The first comprehensive trailer for Star Wars: Episode VIII The Last Jedi has just been released – below – and there are lots of new developments in a galaxy far, far away including a seriously arthritic Luke Skywalker, a tentatively kick ass Rey, an emo Kylo Ren sporting a Nelly-style Elastoplast (Adam Driver fans, come hither) and… who am I kidding. All you need to know about is porgs.
Wouldn’t call yourself a Star Wars fan? Think R2-D2 is a printer malfunction and Binx is a model (she is – but she’s named after Jar Jar, one of the most irritating creatures in the Star Wars universe)? The introduction of the porg – “the Star Wars version of puffins,” according to Pablo Hidalgo, creative executive of Lucasfilm Story Group – may change that.
A bug-eyed bird resembling a hamster, the porg pops up on the Millennium Falcon next to Chewie as he guides the ship through what appears to be the hollow core of a planet. A sea bird native to the planet Ahch-To, where Jedi Master Luke Skywalker is currently hanging out in exile, porgs can both nest and fly, and were inspired by the puffins on Skellig Michael, the island west of the Iveragh Peninsula in County Kerry, Ireland where Star Wars: The Force Awakens was filmed. “Porgs are cute,” Hidalgo continues. “You fall into those deep, soulful eyes. I think a lot of people are going to want a porg as a pet.”
Pablo’s onto something. Remember that Christmas when micropigs were, ahem, huge? Christmas 2017 is the year of the porg. Pretty soon Paris Hilton will be tugging one round Beverly Hills on a hot pink, diamante-studded leash. Rupert Grint will buy two for his sister. Charlotte Church, another convert, will declare: “They’re excellent with the children, their little wings flap lovingly. They’ve got their own little characters, a bit like humans.” Animal rights groups will pick up abandoned ones on hard shoulders across the country and remind people that “porgs are for life, not just for Christmas”. It’s only a matter of time before they rebrand Pusheen and your feed is flooded with animated puffin-hamsters.
And if you’re immune to the lure of a fluffy CGI bird? A last glimpse of Carrie Fisher on screen should be inducement enough to sit through at least two hours of intergalactic nonsense.