By now, Star Wars fans worldwide know about the porgs -- the tiny, big-eyed, puffin-like creatures from Star Wars: The Last Jedi that live on Ahch-To with the exiled Luke Skywalker. As it turns out, however, that not only are they not really alone on the island-filled planet, but that they are directly related to another specific species: the caretakers. As I recently learned from creature designer Neal Scanlan:
The idea being... we use Australia as an example. It's an island that has its own indigenous population. Other DNA has not made its way there - except for Luke. The idea is that they must be evolved along similar routes. Radically different, but there are some key shall we say physical similarities. The Caretakers have very similar feet to the porg.
As noted, the porgs and the caretakers don't really look all that similar, as the latter are much, much bigger and more amphibian/rodent like, but apparently they are linked through an evolutionary chain in the Star Wars universe. I had the opportunity to learn about this when I sat down with Neal Scanlan earlier this week at the press junket for Star Wars: The Last Jedi in Los Angeles, during a wide-ranging discussion about the new creatures that can be found in the upcoming blockbuster. During the conversation, I asked specifically about the connection between the new species on Ahch-To, and was surprised to learn that looking at their feet will actually you a lot about both of them and their biological backgrounds.
To date, the porgs have had a lot more screentime in trailers for Star Wars: The Last Jedi -- adding their special cuteness to a wide variety of scenes -- but it seems that the Caretakers also play a key role in the film. As their name implies, they take care of the aging Luke Skywalker while he lives his life in relative isolation. Unlike the porgs, they wear clothes, and if they kind of have the appearance of nuns (as seen in the picture at the top of the page) , it's definitely not a mistake. They were precisely described that way in Rian Johnson's screenplay for the movie, and that idea was used as a jumping-off point for Neal Scanlan and his team. Said the filmmaker,
The Caretakers, for instance, [Rian Johnson] would describe them as nuns - they're very caring, Caretakers. We kind of extend that, think Sound of Music.
As of now, we don't currently have any shots of the Caretakers' feet, so there's no way of exactly comparing them with the porgs at this point -- but you can be sure that when we watch Star Wars: The Last Jedi we will be keeping an eye out for them. Mostly because imagining those creatures with weird bird feet is kind of a trip.
The porgs and the Caretakers are just two of the 180 new alien species that were created by Neal Scanlan, Rian Johnson and the filmmakers behind Star Wars: The Last Jedi, and it won't be much longer until we finally get to see them all on the big screen. The new blockbuster will be in theaters very soon -- specifically on December 15th -- and we'll have a ton more from our interviews with the cast and filmmakers coming your way soon here on CinemaBlend, so stay tuned!
You can purchase your opening weekend tickets for Star Wars: The Last Jedi HERE.