Porgitforward – An interview with The Professor and Friends

Here at Project Stardust we are always on the lookout for those who are bringing light into the galaxy.  Many of those sparkles of light find us in the smallest of packages.  One day while looking on instagram, we ran across a hashtag #porgitforward attached to a post about sending surprise gifts to people in the galaxy to try and brighten their lives.  Immediately intrigued, we found that the originators of this hashtag were Jonas the porg and Professor Fuzzystripes, a lothcat of great renown and kindness, along with their flock. The flock agreed to meet with us to tell us about their project, how it came to be, and how we too can help bring more sparks of light to the galaxy. 

Can you tell us a little about yourselves?

Jonas: Hello there! No, it’s not General Kenobi. It is me – Jonas the porg! I am a major Ahsoka 

Tano fanporg and I love meeting new friends. Thanks to Chewie, we got off our home planet and get to explore the galaxy. My personal goal is to positively impact the lives of everyone I meet! We porgs are out to spread some love in the universe, and I can’t wait to see how #porgitforward affects people. It’s like Pay it Forward, but instead of doing favors and coffee it’s a way to ensure that people know they are loved and valued!! 

Professor Fuzzystripes: My human says I’m snarky, but I’m not sure what that means. I prefer the word witty. I enjoy learning about Earth and playing pranks on people. Halloween is my favorite. I go as Obi-Wan Katnobi every year! After all, Loth-cats are experts on the high ground. This year, Fuzzybutt is going as my Porgawan Apprentice! 

What gave you the idea for #porgitforward?

Jonas: The human usually takes us around Disneyland, but thanks to COVID we smaller porgs are only allowed to go to Downtown Disney with her if we submit to a massive Lysol bath when we get home. Yuck! 

Note: Porgject Stardust has Lysol on hand for you!

Professor Fuzzystripes: At least you get to go sometimes! She won’t let the rest of us go at all yet. She says it’s too dangerous until her whole house gets vaccinated.

Jonas: ANYWAY…. Our human has been really down lately since she has had to stay home all the time and can’t even host her board game nights or have friends over anymore. 

Professor Fuzzystripes: It was really heartbreaking when she and her person BOTH had to cancel holiday plans. Neither has been able to see their out of state family in a while, and it was going to be the first Thanksgiving in almost a decade that the human went back to NY to visit her grandma and her cousins. She was devastated when she missed it. There were lots of tears that day. 

Baron Snarles von Snagglypuss: We wanted to cheer her up, so we banded together and sent a holo to the wolves back on Lothal. When she saw Snowy and Wulfric arrive, she was so happy! We thought that there were probably a lot of other people in the same situation but didn’t know how to help them…

Jonas: …but then we watched a TV show with something called a Chain Letter… 

Baron Snarles von Snagglypuss: …and we decided together that we should do something like that, but without the curse. We would send the love of the Porgs instead!

Jonas: We hatched a plan to send gifts and love to people online and asked our human about a safe way to do it, and she said it sounded a lot like an Earth tradition that humans call Pay It Forward. We mixed the two together… 

Baron Snarles von Snagglypuss: And so began #porgitforward

What’s your process for putting together a #porgitforward package? 

Professor Fuzzystripes: We usually send a Spira from Batuu. A lot of people don’t have access to the Disney Parks or Galaxy’s Edge, and even if they do they don’t necessarily have the $100 minimum load Oga requires for one, but they’re very cool little coins! 

Jonas: Sometimes, we will hunt for fun stuff to add to that, too. Once, we sent a Maz Kanata LEGO minifigure to someone because she is a friend of the porgs. We love Maz! Basically, we just keep a lot of spare Spira on hand and then we throw in whatever we find that week that we think will make people smile. We have a special surprise for the next person we #porgitforward… 

Fluffernut: A porg of their very own! We’re going to free it from Bina’s store and send it to a great loving home! FREEDOOOM!! 

Baron Snarles von Snagglypuss: The packaging is a big part of it, too. We like for the smiles to come instantly so we selected bright teal bubble mailers that will really stand out in a mailbox.

Fluffernut: And I love to draw on them!!!! Sometimes, I will draw pictures of Jonas and the Baron. I draw Professor Fuzzystripes a lot. 

Professor Fuzzystripes: Fluffernut is a really… enthusiastic… artist and sometimes we have to sit still for a really long time. 

Jonas: But it always makes us smile, and Fluffernut’s art is still way better than the human’s!

Baron Snarles von Snagglypuss: We like taking turns with drawing, and Fluffernut is better than the rest of us combined. 

Fuzzybutt: Jonas was super nice to let me be on his explanation letter!!! The letter is the best part of the package because it tells everyone how to do #porgitforward. My favorite part of the whole process is seeing it travel around the world as people post gifts they’ve gotten from porgs that received our very first gifts. We’d never be able to see it spread without the letter that tells people how to keep it going!

Why do you think it’s important to do little things for strangers?

Jonas: A big part of making new friends is being nice to strangers. The human says that some of her closest friends here in California were made when she was sitting alone at Disney reading a book and made some room at the table for some strangers, or while she was waiting in a long line and struck up a conversation with the strangers nearby. You never know when or where you will meet your lifelong friends if you’re closed off to new people. 

Baron Snarles von Snagglypuss: I think you never know how you might affect someone else. I was sitting in Bina’s for a very long time. I was born with extra long fangs and a backward ear, so no one wanted to adopt me because I looked so scary and mean. Bina was about to give up on me when the human noticed and insisted on taking me home with her. It was an instant fit and I love my new family so much! Her kind heart found room to love another cat – even one who looked different –  and now I have the best life and an amazing family full of friends! 

Fluffernut: Yeah, and Baron is the NICEST animal in our entire menagerie! He’s very laid back and chill. I knew right away that we would be friends! He’s like me!!!

Professor Fuzzystripes: *snickers* Yes, you’re so… chill. 

Count Flappy von Porgus: Plus, even if you’re not making a new friend, little acts of kindness can really turn someone’s entire week or even life around! When you put kindness into the world, it only serves to make the entire world a better place. Everyone has a rough day, or a bad experience, and you never know whether a little patience or kind word can make them kinder and more patient in turn, which will affect every single person they interact with, too. If you want to see an Earth full of light and compassion and hope, then you have to start by putting those things out there and hoping that they spread like fire!

How can porgs, lothcats, and other beings of the galaxy join in?

Baron Snarles von Snagglypuss: That part is super easy! Send an Instagram message to @ProfessorFuzzystripes that you would like to participate. We will either mail or email you a #porgitforward gift along with the letter for you to send to all the people you #porgitforward to on your list!

Jonas: Yes! It’s very easy! Just be ready to think of some fun gifts to send forward in your own packages. Some of the ideas we came up with include coloring sheets, stickers, LEGO minifigures, patches, and Spira, but it can be anything.

Fluffernut: I have been learning how to draw by studying all the awesome artist friends on Instagram. Artists could even send little sketches and doodles if they want! Or even just a heartfelt letter letting someone know you’re thinking about them and wanted to make them smile. If it’s an Insta friend, personalize it and let them know what you’ve loved about getting to know them specifically. 

Professor Fuzzystripes: Since you can participate by email, you can do this even if you don’t have the money to send physical things in the mail!! This way, worries over safety and finances won’t prevent you from spreading happiness. 

If someone isn’t in a place where they can physically mail things, can they still join #porgitforward?

Fluffernut: Definitely! The great thing about #porgitforward is that you can participate without being able to physically mail things – whether that’s a financial, safety, or physical barrier. There are a TON of great FREE coloring sheets online that you can find and send to participants by email. Fluffernut had a great idea with the personalized letters, too. Letting someone know that you see and value them makes a HUGE difference and you don’t need to do that by physical snail mail. In fact, you don’t even need to be a Porg. Anyone can participate! 

How did you meet Jonas and The Professor? 

The Human: That’s actually a really funny story! When I saw that Bina was putting loth cats for adoption at Batuu’s Black Spire Outpost, I knew INSTANTLY that I wanted to provide a loving home for one. They were the most adorable creatures I have EVER seen and as someone with allergy issues, I couldn’t adopt an Earth pet. 

My person made it into the park before I did and brought one of the cats home. I couldn’t afford one of my own at that point, but I bonded right away with the cat that now lived with us. You might say, Professor Fuzzystripes found me. That cat never failed to make me smile – even on days where my anxiety and depression tried to get the best of me. My person went home to see family for a week (before COVID, obviously) and I missed them really badly, so I cuddled the cat every night. By the time they got home, the cat was mine. That’s how Professor Fuzzystripes and I met.

I later adopted another cat for them, and that cat really suits their personality. The funniest part is that originally, they meant to adopt Professor Fuzzystripes for me anyway but they also fell in love with the cat, and it became this whole thing with us about who is really Professor Fuzzystripes’ human.

Of course, this house has tons of love to go around so when I saw the adorable toddler porgs, I absolutely HAD to adopt one. That’s how Fluffernut came to be part of our home. After Fluffernut came the Baron. He was originally supposed to go to my 4 year old niece’s house. She adores Professor Fuzzystripes (who doesn’t???) and wanted one for herself. But, Baron Snarles bonded so well with Fluffernut and the Professor that I knew he was meant to be part of our home and went to Bina for another cat for my niece, instead. I believe she named that one Princess Unicorn. 

Soon enough, I was wandering through Disney and overheard a conversation. A youngling was looking at the little porgs and considering adoption, when a grouchy old Imperial told her not to get that one because he bites. The poor youngling was so traumatized that she threw the little porg and ran away. I poured shame on the man for his nasty behavior then went to rescue the porg. Little Jonas has a very strong heart and I took him home with me that very day, bites or no. To date, he hasn’t bitten me once!! 

What I didn’t know back then was how many friends Jonas would invite into the house!! Our little family has grown to a full fledged menagerie with banthas, tauntauns, ewoks, puffer pigs, and more! It’s no wonder that he came up with #porgitforward. His hoodie may make him look like he has a ‘tude but he’s the friendliest porg I’ve ever met!

Kindness is truly what helps keep the galaxy moving.  We can all find ways to do little things for one another to brighten our days and nights. For now, continue to be kind, continue to lead through the Light, and May the Force Be With You.

Photos courtesy of @professorfuzzystripes on Instagram.