Over the years, the Star Wars franchise has introduced many adorable non-human characters for fans to gush over. There were the Ewoks in the original trilogy, while Star Wars: The Force Awakens offered a lovable new droid in the form of BB-8.
Now, before Star Wars: The Last Jedi is even released, Lucasfilm has unleashed another cute creature species from the upcoming eighth episode of the #StarWars saga that has seemingly already become a fan favorite, judging by the enthusiastic way fans have reacted to them. Actor Joonas Suotamo, who plays Chewbacca in The Last Jedi, definitely felt the competition from his new co-star, as is apparent in his tweet on the species' introduction in Entertainment Weekly:
Yes, we are talking about the Porgs, the small puffin-like creatures that look like Furbies with large beady eyes and furry wings. According to StarWars.com, the #Porgs are native to Ahch-to, the idyllic island that is home to the first Jedi Temple and where Luke Skywalker has been hiding out in exile until Rey arrives with #Chewbacca in tow.
Porgs can fly, run, and will bite when provoked. They also seem to be a whole lot of trouble, judging by their escapades in the recent episodes of Star Wars Blips, the franchise's #animated shorts series on YouTube.
In an interview with Entertainment Weekly, The Last Jedi writer-director Rian Johnson revealed that he was inspired to create the cute critters after he discovered puffins on the Irish island of Skellig Michael, where the final scenes of The Force Awakens were shot.
“If you go to Skellig at the right time of year, it’s just covered in puffins, and they’re the most adorable things in the world. So when I was first scouting there, I saw these guys, and I was like, oh, these are part of the island. And so the Porgs are in that realm.”
As to what the Porgs' role could be in The Last Jedi, the only information so far is that Johnson created them for "comic relief" – which isn't exactly a comforting thought for fans still reeling from the unfortunate Jar Jar Binks, the annoying Gungan who was created by George Lucas primarily for comic relief in the Star Wars prequels.
Porgs: Friends, Foes Or A Wookiee's Woes?
At the end of Star Wars: The Force Awakens, we see Rey arriving at Ahch-To in the Millennium Falcon with Chewbacca and R2-D2. With Rey likely to spend much time trying to convince Luke to teach her the ways of the Force, we reckon there will be plenty of situations where Chewbacca and R2-D2 interact with the native inhabitants of the island.
In fact, it's a sure thing that the Porgs will be part of Chewie's life, as there will be an upcoming children’s book entitled Chewie and the Porgs. The book's cover shows everybody's favorite Wookiee being followed by a murder of Porgs (that's the official term for a group of Porgs, as confirmed by Johnson).
What Do Fans Think Of The Porgs?
Ever since #Lucasfilm introduced the Porgs in July, the reaction from Star Wars fans on social media has been nothing short of ecstatic. For one, the cuddly little critters have inspired a lot of fan art, as well as evoke ideas on what role they could be playing in the next Star Wars film. Here's a selection of the best we've seen on Twitter so far.
This fan created an artpiece that is definitely not meant for a children's book cover! Meanwhile, instead of complaining about flight delays, another creative fan used his waiting time to doodle Porgs doing Yoga, which he termed "Porga."
Another imagined how the Porgs will take to Luke on the island. Rumors suggest that while Porgs are affectionate towards Luke, they won't be showing as much love for Rey.
One Star Wars Rebels fan even paid a cool Porg tribute to executive producer Dave Filoni, complete with his trademark cowboy hat.
Meanwhile, there's a couple of Jabba the Hutt sympathizers who felt that the Porgs are there mainly to serve as Wookiee comfort food after an on-set shot of Chewie with feathers in his mouth was 'leaked'.
And surprisingly, he's not the only one! Another enterprising fan even demonstrated just how Chewbacca may fancy his Porg dinner...
Whether they'll be the latest Star Wars villains, Chewie's new BFFs or simply comic relief, we're going out on a limb and state that they are very likely to become the new Ewoks (whose only crime is that they are cute and huggable) rather than the next Jar Jar Binks. Let's hope we'll be proven right!
Star Wars: The Last Jedi flies into theaters on December 15.
What do you think of the Porgs? Let us know in the comments below!