to a lot of complications. Instead, Johnson decided to incorporate them into the story and create a version of the puffin that would appear on Ahch-To. From there, the porgs were born.
Concept designer Jake Lunt Davies for Star Wars: The Last Jedi recently shared about the process of creating porgs to StarWars.com. He also shared what influenced the final product. He said, “It was influenced by a seal and a pug dog and the puffin. The big eyes of a seal or the big eyes of a pug dog and the sort of funny, ugly face [of a pug]. I mean, pug dogs aren’t, by their nature, obviously cute. There are other animals and there are other cartoon creatures, I suppose, which are very obviously cute, and the porg doesn’t necessarily take what you think is obviously cute. But something like a pug dog is actually quite cute. There’s something incredibly appealing about it. Maybe it’s the big eyes. But like a pug, porgs have this very sort of sad, neutral face.”
Before the movie had even reached theaters, there was a general obsession about these creatures. They may be small. They may be cute (or not). They may even be pointless. However, they are powerful! Here are three reasons why porgs are powerful and why they will continue to be moving forward. Please feel free to comment on your thoughts about porgs in the comments below. Just be warned, there might be a few minor spoilers in my reasoning. Nothing that will ruin the movie but… if you want to be completely surprised about porgs, stop reading now and go read one of our other articles on DAPs Magic.
- Porgs are Cute – Let’s face it, porgs are cute. They are small, round, with big eyes, and naturally look like a plush toy that children will want to take to bed. With this cuteness comes an ability to work their way into hearts and manipulate them. Think I’m wrong? Just look at how many posts went up on ‘take your porg to work day.’ Go to your local Target or other store with toys and look at how many different porgs can be found on the shelves. Oh yea, they are also on shirts, sweaters, sweatshirts, beanies, and I even saw one on a coffee cup sleeve! The cuteness of the porgs are influencing many a pocketbook and it is powerful.
- Porgs are Prevalent – Porgs are everywhere. They cover the island of Ahch-To and now that they have boarded the Millennium Falcon, there is the possibility that they will end up doing the same throughout the galaxy (could they become Star Wars version of Star Trek’s tribbles!?!?). They don’t even have to be great at anything, they can just be plentiful.
- Porgs are Resourceful – Porgs are resourceful. Just how resourceful, we haven’t seen yet perhaps. Or maybe we have. Either way, they figure out how to stow away aboard the Millennium Falcon. They also figure out how to get into the wiring and are a match for Chewie in the cockpit. If their intentions had been nefarious, there could have been a very different progession to the movie. If they are fans of the light side of the Force, they could definitely do some damage aboard some First Order ships. Oh yea, they have teeth not beaks…
At the end of the day, porgs are just a creative way that Rian Johnson created lemonade out of lemons from the problem of puffins on Skellig Michael. They are not nearly as big in the story as something like Ewoks. They are adorable and probably taste good too. Overall, they are a fun addition to the Star Wars universe. They have some adorable moments in Star Wars: The Last Jedi, and they will probably be quite popular in stores for quite some time. Oh, and I also look forward to more porg videos coming out on the internet… What do YOU think of porgs?