Marvel’s Latest STAR WARS Comic Finally Explains the “Nerf Herder”

Over the past year, Marvel has been absolutely killing it with their new line of Star Wars comics. The main ongoing Star Wars book, set in the timeframe after A New Hope but before The Empire Stikes Back, has helped fill in some of the story gaps from the original movie series. Like how exactly did Darth Vader find out the pilot who blew up the Death Star was his son? And why did Luke’s Uncle Owen hate Obi-Wan Kenobi so much? Sure, these are things viewers can infer on their own, but Marvel has found a clever and fun way to explain these story beats.

But one plot point that has never been explained in Star Wars lore is the root of Princess Leia’s infamous insult to Han Solo in Empire, when she calls him a “ stuck up, half witted, sruffy looking nerf herder!” Great sounding insult, but we’ve all wondered for years, just what the hell is a nerf? You know, besides a line of toys that are foam-based guns and whatnot. I’m pretty sure those aren’t the nerfs that Leia is talking about.Well, the latest issue of Star Wars, issue #17, by Jason Aaron and Leinil Francis Yu, shows us the origin of Han’s nickname, and it turns out there is quite a hilarious story there. The current storyline features Luke and Han on a mission to buy supplies for the Rebel Alliance. But as luck would have it, Han loses the Rebellion’s money in a card  game, and Luke and Han then have to resort to smuggling to try to get the money to actually buy supplies. And the cargo they end up smuggling? Why, it’s a Millennium Falcon full of nerfs, which are basically space buffalo. Space buffalo who tend to shed and sneeze when they get scared. In the panel below, you can see how tight a squeeze it was having all those nerfs onboard. Poor Han.

So there you have it folks — that’s a nerf. Is it what you were hoping for, or were you expecting something more Star Warsy? Let us know your thoughts in the comments! And be sure to pick up Star Wars #17, in comic shops now.

HT: io9

IMAGES: Marvel, Lucasfilm

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