Rian Johnson received what is arguably the best wrap gift when filming commenced on Star Wars: The Last Jedi. “I got a porg,” he revealed to his actors John Boyega, Laura Dern, Mark Hamill, and Gwendoline Christie in a Facebook Live event on Friday.
As he explained, Neal Scanlan, head of the Star Wars creature shop, sent him “an actual porg, like the hand-feathered puppet… and they hooked it up to little levers so I can control its face and everything.”
To give you a clearer picture of just how much better Johnson’s porg is than your adorable plushy, Scanlan is the one who also brought to life those crystal foxes (called a vulptex) for The Last Jedi. Those creatures got a similar animatronic mold, as shown in EW’s creature feature video reveal.
We know, you’re jealous.
Watch the full Facebook Live Q&A below.
Star Wars fans will encounter the porg on the island of Ahch-To, where Luke Skywalker (Hamill) is training Rey (Daisy Ridley) in the ways of the Force.
“If you go to Skellig [the island where those scenes were shot] at the right time of year, it’s just covered in puffins, and they’re the most adorable things in the world,” Johnson told EW of the porg creation process. “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 porg are in that realm.”
In a separate Q&A stream for the Twitter crowd on Thursday, the filmmaker joked that porg are a “nightmare” to work with. “Don’t believe any of the press,” he joked.
Star Wars: The Last Jedi will open in theaters on Dec. 15.