First Porg of Halloween Season talks meeting giddy Last Jedi director Rian Johnson

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Oct 27, 2017

The Season of the Porg is upon us, so get ready for a bunch of people dressing up as the uber-cute puffin-esque creatures from Star Wars: The Last Jedi this Halloween. However, one of those individuals may have already won the Porg costume contest, and the haunted holiday is still four days away.

That lucky person would be Dana Wickens, producer at several media outlets like Earwolf, the Off Book podcast, and the Homophilia podcast. You see, Dana not only donned Porg-themed attire at a Halloween party on Thursday night, but she also got some great photos with The Last Jedi's writer and director, Rian Johnson (Brick, Looper), who asked her for a photo.

"Rian actually came up to me first!" she tells SYFY WIRE. "He was SO excited! He asked to take a picture with me first, which was amazing and flattering, and was just the absolute nicest guy."

You can check out his excitement on Twitter below:

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According to Wickens, she had no clue that Johnson would even be at the low-key Halloween shindig at her friend's boyfriend's house, nor was she even required to dress up.

"[I] decided to wear the costume, even though it wasn't explicitly a costume party," says Wickens. "I truly had no idea Rian was going to be there, or that he was friendly with anyone at the party, but true to L.A./entertainment industry fashion, right when I walked in, my friend who was hosting said, 'So, Rian Johnson is here ... '"

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Wickens may just be the "First Porg of the Season," but Johnson's reaction solidifies the amount of effort and love that went into the costume. Despite the excellent detail, though, it only took two nights to put the finished product together, she says.

"Lots of felt, stuffing, a men's XL hoodie, a hat, and constant glue-gun action. I used my Porg stuffed animal that my co-worker had gifted me as an inspiration [laughs]."

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The overall experience was surreal, to say the least. "I mean, it's pretty insane to make a costume of a creature from a Star Wars movie that's not even out yet, and then have THAT director, who essentially championed the Porg itself, just happen to be at the same party. And vice versa! I'm sure he was not expecting any Porg cosplay until at least 2018," says Wickens.

It's never too early to become a Porg fan!

"When I first saw the image of the Porg released ahead of the trailer release / toy release, I was IMMEDIATELY obsessed," says Wickens, who was drawn toward "the giant eyes and cute / weird bird-ness."

The Porgs, who make their debut in Episode VIII, are native to the planet Ahch-To, specifically the landmass that serves as the site for an ancient Jedi temple where Luke Skywalker (Mark Hamill) took up his self-imposed exile prior to the events of The Force Awakens, and where he will train Rey (Daisy Ridley) in The Last Jedi. Their creation was actually based upon the puffins that are native to the actual shooting location of Ahch-To, the Skellig Michael island in Ireland.

The world got its first good look at the creatures and the noises they make in the latest trailer for the film. Speaking of the trailer, it was this very preview that did away with Wickens' ambivalence about the costume.

"When I first casually thought of the idea to be a Porg for Halloween, I was actually a little tentative since I was afraid it was way too early ... no one would have any idea what I was," she says. "But once the trailer released with that AMAZING Porg clip of Chewie and the Porg making little (battle?) cries, it was a full-court green light for me."

Controversy has already sprung up around the adorable little animals, with some comparing them to Jar Jar, while others liken them more to Ewoks. Whichever side of the argument you fall on, you can catch the Porgs in theaters on Dec. 13.

As for Dana, she's Team Porg all the way. "I honestly could not be more excited for Porgs in the Star Wars universe," she says. "I think especially now more than ever, we could all use any and all giant-eyed, bizarro, ultra-cute bird creatures that make weird noises! To me, it's all positive, and there's no need for any negative Porg hot takes. Proud to be a member of #PorgNation!"

And for good measure, he's another picture of Mr. Johnson's reaction to the costume, in case we weren't driving his elation home hard enough:

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