We need to talk about the most important takeaway from Star Wars: The Last Jedi's final trailer. No, not Kylo Ren's inconsistent facial scars (Seriously, am I the only one who noticed that?), and no, not that badass showdown between Finn and Captain Phasma. Those pale in comparison to this. We need to talk about something far more sinister threatening the galaxy. Something that will almost certainly upend life as we know it in the coming months, causing alliances to shift and fundamental truths to be questioned.
We need to talk about Porgs.
Porgs, my unsuspecting friends. Can you hear them on the horizon? Flapping their cute little wings. Running on their cute little feet. They're coming for us, and there's not much we can do about it.
A few months ago, LucasFilm teased the new Star Wars creatures, and none of us thought much of them. In fact, the Internet largely seemed to take them for granted. Sure, they looked adorable, with their squeezable fluffiness and ridiculously large eyes, but so what? The Star Wars series is full of odd and endearing alien life. Porgs, we scoffed, would be a walk in the park.
But we were wrong. So very wrong.
The Porg is marketing perfection. Looking back, Ewoks were a trial run by comparison. They had all the makings of the Porgs, but George Lucas and company went all-in too quickly, making the tribal teddy bears a suspiciously fundamental component of Return of the Jedi's plot. Furry little primitive warriors were fine, and single-handedly taking down a technologically advanced Empire ground force could work, in theory, but then...well...I have two words for you: Yub. Nub.
Ewoks were just too obvious of a marketing ploy, so Lucas later tried honing in on one character from a larger species. This one would talk and interact with characters, serving as supposedly sympathetic comic relief. By being a main character, he could influence the plot in a way that seemed at least somewhat natural. But we all know how that went. The less said about Jar Jar, the better. Unless you want to discuss this obviously totally true Sith conspiracy theory.
Since then, Lucas passed the Star Wars torch to Disney, leaving the franchise in the hands of other creators, while Hollywood approached ancillary anthropomorphic sidekick singularity without ever quite reaching it. Baby Groot is Jar Jar without all that weird racial baggage. The three-eyed aliens of Toy Story are oddly cultish and charming like Ewoks, but the real champions here are the Minions of Despicable Me, soulless entities so successful they got a spin-off film and have another in the works, copious merchandising, memes, and ironic post-modern memes of memes. Even if you're ridiculing them, they're still occupying space in pop culture, thereby staying relevant and undeniably, unstoppably lucrative. See? Even the backlash against those sentient Twinkie horrors was a success for Illumination. We just can't win here, people.
I thought we had rounded the bend in pop culture, that we'd seen the darkest we could go with Minions. But I forgot the most fundamental lesson in life: Just when you think humanity is at its cruelest, it manages to outdo itself.
After last night's brief glimpse of a Porg in action, the Internet went into one of its full meltdown modes... and that was from literally one second of Porg action. We aren't ready for an entire movie that includes them. Porgs are a distillation of the past forty years of movie marketing -- they are nonthreatening, hilariously cute, and enjoyable for both the young and old. But like Death herself, Porgs will one day claim us all, young and old alike.
So prepare yourself as best you can before The Last Jedi hits theaters. You may think you can withstand the Porg's charm, that you've lived through all manner of market-tested comfort creatures. But nothing can prepare you for what is coming this December. It is, as always, best summarized by a certain legendary Admiral.
I mean, look, I there's no denying that they're funny looking. Perfectly shaped for a couch pillow, too. And did you see when one of them did that little chirping roar next to Chewie in the trailer? I was all, "Oh man, I just can't even with this!"
...Oh no. God help me.
The Porg-pocalypse is coming.
Arriving in theaters Dec. 15, director Rian Johnson’s 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.