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Why the Porgs creator was ‘terrified’ of how ‘Star Wars: The Last Jedi’ fans would react

Neal Scanlon admits getting the right balance for the creatures was a difficult process
A Porg in The Last Jedi
[Image: Lucasfilm]

Now that Star Wars: The Last Jedi has been released, and fans have finally been able to watch the Porgs up on the screen, the debate is now raging over whether or not they actually lived up to the hype.

That's because while they were undeniably adorable whenever they were on-screen pretty much all of their best moments were in the trailers. Neal Scanlan, the creature creator over at Lucasfilm, previously talked to me about the potential reaction to the Porgs, admitting he was terrified about how audiences would take to the furry critters.

“To be honest I was terrified, because we are trying to create something that is cute, and endearing, and loveable. Like the pet that you might have at home.”

“But we didn’t want to disengage with the older audience. And we also didn’t want to exclude the younger audience. Either people were going to accept it or send me hate-mail. It was going to be one or the other.”

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However, he was a lot calmer following the release of the trailers for "The Last Jedi," and the subsequent explosion of the Porg Nation.

“So I was really kind of nervous when the trailer came out, because I wasn’t sure how people would respond. But, hopefully, and it seems as though people have mostly been drawn to them.”

I then asked Scanlan how he reacted to the tidal wave of positivity that met the unveiling of the Porgs, to which he admitted, “I am always surprised, it would be arrogant to think otherwise. We never knew that BB-8 would be the breakout character of ‘The Force Awakens’.”

Scanlan also explained why the popularity of the Porgs was so important for the franchise, insisting that it epitomizes the depth and mainstream appeal of “Star Wars.”

“The Porg that you see in the trailer was literally just a prototype version. The movie version is the one you see with Chewie. More than anything I am delighted with that. Because it is a really key part of ‘Star Wars.’ Because ‘Star Wars’ there’s such a depth to its humor.”

“In many ways 'Star Wars' took sci-fi serious, which is important to me, but at the same time there is humor, love, friendship, comedy, all of those things. And the fact that people have responded to and accepted the Porgs in the ‘Star Wars’ universe I find incredibly relieving and encouraging.”

You can see the Porgs in all of their glory up on the big screen now, as "Star Wars: The Last Jedi" is finally in cinemas across the country.