Porgs pro­vide comic re­lief in Star Wars se­quel

The Province - - ENTERTAINMENT - MICHAEL CAVNA

Just in time for the hol­i­days, the porgs are hav­ing their mo­ment in the Ahch-To sun.

This week’s re­lease of the lat­est Last Jedi trailer lets us hear just what a scream­ing space porg sounds like — as we see the furry crit­ter rid­ing in the Mil­len­nium Fal­con with Chew­bacca.

That briefest of teaser shots launched an ar­mada of memes, and one of the most im­pres­sive re­sponses mixes that porg peal.

Volpe Mu­sic has re-cre­ated John Wil­liams’s tri­umphal Star Wars theme by mak­ing it sound as if the porgs are singing. The re­sult seems to be the first Porg Sym­phony.

The porgs were also fea­tured promi­nently in the kick­off to Tues­day’s Late Show With Stephen Col­bert. In the comedic short, BB-8, the then­new mas­cot of a droid in 2015’s The Force Awak­ens, now wal­lows in its di­min­ished res­i­dent cute Star Wars cre­ation sta­tus, as REM’s Ev­ery­body Hurts cuts like a lightsabre.

Ev­ery Star Wars film of­fers adorable crit­ters and droids, largely as re­as­sur­ing comedic re­lief from all the masked bad­dies roam­ing the galaxy. And Dis­ney chair­man Bob Iger per­son­ally helped green­light BB-8 as a char­ac­ter.

Now, to in­tro­duce a new alien species to the fran­chise, di­rec­tor Rian John­son and his team drew di­rect in­spi­ra­tion from Ire­land’s Skel­lig Michael, the re­mote isle that stands in for Ahch-To, Luke Sky­walker’s hide­out while in ex­ile.

As the film­mak­ers told En­ter­tain­ment Weekly, these space-puf­fin pup­pets were cre­ated in the crea­ture shop of Neal Scan­lan af­ter John­son saw the is­land seabirds while scout­ing lo­ca­tions for the fi­nal scene in Force Awak­ens.

“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 told EW, adding: “So the Porgs are in that realm.”

Ahch-To is also home to the Care­tak­ers, a species of pre­his­toric-look­ing fe­male aliens who re­port­edly loom like an or­der of nuns.

So far, alas, the Care­tak­ers lack the porgs’ com­mer­cial ap­peal.

Per­haps that will change when Last Jedi lands Dec. 15. But we highly doubt it.

— WALT DIS­NEY PIC­TURES

Love ‘em or hate ‘em, the Porgs are go­ing to be fea­tured in Star Wars: The Last Jedi, which lands on Dec. 15.

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