Nien Nunb was an arms dealer, former smuggler and pilot for both the Rebel Alliance and Resistance. A close friend to Leia, he first made his appearance in Return of The Jedi where he served as Lando Calrissian’s co-pilot. We then see him again in The Rise of Skywalker. In the final chapter of the Skywalker saga, we saw Nunb flying a Tantive IV in the Battle of Exegol. What we didn’t see was his death.
Wait, he died? Yeah, that’s right. When Palpatine launched force lightning into the sky, he brought down dozens of ships, including the Tantive IV that was piloted by Nunb.
The destruction of the Tantive IV was not seen and the film didn’t address Nunb’s death so it went unnoticed. Even the actor who played Nunb wasn’t aware that he died. He was under the impression that he survived the attack until the author of Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker Expanded Edition Rae Carson confirmed it in a tweet reply.
Carson’s novelisation of The Rise of Skywalker includes additional scenes and content that didn’t make it or wasn’t explored on the big screen such as the Force connection between Rey and Kylo, the lack of funeral for Han Solo and the deconstruction of Luke.
This is not the first time a character was sneakily killed off. Admiral Ackbar, a veteran commander famously known for his line “it’s a trap,” died in the first scene of The Last Jedi when his ship got blown up. Fans were furious to learn about his off-screen death – and with good reason – for he truly deserved better.
We hope the novelisation will give Nien Nunb the death he deserved, a death full of honour.