Star Wars: The Last Jedi’s porgs and silver foxes get an evolutionary backstory

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Oct 31, 2017, 11:43 AM EDT

Well, at least now we know they’re not ice foxes. With only six weeks to go before release, the drip feed of details surrounding the lore and expanding world of Star Wars: The Last Jedi continues apace, giving us some much-needed clarity about a pair of new creatures we’ve already fallen hard for.

Oscar-winning special effects artist Neal Scanlan has given Empire a nice batch of fresh insights into the evolutionary backstory for those glimmering little foxes teased in the back half of the movie’s recent trailer.

As Scanlan makes crystal-clear, the silver-white foxy creatures are the products of a slow, isolated evolution that has imbued their bodies with the salty crystalline substance that pervades their habitat on Crait, the remote planet used by the Rebel Alliance as an outpost during the escalating years of the conflict with the Empire.

“The theory,” Scanlan told Empire, “is they’ve fed off this planet for so long that their fur has become crystalline. They’ve taken on the very surface of the planet they live on.”

All that’s left now is to get an official word on what to call these little fellas.

What, you thought we weren’t gonna mention porgs? Yoosa be ashamed!

Scanlan also touched on the specific nature of the relationship between the porg seen with Chewbacca in the cockpit of of the Millennium Falcon during one of the trailer’s especially hairy dogfights.

Being pals with a walking carpet evidently has had some effect on the little guy, since, as Scanlan says, “that porg in particular shows some very Wookiee traits in the way he’s coloured; his patterning is very similar to Chewie’s.”

Could the puffin-like creatures possess the chameleonic ability to adapt their appearance to their physical surroundings, then? Or are we looking at more of a spirit animal kind of thing, where the sharing of a close bond has the power to affect the porgs’ appearance?

The answers are coming. The Last Jedi releases on December 15.

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