Meet the Porgs: Chewbacca’s New Chums, or Chow?

Star Wars Porg

The Star Wars universe is packed with strange creatures that have captivated audiences worldwide for 40 years, such as the mighty Rancor, deadly Acklay, and powerful Colo Claw Fish. However, will audiences be able to handle the overwhelming cuteness of the Porgs when Star Wars: The Last Jedi releases this December?

Remember the cliff hanger where Rey meets Luke Skywalker on the remote planet of Ahch-To at the end of Star Wars: The Force Awakens? It turns out that these puffy fluff-balls are the planet’s literal cliff-hangers. Rian Johnson, the film’s director, shared his inspiration for the fearless creatures:

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.

These chubby feathered creatures are known for flittering around, building nests for their baby porglets, and since the planet of Ahch-To gets very few visitors, porgs are far more curious than skittish. Porgs will be brought to life in the movie using a combination of puppetry and digital effects.

Although The Last Jedi looks like it will be a darker entry for the Star Wars series, the porgs will likely be a lighthearted bright spot in the movie — a role previously held by the Ewoks, Jar-Jar Binks, and BB-8. Disney has already shown off an upcoming children’s picture book called Chewie and the Porgs, but rumors are already swirling that Chewbacca might not appreciate these owl-puppies as much as your kids will.

Chewbacca lost his best friend in the previous chapter, and hasn’t had a moment to mourn Han Solo’s loss by the time he’s touched down the Millennium Falcon on Ahch-To to help Rey find Luke Skywalker. The cutesy book cover shows a cheery Chewie smiling at his new porg pals on the way to what appears to be a fishing trip, but a photo of Chewbacca sitting in the Falcon’s cockpit with what looks like a porg feather on his lips teases at a different story — it’s not wise to upset a grieving Wookie.

Whether you appreciate the cute and silly elements of Star Wars or not, don’t be discouraged by the porgs. They’re just a small and sweet part of a much larger universe, and you might appreciate taking in the playful antics of a flock of porgs before learning why Episode 8 has the seemingly dark title of “The Last Jedi.”