The Last Jedi answered many questions for Star Wars fans, ranging from what Luke Skywalker has been up to since Return of the Jedi to the identity of Rey's parents. Another major question that the film answered was whether or not anyone would eat a porg, with Chewbacca grilling one up while he was on Ahch-To, much to the horror of another feathered creature. The official Star Wars Twitter account celebrated the New Year by posting the porg's reaction for all to enjoy.
Immediately following the debut of porgs during a behind-the-scenes featurette for The Last Jedi last summer, social media was flooded with reactions to the adorable creatures, which shortly after resulted in an outbreak of threats against the critter. While many wanted to coddle the creation, many wished nothing but ill will upon them, thinking they were created as merely a marketing attempt to sell cuddly toys.
The implication of violence towards the fictional creature may have shocked some, but science has actual answers for the reaction.
According to Professor Oriana R. Aragón, one response to something cute is "playful aggression," a reaction that equates to seeing an adorable baby and claiming "I could just eat you up." Aragón told The Verge, "There is a strong response to cuteness that involves the suggestion of eating the cute being."
Aragón also posits that the brain responding to stimuli that cause an abnormally positive feeling might lead to this playful aggression, similarly to how when someone is incredibly nervous, they have a hard time controlling their laughter.
“My guess would be that people are… playing on that initial impulse to exclaim something about wanting to eat [them up], and taking that impulse to the next step for effect,” Aragón explained. “I do not think people are actually wishing that this is a new source of protein.”
The person responsible for crafting the critter also recently shared that they were a response to a native species of Skellig Michael, the shooting location for Ahch-To.
“(We) had gone to shoot this sequence on Skellig Michael, which is the real island location that stands in for Ahch-To, and that island is covered in puffins," designer Jake Lunt Davies told StarWars.com. “It’s a wildlife preserve and everywhere you look there are hundreds of birds dotted around the landscape."
The abundance of the birds caused the production team to improvise.
“You physically can’t get rid of them, and digitally removing them is an issue and a lot of work, so let’s just roll with it, play with it," Davies pointed out. "And so I think [writer/director Rian Johnson] thought, Well, that’s great, let’s have our own indigenous species.'"
Fans can see porgs for themselves in The Last Jedi, in theaters now.