We’ve all been there before: the stress of our personal lives combined with a constant, never-ending onslaught of 24/7 media exposure telling us all the ways that the world sucks can make it hard to even drag our collective asses out of bed every morning. We shower, slug back our coffee (or whatever other additive substance we can get into our system just to get our day started) and gather enough half-hearted pleasantries to get us through to the afternoon. Times are tough, so it’s easy to feel powerless and that you’re nothing more than just another cog on a series of endlessly grinding wheels.
For geeks like us, we find comfort and escape in the things that we love – the things that make the daily crap just a wee bit more tolerable. These are the things that remind us of who we truly are; and not the facsimiles that death-march through the day hours on a daily basis. When I was growing-up, it was a medley of random things than ranged from Spidey in Marvel Team-Up and Bruce Willis‘ David Addison from Moonlighting to Better Than Ezra songs and John Cusack movies (High Fidelity has figuratively saved my life more times than I care to admit to) that helped get me through the tough stuff. We all have those things we hold close, that are essential to us – even if most people don’t always get us.
For one lucky Star Wars fan, The Last Jedi director Rian Johnson (Brick) was that “saving grace” – and all it took was a tweet about the adorably-not-too-adorable porgs that also gave us a little more insight into the creatures:
Porgs are the penguin-like, wide-eyed inhabitants of the planet Ahch-To (baby porgs are called porglets), once home to the first Jedi temple and where Luke Skywalker (Mark Hamill) now lives-out his seemingly hermit-like existence – and where Rey (Daisy Ridley) goes to (hopefully) begin her training proper.
Johnson was inspired to add the creatures to the film after a visit to the Irish island of Skellig Michael, where the ending to Star Wars: The Force Awakens was filmed:
“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.”
Created through Neal Scanlan’s creature shop as a combination of puppetry and CGI effects, the porgs were first revealed in behind-the-scenes footage from The Last Jedi that was released at July’s D23 Expo. Lucasfilm Story Group creative executive Pablo Hidalgo revealed their official name during an interview with StarWars.com earlier this summer.
Hidalgo isn’t surprised by how social media buzz has grown in favor of these inquisitive creatures:
“Ever since that roadside scavenger let out that belch outside Jabba’s palace in Return of the Jedi, the idea that there’s an entire animal kingdom living amid the drama and adventure of the Star Wars saga is a compelling one. Besides, porgs are cute. You fall into those deep, soulful eyes. I think a lot of people are going to want a porg as a pet.”
Looks like we’ll know soon enough if Hidalgo’s right; or if the porgs are going to be time-sharing with Jar-Jar Binks and the Ewoks: Star Wars: The Last Jedi opens December 15, 2017.
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