Just when you thought Porgs couldn't get any cuter.
Star Wars: The Last Jedi introduced viewers to the adorable new species of creatures, which are essentially penguin-like birds with saucer-sized eyes for an added touch of twee, but concept art for the film reveals that they almost looked quite different to what we saw on screen.
Yahoo! Entertainment unveiled early designs for the Porgs while they were still in the middle stages of artistic development. After writer-director Rian Johnson decided how he wanted the tiny space critters to look physically (flappy webbed feet, egg-like body, small mouth), artist Jake Lunt Davies created versions of the Porgs in varying colors and patterns, including green, blue, yellow, red, and purple zebra-stripe pairings.
The images, shown below, are included in the new book The Art of Star Wars: The Last Jedi alongside storyboards and costume sketches, as well as art for characters, new planets, and never-before-seen species created by Johnson, Lucasfilm's in-house crew of "visualists," and production designer Rick Heinrichs (Captain America: The First Avenger, Fargo, The Nightmare Before Christmas). Author Phil Szostak's in-depth commentary accompanies the exclusive photos.
Though the Porgs eventually became more neutral-toned in terms of color, they still stirred up plenty of buzz based on their unique appearance. Reactions ranged from complete adoration to outright discomfort at the sight of them. One person who especially dislikes the Porgs is none other than John Boyega, who plays the former Stormtrooper Finn in the current trilogy.
"I just naturally don't like 'em," Boyega said during an appearance on Jimmy Kimmel Live earlier this year. "I don't. I was on the [Millennium] Falcon and there was a hole and then there was like all little Porgs bunched together and then there were big one… they had the puppets blinking and all that kind of stuff. I'm not into it."
The actor repeated his sentiments to Entertainment Weekly, stating, "I just remember doing some stuff and seeing a lot of Porgs around. And they are interesting, but for me, I had a love/hate relationship with them. They're very, very cute, but when you put them in a bunch, in holes, on the Millennium Falcon, that's when they start to become really, really freaky. They've got real big eyes, all bunched together."
For those still wondering what in the world (or, more appropriately, the galaxy far, far away) a Porg is, Johnson previously recounted their origin story, explaining that the Porgs are native to Ahch-To, where Luke Skywalker (Mark Hamill) has been living in isolation. The creatures are inspired by puffins that reside on Michael Skelling off the coast of Ireland, the place where all the scenes on Ahch-To were filmed.
"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," Johnson said. "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."
You can catch the Porgs on the big screen in Star Wars: The Last Jedi now.
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