From the moment Star Wars fans got our first look at porgs last summer, the cuddly creatures became one of the most talked-about elements of The Last Jedi. The adoration showering the creatures made for an even bigger surprise when we saw Chewbacca resort to killing and roasting a porg while on Ahch-To. Writer/director Rian Johnson recently shared his apologies for incorporating the scene into the film.
"He doesn't eat them, I guess, to be fair. That's a small recompense for those poor porgs. Sorry," the director shared with Entertainment Tonight.
Seeing the way fans responded so intensely to the animals made the anticipated reaction to that scene seem even worse.
"It was always there," Johnson pointed out. "So the instant we introduced the porgs and people started joking about recipes for them before the movie came out, I was like, 'Oh boy."
Many social media users were appalled at the thought of the adorable creatures coming into any sort of danger, but science actually has an explanation for the violent reaction to the animals.
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."
If you found yourself getting into heated debates about whether or not porgs should be consumed, you're not alone, as even the cast and crew sharing their reactions to the notion in multiple interviews.
You can see porgs in The Last Jedi, in theaters now.
[H/T Entertainment Tonight]