'Star Wars: The Last Jedi' Creature Designer Responds to the Porg Phenomenon

The latest film in the Star Wars saga introduced many new characters to the galaxy far, far away, [...]

The latest film in the Star Wars saga introduced many new characters to the galaxy far, far away, but few of them stood out like the adorable creatures native to the Jedi island on Ahch-To.

Yes, we're talking about the porgs.

Neal Scanlan, the creature designer for Star Wars: The Last Jedi, recently spoke with Collider about the porgs, revealing that he and his teamed hoped they would become the sensation they are now.

"There was a great deal of effort made to try to make them as engaging as we possibly could," said Scanlan. "We made many, many Porgs for one Porg, so that you could have a sad Porg, a happy Porg and an anxious Porg. We sculpted and feathered them to get you to engage emotionally with them, on that level.

"We also were somewhat apprehensive about stepping over the line too much. If we'd made them too childlike, we might have lost the more expanded audience. So, I'm absolutely delighted that they've been received with such warmth by everybody. It's amazing! By the end of the shoot, I wanted to take a Porg home and live with it."

Scanlan also spoke about the possibility of making the porgs "too cute" and potentially alienating a part of the audience of the new Star Wars movie.

"I knew there was always going to be split opinions, but there is a fine line in Star Wars, where if you're not careful, it can cross over," Scanlan said. "I knew that if people responded to them so well from the trailers that they would continue to respond that way to them, in the film. I don't believe they ever step into overly cute or slapsticky. They remained believable to me. They could almost be the little critters that live in your back garden."

Scanlan also spoke at length about creating the connection between Chewbacca and one specific porg, who has since become the "ship pet" for the Millennium Falcon. Hopefully Porgbacca continues to be explored in Episode IX.

Star Wars: The Last Jedi is now playing in theaters.