Adorable or deplorable? Porgs stir debate in Star Wars galaxy
Critters called Porgs are invading the Star Wars galaxy, and Walt Disney hopes they will soon be roosting under fans' Christmas trees.
Porgs make their debut in The Last Jedi, the new Star Wars movie showing here. Film trailers have offered only glimpses of a single Porg on the Millennium Falcon and lets out a squawk in one scene.
Cuddly creatures' appearances in the franchise have not always pleased fans. Many filmgoers feel the teddy bear-like Ewoks ruined the ending of 1983's Return Of The Jedi.
"Star Wars fans, understandably, always have suspicion about anything that is too adorable," said Rian Johnson, who wrote and directed The Last Jedi.
"I think the Porgs have their proper place in the movie. I think they fit."
Fan reaction has been mixed since the trailer came out in October, with one Twitter user writing: "I hate Porgs. I don't think they're cute at all, and I dislike how blatantly gimmicky they are."
When Disney screened The Last Jedi to more than 6,000 people at the movie's premiere last Saturday, the Porgs seemed to have captivated the audience, and comments on social media were largely positive.
Disney licensees are already selling plush Porgs at malls, online and at theme parks.
If the Porgs take off, they could boost sales of plush toys, which accounted for just 2 per cent of Star Wars US toy sales related to the 2015 film The Force Awakens, according to NPD toy industry analyst Juli Lennett. - REUTERS