When Leia called Han a scruffy-looking nerf herder, the chances of them ever getting together seemed doomed. However, just as younglings will insult their erstwhile crush, so too did Leia throw some jibes Han’s way.
But what does it really mean to be a nerf herder? Was it really necessary to call him scruffy-looking as well? And did Han deserve it? The answer to that last question is a resounding “Well, maybe.” After all, his best friend is a talking carpet who helps him fly. Han’s life choices aside, let’s examine what it means to be a nerf herder.
A nerf is a type of animal, much like a cow, but from space. In fact, they are, for all intents and purposes, the cows of Star Wars. They have four legs, spend their lives grazing, and are mercilessly slaughtered so that other animals might feast upon their lovely flesh. Coats are made from their hides. They live everywhere, and are tended by simple country folk. They even chew their cud much like the cow does.
However, that’s where the similarity ends. Cows, unlike nerfs, don’t spit. Cows, unlike nerfs, aren’t temperamental at the best of times. Cows, unlike nerfs, don’t spit at things that piss them off. Nerf spit is nasty stuff, and smells horrible. So, because of their accuracy and foul temper, their handlers soon begin to smell horrible, which leads to the famous insult: scruffy-looking nerf herder.
The herders are covered in this nasty spit, but let’s return to the cow comparison one last time. Cows smell. Nerfs are like cows. Therefore, nerfs smell. And when someone is around anything that stinks for any amount of time, they begin to smell as well. Therefore, Han is stinky because he is around animals that stink, and animals that spit on him and make him stink even more. So go figure he looks scruffy too. Anybody would after being spit on all day.
Obviously, Leia didn’t really think he was a nerf herder*. We can tell because she never attempted to remove her nose after setting foot in the Falcon. However, think twice before you call someone a nerf herder; you might just nerf your chances with them in the future.
* He is still scruffy-looking though.