EW’s coverage of Star Wars: The Last Jedi continues today with a new look inside the cockpit of the Millennium Falcon, which finds Chewbacca basking in a rather ominous red glow alongside a furry little co-pilot.
Known as a porg, this pint-sized addition to the Star Wars canon is best described as a fantastical mix of a penguin and a wide-eyed puffin, with a little Grumpy Cat thrown in there for good measure. As previously reported, these critters are native to the planet of Ahch-To (site of the first Jedi Temple), where Mark Hamill’s Luke Skywalker has spent much of his exile before the sudden arrival of Rey.
As products of Neal Scanlan’s creature shop – replete with animatronic wings and responsive eyes – the porgs are practically guaranteed to become fan favorites by the time Force Friday rolls around on September 1st, and here, writer-director Rian Johnson offers some insight into their genesis.
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.
And though they may steal the headlines with their cute, puppy dog eyes, there’s another extra-terrestrial race that considers Ahch-To home, and that’s The Caretakers. Included in the gallery above, these ancient beings are the wise counterpart to the kid-friendly porgs, with Johnson comparing his “fish-bird” aliens to loyal religious women.
They’re kind of these sort of fish-bird type aliens who live on the island. They’ve been there for thousands of years, and they essentially keep up the structures on the island. They’re all female, and I wanted them to feel like a remote sort of little nunnery. Neal Scanlan’s crew designed them, and costume designer Michael Kaplan made these working clothes that also reflected sort of a nun-like, spartan sort of existence.
From the porgs to The Caretakers to the promise of “gorilla-like” AT-AT walkers, Star Wars: The Last Jedi is all set to introduce a wave of new content to that galaxy far, far away, which only echoes Johnson’s previous claims about balancing the old with the new. December 15th is the date for your diaries.
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