The Star Wars franchise is chock full of alien species that fans have fallen in love with over the years. Between the wookies and the tauntauns, there’s no shortage of weird creatures to populate these bizarre worlds. Star Wars: The Last Jedi added to that collection of beasts with the introduction of the porgs, but it turns out that developing the aliens proved to be a daunting and stressful part of the film’s development. Star Wars creature effects supervisor Neal Scanlan opened up in a recent interview and explained:
Neal Scanlan has a point. The puffin-inspired porgs became one of the most talked about aspects of Star Wars: The Last Jedi prior to the film’s debut last December. The reaction was generally warm, but before the film actually premiered, there was a constant conversation online about how they would influence the overall tone of the movie. That said, the release of Star Wars: The Last Jedi came and went, and the opinion towards them appears to remain “warm.”
We have already seen examples of this in the history of the Star Wars lore. Specifically, the Ewoks introduced in Star Wars: Return of the Jedi have become one of the more divisive elements of Star Wars fiction since the film was released. Some people love them for the ways in which they expand the overarching mythology, while other fans have criticized them for adding too much lightheartedness to the third installment in the original trilogy.
Of course, one thing not specifically mentioned in Neal Scanlan’s comments to ET about the development of Star Wars: The Last Jedi‘s porgs is the worst-case scenario. Star Wars has been responsible for some magnificent creatures over the years, but if handled wrong, the porgs could’ve quickly fallen into the infamous Jar Jar Binks category of misfires.
Star Wars: The Last Jedi will debut on Digital HD on March 13, and the DVD and Blu-ray versions of the film will hit shelves two weeks later on March 27. Looking ahead at the rest of the Star Wars franchise, Solo: A Star Wars Story will premiere in theaters later this year on May 25, and Star Wars: Episode IX will hit theaters on December 20, 2019.