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"Why, you stuck-up, half-witted, scruffy-looking nerf-herder!"
"Who's scruffy-looking?"
―Leia Organa, to Han Solo[7]

Nerfs were a species of furry, non-sentient animals raised for their milk, meat, and hide. They could be found on a variety of planets across the galaxy, from Alderaan to Lothal. Despite their usefulness, nerfs were often regarded as disgusting because of their strong body odor.

Biology and appearance[]

"Buy salt, sir. Give it to your nerfs."
"So you would coddle their weaknesses? Is that any way to create a strong herd, cadet?"
―Zare Leonis and Brendol Hux[3]

Nerfs were quadrupedal creatures with curving horns and coarse, curly brown fur that covered their bodies.[2] They were noted for their strong body odor, which humans regarded as disgusting,[1] and their bleats somewhat resembled the language used by the Aqualish people.[8] Their mouths contained blunt teeth[2] and a long pink tongue.[3] They were herbivores, feeding on growing grass and herbage.[6] Females of the species produced milk.[2]

There existed distinct breeds of nerfs, one of which could be found on Jaresh, and another one on Alderaan.[4]


When frightened, nerfs tended to shed and expel filthy mucus through the nose and mouth.[2] Juvenile nerfs were known to crave salt.[3]

Nerfs in the galaxy[]

"They need these nerfs on Ibaar. They need them for their milk."
―Luke Skywalker, to Han Solo[2]

Nerf meat could be used in various food dishes, including nerf steaks, nerf stews,[3] and nerf nuggets.[9] Their milk also had nutritional benefits.[2] Additionally, nerf hides could be utilized to create leather goods.[10] Individuals who herded nerfs for a living were referred to as nerf herders.[7]

The Junior Academy of Applied Sciences on Lothal maintained a herd of nerfs. In the fields where they lived, those animals were often pestered by bloodfly creatures circling around them.[1] The Imperial Academy on Arkanis employed nerfs for the purposes of keeping its lawns trimmed and weeded, but sometimes lost salt-loving young nerfs to the ferocious creatures found in Arkanis's oceans.[3]

You got a lot of nerfs

Nerfs aboard the Millennium Falcon

At some point during the Galactic Civil War that pitted the Alliance to Restore the Republic against the Galactic Empire, the Alliance heroes Han Solo and Luke Skywalker transported a group of female Nerfs aboard Solo's freighter, the Millennium Falcon. Those creatures were intended for the population of Ibaar, who suffered shortages of food. On the way between Nar Shaddaa and Ibaar, however, the Millennium Falcon was intercepted by a trio of Imperial TIE/ln space superiority starfighters.[2] Some time later, shortly before the Empire's assault on the Alliance base on Hoth, Princess Leia Organa once called Han Solo a "scruffy-looking nerf herder" in a bout of frustration.[7]

A village on Zeffo was used to make canvas products from nerf fur, with several crates dotted around with nerf fur and "Zeffo Exports - Canvas Products" in Aurebesh.[11]

Behind the scenes[]

Nerfs were first mentioned in the 1980 movie Star Wars: Episode V The Empire Strikes Back as part of a lengthy putdown snapped at Han Solo by Princess Leia, culminating in her calling him a "scruffy-looking nerf herder."[7] The Princess' memorable insult was adopted by a music band in the 1990s, Nerf Herder, well known for supplying the theme song to the Buffy the Vampire Slayer television series.[12]


Non-canon appearances[]


Notes and references[]