At the recent Star Wars: The Last Jedi panel at this July’s D23 Expo, a behind-the-scenes sizzle reel was debuted for the newest entry in the sci-fi saga, in which quick glimpses of a new creature were shown (check around the 2:25 mark in the video below).

Following on from this brief introduction, new concept art has today emerged that gives more clarity as to what these creatures are, and gives us a name: the porgs. Here’s the art below, in a tweet from Star Wars UK:

As you can see, this is certainly the same creature from the sizzle reel. The introduction of the porgs poses some interesting questions regarding the direction in which Johnson is taking The Last Jedi. Due to the similarities of 2015’s The Force Awakens to 1977 original A New Hope, many fans thought The Last Jedi would follow the precedent set by The Empire Strikes Back, by taking a darker approach. However, the porgs seem to be anything but dark – almost Ewok-esque in their tone and physical presence.

This certainly correlates with information recently revealed in an interview with Johnson by Fandango’s Erik Davis, in which he suggests the tone of The Last Jedi is more akin to Return of the Jedi than Empire. You can check the clip out below:

Update: Since the reveal of the porgs on the Star Wars Twitter, an article has emerged delving deeper into the species. Here’s a breakdown of the interesting information:

Most interestingly, the porgs come from Ahch-To, the planet on which the First Jedi Temple resides, and where Rey and Luke meet one another at the end of The Force Awakens, and where Rey is presumably trained to become a Jedi during The Last Jedi. Creative executive Pablo Hidalgo also reveals that the porgs are peaceful creatures, and hints that Ahch-To is rarely visited – which begs the question as to what Luke is still doing there (presuming he has visited the temple already).

Hidalgo says that the porgs are brought to life at times through practical effects, but at other times entirely through CGI – suggesting they may be rather active creatures, and that they will be a pronounced physical presence on Ahch-To, monitoring Luke and Rey.

And thus, the introduction of porgs into established Star Wars canon begs several questions. Is this the darker second entry many were expecting, and the teaser trailer suggested? Or is this a Jedi-esque, light-hearted entry in the saga? We’ll only know for sure this December, when The Last Jedi is finally released.