On the planet Ahch-To, Luke Skywalker and Rey could be hanging out with with some adorable, and possibly intelligent, alien creatures in Star Wars: Episode VIII.
If you don’t count Jar Jar Binks, there haven’t been cutesy creatures in a Star Wars movie since the Ewoks danced their way into Return of the Jedi. But, Making Star Wars reports that in Episode VIII Luke will be befriended by “avian” creatures that are “like a bird mixed with a Gremlin,” or “the Star Wars version of a Furby.” Reportedly, these new creatures are based loosely on real-life Puffins, which inhabit the island of Skellig Michael, the location on Earth which stands in for the planet Ahch-To.
Containing “razor sharp teeth,” these unnamed creatures might also be intelligent. The rumor also states that one of the creatures is the “protector” of the island and speaks to Luke Skywalker. While these creatures might be new to the Star Wars galaxy, there are two interesting precedents.
Back in the non-canon days of the 1980s, the Star Wars Marvel comics featured a story (which was later adapted into a children’s read-along-book) called “Plif” or “Star Wars: The Planet of the Hoojibs.” In the story, the Rebel Alliance encountered the Hoojibs, creatures who were cute, intelligent, and also saw themselves as the protectors of their world. Their leader, Plif, even showed up in subsequent in Expanded Universe Star Wars novels as a member of the New Republic Senate.
If you stick to in-canon stuff only, there’s also the avian, and sharp-toothed creatures from Star Wars Rebels, the Tibidee. Though initially frightening, these creatures have proven to be helpful to Ezra, Hera, and other members of the Ghost crew on several occasions.
Star Wars: Episode VIII, now with more space Furbies, will debut on December 16, 2017.