A classic Star Wars character who is thought to have been killed off in the franchise’s latest movie The Rise of Skywalker may not have died after all.
While the final instalment of the Skywalker saga saw both Leia Organa and Kylo Ren meet their maker, as well as Palpatine (again), another Resistance hero appeared to perish in the battle with the First Order: Nien Nunb.
In the new movie, Nunb, who first appeared in Return of the Jedi (1983) as a Sullustan arms dealer who joined the Rebel Alliance to free his homeland from the Empire, follows the Resistance into battle above Exegol for the final fight with Palpatine’s Sith armada. His ship is seen going down.
The plot point has seen fans discuss Nunb’s fate online, with one fan getting the affirmative from Rae Carson, author of the film’s official novelisation The Rise of Skywalker: Expanded Edition. After writer Bryan Young tweeted a picture of Nien Nunb, with the words: “Godspeed, Rebel. 1983-2019,” Carson responded with: “RIP Nien.”
— Rae Carson (@raecarson) January 6, 2020
But Mike Quinn, who portrayed Nunb in latest film has now rejected Carson’s claim that his character perished in battle [via Comicbook.com].
“Yes he survived,” Quinn wrote when reached for comment on Facebook (via Twitter user @DaemoeWolf). “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
However, repeat viewings of the film made by YouTube user EckhartsLadder, seemingly refute Quinn’s claims that Nunb survived. The user reported that Nunb is last shown piloting the ship when it enters free fall, struck by a devastating bolt of lightning fired by Palpatine. Additionally, his ship isn’t seen in the celebratory sequence on Ajan Kloss, site of the new Resistance base, following the heroes’ victory.
Quinn had his own explanation, made separately to EckhartsLadder. Again challenging the other side of the argument, the actor wrote: “The Tantive IV didn’t explode but is seen landing above the trees when others are celebrating.
“The reason he’s not seen celebrating with the other guys is that it was filmed out of order (those scenes were filmed barely half way through the shoot). The script evolved as we went along and little things changed. So Nien did actually finally officially survive.”
Mr. Quinn thinks otherwise!!! pic.twitter.com/ry6Abqkjwf
— THE Bobby Linn (@501stBobbyLinn) January 7, 2020
Quinn first portrayed the character in 1983’s Return of the Jedi as the co-pilot of Lando Calrissian (Billy Dee Williams). Quinn then returned in 2015’s The Force Awakens and 2017’s The Last Jedi before revisiting the role once more in The Rise of Skywalker.
Now that Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker is finally out, the franchise is turning its attention to the future.
According to Making Star Wars, the next movie saga in the Disney franchise will take place in the High Republic era, some 400 years before the Skywalker saga.
Featuring Yoda as a Jedi, but not the wise old figure fans know him as currently, sources close to Making Star Wars say the new saga is set during a time that the Sith’s “Rule of Two” has been established by Darth Bane.