In yet another new article about The Last Jedi, EW’s Anthony Breznican takes a closer look at the creatures that inhabit the mysterious island of Ahch-To, the planet where Luke took refuge after failing to train a new order of Jedi. We all know who the porgs are by now, but this article also gives us a first look at the Caretakers!
Breznican’s massive Entertainment Weekly coverage of The Last Jedi continues, but this time to Ahch-To. Before we even proceed, here is Chewie with a porg in the Falcon (we are tempted to just simply stop right here):
Ok we’ll keep going, first here are a few new details about the porgs:
These penguin-like wide-eyed creatures are native to the planet of Ahch-To, site of the first Jedi temple.
The porgs are puppets created through Neal Scanlan’s creature shop, with wide black eyes and furry, flapping wings.
Writer-director Rian Johnson said that although Luke Skywalker retreated to Ahch-To, he didn’t want the Jedi to be alone.
Rian Johnson also revealed that the puffins, the real inhabitants of the actual Skellig Michael Island where the Ahch-To scenes were filmed, were the inspiration behind the porgs
“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,” Johnson tells EW. “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.”
Before we give them all of your love and attention, there is another alien life-form inhabiting the island host to the first Jedi temple!
Johnson gives us a rundown about these additional creatures featured in The Last Jedi, ones that are caretakers not of Luke, but of the island and it’s structures. It appears that they aren’t exactly superfans of Jedi master either, and have been there for thousands of years, long before Jedi master Yoda was in diapers, to put it in perspective. Johnson explains who they are and how they were brought to life in the film:
“They’re kind of these sort of fish-bird type aliens who live on the island,” Johnson says. “They’ve been there for thousands of years, and they essentially keep up the structures on the island.”
The Caretakers are slightly more anthropomorphic than the porgs. They’re animated with a person inside (Daisy Ridley said a friend played one of them) and they wear clothes and speak in an alien tongue.
“They’re all female, and I wanted them to feel like a remote sort of little nunnery,” Johnson says. “Neal Scanlan’s crew designed them, and costume designer Michael Kaplan made these working clothes that also reflected sort of a nun-like, spartan sort of existence.”
They can communicate with Luke through what Johnson describes as “a blubbery sort of Scottish fish talk” but they’re not thrilled to have him hanging around. Johnson says they “tolerate” his presence.
JEDI CAVE PAINTINGS
As we saw in the first teaser which debuted at Star Wars Celebration Orlando, we see a tree of some sort, many deeming the “Force tree” with books inside marked with the symbol of Journal of the Whills, one of the original documents created by George Lucas about the origin of the Jedi religion. Without getting too heavily into it, Johnson did say he wanted to bring it back to the forefront in some capacity, while also making it clear Ahch-To is ancient and rich in the history of the religion:
“Hopefully it will be fun to discover in the context of the movie,” he says. “My notion was this is a place that goes all the way back. This is where the cave paintings are.”
Johnson said he had to resist the urge to make it look too clean, too modern. It had to be something more primitive.
“The first designs that we had were temples, and I just kept pushing it back and saying, ‘No, think earlier, think earlier. Let’s push this all the way back and see how deep we can go into the foundations of where this all started.’”
Okay so Chewie and a little porg in the Falcon? Sounds like we may have a permanent little passenger leaving the island for the rest of this trilogy! We know what everyone thinks of the porgs, now how about the caretakers? Around for thousands of years! Ahch-To is becoming more interesting by the day and we can’t wait to hear more about it and explore it more when The Last Jedi comes out in a mere four months!
Here’s Breznican’s video on the Caretakers and the porgs:
For the full article make sure to go to Entertainment Weekly.
You know we’ll be discussing this on The SWNN podcast The Resistance Broadcast this week as well! You can find me searching how to buy a real porg (or puffin) on Twitter talking about all of this at @JohnnyHoey and be sure to follow our official SWNN account at @starwarsnewsnet and The Resistance Broadcast at @RBatSWNN.
“For my ally is the Force, and a powerful ally it is.”