Nien Nunb did not survive the Battle of Exegol in Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker. The off screen death has been confirmed by Rae Carson, the author of the Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker Expanded Edition. The final movie in the Skywalker Saga has been criticized for having way too much going on to properly explain everything, which has Star Wars fans looking to Visual Dictionaries, comic books, and novels to find out what really happened. Even interviews with the cast and crew have shed some more light on the storyline.
Nien Nunb is shown in The Rise of Skywalker, but it is never explained if he survived the Battle of Exegol with the Final Order. As it turns out, he didn’t make it. Rae Carson revealed the news on social media since it was never shown on screen or even implied. Snap Wexley received an on screen death, and he’s only been a part of the sequel trilogy. Nien Nunb was co-pilot of the Millennium Falcon when he and Lando Calrissian took down the Death Star II in Return of the Jedi.
Star Wars fans will agree, that while a minor character, Nien Nunb deserved better in The Rise of Skywalker. In 2017, many fans were outraged when Admiral Akbar was killed off at the beginning of The Last Jedi. However, at least he was given a proper death and even got a comic book funeral, since it was not included in the expanded novelization. It remains unclear if Nien Nunb will receive a similar sendoff from the Star Wars franchise.
Nien Nunb is from the planet Sullust and was an arms dealer and smuggler who joined the Alliance to Restore the Republic during the Galactic Civil War. After the Battle of Yavin, Nunb received a call from his friend, Rebel pilot Evaan Verlaine, to help smuggle a group of Alderaanians off of Sullust, who had been hiding there since the Empire obliterated their planet. Nunb accepted and became a Rebel fighter, helping out Leia Organa on multiple occasions before helping to destroy the Death Star II with Lando Calrissian during the Battle of Endor. He was later a starfighter pilot with the military rank of Lieutenant Commander in the Resistance.
After the Battle of Crait, Nien Nunb was one of the only members of the Resistance still standing. It was actually he and Chewbacca who piloted the Millennium Falcon off of Crait and into safety. According to official canon, Nunb was one of the bravest members of the Resistance and could fly just about anything, under any conditions. Voice actor Bill Kipsang Rotich portrayed the character in all of his big screen appearances, while was he puppeteered by Mike Quinn and originally portrayed by Richard Bonehill for the wide shots. Bonehill sadly passed away in 2015, so Quinn stepped in. You can check out the announcement of Nien Nunb’s death below, thanks to Rae Carson’s Twitter account.
— Rae Carson (@raecarson) January 6, 2020