How Star Wars: The Last Jedi's Rian Johnson Came Up With The Porgs

Star Wars Porgs Chewbacca

Star Wars has never shied away from impressive alien species, but few have ever captured audience imaginations quite like the Porgs. The adorable, diminutive creatures have already become fan-favorite elements of the Star Wars universe, and they haven't even made their grand debut in The Last Jedi yet. So what exactly was the inspiration for these adorable creatures? Director Rian Johnson recently addressed this question and confirmed that he got the idea for Porgs from puffins. Johnson explained:

The Porgs originally came from when we scouted that island, Skellig Michael. It's a bird sanctuary, besides being a UNESCO Heritage Site, and so when we scouted, it was covered in puffins. It's actually a natural part of the island, it's covered in these adorable little puffin birds waddling around, and they would try to fly and look really pathetic. It was hilarious, and so I thought 'We need the Star Wars version of this.' So that's the idea behind them.

There's a rich history of average, everyday things helping inspire iconic elements from the Star Wars universe. The sound of Darth Vader breathing was inspired by the sound of a SCUBA apparatus, and the noise made by a blaster bolt comes from the simple act of hitting a high tension. That tradition of simple inspiration appears alive and well with The Last Jedi's upcoming release, as Rian Johnson's comments during a recent Facebook Live session confirmed that he got the idea for Porgs by merely seeing how puffin birds look and move in real life. Now I just want to know what inspired the Rathtars from The Force Awakens.

For the sake of comparison, check out a shot of a baby puffin below to see how it compares to Star Wars' adorable new creature.


Of course, we still need to wait and see whether or not the Porgs actually become as endearing as we expect them to be. We have only seen brief glimpses of them in the trailers, so it remains to be seen how they actually factor into the story. Are they as gentle as they seem? Are they as annoying as Jar Jar Binks? Are they actually delicious? Only time will tell.

We will see the Porgs debut in the Star Wars universe in all of their adorably awkward Porg glory when Star Wars: The Last Jedi premieres in theaters on December 15. Tickets for the eighth installment in the Star Wars saga are currently available, so make sure to get yours now, and don't forget to take a look at our Star Wars guide to keep yourself up to date on all of the Star Wars projects currently in development.

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Conner Schwerdtfeger

Originally from Connecticut, Conner grew up in San Diego and graduated from Chapman University in 2014. He now lives in Los Angeles working in and around the entertainment industry and can mostly be found binging horror movies and chugging coffee.