One of the strongest clone troopers of all time, Commander Rex, goes AWOL at the end of Clone Wars. Resisting Emperor Palpatine’s Order 66, which for Rex meant killing Ahsoka Tano, he manages to find his free will again.
But by the end of Clone Wars, Rex is clearly not in his element as we see him burying his fellow clones. He is no longer the proud general of the galaxy’s greatest army, in fact, he is up against the very same army and is clearly not on the winning side.
As the Captain of the famed 501st Legion, Rex was second-in-command to Anakin Skywalker himself during the Clone Wars.
Anakin’s bravery and unconventionality on the battlefield were shared by Rex in all the scores of battles that he frontline, both during and after the Clone Wars. However, certain key events turned this loyal commander into an enemy of the galactic state and led him to fake his own death.
CT-7567 aka ARC Trooper & former Clone Commander Rex did not die at the end of the Clone Wars. He faked his death to escape the growing empire. Rex reappears during Star Wars: Rebels Season 2 with Commander Wolfe and Captain Gregor.
1. Why does Rex Fake His Death?
It might be obvious by now, that if Rex turned on the Empire then he must have had a big reason. In fact, he had multiple reasons. With Anakin Skywalker as his Jedi General, Rex befriends the former’s padawan Ahsoka as well.
Which is why when Ahsoka is wrongly framed for a murder by those in power, both Anakin and Rex start questioning their loyalty for the Jedi.
Rex was convinced that Ahsoka could not have committed murder and treason, but still followed the order to arrest her. Their bond was still strong enough for Rex to kill several of his fellow clone-men to protect Ahsoka after Order 66 was executed.
Things go particularly awry for Rex when his close friend and fellow clone trooper Fives is executed by the Empire. Fives was the first clone trooper to discover the Empire’s conspiracy to insert chips into clones which when activated, would force them to strictly follow orders without question.
Ever since Fives learnt of Emperor Palpaltine’s evil plan, he had gone rogue and is accused of conspiring to assassinate Chancellor Palpatine.
In his final minutes, he tries to explain to Anakin and Rex about the artificial chips and also accuses Chancellor Palpatine of ordering these special chips.
But the odds were heavily lined up against Fives. Agitated from the tranquilizers he was given earlier, he tried to hurt Anakin and was shot by Fox instead.
Fives breathes his last in Rex’s arms who is still in shock. However, as a dutiful soldier Rex does decide to submit at least a grievance report about the artificial chips.
Even as the report is being recorded, Rex has the knowing look that it would be ignored, and ignored, it was.
However, he returns to the battlefield, putting the conspiracy and Fives’ execution behind him until the day Palpatine’s hologram announces Order 66 to him.
Rex & The Order 66
The siege of Mandalore had just ended and Rex and Ahsoka were aboard a Star Destroyer, delivering Maul into custody.
This is when a hologram of Palpatine directs all the clones to kill every Jedi on sight. Rex is particularly asked to kill Ahsoka even though she is no longer a Jedi.
A conflicted Rex then tries to warn Ahsoka about Fives and his premonition before succumbing to the orders and firing at her.
But Ahsoka manages to duck in time and stuns Rex instead. She then operates on him and removes the chip, thus setting him free again.
All this, while they are being attacked by a whole contingent of clone troopers on the Star Destroyer. But Ahsoka, Rex and Maul together manage to crash the Star Destroyer into a moon and escape on a Y-bomber.
Before leaving the Star Destroyer, Ahsoka drops her lightsaber on it and places Rex’s armour on one of the dead clones – to make it look like they too had perished in the crash. So, in a way Ahsoka plans the pseudocide and Rex just goes with it.
2. Where is Rex After Clone Wars?
The Clone Wars ends on this rather gloomy note – the Empire is born and so is Darth Vader with most of the Jedis dead and no opposition left.
However, we know Rex and Ahsoka manage to survive along with a bunch of other Jedis, forming the Rebels.
After faking their deaths, Ahsoka and Rex decide to part ways as it becomes too dangerous to stay together. Rex then sets out to the Outer Rim to begin his life in hiding, of which we see more in Star Wars: Rebels.
It is a sad fact that Rex’s life as the Republic’s trooper is more prominent than when he is with the Rebels. But his life as part of the resistance is just as significant.
The Age of the Empire begins around the time Rex goes to live with fellow clones Wolffe, the former leader of Wolfpack and the elite commando Gregor. They choose to hide in a modified AT-TE on the desert planet of Seelos.
Rex, Wolffe and Gregor spend nearly 15 years on the AT-TE, settling into a rather homely and regular lifestyle – rather unusual for three combat-trained clone troopers.
However, this is a story about which we know very little. In fact, the canon itself speaks very little of the time period when the Empire is at its peak under Darths Vader and Sidious. (Some even hope for a spin-off for this time in Rex’s life!)
As we see in the Star Wars: Rebels, the Empire is well aware of the clones’ existence but treats them as relics of a bygone era instead.
Which is why when Ahsoka sends her fellow-Jedi knocking on Rex’s doors, there is some mistrust between the Jedi and the clones.
The clones don’t want to rouse the Empire’s ire by supporting the Jedis. But Rex acts as a catalyst and convinces Wolffe and Gregor that the Jedi are friends and the Empire is the enemy.
From this point till the Battle of Endor, Rex is involved in over a dozen different missions and battles on the Rebels’ side.
By joining the rebellion, Rex brings his extensive knowledge of the former Republic’s military bases, combat skills and military tactics to the table. By the time the Battle of Endor begins, Rex is already ranked as a commander in the Rebels Army.
Battle of Endor ends on a high note for Rex since the Sith Lord Palpatine is killed by none other than his former Jedi General Anakin Skywalker.
Anakin, who had turned to the dark side as fashioned as Darth Vader, redeems himself to save his son – the Rebel Leader – Luke Skywalker.
Well that was my favorite clone trooper and his amazing life (and fake death) story for y’all. Comment below and let me know what you think of Captain Rex!
3. The Maverick Commander Rex
Long before Rex turned rogue on the Galactic Republic, he was a maverick in his own right.
A loyal servant of the Republic, Rex would prioritise the safety of his team members above anything else. His general tendency to disobey his seniors if needed was at its best during the Battle of Umbara.
Recapping this awesome exchange between Jedi General Krell and Captain Rex after the captain has disobeyed direct orders.
“You are making a mistake by crossing me, clone.”Pong Krell, Former Jedi General
“It’s ‘captain,’ sir.”Rex, Former Commander of 501st Battalion
In a separate incident, Rex even used his combat skills and experience in training to help the insurgents of Onderon to save their world from the Empire.
Then there was the Battle of Saleucami when once again Rex did not hesitate to question, and act against, the status quo. As part of a team of four troopers out to hunt Grievous, Rex gets shot by a sniper droid. He survived the attack but could not continue on the mission.
A wetland farm was chosen as his resting place which belonged to a clone deserter. Now deserting the Republic was a blasphemy for a clone and Rex was filled with nothing but disgust for Cut Lawquane, owner of the farm. He even called him a coward for running away from his duty.
However, when Cut’s children requested Rex to join them for dinner, the old softie obliged. Over dinner, as he was hearing Cut’s side of the story, the kids accidentally set off a deactivated pod of commando droids.
Rex and Cut together defend the house from the droids and Cut ends up saving an injured Rex in the fight.
The next morning, Rex assured Cut that he would not sneak him out to the Republic. He also clarifies that he no longer thinks Cut was a coward.
At the same time, when Cut offers him to stay back on the farm with the family, a dutiful Rex refuses saying his family was elsewhere.
4. About Star Wars: The Clone Wars
Star Wars: The Clone Wars is an animated TV Series in the Star Wars universe produced and animated by Lucasfilm. The series aired its first episode on October 3, 2008, and ended on May 4, 2020, with 7 seasons and 133 episodes.
The Clone Wars series accounts for the three-year gap between the prequel Star Wars trilogy and the Revenge of the Sith movie. It focuses on the conflict between the Galactic Republic led by Chancellor Palpatine and the Separatists led by Count Sith Dooku. The protagonists of the show are Jedi Knight Anakin Skywalker, Jedi Master Obi-Wan Kenobi, Padwan Ahsoka Tano, and various clones.