A long time ago, before the Star Wars: The Last Jedi trailers were released, the most exciting element of the blockbuster was the extended return of Mark Hamill as Luke Skywalker.
But then the Porgs were introduced, and now the entire "Star Wars" fraternity has fallen head over heels in love with the little blighters. Lesser men would be so ridden with jealousy after being usurped by the adorable, doe-eyed sea birds that they’d look to castigate them at every possible opportunity.
Fortunately, Mark Hamill isn’t most men. In fact, he’s a God compared to us mere mortals.
When I sat down with the sci-fi icon on Wednesday to discuss "Star Wars: The Last Jedi" my first question out of the blocks was how he felt about the Porgs. This provoked Hamill to let out a large, warm, hearty laugh, which instantly proved he is a fully-fledged member of the Porg Nation.
“Well, they’re practical,” Hamill instantly explained. “So you don’t have to, normally you have to put down a piece of tape and then you react to it. And they go, ‘Go on’.”
“These things are fully realized, with tubes coming out of them and so forth. But they are so real looking they are astonishing. That’s the thing, the practical effects vs CGI.”
“I remember Jabba The Hutt, the guys climbing out of Jabba like they’d been in the sauna. I made sure I got to climb up inside and see what they had to do. One guy on the tail, two guys – there was a big bar - to move his head, and so forth. It is so much more satisfying when it is tangible.”
Hamill then went into more detail about why it can be so difficult as an actor to deal with CGI when you’re in the middle of a scene.
“You can have a space ship go by, and the eye perceives that there’s not enough depth. Even if you shot a model the camera moved around it. The lights would change, you’d know it has a certain length and depth and so forth. With CGI, it is getting better and better and better, though.”
There’s plenty more from my discussion with the delightful Mark Hamill regarding "Star Wars: The Last Jedi" to come over the next few weeks. So keep posted to Metro in the build-up to "The Last Jedi’s" release on December 15.