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Why the Porgs are so integral to ‘Star Wars: The Last Jedi’

Plus, Lucasfilm’s creature creator Neal Scanlan explains why they designed one to look like Chewbacca
Star Wars: The Last Jedi's Porgs
[Image: Lucasfilm]

In the build-up to the release of Star Wars: The Last Jedi it was looking as though the emergence of the Porgs was going to overshadow the blockbuster itself, such was the attention that had been showered upon them.

The hugely positive critical response to “Star Wars: The Last Jedi” seems to have brought most of the attention back on the film itself. There is still more than a healthy interest in the Porgs, though, too.

At the end of November I spoke to Neal Scanlan, the creature creator for Lucasfilm who helped to design the critters, and he broke down why they are so integral to “The Last Jedi.”

“They play a kind of, a sort of moment in the film where they give you a chance to re-set, and take a breath of what is a rollercoaster visual and an emotional ride. They’re mischievous, there’s a lot of little scenes in the movie where they are in the way or misbehaving.”

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“It’s difficult without revealing too much. But Rian has just written these great, colorful moments. They’re surprising, is the best way of putting it. They’re almost like your dog at home. They do things that are so unexpected, and endearing, and loveable, and I think that’s what Rian has done very well, to use these to surprise the audience.”

For Scanlan, though, they’re “also about friendship.” In fact, one Porg was designed to resemble one of the most famous and popular characters from the “Star Wars” universe for that very reason.  

“One particular Porg was designed very specifically to look like Chewbacca. His feathers and pattern are very similar to Chewie’s colors. His face is a little Wookie like. There’s a lovely moment in the film, that I won’t spoil for everybody, where they kind of meet each other and see something of each other in themselves. And instant friendship is born.”

Audiences don’t have long to wait until they can finally see the Porgs in all of their glory, as “Star Wars: The Last Jedi” will be released into cinemas on December 15. 

 
 
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