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Let’s Talk About Those Space Whales in ‘Star Wars: Ahsoka’: A Purrgil Breakdown

5 Minute Read
Nov 2 2023

These lightspeed traveling space whales inspired early starship engineers to figure out hyperspace travel for themselves; it’s the Purrgil.

This season Ahsoka brought one of the galaxy’s largest creatures from ‘something we’ve seen primarily in animation and a tiny bit in passing’ to ‘a full-blown live-action plot point’ with the appearance of the Purrgil.

Though these massive space whales have only been sighted one and a half times in a live-action show—depending on how strongly you count that tiny Mandalorian cameo—we’ve seen them quite a few times throughout animated shows. And they’ve been instrumental in some major events that came back up again in this year’s new streaming series, Ahsoka. So let’s take a moment and learn a little more about the giants of deep space; the Purrgil.

The Basics

Purrgil looks a lot like gigantic whales with four squid-like tentacles that fly through space. Usually, they’re the size of a small starship, but have been known to get much larger; sometimes half as long as an Imperial Star Destroyer. And somehow they are able to survive in and swim through the vacuum of space.

Usually, Purrgil have a blue or purple color, but if they don’t inhale enough Clouzon-36 gas, they can sometimes turn a dull brown color. Despite being some of the most interesting and inspiring creatures in the galaxy, many space travelers consider them pests and will fire on them on sight.

This is mostly because they will sometimes collide with ships that have entered their path of travel. Unfortunately, Purrgil aren’t known for being particularly intelligent and are often considered only semi-sentient. It is more than likely that their physical run-ins with star ships are entirely unintentional and in many cases something that the Purrgil doesn’t even notice.

Hyperspace Travel

Purrgils are known throughout the galaxy for their ability to travel through hyperspace. When they have had enough Clouzon-36, Purrgils can metabolize it into hypermatter fuel and use their natural bodily functions to create simu-tunnels and jump through hyperspace for lightspeed travel.


In fact, it was the Purrgils who inspired early way-finders to develop hyperdrive technology and eventually create their own form of hyperspace travel. Some of the first commercial ships designed for hyperspace travel were even named for the creatures with the MPO-1400 Purgill-class star cruisers.

Appearances on Screen

We had seen the Purrgil on screen a couple of times before Din flew by one this season. Hera Syndulla talked about their habit of accidentally flying into ships and referred to them as a “big lumbering menace.” But Ezra Bridger formed a connection with the creatures and was even saved by one before seeing visions in their eyes.

About two years later, Ezra would call on the same Purrgil to help them defeat the fleet led by Grand Admiral Thrawn and his flagship, the Chimaera. With Force, he controlled three Purrgil to grab the Chimaera with their tentacles and jump into hyperspace. Neither of the characters nor the ship had been seen for about an in-universe decade. Their next apperance on-screen didn’t come until the 2023 streaming series, Ahsoka.

In Ahsoka, the Purrgil are referenced and make appearances a few times. The Nightsister Great Mothers mention that when they first came to Dathomir from Peridea they caught a ride from the Purrrgil themselves.


Later, Grand Admiral Thrawn seems to still hold a grudge against the space whales, ordering that if any are seen approaching the planet, to treat them with hostility. But most notably, Ahsoka Tano used a Purrgil to get a lift between galaxies when she flew her shuttle into one’s mouth and rode with it as it jumped through hyperspace lanes.

How Did Ezra Summon the Purrgil?

One of Ezra’s skills and specializations through his force use is the ability to connect with and communicate with animals better than most other people. Even many other force users would find his ability to forge connections with previously unknown animals to be impressive. Using this ability, Ezra was able to summon Purrgil who were nearby to him to help his team in battle.

How Do the Purrgil Travel Through Hyperspace?

Purrgils are able to ‘swim’ through space much like Earth whales are able to swim through water. They use their tentacles the same way fins would be used in a sort of gliding motion. But hyperspace jumps are a different mechanic and require a different sort of fuel. To do this they gulp down interstellar gasses known as Clouzon-36 as fuel and sustenance. They are able to naturally metabolize this into hypermatter fuel and this allows them to make their famous jumps in and out of hyperspace.

This ability to naturally utilize space gasses and hyperspace lanes actually makes the Purrgil significant in Star Wars lore and history. Far earlier space-faring people throughout the watched the Purrgil make these jumps in order to cover huge distances of space and were inspired to master the same skill through science.

By the time we enter the Star Wars galaxy as viewers, a ship with hyperdrive is simply the norm. But at one point it was new technology, and just like the Earthbenders of Avatar learned from the badgermoles, hyperspace travel was first learned by watching the Purrgil.



Did you know about the Purrgil before we caught a glimpse on The Mandalorian and then later in Ahsoka? What is your favorite space-faring creature, or even your favorite Star Wars creature in general? Would you have ridden inside of a Purrgil’s mouth? Let us know in the comments!

May the Force be with you, adventurers!

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