The story behind the porgs, the new stars of “Star Wars” – The Denver Post
By Michael Cavna, The Washington Post
Just in time for the holidays, the porgs are having their moment in the Ahch-To sun.
This week’s release of the latest “Last Jedi” trailer lets us hear just what a screaming space porg sounds like — as we see the furry critter riding in the Millennium Falcon with the “walking carpet” that is Chewbacca.
That briefest of teaser shots launched an armada of memes, and one of the most impressive responses mixes that porg peal.
Volpe Music has re-created John Williams’s triumphal “Star Wars” theme by making it sounds as if the porgs are singing. The result seems to be the first Porg Symphony.
The porgs were also featured prominently in the kickoff to Tuesday’s “Late Show With Stephen Colbert.” In the comedic short, BB-8, the then-new mascot of a droid in 2015’s “The Force Awakens,” now wallows in its diminished resident cute Star Wars creation status, as REM’s “Everybody Hurts” cuts like a lightsaber.
Every “Star Wars” film offers adorable critters and droids, largely as reassuring comedic relief from all the masked baddies roaming the galaxy with menace. And Disney chairman Bob Iger personally helped greenlight BB-8 as a character.
Now, to introduce a new alien species to the franchise, director Rian Johnson and his team drew direct inspiration from Ireland’s Skellig Michael, the remote isle that stands in for Ahch-To, Luke Skywalker’s hideout while in exile.
As the filmmakers told Entertainment Weekly, these space-puffin puppets were created in the creature shop of Neal Scanlan after Johnson saw the island seabirds while scouting locations for the final scene in “Force Awakens.”
“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 told EW, adding: “So the Porgs are in that realm.”
Ahch-To is also home to the Caretakers, a species of prehistoric-looking female aliens who reportedly loom like an order of nuns.
So far, alas, the Caretakers lack the porgs’ commercial appeal.
Perhaps that will change when “Last Jedi” lands Dec. 15. But we highly doubt it.