While fans get ready for the Blu-ray and DVD release of The Last Jedi on March 27, a new preview was released that shows how the lovable creatures known as the Porgs were created. This preview, entitled “Meet the Porgs,” will only be available on the Target exclusive Blu-ray, which takes fans behind-the-scenes on Skellig Michael Island during the production. Fans even get to see the unique birds that are native to Skellig Michael Island known as the “puffins,” which served as the inspiration for the Porgs.
The video opens with director Rian Johnson stating that a good portion of the Star Wars: The Last Jedi story takes place on Ahch-to, which was filmed at Skellig Michael Island, a “bird sanctuary off the southwest coast of Ireland.” Producer Ram Bergman, who has produced all of Rian Johnson’s films including Brick, The Brothers Bloom and Looper, revealed that once they saw all of these birds known as “puffins” on the island, they thought the movie should have a creature like that, thus giving birth to the Porgs. This video even features a brief behind-the-scenes shot with Mark Hamill, who states that Rian came up with the Porgs, and the Porgs are the new puffins.
Rian Johnson also reveals that he enlisted iconic Star Wars creature designer Neil Scanlan to come up with the design for these Porgs. Neil Scanlan reveals that his team went to work right away, while also revealing some of the early sketches from his team, which all seem to be roughly the same size as the Porgs that were ultimately created, but many of them were quite different, in terms of the wings and the overall look. Ultimately, the look that Rian Johnson sparked to was a simple design that Scanlan described as, “an egg with wings, eyes and a sad little mouth.”
Once the rough design was approved, Scanlan added that the following weeks and months were spent honing this creature until they ultimately came up with the final design. Long before fans even knew what they were, there had been rumors of these tiny creatures that inhabited Ahch-to, before they were finally unveiled as the Porgs. These creatures are native to Ahch-to, who, along with another group of larger creatures known as Caretakers, protect the planet. LucasFilm’s Pablo Hidalgo revealed in an interview before the release of The Last Jedi that the Porgs can build nests and fly, and their babies are called porglets.
The Porgs were the subject of a mild controversy last year when it was revealed that Chewbacca (Joonas Suotamo) has a tendency to eat these diminutive creatures, although it remains to be seen if we’ll ever see them again, after the death of Luke Skywalker at the end of The Last Jedi. While it’s possible that Rey (Daisy Ridley) could return to Ahch-to to complete her training, thus giving fans a new chance to see the Porgs and the Caretakers in Star Wars 9, it isn’t confirmed if that will happen. Take a look at this new behind-the-scenes video, courtesy of Entertainment Tonight, as we wait for the Star Wars: The Last Jedi Blu-ray and DVD release on March 27.