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These are the real-life animals that were used to create the Porg screams from ‘The Last Jedi’

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Harvey Day
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These are the strange animal calls that were used to create the Porg screams from ‘Last Jedi’

They’re the furry little space creatures that divided fans; are porgs cute and fun or just annoying? Whatever you think of them, they’ve now become an important part of Star Wars: The Last Jedi canon, with fans of the big-eyed birds even creating fan art for them:

And it turns out that the (somewhat annoying) screams that porgs give out in the movie are actually based on an animal call. In the trailer for a new ABC feature called The Force of Sound, The Last Jedi’s director Rian Johnson and his team discuss how they used sound in the film.

“Sound is still such a mystery. It’s not just a layer that’s been put on top of the storytelling. It is the storytelling,” he said.

Talking about the porgs, sound designer Ren Klyce then drops the news that “we had an intern that said, ‘I’ve got these turkey calls.’” He told the intern: “Yeah, bring them in.”

Good job intern, because those turkey calls became the voice of the porg! I just hope you were paid for your hard work.

Diaphragm turkey calls are devices used by hunters to attract turkeys to their location. And if you’re interested in how they work, here’s a very serious hunter awkwardly making turkey gobbling sounds with one of the devices:

You can watch the full The Force of Sound documentary here.

Star Wars designer Jake Lunt Davies earlier spoke to StarWars.com to reveal how porgs made it into the movie in the first place. He said: “(We) had gone to shoot this sequence on Skellig Michael, which is the real island location that stands in for Ahch-To, and that island is covered in puffins. It’s a wildlife preserve and everywhere you look there are hundreds of birds dotted around the landscape.

“We’d already started work on the Caretakers, which again was a brief from Rian. We’d just been told ‘puffin people’. Yeah, there was going to be this race of people and puffins again were a source of inspiration for Rian. The puffins were sort of a big influence on everything, really.

“You physically can’t get rid of them, and digitally removing them is an issue and a lot of work, so let’s just roll with it, play with it. And so I think (Rian Johnson) thought, ‘Well, that’s great, let’s have our own indigenous species.’”

(Image: Lucasfilm Ltd. / Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures)

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Harvey Day

Digital writer for Shortlist.com / @harveyday94 / harvey.day@shortlist.com

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