How the porgs in Star Wars: The Last Jedi got their squawk
Star Wars: Episode VIII — The Last Jedi
Here’s how the porgs got their squawk — which might as well be the name of a children’s book for pint-sized Star Wars fans.
Star Wars: The Last Jedi sound designer Ren Klyce explained to CinemaBlend in a new interview how those puffin-inspired creations were given a voice through a mixture of turkey calls, chicken chirps, and doves.
“At Skywalker Sound there’s a chicken coop with these little chickens, and Coya Elliott, our first assistant, went down and recorded those chickens,” Klyce said. “And then we took that sound and slowed it down and stretched it out and found little chirps.
“We found this man who releases doves at weddings, and we asked him to come down so we could record them,” he continued. “So we have a little snippet of that [turkey call], a little bit of chicken, a little dove, and cut it all together.”
And that’s how the porgs got their squawk.
Native to the planet Ahch-To, the site of the first Jedi temple and where Rey (Daisy Ridley) comes to learn from Luke Skywalker (Mark Hamill), the porgs got their design from the real-life puffins that inhabited the film’s set.
“If you go to Skellig [Island] at the right time of year, it’s just covered in puffins, and they’re the most adorable things in the world,” The Last Jedi director Rian Johnson told 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.”
Porgs are now the latest Star Wars fan craze, though some of the cast members aren’t huge fans.
“I just naturally don’t like ‘em. I don’t,” John Boyega (Finn) had told Jimmy Kimmel. “I was on the [Millennium] Falcon and there was a hole and then there was like all little porgs bunched together and then there were big ones.”
Johnson, meanwhile, got to keep one of the mechanical porg puppets used on set as a wrap gift from Neal Scanlan, head of the Star Wars creature shop. “They hooked it up to little levers so I can control its face and everything,” the director gushed over his prize.