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Star Wars fans are pretty excited for The Last Jedi — but they’re REALLY excited for porgs

Porg memes are adorable; deal with it.

Aja Romano writes about pop culture, media, and ethics. Before joining Vox in 2016, they were a staff reporter at the Daily Dot. A 2019 fellow of the National Critics Institute, they’re considered an authority on fandom, the internet, and the culture wars.

’Tis the season of Star Wars hype, and nothing has fans more hyped than this panicky little penguin thing from the new trailer for Star Wars: The Last Jedi.

This little guy is called a porg. They’re officially “the Star Wars version of puffins,” and if that weren’t adorable enough, their babies are called “porglets,” they’re inquisitive, and apparently make great pets.

The Star Wars marketing machine has been teasing the cuteness of porgs for months, most notably through this short animated clip featuring a porg-napped BB-8:

But it wasn’t until Disney unveiled the trailer for The Last Jedi Monday night that fans got to see the porg in all its skittish terrified glory, as it apparently stands in for Han Solo (sniffle) as Chewie’s newest companion on the Millennium Falcon.

In the history of the Star Wars franchise, cute little guys (most notably the Ewoks) have not fared so well in the eyes of fans who see their cuteness as a distraction. But since the advent of BB-8 in The Force Awakens, there seems to have been a decided turn in favor of small, mildly anthropomorphic companions as integral parts of the Star Wars universe. And it helps that they’re just so gosh darn cute.

How much do fans love the porg? SO MUCH.

The porg instantly served as a way for fans to express their thoughts and feelings on the franchise itself, often with hilarious results.

But of course, like any good meme, it crosses over well with other jokes.

Okay, so not everything about the porg is inherently cute. But that doesn’t change the very good odds that people will be lining up for stuffed porgs and other porg-centric merchandise this holiday season — and that’s the real power of Star Wars:

Ah, yes. The marketing awakens.

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