‘Star Wars’ Spotlight: Nien Nunb

By Ryan Rigley

Mark Hamill, Carrie Fisher, and Harrison Ford may still be in negotiations to reprise their roles as Luke, Leia and Han Solo respectively, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that we’ll be hearing any details about “Star Wars VII” any time soon. “I don’t feel anything at the moment yet,” Ford teases about his reported role in the new “Star Wars” trilogy. “I don’t even want to discuss that. It’s great. Ain’t it great?”

Obviously, fan-favorite “Star Wars” characters (such as Han Solo) will be making an appearance in the new trilogy in some way, shape or form. But what’s to become of all of those other “Star Wars” characters that aren’t quite as well known? Characters like Nien Nunb for example, the pancake-faced alien who co-pilots the Millennium Falcon with Lando Calrissian during the Battle of Endor.

Born on the planet Sullust, Nien Nunb would eventually grow up to be one of the main freighter pilots for the SoroSuub Corporation (a Sullust-based company that specializes in mineral processing). Soon, however, SoroSuub aligns themselves with the Galactic Empire which, in turn, influences Nien to begin stealing from his employers. This, of course, persuades Nien to continue to fight for his people as one of the Rebel Alliance’s best pilots.

Nien would go on to prove his worth during the epic Battle of Endor (as seen in “Return of the Jedi”) in which he’s handpicked by Lando Calrissian to co-pilot the Millennium Falcon. In fact, Nien is later awarded the Kalidor Crescent for his bravery and participation in blowing up the second Death Star.

After the events of “Return of the Jedi,” Nien is assigned to the Millennium Falcon once more; this time acting as the co-pilot for Han Solo himself. With Chewbacca on vacation visiting his family on Kashyyyk, Nien is appointed as his temporary substitute (much to the dismay of Han Solo). Although Nien almost immediately proves his expertise as a pilot (skillfully maneuvering the ship around the shipyards of Fondor), Han Solo remains unimpressed throughout their time together.

It isn’t until he saves Han from a stormtrooper attack (during a mission in the Vandelhelm system) that the smuggler finally begins to respect Nien. Years later, Nien would ally himself with Han Solo’s daughter (Jaina Solo) in an attempt to take back his spice mines on the planet Kessel.

As mentioned earlier, Nien could appear in “Star Wars VII” as Chewbacca’s substitute inside the Millennium Falcon. It could only be temporary (with Chewie on vacation with his family) or it could even be a more permanent switch (with Chewie either dying or falling victim to some crazy Sith attack). Another option would be to have Jaina Solo play a bigger part in the film, with an entire sequence devoted to saving Nien’s spice mines. How does that make you feel, Harrison Ford?