This new Star Wars creature has a bigger link to Ireland than we thought
Or to Skellig Michael, at least.
The first full-length trailer for Star Wars: The Last Jedi caused a social media frenzy when it landed earlier this week - and one thing in particular caught everyone's attention.
Fans finally got their first glimpse at porgs, the lovable-look species of fluffy, sea birds native to the planet Ahch-To (which looks awfully like Skellig Michael), where Luke Skywalker has been living.
The fluffy critters became instant internet sensations after their debut in the trailer, inspiring countless memes and capturing the hearts of viewers.
— MARK HAMILL♥BEAT (@jimmyking911) October 10, 2017
spoiler: the answer is porgs. porgs win the star wars. pic.twitter.com/FNcLKk6On6
— palm tree guy (@HashtagHarris) October 10, 2017
my porg will go on pic.twitter.com/qWnJnGrFjg
— 𝗵𝗲𝗮𝘁𝗵 (@heathdwilliams) October 10, 2017
Films I want
The Phantom Porg
Attack of the Porgs
Revenge of the Porg
A New Porg
The Empire Strikes Porg
Return of the Porg
The Porg Awakens
— Jords 🚂 (@kilbrniesanders) October 12, 2017
— Nerdist (@nerdist) October 10, 2017
But it turns out the porgs have a big connection to Ireland - in particular, the puffins that live on Skellig Michael, where the last scenes of The Force Awakens were shot.
Director Rian Johnson told Entertainment Weekly:
"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.
"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."
And Dr Mark Jessop, a marine biologist at UCC, recently told RTE Radio 1's Ray D'Arcy Show that the inspiration for porgs made sense, as the birds would be hard to miss if you were working on the island.
"There’s quite a few thousand of them breeding on the Skelligs and that’s where they did a lot of the filming for Star Wars so it’s not really out of the universe that they’ve taken them as an inspiration for one of their new characters."