Love or hate them, porgs are here to stay, because you can’t get rid of them. The porgs nearly stole the show in the widely popular Star Wars: The Last Jedi, where Luke Skywalker trains hopeful padawan Rey in the ways of the Force and why the Jedi must live on an island filled with these wide-eyed alien birds. Despite not having a deep meaning in the overall plot or character development of the film, the making of the porgs’ sound is a story all its own.
Sound designer Ren Klyce revealed the origin of the porgs’ chirps in a new interview with CinemaBlend. “At Skywalker Sound there's a chicken coop with these little chickens, and Coya Elliott, our first assistant, went down and recorded those chickens,” Klyce said. “And then we took that sound and slowed it down and stretched it out and found little chirps. We found this man who releases doves at weddings, and we asked him to come down so we could record them." The sound is a combination of a turkey call, chickens, and a dove mixed into one melodious porg shriek, according to Klyce.
The original concept for the porg was inspired by the massive puffin population on Skellig Michael island, where Luke Skywalker takes refuge in the story. The Last Jedi director Rian Johnson approached the film’s concept designer to find a way to use the puffins to their advantage, because there was no way to move them while shooting. “You can’t remove them. You physically can’t get rid of them. And digitally removing them is an issue and a lot of work, so let’s just roll with it, play with it,” Davies told StarWars.com.
Spoiler alert: We might not see the porgs’ home in future Star Wars installments. But they did invade the Millennium Falcon, so we could get to hear their eclectic hybrid bird coo in Episode IX in 2019.