Star Wars Rebels executive producer and supervising director Dave Filoni loves all of his characters, but one holds a special place in his heart: clone Captain Rex.
“I love that guy,” Filoni said at a press conference where he was pressed on Rex’s role in the upcoming fourth and final season of Rebels. “He’s been around the block.”
Following the Rebels panel April 15 at Star Wars Celebration Orlando, the Man in the Hat wouldn’t go into specifics about Rex, or any other characters and their ultimate fates, but he had a lot to say about Rex’s meaning to fans — and to himself.
“I’ve been amazed at how active so many bald cosplayers are,” Filoni said. “People seem to love that guy. He relates. Rex is like, in a very real way, the common man, the common soldier.
“I’ve had people that have served in the military come up and talk about what it’s meant to them, his story, the other clones and the trauma that they’ve gone through. It’s very real and it’s helped them.”
“He’s a good person and a proud warrior. So I think you see that starting to follow because he’s part of this Rebellion now.”
The character of Rex, who reported directly to Anakin Skywalker during the Clone Wars and featured heavily in the animated series of the same name, represents the best of the clones who comprised the Grand Army of the Republic and would later, nearly to a man, betray their Jedi generals when the new Emperor activated their Order 66 programming.
“The idea for me since Clone Wars has been he is the good soldier, he is the one that’s actually fighting not for any politics of the situation but for the people he is trying to protect, his intention is good, always good and honorable,” Filoni said. “He fights with honor. There’s no waste there. There’s no cruelty there. He’s a good person and a proud warrior. So I think you see that starting to follow because he’s part of this Rebellion now.
Filoni seems to view Rex as a hero, and his return in Rebels has presented new storytelling and character development opportunities long after the Clone Wars’ end.
“He’s actually probably, for the first time if you think about it, fighting for something he actually believes in — not something he’s programmed to believe in,” he said.
“He believed in a republic, but that republic didn’t exist. The Republic, because of Palpatine, was a lie, and he was created through deception, but he’s empowered himself and now he can be something greater because he’s an individual making choices and he believes in something.”
Filoni won’t say yet where this old soldier is headed, but it’s clear that this thread isn’t mined out just yet.
“Dee (Bradley Baker, the actor who portrays Rex) and I talk about this at length and he’s in Season 4, thankfully, and we’ll see where he goes,” the producer said.
Images courtesy of Lucasfilm