Nien Nunb was a hero of the Rebel Alliance and the Resistance who tragically died in the Battle of Exegol in Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker. We celebrate his life and all the good he did.
In Star Wars Episode IX: The Rise of Skywalker, one of the Rebel Alliance’s biggest players met a gruesome fate when Emperor Palpatine sent huge bolts of lightening into the sky in the Battle of Exegol, bringing down the Tantive IV and killing Nien Nunb. The heroic Sullustan may have died, but he will never be forgotten.
Although we never saw his ship explode (which is normally a big giveaway in the Star Wars films when someone dies), Rae Carson, the author of the film’s novelization, confirmed on Twitter that Nien Nunb died in the final battle, and for many fans of the saga, it’s a pretty big deal. Many will believe he is still alive and that somehow he survived, but when the author says he’s dead, it’s probably a good indication he’s no longer with us.
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Much like Admiral Ackbar’s death in Star Wars Episode VIII: The Last Jedi, saying goodbye to a long-standing member of the good guys can be a bitter pill to swallow. However, we’re not here to mourn the dead — rather celebrate their life — and in the case of Rebel Alliance and Resistance pilot Nien Nunb, we salute you for all the good you did.
Nien Nunb was an arms dealer and smuggler who signed up to fight for the Rebel Alliance during the Galactic Civil War. Among some of his biggest achievements for the alliance, he helped rescue surviving Alderaanians from his homeworld of Sullust, doing so right under the Empire’s nose. Leia was so grateful she gave him the chalcedony waves necklace her adoptive mother once wore as a token of her gratitude.
He was a skilled pilot, and showed his flying prowess as co-pilot on the Millennium Falcon with Lando Calrissian during the Battle of Endor. After the Empire was defeated, Nunb continued to aid Leia Organa. He travelled to Naboo to stop remaining Empire forces from destroying it, and was once again successful. He was a loyal friend to Princess Leia, and would always do whatever he could for her, even offering her support once the galaxy found out that Darth Vader was also her father.
Thirty years later, he became an important figure in the battle against the First Order. As a Lieutenant Commander piloting Starfighters for the Resistance, he helped to bring down the Starkiller base during Star Wars Episode VII: The Force Awakens. During the Battle of Crait, he was one of the few survivors that managed to get away from the First Order’s attack and once again sat in the cockpit of the Millennium Falcon alongside Chewbacca.
Nien Nunb was much more than just a pilot. He was a loyal follower to Princess Leia and the Rebel Alliance, and fought for the Resistance because he believed in freedom, not just for his own people but the entire galaxy. Nunb proved you didn’t have to be a Skywalker to be a hero, and for that, the galaxy is forever thankful for everything you did.
What are your favorite memories of Nien Nunb? Was it aiding Lando during the Battle of Endor, or fighting the First Order during the destruction of the Starkiller base? Let us know in the comments.