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"When they glow like that…"
"They're about to jump into hyperspace!"
―Hera Syndulla and Sabine Wren[7]

Purrgil were a semi-sentient species of massive whales that lived in deep space, traveling from star system to star system. Regular purrgils were only the size of a small starship, while members of a subspecies known as Purrgil Ultra were significantly larger. Purrgil had streamlined bodies with a smooth-looking bluish-purple skin, four large hind tentacles, and multiple fins. Their heads had a characteristic bulbous shape with one eye on each side. Living in groups consisting of up to dozens of individuals, they were able to fly through hyperspace by creating simu-tunnels. The natural ability of the purrgil inspired sentients to develop hyperdrive technology and wayfinders that were used for hyperspace navigation.

According to Hera Syndulla, leader of the Spectres rebel cell, most spacers considered purrgil to be pests due to their habit of approaching and flying into starships near their flight paths, and for ships crashing into their swarms during hyperspace travel. Numerous spacer deaths could be attributed to purrgil-related incidents, leading most spacers to fire upon them on sight. However, Jedi Padawan Ezra Bridger, another member of the Spectres, was able to establish a connection to the whales when he encountered a group of them together with the rest of his crew at a gas refinery. He later used that bond to ally with a group of purrgil against Imperial Grand Admiral Thrawn's 7th Fleet during the liberation of the Outer Rim planet Lothal, ultimately removing the fleet from the planet by having the purrgil wrap their tentacles around Thrawn's starship and jump to hyperspace.

Biology and appearance[]

"These creatures are a menace, a big, lumbering menace."
―Hera Syndulla talking about purrgil[5]

The Purrgil King's skin turned brown when he was not provided with enough Clouzon-36.

While regular purrgil were only the size of a small starship,[7] members of a subspecies known as Purrgil Ultra[3] were significantly larger,[7] reaching half of the length of an Imperial-class Star Destroyer.[3] On average, they reached a height of 5.5 meters, or 18 feet, and a length of 30 meters, or 98 feet,[4] Purrgil had streamlined, torpedo-shaped bodies and bulbous heads with two cloudy, blue eyes placed on the sides of it.[5] They had four large hind tentacles, a single dorsal fin, two side fins, a ventral fin, and an anal fin all of which allowed them to move gracefully across the vacuum of space.[8] The skin of purrgil was smooth-looking, and a bluish-purple color with gray and yellow portions. Their large mouths were filled with egg-shaped teeth that were irregularly spaced and varied in size. Some specimens had slender, whisker-like organs underneath their mouth.[5] Purrgil Ultra had a larger amount of these whisker-like organs and more distinctive protrusions on top of their head.[7]

In order to breathe, purrgil needed to inhale stores of a specific green gas, Clouzon-36.[8] When they were not provided with enough of the gas, their skin turned to a gray to brownish color.[5] Once sufficiently provided with the Clouzon-36,[8] they metabolized it into hypermatter fuel and therefore were able to jump into hyperspace,[9] an alternate dimension that could only be entered by traveling at lightspeed or faster,[10] by creating simu-tunnels.[11] When they were about to jump into hyperspace, their tentacles started glowing.[7]

Behavior[]

"The purrgil are dangerous. They wander into hyperspace lanes, crash into ships. I lost more than one friend that way."
"Well, maybe they don't realize they're putting people in danger. Maybe it's like Kanan says, you know. They just do what they do."
―Hera Syndulla and Ezra Bridger[5]

Purrgil lived in groups called flocks,[12] pods,[13] or swarms that could count up to dozens of individuals.[7] Such groups were led by a bigger specimen.[5] The leader of one of these groups was referred to as the Purrgil King.[14] As a semi-sentient species,[1] they showed a certain degree of intelligence but could unintentionally cause harm by crashing into starships, killing their occupants in the process.[5] When wounded, Purrgil staggered to their side.[15]

History[]

Early studies[]

"When I was young, I was told amazing stories of creatures that lived in the stars, traveled between the worlds. Old pilots said it was the purrgil who inspired us to jump from system to system. But I don't believe it."
―Hera Syndulla[5]

A swarm of purrgil ready to jump into hyperspace

Several millennia before the Cold War[16] between the New Republic and the First Order[17] that started in 29 ABY,[18] the purrgil's ability to travel through hyperspace inspired sentients to find their own way of entering that alternate dimension. After studying purrgil, sentient beings invented the hyperdrive.[19] Some of the first commercial vessels to offer hyperdrive travel,[20] the MPO-1400 Purgill-class star cruisers manufactured by the Corellian Engineering Corporation,[21] were not only inspired[22] by the whales[2] but also named after them. Some passengers of one of the star cruisers, the Halcyon, which was operated by Chandrila Star Line, reported sightings of purrgil from aboard the ship.[22]

According to Peko-Peko Munzati, who was rumored to have studied the species for months, the first hyperspace scouts used to follow purrgil.[23] Their knowledge about purrgil and the gas Clouzon-36 helped scientists find out that coaxium fuel could form at places subject to intense interstellar energy[24] and therefore helped them locate natural reservoirs of the expensive starship fuel,[9] such as those on the Mid Rim planet Kessel or in the[24] Mid Rim's[25] Redhurne system.[24] Studies of purrgil brains and carcasses also inspired both the Jedi and the Sith to create wayfinders, ancient devices used to navigate challenging stretches of space.[26]

Although few people actually witnessed their special ability to attain lightspeed, the purrgil became legendary for smugglers and pilots across the galaxy.[8] However, due to their habit of unwittingly crashing into starships,[5] the legendary whales[2] came to be regarded as threatening creatures, being called "a big, lumbering menace" by the Twi'lek Hera Syndulla.[5] Many purrgil were thus killed, with spacers puncturing them with hook-lashes to get rid of the potential threat. After they had bled to death, they were brought up on deck.[27] Around 90 BBY,[28] Jedi youngling Dooku and his sister Jenza attended a celebration on the planet Serenno, where Jenza won a stuffed purrgil toy.[29] During the Clone Wars, clone commando Tech of Clone Force 99, an experimental squad, acquired a recording of purrgil as part of his collection of various creature sounds.[30]

Age of the Empire[]

"Whatever happens next happens to both of us."
"That's the idea."
―Grand Admiral Thrawn and Ezra Bridger before being pulled into hyperspace by purrgil[7]

Ahhav firing on a group of purrgil

After Han Solo, a male smuggler[31] from the Core Worlds planet[32] Corellia had successfully flown the Kessel Run, a dangerous hyperspace route, in just a little bit more than twelve parsecs[31] in 10 BBY,[33] Peko-Peko Munzati claimed in the journal of the Corellian human bartender Tivoche Bilure that the route Solo took was inspired by an ancient purrgil migration trail.[23] In 9 BBY,[34] while talking to his adopted daughter Leia on a balcony, Alderaanian Senator Bail Organa said that when he was her age, he wished to chase purrgil.[35]

In 3 BBY,[36] the Mining Guild was running a gas refinery where they refined Clouzon-36 fuel. The refinery's operations prevented a group of purrgil from accessing the gas they needed to breathe, leading to conflicts between them and the Guild, including the Mining Guild firing on the creatures.[5] At one point, the Mining Guild pilot Ahhav encountered a group of purrgil in a TIE/mg Mining Guild starfighter and fired upon them in vengeance after having survived a previous encounter.[37] That same year,[36] the Spectres, a rebel cell led by Hera Syndulla[13] which crewed the modified VCX-100 light freighter Ghost,[38]encountered a purrgil swarm on a mission to steal fuel from the Mining Guild. At first, Syndulla wanted to fire on the creatures but the Jedi Ezra Bridger and Kanan Jarrus stopped her from doing so, ultimately convincing her to follow the purrgil, which calmed[5] the whales.[2] Following the creatures, soon the Spectres arrived at the Mining Guild's gas refinery.[5]

Ezra Bridger rides a purrgil to fight the Mining Guild at a gas refinery.

Bridger wanted to explore the connection between the purrgil and the gas deeper but was cut off by Hera, who told him to focus on their mission. After having fought their way through some of the Mining Guild's guards, Sabine Wren, a Mandalorian member of the Spectres, was about to use explosives to ignite the volatile Clouzon-36 gas when she was stopped by Bridger in order to save the purrgil. That forced the crew to alter their plan and after the guards of the gas refinery had discovered them, the refinery boss Yushyn, ordered his guards to defend the fuel. Bridger was knocked off his gun emplacement by a laser blast from the guards and fell into the gas-covered crater below the asteroid.[5]

However, Bridger was saved by a purrgil known as the Purrgil King[5] and saw a vision in the Purrgil's eye.[39] The Purrgil King also saved Jedi from asphyxiation by finding his helmet, which he had lost during the fall. Staring into the creature's eye, Bridger was able to create a bond with the creature through the Force. Meanwhile, Yushyn had ordered his guards to launch two of the Mining Guild's TIE fighters, but Bridger's connection with the purrgil enabled him to team up[5] with the whales[2] in the Spectres' fight against the Mining Guild. The purrgil helped the rebels by destroying one of the TIE fighters and dragging Yushyn into a crater, ultimately enabling them to steal the needed fuel. After the mission, the Spectres witnessed the purrgil's ability to jump through hyperspace firsthand and followed their newly gained allies through hyperspace.[5] By 2 BBY,[40] Sabine Wren had a painting of a purrgil on the wall of her cabin aboard the Ghost.[41]

The Ghost leads a fleet of purrgil and Purrgil Ultra against the Imperial Seventh Fleet.

In 0 BBY,[42] during the liberation[7] of the Outer Rim planet[43] Lothal from the Galactic Empire's control, the rebel pilot Mart Mattin, the former Clone Commander Wolffe, and the Devaronian crime lord Cikatro Vizago sent a signal on Frequency Zero from the Ghost to call upon a group of purrgil[7] and Purrgil Ultra.[3] Upon their arrival, the creatures were led by the Ghost and completely wiped out Imperial Grand Admiral Thrawn's 7th Fleet blockade of Lothal. The Purrgil Ultra also damaged the three Star Destroyers hovering in the planet's lower atmosphere above Capital City, including the Chimaera, Thrawn's flagship. Ezra Bridger then used the Force to control three Purrgil Ultra, which then wrapped their tentacles around the Chimaera, trapping Thrawn in a cold embrace, and jumped to hyperspace, ultimately removing the Imperial threat from Lothal.[7]

After the Empire[]

"Used to hear stories about purrgil. Living creatures that roam hyperspace."
―Nath Tensent[44]

By 5 ABY,[45] Sabine Wren had a purrgil painted on her shoulder plate.[46] Purrgil were also often mentioned in journals or referenced by pilots, for example by Paige Tico[47] and Nath Tensent.[44] At some point, an artist encountered a group of purrgil. He later drew one of them in his journal and commented that he was surprised by their sudden appearance around his ship.[6] Sometime after 34 ABY,[48] the document with the artist's drawing and comment was restored and published by the Graf Archive, a vast depository of documents and other materials of public or historical importance.[6]

Behind the scenes[]

"I began to think that what if the first hyperspace travel wasn't technological, but that it was, you know, nature. And that there were creatures that people could witness that would jump to hyperspace."
―Dave Filoni on coming up with the idea of purrgil[49]

Purrgil concept art for "The Call" by JP Balmet

Purrgil first appeared in "The Call,"[5] the fifteenth episode of the second season of the animated television series Star Wars Rebels[50] which aired on February 10, 2016.[51] In the script of that episode, the leader of the involved group of purrgil was referred to as the "Purrgil King."[14] Purrgil concept art for this episode was drawn by JP Balmet,[52] a concept designer and illustrator working in Los Angeles.[53] The correct plural form of purrgil is "purrgil," despite the fact that Syndulla says "purrgils" in the episode.[54] In the Rebels Recon, a series of behind-the-scenes YouTube videos, episode of The Call,[49] Dave Filoni, an animation producer involved in various Star Wars projects,[55][56] said that he came up with the idea of purrgil when thinking about the concept that the first hyperspace travel was not technological but instead made by creatures.[49]

In the same video, Pablo Hidalgo, a creative executive and author currently working for Lucasfilm within the Lucasfilm Story Group,[57] also stated that purrgil added a degree of extra ancient mythology to Star Wars.[49] In an interview with StarWars.com, he as well compared vessels hunting Purrgil with ancient seafaring whaling days on our planet.[58] The 2020 concept art book The Art of Star Wars Rebels described purrgil as biological splices of whales and squids that could swim lazily through the vacuum of space that had the ability to jump into hyperspace and cross lightyears in a moment. The book also states that purrgil had gone through some remarkable evolutionary adaptions.[59] In The Clone Wars animated series episode "On the Wings of Keeradaks"[30] released on March 6, 2020,[60] purrgil are misspelled as "purgill."[30] Purrgil can also be seen flying next to the Black One,[61] a T-70 X-wing starfighter belonging to Resistance pilot Poe Dameron,[62] in the side mission "Poe to the Rescue" of the 2016 non-canon video game LEGO Star Wars: The Force Awakens.[61]

Appearances[]

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Non-canon appearances[]

Sources[]

Notes and references[]

  1. 1.0 1.1 Star Wars Build Your Own X-Wing logo small.png Star Wars: Build Your Own X-Wing 56 (Starfighter Aces: Ezra Bridger – A Force to Reckon With)
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 Star Wars: Creatures Big & Small
  3. 4.0 4.1 4.2 Ultimate Star Wars, New Edition
  4. 5.00 5.01 5.02 5.03 5.04 5.05 5.06 5.07 5.08 5.09 5.10 5.11 5.12 5.13 5.14 5.15 5.16 5.17 5.18 5.19 5.20 5.21 5.22 5.23 5.24 5.25 5.26 Rebels-mini-logo.png Star Wars Rebels – "The Call"
  5. 6.0 6.1 6.2 Star Wars: Alien Archive
  6. 7.0 7.1 7.2 7.3 7.4 7.5 7.6 7.7 7.8 7.9 Rebels-mini-logo.png Star Wars Rebels – "Family Reunion – and Farewell"
  7. 8.0 8.1 8.2 8.3 StarWars-DatabankII.png Purrgil in the Databank (backup link)
  8. 9.0 9.1 Solo: A Star Wars Story The Official Guide
  9. StarWars-DatabankII.png Hyperdrive in the Databank (backup link)
  10. StarWars.com Star Wars Inside Intel: Hyperspace on StarWars.com (article) (backup link)
  11. 13.0 13.1 The Star Wars Book
  12. Poe Dameron: Free Fall
  13. In Star Wars: The Force Awakens: The Visual Dictionary, it is shown that hyperspace sextants already existed four millennia before the Cold War. This places the invention of hyperspace travel to 4,000 years before "present time" at the latest.
  14. Star Wars: The Force Awakens: The Visual Dictionary
  15. Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker: The Visual Dictionary states that the Cold War between the New Republic and First Order began five years before the Starkiller Incident and ended as a result of the event. As Star Wars: Galactic Atlas dates the Starkiller Incident to 34 ABY, it can be deduced that the cold war began in 29 ABY and ended in 34 ABY.
  16. Facebook icon.svg Star Wars Rebels (@starwarsrebels) on Facebook: Purrgil and the hyperspace (February 11, 2016): "The purrgil didn't invent the technology, but inspired it. Much like how humans studied birds to achieve flight." (screenshot)
  17. Disney.com Star Wars: Galactic Starcruiser - Overview on Disney.go.com (backup link)
  18. PHOTOS, VIDEO: A Closer Look at the Halcyon Starship Model for Star Wars: Galactic Starcruiser Hotel at Walt Disney World on WDW News Today (archived from the original on May 5, 2021)
  19. 22.0 22.1 StarWars.com Ships of the Galaxy: The Halcyon Starcruiser on StarWars.com (article) (backup link)
  20. 23.0 23.1 Solo: A Star Wars Story: Tales from Vandor
  21. 24.0 24.1 24.2 AltayaCite.svg "Explosives, Heavy Weapons and Unstable Elements" – Star Wars Encyclopedia
  22. Battlefront: Twilight Company
  23. Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker: The Visual Dictionary
  24. Aftermath: Life Debt
  25. Star Wars: The Clone Wars: Character Encyclopedia - Join the Battle! places Dooku's birth to 102 years prior to the events of Star Wars: Episode IV A New Hope, which equates to 102 BBY in the 'ABY-BBY' dating system established by Star Wars: Galactic Atlas. The script of Dooku: Jedi Lost states that Dooku was twelve years old at the time of the Serenno celebration, meaning the event took place around 90 BBY.
  26. Dooku: Jedi Lost
  27. 30.0 30.1 30.2 TCW mini logo.jpg Star Wars: The Clone Wars – "On the Wings of Keeradaks"
  28. 31.0 31.1 Solo: A Star Wars Story
  29. StarWars-DatabankII.png Corellia in the Databank (backup link)
  30. Solo: A Star Wars Story The Official Guide establishes that the events of Solo: A Star Wars Story begin nine years after the founding of the Galactic Empire. Star Wars: Galactic Atlas dates the Empire's founding to 19 BBY, meaning the events of Solo can be placed in 10 BBY.
  31. "Part I" states that the events of the Obi-Wan Kenobi television series take place ten years after Order 66, which Star Wars: Galactic Atlas dates to 19 BBY. Therefore, the events of "Part I" must be set in 9 BBY.
  32. Obi-Wan Kenobi new series logo.png Obi-Wan Kenobi – "Part I"
  33. 36.0 36.1 StarWars.com Star Wars Rebels Returns…with Princess Leia on StarWars.com (backup link) establishes that "A Princess on Lothal" takes place roughly three years before the events of Star Wars: Episode IV A New Hope. Since Star Wars: Galactic Atlas dates the events of A New Hope to 0 BBY, "A Princess on Lothal" must take place in 3 BBY. Dawn of Rebellion places the events of "The Mystery of Chopper Base" to three years before the Battle of Yavin depicted in A New Hope, meaning it must also take place in 3 BBY. Since "The Call" takes place between these two episodes, it is also set in that year.
  34. SWZ01 logo.png Star Wars: X-Wing Second EditionMining Guild TIE Expansion Pack (Card: Ahhav)
  35. StarWars.com Seen a ghost? on StarWars.com (backup link)
  36. StarWars.com 10 Of The Best Force Moments on StarWars.com (backup link)
  37. Dawn of Rebellion dates the events of Star Wars Rebels: Steps Into Shadow seventeen years after the end of the Clone Wars, which Star Wars: Galactic Atlas dates to 19 BBY; therefore, the events of Steps Into Shadow must take place in 2 BBY. According to Star Wars: On the Front Lines, Mon Mothma's denunciation of the Galactic Empire and the Declaration of the Rebel Alliance take place two years before the Battle of Yavin, equating to 2 BBY. As "Trials of the Darksaber" is set between Steps Into Shadow and "Secret Cargo," which depicts Mothma's denunciation, it must also take place in that year.
  38. StarWars.com Trials of the Darksaber Episode Guide on StarWars.com (backup link)
  39. The Star Wars Book dates the Liberation of Lothal to zero years before the events of Star Wars: Episode IV A New Hope. Since Star Wars: Galactic Atlas establishes that A New Hope begins in 0 BBY, the Liberation of Lothal must also take place in 0 BBY.
  40. StarWars-DatabankII.png Lothal in the Databank (backup link)
  41. 44.0 44.1 Alphabet Squadron
  42. The Star Wars Book places "Family Reunion – and Farewell" in the same year as Star Wars: Episode IV A New Hope, but before the Battle of Yavin, which corresponds to 0 ABY according to Star Wars: Galactic Atlas. According to Star Wars: Women of the Galaxy, Ahsoka Tano searched for Ezra Bridger five years after they last met in "A World Between Worlds," which took place shortly before this episode. Therefore, the epilogue of "Family Reunion – and Farewell" takes place in 5 ABY.
  43. The Last Jedi: Bomber Command
  44. Star Wars: Alien Archive establishes that the restored in-universe journal discusses Poe Dameron's mutiny against Amilyn Holdo, which is depicted in Star Wars: Episode VIII The Last Jedi. Since the events of The Last Jedi take place after the events of Star Wars: Episode VII The Force Awakens, which Star Wars: Galactic Atlas dates 34 ABY, the document must have been published after that year.
  45. 49.0 49.1 49.2 49.3 SWYTlogo.png Rebels Recon #2.14: Inside "The Call" on the official Star Wars YouTube channel (backup link)
  46. StarWars.com The Call Episode Guide on StarWars.com (backup link)
  47. Star Wars Rebels: The Call on Disney XD Official Schedule (archived from the original on December 24, 2016)
  48. John-Paul Balmet: About Me on www.jpbalmet.com (archived from the original on March 6, 2021)
  49. StarWars.com New Animated Series Star Wars Rebels Coming Fall 2014 on StarWars.com (backup link)
  50. StarWars.com Star Wars: The Bad Batch, An All-New Animated Series, to Debut on Disney+ in 2021 on StarWars.com (backup link)
  51. SWYTlogo.png Pablo Hidalgo Extended Interview on the official Star Wars YouTube channel (backup link)
  52. StarWars.com Bucket's List Extra: 9 Fun Facts from "Hunt on Celsor 3" on StarWars.com (backup link)
  53. The Art of Star Wars Rebels
  54. Charlie Ridgely: Everything Coming to Disney+ in March published by ComicBook.com on comicbook.com (archived from the original on March 16, 2020)
  55. 61.0 61.1 LEGO Star Wars: The Force Awakens
  56. Star Wars: The Force Awakens: Incredible Cross-Sections

External links[]

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