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See the porgs, Caretakers, and new creatures of The Last Jedi!

Hey Star Wars parents, I hope you're prepared to have your wallets forced open this holiday season, in preparation to purchase some porg stuffies for your little padawan. Now, I know what you're thinking, "Steve, what in the world is a porg, and why is this thing going to vampire my hard-earned savings?" Well, it turns out that a porg is an adorable penguin-esque, gerbil-like creature that is set to appear in STAR WARS: THE LAST JEDI, alongside a menagerie of other creatures as well.

Here, allow me to show you a photo of the creature that will cause all of your funds to go "poof," after Disney releases the next chapter of the Star Wars film saga:

In real life, the porgs were puppets created through Neal Scanlan’s creature shop, with wide black eyes and furry, flapping wings. Inspiration for the porgs arrived during a visit to the Irish island of Skellig Michael, where the scenes for Rey and Luke's inaugural meeting were shot. Dubbed the island of Ahch-To, this remote landmass is inhabited by not just Skywalker, but the porgs and other creatures as well. 

While participating in a recent interview with EW, STAR WARS: THE LAST JEDI director Rian Johnson told the entertainment news outlet that, “If you go to Skellig at the right time of year, it’s just covered in puffins, and they’re the most adorable things in the world. So when I was first scouting there, I saw these guys, and I was like, oh, these are part of the island. And so the Porgs are in that realm.”

Painfully adorable Furbys with obsidian glass-like eyes aside, the island of Ahch-To (that I continuously keep referring to as "Achtung Baby," the famed U2 album) is also the home of other lifeforms that dwell upon the primeval Jedi temple getaway enclave. Meet The Caretakers, a fish and bird hybrid alien creature that've been living on the archipelago for thousands of years, tending to the upkeep of its structures. 

To bring these unique critters to life on the big screen, the Caretakers are animated with a person inside (Daisy Ridley has gone on record to say that her personal friend had played one of them). Furthermore, the anthropomorphic beings wear clothing and speak using their own alien language.

Johnson went on to say that, “They’re all female, and I wanted them to feel like a remote sort of little nunnery,” Johnson says. “Neal Scanlan’s crew designed them, and costume designer Michael Kaplan made these working clothes that also reflected sort of a nun-like, spartan sort of existence.” In the film, they communicate with their dishevled Jedi guest, Luke, by way of “a blubbery sort of Scottish fish talk.” However, they're not particularly thrilled about Skywalker's presense on their island. To put it plainly, they simply "tolerate" his being there. Johnson also elaborated on The Caretakers possible origin, saying that they're amphibious and could have risen up from the oceans to tend to the island structures long ago.

“You get the sense they did at some point or maybe they occasionally do [return to the sea,] but when we see them, they’re land creatures,” says Johnson. “They’re these big matronly creatures, but they have these little skinny little bird feet. They were really fun to work with on set.”

In other matters related to the island of Ahch-To, do you recall the tree-like structure we saw in the trailer for STAR WARS: THE LAST JEDI? It looked like something of a bookshelf that played host to The Journal of the Whills - an ancient Jedi scripture that harkens all the way back to the original Star Wars mythos. As a point of note, EW points out that in last year’s Rogue One, Baze Malbus, played by Jiang Wen, and Chirrut Imwe, played by Donnie Yen, were members of an order known as the Guardians of the Whills.

Here's the thing though, just because it's a part of the next chapter of the saga, Johnson has stated that the puzzling mythical record won't be fully explored in his sequel. However, just because there isn't time to flesh out the entire religion, that doens't mean that elements of it won't be touched upon in the upcoming film. In wrapping up his talk about the island of Ahch-To with EW, Johnson stated that, “Hopefully it will be fun to discover in the context of the movie,” he says. “My notion was this is a place that goes all the way back. This is where the cave paintings are. The first designs that we had were temples, and I just kept pushing it back and saying, ‘No, think earlier, think earlier. Let’s push this all the way back and see how deep we can go into the foundations of where this all started.’”

STAR WARS: THE LAST JEDI will force its way into theaters beginning on December 15th.

Extra Tidbit: I would so keep a porg as a household pet/roommate. I'd think of him like Pen Pen from Neon Genesis Evangelion.

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