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Everyone is Losing it Over the The Last Jedi‘s Porgs

As the new Star Wars: The Last Jedi trailer was winning the internet yesterday, one particular new member of the galaxy was drawing the most heat—porgs. Like BB-8 in The Force Awakens, Ewoks in The Return of the Jedi, and, of course, R2-D2 in the very first A New Hope, there’s always an inhuman star of any new film in the franchise, one that people usually love, or, in the case of the Ewoks, bitterly contest for decades. (We will not speak, of course, of failed attempts at this, like Jar Jar Binks. We should mention, however, the clever reversal of this idea, the intimdating-but-ultimately-heroic droid, K-2S0, memorably played by Alan Tudyk in Rogue One.) The difference between now and then, of course, is the ferocious speed with which a minor character is elevated into meme status, thanks of course to the Internet and photoshop masters like Twitter’s beloved Darth. This means a new creature like a porg can become a thing long before the film even opens. 

This is what happened when the new Last Jedi trailer debuted. Within minutes, literally, the Internet had a vivid case of porg fever. The furry little creature was actually inspired by real life puffins, tiny, adorable birds with brightly colored beaks that were all over the island of Michael Skellig, where they shot all the Ahch-To scenes in the film, the isolated planet where Rey finds Luke. When writer/director Rian Johnson was scouting there, he encountered the puffins and thought about how these little creatures were a part of that island’s ecosystem. This is what gave him the idea for the porgs, native creatures to Ahch-To who have lived side-by-side with Luke during his long exile. They were then breathed to life by Neal Scanlan’s creature shop, turned into the furry little creatures with the tiny wings and wide black eyes that have given The Last Jedi fans and the internet as a whole such a jolt.

In the new trailer, there is literally about two seconds of porg action, but it was more than enough. One of the creatures has managed to slip inside the Millennium Falcon, and we see him/her seated next to Chewie as the Falcon takes off. It’s that cry and little wing flap that the porg gives that either melted the internet’s heart or fired up its joke-engine, because we’ve been living in a porg world ever since.

Naturally, this reaction is precisely the intended effect. The genius marketing teams for Lucasfilm and Walt Disney Studios knew they had a potential hit on their hands when they took one look at the porgs, and, as Wired points out, Lucasfilm has been touting porgs for months, beginning back in July at the D23 expo that revealed this behind-the-scenes video that prominently featured the little scamps. If you were wondering just how cute the porgs are designed to be, consider that Lucasfilm story group’s Pablo Hidalgo revealed that a porg baby is called a “porglet.” Yeah, you might as well send them your credit card information right this second.

There’s gonna be porg toys, of course, porg mugs, porg pajamas, and there’s already enough tributes on Tumblr to start a porg army. How many porgs might you see on Halloween? A lot. But what the internet is best at, for good and for ill, is the memes.

You’ll be seeing the porgs in action when The Last Jedi hits theaters on December 15. Until then, you’ll be seeing them more like this:

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The Credits is an online magazine that tells the story behind the story to celebrate our large and diverse creative community. Focusing on profiles of below-the-line filmmakers, The Credits celebrates the often uncelebrated individuals who are indispensable to the films and TV shows we love.

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