With the new film hitting cinemas in the UK last week (December 14), many fans of the sci-fi franchise have found particular enjoyment in the introduction of the new creature from the planet Ahch-To.
The creative process behind the new creature has now been revealed in an interview with Jake Lunt Davies, who worked on The Last Jedi as the creature concept designer.
Davies has disclosed that director Rian Johnson was inspired to create the character from observing puffin birds on the island of Skellig Michael off the coast of Ireland, where some scenes in both the new film and The Force Awakens were filmed.
“From what I gathered, Rian 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,” Davies explained. “It’s a wildlife reserve and everywhere you look there are hundreds of birds dotted around the landscape.
“From what I gathered, Rian, in a positive spin on this, was looking at how can he work with this,” he continued. “You can’t remove them. 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 he thought, ‘Well, that’s great, let’s have our own indigenous species.’ 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.”
Elsewhere in Star Wars news, the man who started a petition to have The Last Jedi deleted has now admitted that he regrets his actions.