If you're a reader of this site, you probably watched the behind-the-scenes reel from Star Wars: The Last Jedi that premiered at D23 last week. And if you're anything like me, you probably ignored most of the legitimately exciting material in it in favour of scouring every frame for glimpses of the weird, insanely cute little mammalian penguin dudes that show up in a couple shots.
Thanks to the official Star Wars site, we now know those little things' name: they're called "porgs." Their babies are "porglets." According to Lucasfilm's canon policeman Pablo Hidalgo, the curious cliff-dwellers live with Luke Skywalker on Planet Celibacy, aka Ahch-To, building nests, flying around despite their improbable physiology, and awaiting their inevitable extinction at the hands of the rodents and bacteria undoubtedly introduced to the planet in The Force Awakens via the Millennium Falcon. Here's some concept art of pre-extinction porgs:
Just look at the little bastards. They've got round, squishy bodies, tiny little pattery feet, flappy flipper-wings, and big, expressive seal-like faces. Come on.
Before people get up in arms over Lucasfilm's merch department leading its story department: porgs apparently came courtesy of Rian Johnson. So lay your praise and/or blame at his directorial feet. Much like BB-8 and the new films' other creatures, the porgs are rendered through a combination of practical and digital effects. It's unknown how heavily they'll influence the story of The Last Jedi, but they're influencing my personal story plenty.
In summary: I'll probably be buying a plushie of one of these things come December. I'm not above announcing that publicly. Well done, merch team. But admittedly, I'm an easy mark for this kind of hyper-pattable stuff. I like the Ewoks and CJ7; I like Teddy from A.I. and the squid baby from Men in Black; I even like Woola from John Carter. All my critical faculties are basically forfeit whenever something like this hits the screen.
My only hope is that the porgs (I feel dumber every time I type the word, and yet I welcome that) don't become the Star Wars equivalent of Minions. Because despite everything I just said: seriously, fuck Minions.