The porgs may have already wormed their way into the hearts and minds of Star Wars fans long before The Last Jedi‘s trailer, but once that shot of Chewie piloting the Millennium Falcon hit the interwebs, and the porg let out its first singular cry, Ahch-To’s furry critters became an overnight sensation.
Memes flooded the Internet, Photoshop battles gripped Reddit, and younger viewers quickly added a porg replica to their Christmas wishlist. But beneath all the hype existed a small pocket of Star Wars fans who believed that the porgs were too cute, and soon began to question whether the adorable, saucer-eyed creatures even served a purpose in Star Wars: The Last Jedi at all.
I was like, ‘Oh, this is part of the island, we need to find the Star Wars version of this. And then just story-wise — not that they play a big part in the story — but I knew I wanted to find any source of comic relief I could on the island. And so they were very useful in terms of that.
Every Star Wars film tends to deliver an adorable, crowd-pleasing alien that winds up plastered on lunchboxes and pajama bottoms across the world, and the porgs are no different. Granted, further in the interview, Johnson recalled his fears of a potential backlash early on in production.
It wasn’t until we got the actual puppets on set and the whole crew reacted with ‘oh my god, they’re adorable!,’ and also then a few people in the crew were of giving them that suspicious side-eye of ‘these are cute, but are they too cute?’ But the overwhelming reaction on set was everybody loved the porgs. And I love ’em, so you know what? I get it if people are a little wary of cuteness in the Star Wars universe, but I personally love them, and I think they have their place in the movie.
Based on Sunday’s unmissable trailer, we imagine at least one porg will accompany Chewie and the gang in the fight against the First Order. Perhaps those pint-sized birds have grown fond of Luke Skywalker? All will be revealed when The Last Jedi lights up theaters on December 15th.