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CT-7567: The Legacy And Impact Of Captain Rex

by Culture Slate about a month ago in star wars
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A Closer Look At Everyone's Favorite Clone Trooper

A clone who shares his face with a million brothers, Captain Rex is perhaps one of the most memorable characters throughout Star Wars. Considering he has only made his appearance in animation, one would be hard-pressed to find a character as admired as the captain of the 501st. But what is it about Captain Rex that makes him so endearing? His viewpoint is incredibly unique. He is not a civilian, but he is no Jedi either. His knowledge of the inner workings of the Republic goes far beyond what some senators know, yet he is not blessed with the power of the Force.

Like all clones, Rex was born on Kamino, cloned from the genetic material of the bounty hunter Jango Fett. Part of the Grand Army of the Republic’s first generation of clones, Rex was promoted to the rank of captain during his training and given command of the 501st Torrent Company under Anakin Skywalker.  Throughout the history of the Clone Wars itself, Rex is there, as an observer, a participant, and ultimately, a survivor.

RELATED: Why The 501st Could Have Been Ordered To Kidnap Grogu During Order 66

Throughout The Clone Wars animated series, fans see Rex’s growth from a by-the-books captain to a defiant truth-seeker armed with the knowledge of Order 66. The cracks in Rex’s symbolic armor began to show in the Umbara arc of the series when he was faced with the truth that Jedi can be wrong and disobeying orders for the sake of saving the lives of his men is the best option. It was during this arc that Rex declared, “I used to believe that being a good soldier meant doing everything they told you. That's how they engineered us. But we're not droids. We're not programmed. You have to learn to make your own decisions."

Throughout his full character arc, Rex befriended most who crossed his path, though perhaps the friendship that meant the most beyond the bond of his brothers, was that of Ahsoka Tano. In the thrilling Clone Wars series finale, Ahsoka risked her own life to save Rex from Order 66 and together they escaped the doomed Star Destroyer before it crashed on the moon’s surface. Although we have not seen their parting in canon yet, their reunion years later in Rebels was filled with the weight of grief and emotion the two friends shared.

Audiences first met Rex in 2008, when he was introduced during the animated film Star Wars: The Clone Wars. Although nearly fifteen years have passed since we first heard his distinct voice, everyone looks forward to his appearance in new projects. In 2015, when it was announced that Rex would make an appearance in the second season of Rebels, audiences rejoiced at the return of the (older!) captain. He had been spending his "retirement" with fellow defectors Gregor and Wolffe. Eventually, he would join the Rebellion. At that point, in a pre-Disney+ world, The Clone Wars was canceled and the fate of Rex post-Order 66 was unknown.

Rex’s appearance in The Bad Batch was also highly anticipated. Fans would hold weekly Rex Watch Parties on Twitter and TikTok. When he finally appeared in the seventh episode, Rex had notably changed since the last time we saw him in The Clone Wars. He was more composed and more determined. Knowing what he has just lost only months before, he understood the value of fighting for what is left.

Rex is the linchpin of the Clone Wars era. His character, while heroic, brave, and strong, is still flawed. We first see him as a loyal soldier, blindly defending the Republic because that is what he is “supposed” to do. Eventually, his view changes to fighting for a cause he believes in. We watch him wrestle with his own self-doubt until he cannot fight it anymore. We see him experience great loss, hold his dying brothers in his arms, and yet he continues to fight. We may never personally experience life in a galaxy far, far away but we may draw comparisons to some of Rex’s battles in our own lives.

Although he has suffered numerous tragedies, experienced unjust hardship, and watched the world he and his brothers fought to protect fall to the hands of oppressors, nothing will change his kind heart. Throughout his entire life, kindness is perhaps his most defining trait above all else. His ability to be gentle in a galaxy that is ever increasingly cruel is perhaps the reason why audiences continue to turn to him and await his return. Because wherever Rex is, compassion will always follow.

READ NEXT: We Watched The Siege of Mandalore & Episode III Fan Edit, Here Are Our Thoughts

Written By Elizabeth Reese

Source(s): Wookieepedia

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