After Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker arrived last month, this week appeared to bring confirmation that long-running character Nien Nunb had met his end in Episode IX. The diminutive alien rebel pilot first appeared in Return of the Jedi before turning up in each of the Sequel Trilogy movies. But a brief scene in Rise‘s third act seemed to point to him meeting an untimely end off screen. Or so we thought.
First of all, fan/writer Bryan Young shared a post in honor of Nunb on Twitter. His belief that the character had died was supported by Rae Carson, author of the upcoming Rise of Skywalker Expanded Edition novelization. However, now another source even closer to the production is disputing Nunb’s death as fact, claiming that there’s evidence in the film proving he survived that we all missed.
It looks like a fan messaged Mike Quinn, the puppeteer who brings Nunb to life, and he had good news. “Yes, he survived!” Quinn wrote. “They would have shown the ship exploding. You see the Tantive IV coming into land at the end as they are celebrating.”
— Amedeo Davit (@DaemoeWolf) January 7, 2020
The Tantive IV was originally Leia’s ship in A New Hope but it reappeared in Rise co-piloted by Nien Nunb. When Palpatine gets a power boost and sends a surge of Force-lightning into the skies above Exegol, he takes out numerous ships in the process. A shot of Nunb losing control confirms the Tantive was one of those hit. Quinn claims, though, that the ship is seen to arrive back on Ajan Kloss, the Resistance HQ, in the movie’s final scenes.
With all this confusion around Nunb’s fate, it seems we’ll have to wait until Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker hits home video and Digital HD to study the film closer and come up with a definitive answer.