Neal Scanlan On ‘The Last Jedi’ Porgs, Crystal Foxes, BB-8

The latest issue of Empire Magazine features an interview with Star Wars award-winning lead creature effects guru Neal Scanlan in which he reveals a few new details on The Last Jedi‘s porgs, crystal foxes, and our lovable spherical buddy BB-8.

Empire posted an article on their site containing some of the info provided to them by Scanlan, such as a unique relationship between the porgs and another species set to debut in Episode VIII, background on the crystal foxes that were present in the official trailer, and an encounter BB-8 has with his “evil twin” BB-9E.

One of the tidbits Scanlan revealed to us was that Porgs – the puffin-like birds glimpsed in the trailer (which have already caused a merchandising sensation) – were at least partially related to the Caretakers, the more sentient nun-like creatures who live on the island of Ahch-To with Luke Skywalker. “With Ahch-To, it felt like the only creatures that would ever exist on this island were those indigenous to it, where very few other species and DNA would have reached them,” Scanlan explained. “So they’re an extrapolation from the porgs and have bird-like feet, but they’re a further developed race.”

Scanlan also revealed that the Porg seen in the cockpit of the Millennium Falcon with Chewbacca in the trailer is befriended by Chewie, as “that porg in particular shows some very Wookiee traits in the way he’s coloured; his patterning is very similar to Chewie’s.”

As for the mysterious Crystal Foxes, also spotted in the trailer, Scanlan offers some background on their origin: “The theory is they’ve fed off this planet for so long that their fur has become crystalline. They’ve taken on the very surface of the planet they live on.”

Elsewhere, Scanlan teases a scene where BB-8 is on the run from his evil First Order doppelgänger, BB-9E. “There was this one scene in particular where BB-8 is in disguise and has to try and make his way without being recognised,” Scanlan says. “It just seemed so threatening that his doppelgänger would be the very one that may or may not discover him.”