Rian Johnson will be introducing a number of new elements to the Star Wars universe in The Last Jedi, but few have received attention on the level of the Porgs. A new creature being introduced to the sci-fi canon, they are cute little bird creatures that have kept Luke Skywalker company while he has been in isolation. There's a lot of curiosity surrounding the little guys, and the writer/director recently cleared up how they came about, explaining that they were inspired by the real puffins that inhabit the island where they were filming. Said Johnson,
I was like, 'Oh, this is part of the island, we need to find the Star Wars version of this. And then just story-wise --- not that they play a big part in the story --- but I knew I wanted to find any source of comic relief I could on the island. And so they were very useful in terms of that.
With the highly-anticipated Star Wars: The Last Jedi trailer launching last night during Monday Night Football, Rian Johnson recently had a chat with Yahoo! about the blockbuster, and the conversation eventually turned to Luke's new tiny friends. For the scenes with Luke on the planet Ahch-To, the production filmed on Skellig Michael, an island off the coast of Ireland, and one fun element they discovered is that the location features a bunch of puffins roaming around. Rian Johnson apparently enjoyed this so much that he had to include something similar in his movie.
No Porgs can be seen in the final scenes of Star Wars: The Force Awakens, where Ahch-To is first revealed, but the creatures were first shown to audiences a few months back, and have been described as "sea birds" who have limited flying capabilities and are naturally inquisitive. They are obviously quite silly and cute-looking, and their presence makes for one of the many highlights featured in the latest Star Wars: The Last Jedi trailer (where you can hear what one sounds like when it's freaking out).
We still don't really know how much we can expect to see from the Porgs in Star Wars: The Last Jedi (it's probably better if the film doesn't hit that button too much in the proceedings), but it's a fair bet that we'll see a good number of them throughout the film. After all, there's an expectation that a sizable chunk of the plot will be dedicated to Luke training Daisy Ridley's Rey in the ways of the Force, and their aforementioned inquisitive nature will probably draw them to that action.
Star Wars: The Last Jedi will be in theaters on December 15th.