Porgs are becoming wildly popular and they are giving many hardcore Star Wars fans PTSD-flashbacks of when a senseless frog creature destroyed to them what they held so dear. These fans see those wide-eyes little bird things and worry that that pain and suffering is going to happen all over again. Many fans, including myself, were skeptical about a new Star Wars franchise. However, for the majority of fans, the new trilogy has gained their trust after it was broken by the prequels. The thought of being betrayed again so quickly by Episode 8: The Last Jedi has many fans up in arms over the existence of these little creatures in their Star Wars. Porgs are basically my life now, and when I’ve talked to my fellow Star Wars fans over and over again I hear the same thing: “I’m worried they are going to be the next Jar-Jar Binks”. Well, Fear not friends! I am here to dispel your worries and fears and give you 7 Reasons why porgs aren’t the next Jar-Jar Binks.
1.They will not be part of the main plot
My biggest concern about The Last Jedi is that there will be too many storylines and not enough time to give each what they deserve. We can assume the main plot will be Luke training Rey on Ahch- To, but we know there will be a series of events leading to a Finn vs Phasma fight, something that leads to a casino where we will meet new characters like DJ and Laura Dern’s character and major individual storylines for each of the characters Rose, Poe and Leia that we don’t even have a solid idea about their roles in the new film and if they will intersect with the others. We know we will see more of Supreme Leader Snoke as well. With all of that going on, how much do you really think we’ll see porgs?
I don’t want to think about how much money I have spent on porg merchandise, but there is one common denominator: none of the porgs have names. They are “Life Sized Porg Plush” and “Porg Plush Pillow Buddy”. No names. Every Gungan and Ewok we’ve ever seen had a name. Really, every Ewok. How major of a role can porgs have if they don’t even have names?
Several new movie posters for The Last Jedi have been released and porgs are not featured on any of the North American ones. Only the Japanese poster, and even then they are barely noticeable. Compare that to The Phantom Menace poster where Jar Jar is featured as a main focal point, bigger than R2D2. We can use this as a metric to determine the size of a role the porgs will play in the movie.
I am in the minority or Star Wars fans and never actually thought Jar-Jar was that bad. What I did hate is how he was in almost every scene, especially ones he was not relevant to, like going to Mos Eisley instead of staying on the ship on Tatooine. There was absolutely no reason for him to be there. Even Obi-Wan stayed on the ship, why didn’t Jar-Jar? This lead to him being present during very pivotal parts in the entire series and distracting from the scenes.
Jar-Jar played a major role in the entire story of The Phantom Menace. He helped get Obi-Wan and Qui-Gon to the capital and convinced the gungans to help fight the droid army. They couldn’t have freed the capital without their assistance. There is no way porgs are going to play such a significant role in The Last Jedi.
2. Less screen time
My major complaint about Jar-Jar was that he was in the movie too much. Jar-Jar Binks was onscreen in The Phantom Menace for 17 minutes and 45 seconds. That is the exact same amount of time Han Solo was on screen in Return of the Jedi. That is also significantly more time than we saw Yoda in Empire Strikes Back at only 12 minutes and 30 seconds and almost as much as we saw Padme in Revenge of the Sith with 18 minutes and 15 seconds.
There is no need for this and there is no way porgs can take up as much valuable screen time given all of the other storylines that need to take place. Something comparable would be Wicket the Ewok, in Return of the Jedi. He was funny, memorable and played a small role in the main story. He was only onscreen for 3 minutes and 30 seconds. He was able to make a big impact and make his mark on the movie in very little screen time. I foresee porgs with about the same amount of time onscreen, based on that they will probably play a role similar to Wicket in the movie.
3. Non-speaking characters
Just say the words “Jar-Jar Binks” and someone will immediately go into ridiculous Jar-Jar speak such as, “Mesa mighty happy-o to see yousa”. It doesn’t matter how long he was onscreen, his speech was incredibly annoying. I think all Star Wars fans are in agreement on that.
But let me pose a question: what if the Ewoks talked? Could you imagine? All of RotJ would be very different indeed. But they don’t talk and people generally like the Ewoks. They were cute and helped the story progress, but did not interfere with the main plot. Salacious Crumb is also an excellent example of inserting humor into the film in a character without dialogue.
We do know that porgs do not speak. We did see one yell in the trailer, but they do not speak. Not having ridiculous dialogue interjected into scenes makes the Porgs significantly less likely to reach the same annoyance factor people experienced with Jar-Jar.
4. They will serve a useful purpose in the film
Fans want to follow up with Chewbacca after Han’s death. We can’t even imagine what he is going through. It wouldn’t be right to just write him off and that is the last we see of him. We want to see him heal and recover and I foresee the porgs helping do that. There will even be a children’s book called “Chewie and the Porgs”.
From everything I’ve seen about this new movie I can tell it is going to be very dark. I was shocked when I saw that striking red poster revealed at Celebration. Even the trailers are extremely bleak, but there is one thing that stands out: the porg. The little screaming porg in the second trailer probably made most people chuckle a little. It let fans know this movie wasn’t going to be completely somber, there would be some fun too.
I know most fans say Empire is their favorite of the series mostly because it is so dark and I think The Last Jedi wants to live up to that. But a good movie has many layers and emotions and the Star Wars movies always have. The porgs will give a little humor to an otherwise dark film.
5. Not completely CG
For some reasons Star Wars fans have grown especially fond of, practical effects versus CG. J.J. Abrams tried to do as many practical effects as possible in The Force Awakens and in the special features, continually pointed out how proud he was to not have used CG for scenes.
This mentality has spilled over to modern fans. The heavy use of CG represents everything wrong to them about the prequels. It is a sign of what what they felt was taken from them. These fans grew up on the amazing practical effects pioneered in 1977 and learned to love those. Watching modern interviews with George Lucas you can see how excited he was to finally have the tools to create the visions he’s always had. But for some reason many fans have rejected this idea and longed for the old ways which gives them the nostalgia of their youth.
Fans will be happy to know that porgs are not completely CG, but a mixture of computer and practical effects. I too appreciate practical effects, I couldn’t imagine if my dear Salacious Crumb was computer generated versus a puppet. Puppets do look better and help actors interact with them more naturally.
6. They are actually cute
People have gone nuts buying porg toys and porg merchandise because they are just so cute. Pablo Hidalgo himself has said, “porgs are cute. You fall into those deep, soulful eyes. I think a lot of people are going to want a porg as a pet.”. Now think of Jar-Jar Binks. Is he cute? Think of those floppy ears, eyes floating above his head, wooden looking teeth and toenails….Bottom line: Jar-Jar is weird looking, porgs are cute.
Another major complaint fans have about porgs is that, “They were just made for merchandising”. First of all, you can’t fault Star Wars for selling their own products. They basically created movie merchandise franchising 40 years ago. I do believe porgs will play a useful role in the movie and that they were not just added to the film for toy sales. The idea of that Rian Johnson has toy sales on his mind when drafting the story of The Last Jedi. With everything to focus on in the film, I highly doubt he gave any attention to how could make more toy sales. Porgs were added to film for a purpose.
7. They are bringing in a new line of fans
Let me just describe to you something I saw the other day. I was at a store in the electronics section across from the Star Wars toys area. Amongst the toys on the end cap were these fluffy little stuffed porgs, like the one I have. A little girl, maybe 7, was so excited to see them. She picked one up and hugged it. Her dad said maybe they would get it another time (I think he had gotten it for her for Christmas) and they walked away.
Something happened there: that little girl saw something that drew her to the Star Wars area of the store. She fell in love with a porg. Maybe next time she’ll walk down the aisles and see some of the new Forces of Destiny figures which feature the female Star Wars characters in Barbie-like dolls which are very appealing to young girls used to other such dolls. Then she might want to learn more about the characters, start watching Rebels and seeing Hera and Sabine be the kick ass women they are. Then she might want to start watching the movies and fall in love with Padme, Jyn and Leia and of course Rey. Get on Netflix and learn about Asokha. She’ll grow up to read the novels and comics and explore the Star Wars universe even more, and eventually become a life long fan like all of us getting Star Wars tattoos and jewelry and saving up all year to go to Celebration and cosplay her favorite characters.
That little fuzzy thing let her know that the world of Star Wars is safe and welcoming to someone like her. The rest of the display was glossy black and red and could be intimidating to a little girl, but there were these cute little things there inviting her in to begin to explore the world of Star Wars.
People dislike porgs for lots of reasons, but there’s something to always remember: Star Wars was made for the passionate neckbeards who post their fan theories daily on Reddit, but it was also made for people like her.
A lot of fans don’t want someone like her in their fandom. They don’t want to see Darth Vader riding a pink unicorn on a little girl’s bedroom floor. When I was a kid I was teased by the other girls and boys for liking Star Wars. They would say “Star Wars is for boys”. Maybe if porgs had been around then I could have had porg tea parties with the other little girls. Porgs appeal to a new demographic they have not really reached yet: little girls who like cute things. Also, adult women who like cute things too and felt like Star Wars never really appealed to them.
Long story short: Porgs are a gateway drug to Star Wars. Jar-Jar pushed people away from Star Wars, porgs bring them in.
In all things, it is important to decide your own opinions and not simply follow popular opinion. I hope this list has helped you craft your own personal opinions and views on porgs.
Please consider following my porg, Porgkins on Instagram and his adventures on Earth.