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Ever since they first appeared in the promotional material, the furry, bird-like, porgs have been a significant topic of conversation among Star Wars: The Last Jedi fans. It's generally agreed upon that they're pretty cute, but therein lies the problem. Some fans aren't sure "cute" belongs in the Star Wars universe. Director Rian Johnson understands the fan apprehension, as it was something that the crew of The Last Jedi themselves considered as soon as they first saw the creature design. According to Johnson...
It wasn't until we got the actual puppets on set and the whole crew reacted with 'oh my god, they're adorable!,' and also then a few people in the crew were of giving them that suspicious side-eye of 'these are cute, but are they too cute?'
Quite a few people have also been giving the porgs the suspicious side-eye since then. Fans who don't look upon the Ewoks too kindly feel like this is just a case of creatures being created so that cute toys can be merchandised. If nobody necessarily reacted to the porgs this way prior to seeing the puppets, then it sounds like "cute" wasn't necessarily on the list of required characteristics the porgs needed to have, it just turned out that way. To be fair, the creatures are based on puffins, seabirds which naturally inhabit the island what filming for Star Wars: The Last Jedi took place. Puffins are fairly cute too, so it's going to be difficult to make their alien counterpart not cute.
While Rian Johnson apparently considered whether porgs are too cute, he also tells Yahoo that, ultimately, he has decided he loves the creatures. He doesn't hold any ill will toward those that are criticising them, he gets it, but it sounds like he thinks eventually everybody will come around on the porgs...
But the overwhelming reaction on set was everybody loved the porgs. And I love 'em, so you know what? I get it if people are a little wary of cuteness in the Star Wars universe, but I personally love them, and I think they have their place in the movie.
Cute aliens are nothing new in the Star Wars universe, so we're guessing most people won't even pay too much attention to the porgs in Star Wars: The Last Jedi. It doesn't sound like they will have a role anywhere near the size that the Ewoks had in Star Wars: Return of the Jedi. While there are certainly a few haters out there, the overall response seems to be fairly positive, as Rian Johnson says. Everybody will get their chance to see the porgs, and whatever their place in the movie actually is, when Star Wars: The Last Jedi arrives in theaters December 15.