By now, you’ve already seen The Last Jedi and you’ve made up your mind about one of the newest additions to the Star Wars universe: Porgs, those quivering-lipped fuzzy white trillers that infest Luke’s (Mark Hamill) island and the cockpit of the Falcon. Whether you think they are great comic relief or way too Ewok, there is a reason for the Porgs to exist in The Last Jedi beyond the fact that they will sell bajillions of toys. In an interview for Star Wars‘ official site, creature designer Jake Lunt Davies revealed that writer-director Rian Johnson created the Porgs to cover up the indigenous puffins, which were so numerous it would have cost a lot of money to remove them digitally.
From what I gathered, Rian [Johnson] 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. It’s a wildlife preserve and everywhere you look there are hundreds of birds dotted around the landscape. From what I gathered, Rian, in a positive spin on this, was looking at how can he work with this. You can’t remove them. 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. And so I think he thought, ‘Well, that’s great, let’s have our own indigenous species.’
Check out StarWars.com for more porg concept art.