Porgs might be the most well-liked addition to the Star Wars iniverse in recent memory. The diminutive extraterrestrial species made their franchise debut in 2017's StarWars: The Last Jedi and quickly endeared themselves to the franchise's devoted fans.
Now, CBR is taking a look back at Porgs, from the role they played in that far, far away galaxy to how the creatures evolved from some of the early designs and concept art.
WHAT ARE PORGS?
As an indigenous species to the largely oceanic world of Ahch-To, Progs nest on cliff faces of the islands scattered across the planet, since they have limited flight capability. Roughly a foot tall, Porgs are bird-like creatures with wings and crow-like feet several inches below their main body. The creatures have large expressive eyes and can screech when excited or in distress.
A hungry Chewbacca had successfully caught a Porg and was roasting it over an open fire before other Porgs gathered and watched the Wookie in horror, putting off his appetite. Only occasionally seen on the planet afterwards, a Porg manages to stowaway on the Millennium Falcon when Chewie, Rey, and R2-D2 leave the planet to support the Resistance on Crait. The lone Porg kept Chewbacca company in the cockpit as Rey manned the Falcon's turrets to fire upon the First Order.
THE PORGS' DESIGN
According to The Last Jedi creature concept designer Jake Lunt Davies, the primary inspiration for Porgs came from species found on the island filming location of Skellig, Ireland. The island was a safe haven for puffins, with hundreds of the aquatic fowl populating the filming location, which lead filmmaker Rian Johnson to consider taking advantage of the species with slight modifications to give Ahch-To its own avian indigenous species.
Taking further inspiration from seal mammals including seals and beavers, Porgs were given large eyes and a droopy face like pugs to give them a cuter appearance rather than completely appear derivative of puffins. Once Davies had developed the initial shape of a Porg resembling that of an egg, the designer then continued to fill out the alien bird's features to give it a vaguely sad expression to make it more endearing to the audience by giving the creatures a visible personality.
WHAT THE PORGS COULD'VE LOOKED LIKE
The color scheme of the Porgs changed numerous times before a relatively realistic palate was selected for their appearance. Davies noticed that puffins have a noticeable rainbow coloration around their beaks and similarly shifted the coloration to the Porgs' eyes to give them an additional visual flair. Once the final model for the Porgs' overall appearance was developed, Davies created ten digital 3D models to submit to Johnson for approval, featuring very different overall color between the various designs.
Ultimately, the final color was designed to resemble more closely to seals with its white underbelly and brown top while the rainbow coloration around the eyes was replaced with yellow to appear more naturalistic. The Porgs were then re-submitted with few revision notes from Johnson who had largely been supportive of the evolving design since its earliest stages.
While it's unclear if The Rise of Skywalker will feature a return to Ahch-To or if the Porg that accompanied Chewbacca to Crait is still around, the new alien species instantly left an impression with audiences, and inspired a whole wave of merchandising even before the release of The Last Jedi. With new worlds to be explored in the upcoming sequel, hopefully the Porgs will take their place in the pantheon alongside Ewoks and Wookies as the most beloved fictional creatures within the Star Wars Universe.