Rian Johnson Talks The Role Of The Porgs (And Their Non-Spoiler Origins) In The Last Jedi

Porgs. You haven't even seen them in a movie yet but you probably already have a strong opinion on them. Such is the nature of fandom these days -- especially in Star Wars, where there's certainly some negative precedent of cute characters impacting the movies.

Image: Disney

Star Wars: The Last Jedi writer-director Rian Johnson knows all that. And he sympathises, but also stands behind his adorable creations. In a new interview, Johnson explained where porgs came from, the crew's reaction to them, and hinted at their role in the film.

The porgs of The Last Jedi live on Ahch-To, the site of the first Jedi Temple where Rey meets Luke Skywalker. And they were inspired by the filming location's actual wildlife. Those scenes were shot on the Irish island of Skellig Michael, which has puffins. So Johnson though he'd like to pay tribute to that.

"I was like, 'Oh, this is part of the island, we need to find the Star Wars version of this," Johnson told Yahoo. "And then just story-wise -- not that they play a big part in the story -- but I knew I wanted to find any source of comic relief I could on the island. And so they were very useful in terms of that."

That's as much as Johnson was willing to say about the porgs' role in the story and his choice of words is telling. "Not that they play a big part in the story." That's a genius way of suggesting they don't play a big part in the story, but not lying if they actually do play a big part in the story. He also says they're funny which, of course.

Next, Johnson suggested he hadn't even considered any potential backlash or Ewok/Jar Jar comparisons until the actual porgs, which are achieved both through CGI and practical effects, made it to the set.

"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?'" Johnson said. "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."

And they already have their place in pop culture, that's for sure. We'll find out exactly what the deal is with porgs on December 14, when Star Wars: The Last Jedi hits theatres.

[Yahoo Movies]

WATCH MORE: Entertainment News


    I hope they look good when a lightsaber cuts them in half and perfectly cooks the flesh as it’s passing through their bodies.

      So guessing not a fan.

        No, I just like cooking stuff.

          And also, No, not a fan.

          I don’t see how having comic relief living on an island where Luke has been stranded, for however many years, is all that necessary.

          Isn’t Finn partially the comic relief?

          Porgs are the Baby Groot Of Star Wars, another revenue stream in the toy department.

            Very true, i hope the Porgs are not another Baby Groot, i cringed every time baby groot came on, did not like it all.

            Finn's not on Ahch-To, he's in a bacta suit recovering from his attempt to use a lightsabre.

              I’m not 100% sure what you’re on about.

              No one said he was there.

        Perhaps Luke spent his evenings watching them doing hilarious things whilst roasting their cousins slowly over an open fire for dinner. I reckon the unfunnier ones got the lightsaber and, by the time we finally get introduced to them, survival of the funniest will mean that they’ll be so laugh inducing that people will Porg there pants in the cinema.

        Out of control!

          Perhaps being near the site of a Jedi Temple they have some kind of force awareness, it could have been a result of the force being strong in that area and that's why the temple was built in the first place, perhaps he learnt something from their nature which revealed something of the force itself?

          Maybe they're the reason he hasn't gone completely mad being there himself the whole time, like a cuter version of "Wilson"? 😂

    Small creatures with big eyes added for comic relief. They're minions. They are Star Wars minions.

    "Not that they play a big part in the story." That's a genius way of suggesting they don't play a big part in the story, but not lying if they actually do play a big part in the story. He also says they're funny which, of course."

    No, it would be lying if they play a big part in the story. I think you mean to suggest importance rather than size of role.

    What are the odds of a storm trooper kicking one?

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