The larger galaxy of Star Wars may focus a lot on the storyline of the Skywalkers and their close allies, but we all know that many more characters have been around since the time of the original trilogy. One of the characters that immediately caught the attention of fans was Nien Nunb, who was working as the co-pilot of the Millennium Falcon when Lando Calrissian was piloting it in Star Wars Episode VI: Return of the Jedi. So, who exactly is Nien Nunb?
Nien Nunb was a Sullustan Rebel who worked as a smuggler and arms dealer before joining the Rebellion. He first joined the Rebellion when he smuggled a group of Alderaanians from his home world of Sullust. He eventually became the co-pilot of Lando Calrissian during the Battle of Endor.
One of the themes of the original Star Wars trilogy involved unlikely characters that became heroes in their own right. Nien was one of those characters because no one expected him to be a hero. However, he eventually rose up to join the Rebels and was even an active member of the Resistance during the age of the First Order. Now, let’s look at Nien Nunb’s story.
Nien Nunb’s Story Explained
During the events of the original trilogy, we met many characters that were close allies of the big three: Luke Skywalker, Leia Organa, and Han Solo. Of course, Lando Calrissian was one of the characters that worked alongside the Rebels even though he initially betrayed them during the events of Star Wars Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back. And after seeing the error of his ways, Lando became a general for the Rebellion and was an important member of the Rebels.
Of course, we are not talking about Lando here. Instead, we are talking about one of the characters that closely worked alongside him during the events of the Rebellion. In Star Wars Episode VI: Return of the Jedi, Lando was the one piloting the Millennium Falcon during the Battle of Endor, as Han Solo and Chewbacca were on the Forest Moon of Endor to disable the shield generator that was protecting the Death Star II. This co-pilot was Nien Nunb, who was quick to gain the attention of different fans all over the world due to his appearance.
Nien Nunb, of course, didn’t just appear out of nowhere in the storyline of Star Wars. Like most of the other Rebels that remained unsung heroes during the Rebellion, Nien’s story is quite inspiring because he was much like Han Solo because he was a former “scum” that ended up becoming an unlikely hero.
Before he joined the Rebellion, Nien was an arms dealer and smuggler. However, he eventually saw what kind of evil the Empire was capable of when the Death Star destroyed Alderaan in a blink of an eye. Even though Alderaan was already destroyed, the Empire still searched for any surviving Alderaanians that were off-world during the destruction of Alderaan. And that was because the Empire saw them as Rebels.
In that regard, Evaan Verlaine, a Rebel pilot at that time, wanted to smuggle a group of Alderaanians on the planet of Sullust then. Because Evaan was his friend, Nien decided to answer his friend’s call as he knew that his help was needed. He helped his friend smuggle a group of Alderaanians off the planet while avoiding detection from the Empire.
After successfully smuggling the Alderaanians off of Sullust, Nien Nunb continued to assist the Rebels. He helped Evaan and Leia in their mission to unite all of the surviving Alderaanians. He was vital in Leia’s escape from potential Imperial captivity while trying to unite all Alderaanians under Organa’s leadership.
Due to his involvement with the Rebels, Nien Nunb eventually understood that he needed to help the Rebellion in its efforts against the Empire. That was when he became part of the Rebel Alliance Fleet during the Battle of Endor, which was seen as one of the most important battles during the Rebellion because it was what allowed the Rebels to defeat Emperor Palpatine and destroy the Death Star II.
In the Battle of Endor, Lando Calrissian relied on Nien Nunb to be his co-pilot aboard the Millennium Falcon because he was an excellent pilot due to his experience as a smuggler. He was vital to the Rebels’ success because, after Leia and Han disabled the shields of the Death Star II, Nien, and Lando entered the superstructure to fire the shot that eventually destroyed the entire space station.
What Is Nien Nunb’s Species?
As mentioned, one of the things that made Nien Nunb a favorite among fans, even though he wasn’t heavily featured in the movies, was his appearance. That’s because, compared to the other alien species in Star Wars, he had a unique look that we haven’t seen before in the storyline. So, what is Nien Nunb’s species?
Nien Nunb belongs to the Sullustans, which are humanoid aliens living on the planet of Sullust. The Sullustans are experts in manufacturing, technology, and economics. That is why they are very important to the galaxy.
What Happened to Nien Nunb?
After the Death Star II was destroyed, the Rebel Alliance gradually reformed into the New Republic. Of course, Nien Nunb, a survivor of the Rebellion and a Rebel hero, continued to serve under the New Republic. When Leia Organa decided to form the Resistance, a paramilitary organization that served to protect the New Republic, Nien enlisted as a member of this group.
As such, Nien was still alive and active three decades after the destruction of Death Star II. He was seen piloting an X-Wing during the events of Star Wars Episode VII: The Force Awakens, as he participated in the Battle of Starkiller Base. He survived that battle and continued to serve under the Resistance as a veteran pilot.
During the final battle against the Sith Eternal on Exegol, Nien Nunb piloted the Tantive IV and was one of the Resistance fighters that tried to destroy the fleet of Star Destroyers on that planet. However, when Darth Sidious managed to regain his power and become the most powerful Sith in existence after siphoning the life energy of The Dyad, he unleashed a massive burst of Force Lightning that surrounded the skies of Exegol.
Due to the burst of energy from Palpatine, many of the ships of the Resistance were caught in the storm and were disabled. The Tantive IV was also disabled due to this powerful attack from Darth Sidious, as Nien Nunb and everyone on the ship perished as heroes that defied the odds and fought against an enemy that no one thought they could ever defeat.