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Dublin: 8 °C Saturday 11 July, 2020

The adorable 'porgs' in the new Star Wars trailer are actually based on puffins found on Skellig Michael

They’re becoming internet sensations.

Source: Star Wars/YouTube

ON MONDAY NIGHT, the official trailer for Star Wars: The Last Jedi dropped and everyone lost the run of themselves trying to gain insight ahead of the December release.

Among all the subplots and theories though, the thing that really captured the imagination was the appearance of a new species in the Star Wars universe: porgs.

They’re an adorable sea bird species native to the planet Ahch-To and they have a brief moment in the trailer

agag Source: Star Wars

Within 24 hours, porgs were a massive meme.

Here’s the noise that they make, replayed for a full ten minutes

Source: NightBot/YouTube

Because of course.

The porgs were Photoshopped into everything

You get the picture. Porgs are now internet sensations and sure to be the merchandise stars of the forthcoming hype train.

But there’s an interesting link to Ireland at the core of all this: the porgs are based on the puffins that live on Skellig Michael in Kerry, where the series has famously been shooting for the past couple of movies.

Here’s one of the little puffins native to Skellig Michael

2618664446_6238931cf6_b Source: amerune flickr

Director Rian Johnson confirmed that they were the porg inspiration in an interview with EW:

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. Source: LucasFilm

It’s become such a sensation this week that The Ray D’Arcy Show on RTÉ Radio 1 brought on UCC marine biologist Dr Mark Jessop to discuss the porgs this afternoon – and he confirmed that they’d 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.

So, on top of the Wild Atlantic Way scenery, there’s going to be a little bit of Ireland on screen every time a porg’s adorable head pops up.

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David Elkin

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