- "Deep-fried nuna leg mmm. Delicious!"
- ―Orn Free Taa
Nuna were diminutive bipeds, mostly covered in scaly skin and sporting a distinctive dorsal ridge. They came in a variety of shades, ranging from greens to browns, depending on the subspecies. They possessed a notably prominent jutting jaw and two large wattles hanging from either side of their mouths. They had large three-toed feet which were quite massive with respect to the rest of their bodies. Though the nuna were flightless, their skeletons were birdlike, as evidenced by a large keel-bone and pelvis. Distinctively, they featured a large anterior body cavity that could inflate the nuna when agitated. A dwarf sub-species existed, the adult of which was approximately the same size as a chick of the common species.
Nuna often exhibited awkward behavior, running with more of a waddle than a stride on their long legs. When vocalizing, a nuna's wattles erected outwards from their face. When angered or agitated, the nuna could inflate its body to a strikingly larger size, similar to the coexisting Gullipud. Nuna survived on a primary diet of swamp plants, though they exhibited opportunistic omnivorous behavior, occasionally eating amphibians. Although they were non-aggressive, they could effectively defend themselves with kicks from their powerful clawed legs when cornered. Nuna also exhibited a high reproductive rate, laying considerable batches of eggs that also acted as a decent fertilizer if not hatched.
Young could be eaten by pikobis.
Origins and Spread
Nuna were common in the swamps of Naboo, notably in the Lianorm Swamp. Though it is unknown how or when the nuna evolved on Naboo, it is understood, in part, how they spread to other planets. A number of dwarf nunas were exported to Tatooine as pets of Jabba Desilijic Tiure, who enjoyed callously killing the creatures, flicking them off great heights. Over time, the imported population apparently escaped domestication and large numbers of wild dwarf nunas dwelt invasively in the deserts during the time of the Galactic Civil War. Nuna eventually spread to other planets, including Saleucami and Coruscant, where they were considered vermin, game, and household pets.
As a pastime, Naboo Gungans were known to use nunas in their bloated, agitated state for sport, kicking them around like balls. "Nuna-ball" would gain some interest in the rest of the galaxy after the Invasion of Naboo. Thus arose another cause of galactic emigration as nunas were exported to many worlds to meet demand for nuna-ball. On some worlds, nunas were even raced in betting matches.
Nuna meat was highly appreciated for culinary use. This led to heavy hunting of the species on Naboo, countered only by the nuna's high reproduction rate. Naboo Gungans particularly savored the meat at holiday feasts. However, some alien species, including Twi'leks and Rodians, could be allergic to nuna[source?]. Nuna apparently had made it as a dish as far away as Saleucami by 21 BBY as evidenced by clone trooper Captain Rex's encounter with one at a farmer's dinner table.
Behind the scenes
The nuna was developed to essentially be the Star Wars equivalent of a turkey.