Here’s what we know about the creatures so far
By Veronnica MacKillop, Contributor
Star Wars: The Last Jedi is coming to theatres December 15, and the new episode is bringing some new species to the Star Wars universe.
The trailer that dropped on October 9 gave us a look at some of these species, but many fans agree that one creature stole the spotlight: Porgs. The newly-beloved creature was seen screaming beside Chewbacca in the Millennium Falcon, and they immediately became a fan favourite. So, what do we know about the Porgs? According to the Star Wars Wookieepedia, Porgs are a seabird from Ahch-To, the planet where Rey found Luke Skywalker at the end of The Force Awakens. The Porgs are curious creatures who can fly and build nests. Baby Porgs are called Porglets, and a group of Porgs is called a murder. The Porgs are created using animatronics, puppetry, and CGI.
Director Rian Johnson explained that the Porgs are actually inspired by puffins, after he saw them covering Skellig Michael Island while scouting the space for the film. He found the creatures hilarious and thought we needed a Star Wars version of this.
Some fans have noticed a shot of Chewbacca with a feather in his mouth, and are speculating that it may be a Porg feather. This seems unlikely since there will also be a children’s book called Chewie and the Porgs, but perhaps Chewie attempting to eat a Porg doesn’t actually result in the Porg being eaten, and this will be played off as a joke.
The next new species we see in the trailer is the Crystalline Fox called the vulptex. They live on Crait, a mineral planet where members of the Resistance are hiding out.
The creatures have developed the crystalline nature due to feeding off the planet for so long, claims creature effects creator Neal Scanlan. He also said that the inspiration from the creatures came from glass chandeliers, and they put a suit made of plastic straws on a dog to figure out how the crystalline fur would move. According to Entertainment Weekly, the vulptices can burrow into crevices to hide.
In the trailer, the vulptices are seen running into some sort of shelter, which fans assume is the Resistance hideout on Crait. Since it seems they are running away from something, many assume that the foxes are going to be helping the Resistance. Perhaps, because they are so climatized to Crait, they are being used by the Resistance to gather food and supplies, or to be on lookout.
Caretakers are the final new species seen in the trailer. Johnson described them to Entertainment Weekly as “these sort of fish-bird type aliens who live on the island [of Ahch-To].” He explained that they have lived there for thousands of years, and they tend to the structures on the island.
The Caretakers are all female, large, but with small bird-like feet, they speak in an alien language that Johnson describes as “a blubbery sort of Scottish fish talk”, and they wear nun-like clothing. Johnson said that he wanted them to seem like a little nunnery. Luke is able to understand them, but Johnson said that the Caretakers sort of just tolerate his presence on Ahch-To. He also said that they are amphibious creatures who rose up from the sea to take care of the buildings. Scanlan said that the Caretakers are an “extrapolation from the Porgs.”
The Caretakers are animatronics, played by people inside the suits. Since one of the buildings that they care for is the first Jedi temple, fans speculate that the Caretakers most likely worship the Force.
Star Wars News Net found photos of another creature that may be in the upcoming film, but rather than releasing the photos, they had artist Eli Hyder come up with concept art for another new creature that may be on Ahch-To: The sea monster. We know that the monster will be white and up to nine feet tall, and that there is a possibility that Rey will go up against it in the film, but it may just be in the background.
From Ewoks to Porgs, Star Wars is always bringing interesting new creatures for fans to love, and with the December 15 date fast approaching, we’ll soon see how these new species will fit into the universe.