“I have spoken.”
For a few weeks, those words uttered by Nick Nolte’s Kuiil were the quote from The Mandalorian’s first season. Said (repeatedly) to Din Djarin to end a conversation or make a point, Kuiil’s catchphrase launched nearly as many memes as Baby Yoda did when The Mandalorian first started.
Blurrg Wrangler, Master Mechanic, and Statesman?
When we first meet Kuiil, he’s using Din Djarin as bait in his hunt for blurrgs. He appears to be domesticating them, not unlike a rancher capturing wild horses in the Old West. Knowing he needs Din’s help to rid his planet of violence, he takes Djarin in and teaches him how to ride a blurrg. The blurrg were essential to travel on Arvala-7, as they’re able to cross difficult terrain without much noise.
When Din returns to Kuiil’s ranch after Jawas steal parts from his ship, he provides assistance on multiple fronts. He negotiates the trade of the stolen parts for a giant egg the Jawas want, and then repairs Din’s Razor Crest ship. He proves to be an incredibly helpful companion for Din Djarin, but decline’s the Mandalorian’s offer to join his crew. Mando leaves the planet, thanking him the only way Kuiil will allow: simple gratitude.
Servant No More
Kuiil is an Ugnaught, a dwarf-like race of humanoids with pig-like faces. Like other Ugnaughts in Star Wars, Kuiil’s speech, at least when speaking Basic (English) is disjointed at times, not always matching his mouth movements. Like many Ugnaughts, Kuiil was forced into serving the Empire, despite disagreeing with their policies. When the war ended, he was determined to live a free life, which is why he did not join Din’s crew.
We learn later that Kuiil returns to the site of Baby Yoda’s rescue to salvage IG-11. He repairs and reprograms the IG unit to serve as an assistant on his ranch. This reprogramming proves crucial when Din returns in need of help. This time, Kuiil and IG-11 join him, but only so they can protect The Child.
A Noble Death
On the Nevarro mission, Kuiil sadly meets his end at the hands of Scout Troopers. He is racing to get back to the Razor Crest on a blurrg when he is gunned down from behind. He died in his mission, protecting Baby Yoda, but his death spurned IG-11 into action and allowed The Child to be rescued. Kuiil died with honor and purpose, something he was lacking during his service to the Empire.
By introducing IG-11 to the equation, Mando and his crew were able to defeat Moff Gideon, so Kuiil’s death ultimately had a massive impact. He was buried on Nevarro by Djarin before he left the planet.
Nick Nolte and Misty Rosas
Golden Globe winner Nick Nolte provides the voice for Kuiil, but does not provide the physical performance. Ugnaughts are dwarf-like creatures, and Nolte is far too tall for the role. The physical role is played by veteran character performer Misty Rosas. Rosas is only 4’9″ tall, fitting the stature of an Ugnaught perfectly.
Nolte’s gruff voice was also a perfect fit for the character. The gravitas he carries also helped give Kuiil a wise presence whenever he was on screen. Despite being a man of few words, when Nolte spoke as Kuiil, it carried weight. I have spoken, indeed.
Because of his death, we do not expect Kuiil will return in Season 2 of The Mandalorian, but you can enjoy all of Nolte and Rosas’s performances as the Ugnaught by streaming Season 1 on Disney+ now.