In Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker, a minor legacy character died during the Battle of Exegol, but the movie did not show anyone reacting to his death. Let’s take a look at who it is and why fans are outraged.
[Warning: Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker spoilers ahead]
Who do we know for sure died in ‘The Rise of Skywalker’ to bring balance to the Force?
Star Wars films tend to have a high number of deaths since they do revolve around a space war. Luckily for those watching with children, they are generally not bloody deaths. Most of the characters are ones you might not remember. However, in every film, we suffer the tragic death of someone fans held close to their hearts.
In The Rise of Skywalker, the main character deaths include General Leia Organa (Carrie Fisher) and Ben Solo (Adam Driver). Those were the two heart-wrenching deaths. Emporer Palpatine (Ian McDiarmid) and General Hux (Domhnall Gleeson) also died, but we were pretty happy about those two.
Fisher died Dec. 27, 2016, but director J. J. Abrams used unseen footage of her from The Force Awakens so she could still star in the latest film. Fisher’s daughter, Billie Lourd, also starred in the movie as the younger version of her mother.
The death of Leia in the movie was the most tragic because everyone knew she already died in real life. Viewers saw an on-screen funeral and tribute that made fans and stars very emotional.
Who is the minor legacy character that died in ‘The Rise of Skywalker’?
Nien Nunb (Mike Quinn and Kipsang Rotich) is an arms dealer of the Sullustan species. He joined the Alliance to help restore the Republic during the Galactic Civil War in the 1983 film Return of the Jedi.
He was selected to fly as co-pilot to General Lando Calrissian (Billy Dee Williams) aboard the Millennium Falcon during the Battle of Endor. Nunb and Lando led the Falcon through the assault to destroy the Death Star II.
Three decades later, in The Force Awakens, Nunb was a starfighter pilot in the Resistance. He fought in the First Order–Resistance conflict, including the Battle of Starkiller Base alongside Poe Dameron (Oscar Isaac). Nunb was one of seven surviving X-wing pilots, and he celebrated with the rest of the Resistance upon returning to D’Qar.
During The Rise of Skywalker, Nunb flies the Tantive IV, which happens to be the same ship that Leia is on at the end of Rogue One and the beginning of A New Hope. However, the Tantive IV is one of many ships that is struck down by Emperor Palpatine’s force lightning during the Battle of Exogol. Although some ships, such as Poe’s, were able to reverse course after Rey intervened, the Tantive IV was not one of those.
What were fan reactions to Nien Nunb’s death in ‘The Rise of Skywalker’?
Since no one reacted to the death of Nien Nunb on-screen, some fans felt he could still be alive. However, Rae Carson, an American fantasy writer who publishes official Star Wars books, confirmed his death on Twitter, and fans are distraught.
“RIP Nien Numb 1983-2019,” one fan wrote a tribute tweet. “Died during the battle of Exegol aboard the Tantive IV. Lando Calrissian has lost all of his friends including most of his co-pilots, it’s really horrible.”
Many fans tweeted and commented back to Carson after her post.
“Noooo!” one fan still does not believe it. “That’s not true! That’s impossible! If his death happened off-screen, there’s still a chance he survived.”
Although the viewers do not want to believe it, Nien died during Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker.