As soon as the most adorable new additions to Star Wars lore made their debut in teaser footage, it was always inevitable that Porgs were going to be the hottest thing among Star Wars fans this year.
Inevitably, their inclusion in The Last Jedi has already inspired accusations of cynical commercialism... Because you know that anything cute in the Star Wars universe is basically a license to print money. The problem is, of course, that Jar Jar Binks exists, and anything that's seen as being any attempt to play to younger audiences who buy toys will now be drawn alongside that whole thing as a toxic parallel.
But according to director Ruan Johnson, the Porgs actually serve a purpose beyond their solid gold merchandising potential. He spoke to Yahoo! in the wake of the release of the film's second trailer and revealed that they were inspired by the puffins that inhabit Skellig Michael - the island location that doubled as Ahch-To:
I was like, 'Oh, this is part of the island, we need to find the Star Wars version of this. And then just story-wise --- not that they play a big part in the story --- but I knew I wanted to find any source of comic relief I could on the island. And so they were very useful in terms of that.
So they're there for comic relief. Nobody mention Jar Jar here either, okay?
By the sound of it, we shouldn't expect much important action from the Porgs in Episode VIII (though that might change for the follow-up if their popularity continues to grow), but they've already reached meme levels of hype...