Here's Where Porgs Actually Come From, According to a Star Wars Creature Designer
We've been buzzing about Star Wars: The Last Jedi's porg creatures since they were first unveiled in August, and we're even more obsessed now that we've learned where they come from.
In an interview on the official Star Wars website, creature concept designer Jake Lunt Davies explains how porgs were actually a creative solution to a weird filming issue. And you thought they were just a ploy to sell stuffed animals!
Some cool #porg concept #art by Jake Lunt Davies for #StarWarsTheLastJedi #PorgNation pic.twitter.com/UIUrKtyO18
— Bob Al-Greene (@BobAlGreene) November 2, 2017
It turns out that Skellig Michael, the Irish island on which The Last Jedi's Ahch-To scenes were filmed, posed a unique problem to the movie's crew.
"(T)hat island is covered in puffins," Jake explained in the interview. "It's a wildlife preserve and everywhere you look there are hundreds of birds dotted around the landscape."
Since they couldn't physically relocate the adorable birds from the island, and removing them with CGI would be so expensive and time-consuming, director Rian Johnson asked the creature team to work with the puffins.
Inspired by the birds, the team went away and sketched some designs for what these creatures could be. Eventually, Jake came up with a design for the porg, pulling in elements from seals and pugs, in addition to puffins. In the end, he was pretty happy with his creation.
Learn how #TheLastJedi's porgs were created. https://t.co/1CRaJTkIO1 pic.twitter.com/4EYvHQPYCz
— Star Wars (@starwars) December 16, 2017
"There's something incredibly appealing about it," he said. "Maybe it's the big eyes. But like a pug, porgs have this very sort of sad, neutral face."
To achieve the effect they got in the movie, they used CGI to transform all of the background puffins into porgs, creating one of the most iconic new Star Wars creatures in the process. That's problem-solving at its finest.
Plus, it's inspired some incredible fan art.
Friends, now that we have proof that porgs were based on puffins I can confirm (I can't) officially (not even remotely official) that I've had the honor (I was bored) of designing the new Puffin Books logo: pic.twitter.com/MoENQIxgWD
— Samira (@suchdainties) December 20, 2017
Think porgs are cute? Click HERE for our ranking of the 13 cutest creatures in the Star Wars universe