Everything we know about Porgs in Star Wars: The Last Jedi

Even though Disney and Lucasfilm have tried to keep security tight on details surrounding The Last Jedi, the Porgs were just too cute to be contained—news started to leak out about these freakishly adorable balls of fluff in April 2017, and since then, more details about the feathery creatures have trickled out slowly. It wasn't until the trailer for The Last Jedi premiered on Oct. 9, however, that we finally got to see them in action.

In one short clip from the trailer, a Porg sits near Chewbacca on the dash of the Millennium Falcon, flapping its wings and chirping (Porging?) in alarm. Naturally, after the trailer dropped, the internet completely lost its mind over the footage. If you're a recent inductee into The Knights of Porg, then this article is just for you—we've collected every obscure bit of Porg knowledge we could find here in this handy guide. Warning: may contain fuzzy and winsome spoilers for Star Wars: The Last Jedi.

They're based on a real-life creature

Although they resemble an appealing but impossible cross between a pug, a guinea pig, and a penguin, the Porgs are actually based on a species of flying seabirds. According to The Last Jedi director and writer Rian Johnson, the inspiration for the Porg species struck him when he saw the flocks of puffins that occasionally overrun the Irish island of Skellig Michael—where most of Luke and Rey's scenes on Ahch-To were filmed.

As Johnson explained to Entertainment Weekly, these adorable native Skellig puffins served as the basis for the Porgs. "When I was first scouting there, I saw these guys, and I was like, oh, these are part of the island," Johnson said. "And so the Porgs are [the puffins] in that realm." Although the Porgs were Johnson's brainchild, they came to life onscreen through the hard work of Oscar-winning visual effects and animatronics expert Neal Scanlan.

Compendium Porgarium

Although they may seem perfectly designed to sell toys and other merchandise, according to Rian Johnson, the Porgs will have a definite part to play in The Last Jedi—although the extent of that role remains to be seen. We know that one will eventually end up on the bridge of the Millennium Falcon—and that might not sit too well with Chewbacca. Reportedly, the cuddly and curious Porgs are "vexing to Wookiees," and have a habit of mimicking others. Johnson was somewhat elusive on this point when discussing the Porgs with Yahoo, calling them "very useful" as a "source of comic relief" on the island, although he adds a disclaimer—"not that they play a big part in the story."

Nevertheless, the Porgs have been deemed important enough to receive additional backstory and details. Early leaked reports from the set (which included a quite accurate visual depiction) claim the creatures may differ in appearance according to gender, with male Porgs having additional orange feathers on their head. According to Lucasfilm writer/creative executive Pablo Hidalgo, the Porgs lead a bird-like lifestyle. "They build nests. They can fly. Their babies are called porglets," he explained.

PORGLETS, people. Before we throw up from the cuteness overload, we should caution readers that there are hints that Porgs may have a darker side, too. After all, we can't ignore those allegedly "razor-sharp" fangs, and Rian Johnson even revealed on Twitter that a group of Porgs is called a "murder." Of course, Johnson also slyly suggested that it's actually a Porg (and not Snoke) torturing Rey in the new trailer—so we're not exactly sure how far he can be trusted.

They're not alone

While the Porgs might be the most publicly visible denizens of Ahch-To to emerge so far, they're definitely not the only residents of the mostly aquatic planet. In Entertainment Weekly's cover story from August 2017, Rian Johnson revealed that he also invented another species native to Ahch-To: the mysterious "Caretakers." According to Johnson, these "fish-bird" creatures have lived on the planet for thousands of years, and they "keep up the structures on the island."  

In the EW photo of the amphibious Caretakers, they're described as a species "faithful to the Force," and we see that they're rather nun-like in their appearance and dress—which is by design. "They're all female, and I wanted them to feel like a remote sort of little nunnery," Johnson explained. They live a "spartan sort of existence" on Ahch-To, and they "tolerate" Luke's presence on the island of the Jedi Temple—communicating with him in a "a blubbery sort of Scottish fish talk." Additionally, the Porgs themselves are rumored to be "sacred creatures" on Ahch-To, and are somehow connected to the Force in their own way.

Along with the Caretakers and the Porgs, there have also been rumors floating around for nearly a year that some sort of ferocious sea monster may call Ahch-To its home—and Rey may be asked to kill it as part of a deal with the Porgs (or perhaps the Caretakers) to earn their blessing to remain on the island with Luke. Given that some sort of fanged creature's head can be seen in an underwater clip from the trailer, this rumor may actually have some teeth.

It's beginning to look a lot like Porgmas

While his day job as a blockbuster film director and screenwriter is undoubtedly more lucrative, Rian Johnson could pretty easily fall back on a career in toy design and marketing—while it's still unclear what role the Porgs will play in The Last Jedi, the internet has already gone wild over them. They've spawned countless memes, Photoshop contests, tattoos, and even a version of the main Star Wars theme sung entirely by Porgs.

There's also already an impressive amount of Porg merchandise, much of which was revealed during the Force Friday II event on Sept. 1: Porg backpacks, Porg cufflinks and ties, Porg plushies, Porg chew toys, Porg Pez dispensers, and much more. The adorable Porgs are well on their way to becoming this year's Furby or Hatchimal—although young Star Wars fans who put one down on their Porgmas list this year might want to watch out for those fangs!

Porg's back on the menu, boys

In September 2017, a newly-released guidebook called Stars Wars Made Easy offered up another potential clue as to the Porgs' role in the Ahch-To ecosystem. In an illustration of the cuddly creatures, the guidebook opines, "Cute? Definitely. Tasty? Maybe…" Uh-oh. Those images of Chewbacca in the Millennium Falcon's cockpit with what appears to be a feather on his mouth (from the July 2017 behind-the-scenes video) now take on new significance. We already know Chewbacca is going to find the Porgs to be "vexing," and the Wookiee is reportedly going to be "more volatile than usual" in The Last Jedi. This certainly wouldn't be the first time his appetite got him into trouble.

Star Wars Dot Gif

As if that weren't enough, Redditor greatjorb88 shared an image (presumably from this coloring book) which shows two smiling Caretakers along with a number of happy Porgs in a tree. One of the Caretakers plays music for the Porgs on a strange fish-bagpipe contraption, while the other Caretaker looks up expectantly, holding a net at the ready. Do the Porgs make up the main diet of the Caretakers, too? Is The Last Jedi going to be nothing but one big Pörgåsbord?

On the other hand, all the new Chewie/Porg merchandise (like this blanket and this illustrated children's book) seems to indicate a friendly relationship between the two. Additionally, leaked rumors indicate that Luke Skywalker has a special relationship with the Porgs on Ahch-To, and shares scenes with one of the creatures in particular—a Porg that sees itself as the "protector of the island(s)." If those rumors end up being true, then it's hard to imagine that Luke would let one of the Porgs end up as a snack for Chewie.

Some people hate them already

Although Porg fever has been slowly building ever since the first concept sketches were revealed, the footage of the creature in the trailer really lit a fire under the butts of aficionados and haters alike. Detractors claim the Porg is just another too-cute marketing ploy, a cash grab by Disney that follows in the footsteps of other adorably annoying and poorly-planned Star Wars creatures like the Ewoks or Jar Jar Binks.

Rian Johnson acknowledged that the Porgs' cute factor could be a concern, saying, "a few people in the crew were giving them that suspicious side-eye of 'These are cute, but are they too cute?'" However, the director went on to say that he doesn't really care. "I get it if people are a little wary of cuteness in the Star Wars universe," he allowed, "but I personally love them, and I think they have their place in the movie."

If you're among those who can't stand the Porgs, consider this: many fans that had problems with The Force Awakens cited a lack of originality and worldbuilding as their biggest qualms. Even if you think that they're too cute for Star Wars, you can't really fault Johnson for his originality in creating new additions to the Star Wars menagerie.

The problem with Porgs

Even Star Trek's William Shatner got in on the Porg-bashing act, with some tongue-in-cheek snark aimed at Mark Hamill. The day after the trailer dropped, Shatner tweeted a poster for The Last Jedi where some enterprising Photoshop expert had replaced every character with a Porg. "I think @starwars has officially jumped the shark. Wasn't @HamillHimself supposed to be in this movie?" Shatner asked. It didn't take long for the Last Jedi star to fire back with both guns, replying, "I think @WilliamShatner has officially jumped the snark. You've got your BORGS, Bill- I've got my PORGS, OK?"

As great as this exchange was, the clear winners of the day were @lsirikul—who replied with her awesome drawing of an actual Borg Porg—and @lordmowens, who tweeted a photo of Captain Kirk surrounded by furry creatures in the memorable Star Trek episode "The Trouble with Tribbles," suggesting that maybe Shatner could "give Mark some tips on how to care for them!"

If you don't think the presence of Porgs presents a problem (say that five times fast), then keep an eye on this space—we'll keep this article updated with the latest Porg news as it breaks. Until then, may the Porg be with you!