Why Making The Porgs Was Terrifying, According To Star Wars' Neal Scanlan

Porg Star Wars The Last Jedi

The Star Wars franchise is chock full of alien species that fans have fallen in love with over the years. Between the wookies and the tauntauns, there's no shortage of weird creatures to populate these bizarre worlds. Star Wars: The Last Jedi added to that collection of beasts with the introduction of the porgs, but it turns out that developing the aliens proved to be a daunting and stressful part of the film's development. Star Wars creature effects supervisor Neal Scanlan opened up in a recent interview and explained:

Doing the porgs actually was terrifying, because you have a fear that if you get it wrong all the fans are going to sort of hate you forever quite rightly... as soon as we heard there was a warm reaction to them, it's great.

Neal Scanlan has a point. The puffin-inspired porgs became one of the most talked about aspects of Star Wars: The Last Jedi prior to the film's debut last December. The reaction was generally warm, but before the film actually premiered, there was a constant conversation online about how they would influence the overall tone of the movie. That said, the release of Star Wars: The Last Jedi came and went, and the opinion towards them appears to remain "warm."

We have already seen examples of this in the history of the Star Wars lore. Specifically, the Ewoks introduced in Star Wars: Return of the Jedi have become one of the more divisive elements of Star Wars fiction since the film was released. Some people love them for the ways in which they expand the overarching mythology, while other fans have criticized them for adding too much lightheartedness to the third installment in the original trilogy.

Of course, one thing not specifically mentioned in Neal Scanlan's comments to ET about the development of Star Wars: The Last Jedi's porgs is the worst-case scenario. Star Wars has been responsible for some magnificent creatures over the years, but if handled wrong, the porgs could've quickly fallen into the infamous Jar Jar Binks category of misfires.

Star Wars: The Last Jedi will debut on Digital HD on March 13, and the DVD and Blu-ray versions of the film will hit shelves two weeks later on March 27. Looking ahead at the rest of the Star Wars franchise, Solo: A Star Wars Story will premiere in theaters later this year on May 25, and Star Wars: Episode IX will hit theaters on December 20, 2019.

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.