The last image to appear onscreen before Star Wars: The Force Awakens concluded was Rey extending a lightsaber to its rightful owner, Luke Skywalker, on the planet Ahch-To. New details for the next installment in the Star Wars franchise, The Last Jedi, reveal Luke had some company on his self-imposed exile, in the form of porgs and a new alien race called the Caretakers.
First up are the porgs, who are little furry creatures with rather large eyes that are native to Ahch-To, which so happens to be the site of the first Jedi temple. The inspiration for the porgs came during the filming of The Force Awakens‘ final moments on the Irish island of Skellig Michael. Writer and director Rian Johnson told Entertainment Weekly, ““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,” Johnson tells EW. “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.”
The former Jedi temple has local residents of its own, called the Caretakers. “They’re kind of these sort of fish-bird type aliens who live on the island,” Johnson explained. “They’ve been there for thousands of years, and they essentially keep up the structures on the island.”
“They’re all female, and I wanted them to feel like a remote sort of little nunnery,” the writer/director continued. “Neal Scanlan’s crew designed them, and costume designer Michael Kaplan made these working clothes that also reflected sort of a nun-like, spartan sort of existence.”
The Caretakers communicate with Luke through “a blubbery sort of Scottish fish talk,” and apparently they’re not fans of having Luke hang around their home.
“You get the sense they did at some point or maybe they occasionally do [return to the sea,] but when we see them, they’re land creatures,” Johnson says. “They’re these big matronly creatures, but they have these little skinny little bird feet. They were really fun to work with on set.”
Arriving Dec. 15, Star Wars: The Last Jedi stars Mark Hamill, Carrie Fisher, Adam Driver, Daisy Ridley, John Boyega, Oscar Isaac, Lupita Nyong’o, Domhnall Gleeson, Anthony Daniels, Gwendoline Christie, Andy Serkis, Benicio del Toro, Laura Dern and Kelly Marie Tran.
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