When you watched the behind-the-scenes reel of Star Wars: The Last Jedi from D23 Expo, you probably said "Aww" or some variation of that out loud at one point in the footage: our first look at the little feathered creatures called Porgs. First rumored by MakingStarWars several months ago, these are creatures native to Ahch-To, the mysterious planet that Luke Skywalker, and the first Jedi Temple, are holed up on.
In a new feature on StarWars.com, Story Group executive Pablo Hidalgo revealed a bit more about the Porgs, including new concept art by Stéphane Kardos.
Created by writer/director Rian Johnson, the creatures are "in many ways the Star Wars version of puffins," Hidalgo explains. Despite their pudgy, round bodies, Porgs can fly, build nests, and have babies, called porglets. Porgs are relatively friendly (or at least curious about their human visitors).
On the technical side, porgs are created through the combined effort of practical and digital effects for The Last Jedi, much as BB-8 was for The Force Awakens. Practical, working robotic porgs, able to be puppeteered, were used for some scenes, while others feature entirely CGI versions of the birds.
These are the second birds introduced recently in the Star Wars galaxy, following the Convorees on Star Wars Rebels (commonly referred to by fans as "Force owls" due to their apparent connection to Ahsoka Tano and the Force). Many speculated from the first description of the porgs that they were in fact convorees, but we now know that's not the case.
Regardless, these adorable creatures will undoubtedly be highly-sought-after plush toys in the near future. As Hidalgo said, "I think a lot of people are going to want a porg as a pet."
Star Wars: The Last Jedi is in theaters December 15, 2017.