The Iconic Star Wars Prop That Rian Johnson Received As A Gift

The Rian Johnson-directed Star Wars: Episode VIII — The Last Jedi, in so many words, remains controversial. Upon its release, fans were split over whether or not the film was a masterpiece or a low point for the Star Wars franchise. Proponents cited its visuals and moral complexity as strengths, while detractors criticized its departure from usual Star Wars tropes and mistreatment of fan-favorite characters. J.J. Abrams was arguably given the last word on the subject when his second contribution to the series, Star Wars: Episode IX — The Rise of Skywalker, was released. The Rise of Skywalker seemed to retcon entirely or otherwise ignore some key plot points from The Last Jedi.

Though seemingly done with the hopes of appeasing fans unhappy with The Last Jedi, the revisionist approach to Star Wars in The Rise of Skywalker underwhelmed for many. The film currently sits at a 51% on Rotten Tomatoes, the lowest critical score of any Star Wars film. Thus, while Rian Johnson was at one point a contentious figure among a contingent of Star Wars fans, he's now joined by J.J. Abrams and his similarly controversial contribution.

A Johnson-directed trilogy of new Star Wars films, announced just before the release of The Last Jedi, seemed dead in the water following the mixed reception of The Last Jedi. In February of 2021, however, following what was perhaps a softening of Johnson's reputation in the wake of The Rise of Skywalker, author Sariah Wilson confirmed that Johnson's new trilogy is still in the works. Johnson therefore remains an active and ongoing contributor to the Star Wars universe. Though details about his trilogy are scarce, in the meantime, Johnson shared to Twitter a look behind the scenes of The Last Jedi, revealing that he received a porg used on set following the film's completion.

Rian Johnson's piece of Last Jedi history

Johnson revealed that he owns a lasting piece of Last Jedi history only after he was asked directly by a Twitter account dedicated to the "ReyLo" (Rey and Kylo Ren) coupling how many porgs he owns in total. In response, Johnson shared a GIF of a moment from The Last Jedi, explaining that he was gifted the prop used for the porg  by the film's creature department.

The GIF is from a brief moment of comic relief in which Chewbacca is about to bite into a roasted bird. A group of living porgs watch in horror as Chewy is about to consume one of their own. He roars to scare them away, however one porg remains, cowering but nevertheless staring down the gluttonous Chewbacca. It's one of the film's most indelible acts of bravery. A second roar sends the final porg away, but Chewy has soured on eating porg at this point. 

It's that final, brave porg that Johnson now owns. In a follow-up Tweet, Johnson even showcased the real-life version of the porg. Its stand now functions as a coaster for a (presumably) quarantine cocktail.