The Star Wars universe has its fair share of slimy and scary species, but it’s also got some extremely adorable ones, too. Ever since R2-D2 rolled his way onto theater screens and the Ewoks first traipsed through the forests of Endor, the saga has been home to a serious amount of cute, and the introduction of BB-8 in The Force Awakens only served to up the adorable quotient.
Now, The Last Jedi is adding tiny, cuddly, puffin-like porgs to the lineup, so we’ve set out to answer once and for all: Who’s the cutest Star Wars creature in the galaxy?
Below, we’ve gathered a whole host of cute candidates, both old and new. (We’re also limiting our candidates to the theatrical Star Wars films. Sorry, Loth-cats.) Read our justification for each contender, and then cast your vote in the poll below.
Have you seen these things? We got our first glimpse of these tiny, otherworldly critters earlier in July, when The Last Jedi debuted behind-the-scenes footage at D23. Almost immediately, the internet fell head over heels for these fuzzy, bug-eyed aliens, and Lucasfilm was quick to bless us with some details. First of all, they are called porgs. They are adorable. They build nests. They can fly. They live on Ahch-To, the remote planet where Luke Skywalker’s been hanging out for the past few years, and they are inspired by the real-life puffins who live on Skellig Michael (the Irish island where The Force Awakens finale was filmed). And apparently, their babies are called porglets. Porglets.
“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,” writer-director Rian Johnson told EW earlier this summer. “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.”
Most importantly, they fulfill pretty much every criterion on the “most adorable” checklist. Tiny size? Check. Cuddly, squishy body? Check. Enormous eyes that stare into your very soul? Check and check. They’re so cute it’s practically offensive.
Porgs may be the hot new thing, but two years ago, before the release of The Force Awakens, BB-8 held the title for most adorable newcomer. With his roly-poly body, his expressive beeps, and his puppy-dog eyes — eye? lens? — he was irresistible. And he knows it.
“We always imagined BB-8 as being quite manipulative,” Star Wars creature shop expert Neal Scanlan told EW a few years back. “I think he knows he’s cute. He knows that he can win people over. And he uses that like children do to get his own way. In this film, he has a very important mission that he has to accomplish and so he uses his personality, his coyness, and all of those things.”
Sure, he’s not as small and nimble as his beeping orange counterpart, but when it comes to the adorable factor, R2 is the OG. Adorableness isn’t his chief trait — he’s also loyal, brave, slightly sassy — but there’s a reason this charming bucket of bolts has been winning audiences over since 1977.
Yes, they can rip your arms off. Yes, they have sharp teeth. They’re also extremely cuddly. George Lucas has said that Chewbacca and the Wookiees were inspired by his own enormous Alaskan Malamute, Indiana, and there is something distinctly doglike about these gigantic furry creatures.
Whether you love or hate the small fuzzy critters who reside on the forest moon of Endor, there’s no denying that they’re cute. Part teddy bear, part small, smoosh-faced dog, Ewoks are downright charming. (Unless you’re a Stormtrooper.)
Okay, okay, hear us out. Yes, they’re kind of rude and cranky, and they essentially kidnap R2 and C-3PO and sell them into slavery. We don’t really know what they look like, what with the robes and everything, but they’re small, and they have big, glowing eyes. Kinda cute, right?