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Warning: mild SPOILERS for Star Wars: The Last Jedi are ahead!
Porgs were marketed heavily in the months leading up to Star Wars: The Last Jedi's release, which is fair since those little puffin-inspired buggers are merchandising gold. However, within the movie itself, the Porgs really only directly interacted with one character: Chewbacca. The Wookie and the Porgs didn't get off to a great start, but later in The Last Jedi, the Millennium Falcon found itself with some Porg guests, with one Porg in particular latching on to Chewbacca. According to The Last Jedi's creature designer Neal Scanlan, the reason Chewbacca spent so much time with the Porgs was to establish a cross-species friendship and subsequently show a side to Chewbacca we haven't seen before. Scanlan explained:
We were very aware that Rian wanted a moment to show that there could be friendship amongst other species. So, one of the Porgs was designed specifically to have Wookie qualities about it, the way that its feathered were colored and with the shape of the skull. When they first meet, they see themselves in each other. The idea is that this camaraderie and friendship is because they see qualities in each other, which is a lovely thing to think of. Chewie has such a great character. He has off-the-cuff reactions to so many things, and this is the first time we've pushed a few buttons in the Chewie emotional scope. This little Porg has managed to do something no one else has ever done, and bring out a quality in Chewie that we've never seen before.
With the exception of Revenge of the Sith, which showed him serving alongside Yoda in the final moments of The Clone Wars, Chewbacca has spent most of his time in the Star Wars movies with Han Solo, his best buddy. Unfortunately, Han was killed by Kylo Ren in The Force Awakens, and since Rey was busy training with Luke Skywalker on Ahch-To, that left an empty space for someone or something to be Chewbacca's new pal in The Last Jedi. Enter the Porgs, specifically the one with the Wookie qualities that Neal Scanlan mentioned while speaking with Collider. Although we've seen Chewbacca angry and flustered before, but his time with that Porg is arguably the first time we've seen him annoyed in a Star Wars movie.
Chewbacca went from almost eating a Porg on Ahch-To (we never actually see if he decides to still chow down on one after seeing the other Porgs' frightened little faces) to essentially becoming landlord to the ones who set up camp in the Millennium Falcon and babysitting the one who was freaking out in the cockpit. Still, considering how emotionally heavy The Last Jedi was, the moments between the Wookie and these adorable creatures provided welcome moments of levity. Chewbacca is expected to return for Star Wars: Episode IX, but for right now, there's no word on if he'll be accompanied by any Porgs.
Star Wars: The Last Jedi is still screening in theaters, and be sure to read our review and To 3D guide of the movie. Star Wars: Episode IX will conclude this trilogy on December 20, 2019, so stay tuned to CinemaBlend for more updates on its development. You can also see a younger Chewbacca hanging out with a certain smuggler on the rise when Solo: A Star Wars Story drops on May 25.