.94 meters (4.15 meters long, including tail)
A fierce and agile predator, the nexu was one of a trio of deadly beasts unleashed by the Geonosians upon Anakin Skywalker, Padme Amidala and Obi-Wan Kenobi in the execution arena. The nexu's broad face was split by a terrifying tooth-filled maw, and four eyes glinted from atop its spade-shaped head. Its wiry, supple muscles were visible beneath its fine coat, and sharp curving quills lined its spine. A naked, forked prehensile tail trailed it, aiding in balance, and its arms and legs terminated in large curved claws.
The nexu zeroed in on Padme Amidala, who had partially escaped her bonds and climbed up her execution pillar. Mostly safe from its reach, Padme was able to user her own chains and shackles to stun the beast. Though sustaining a glancing slash of the nexu's claws, Padme was able to kick the wind out of the animal, momentarily stunning it.
The injured nexu was then killed by a charging attack from a fellow arena beast, the reek, which was under the control of Anakin Skywalker.
The nexu comes from the forests of Indona, one of the continents on the planet Cholganna. A variety of nexu breeds exist, adapted to environments such as the cool forests of the northern latitudes, and the warmer jungles of the south.
The forest nexu has a secondary set of eyes that view infrared wavelengths, allowing it to see the heat signatures of warm-blooded prey like arboreal octopi and stout bark rats. The creature's sprawling stance allows broad footing in the leafy canopies.
Nexu have been transplanted offworld, and some have even been domesticated. On Malastare, the creatures are used for patrol-duty.
Art Department concept sculptor Robert Barnes developed the look of the nexu, after several early sketches depicted rather literal interpretations of a lion-like creature. By intermixing different species traits, like reptilian and even human characteristics, Barnes was able to develop an unsettlingly vicious design. The ILM crew nicknamed the creature "bad kitty," and she was realized as a computer-generated creation.