The Star Wars Saga continues to expand into a bigger and more cohesive shared universe sandbox - which is a tricky thing to pull off. The Original Trilogy is so far gone, that new projects like Rogue One have to use CGI trickery to bridge the gap with the old films.
It gets even more complicated when you add in projects like the Star Wars animated series Clone Wars and Rebels, which live in the gaps between the films. However, just because stringing together Star Wars continuity is difficult, doesn't mean that great connections can't be made. Case in point: It seems as though a long standing rumor about a connection between Clone Wars, Rebels, and Star Wars: Episode VI - Return of the Jedi has finally been confirmed!
The Unconquerable Rex
The connection in question has to do with the Clone Wars and Rebels character of Captain Rex. Rex was one of the standout clone trooper commanders in Clone Wars (Clone designate: CT-7567), who often fought alongside Generals Anakin Skywalker and Obi-Wan Kenobi. Rex and a few of his fellow clones removed their inhibitor chips before Chancellor Palpatine enacted "Order 66," which kept them from betraying the Jedi.
After fifteen years in hiding with fellow clone soldiers Gregor and Wolffe, Rex emerged to aid the Rebel Jedi Kanan Jarrus and Ezra Bridger in the fight against the Empire. However, a new set of comments from Rebels executive producer Dave Filoni suggests that Rex's time as a soldier has another storied chapter that fans are already well aware of....prevnext
Rex on Endor
Star Wars: Episode VI - Return of the Jedi culminates with the infamous "Battle of Endor," in which The Rebel Alliance storms an Imperial base on the planet Endor (home of the Ewoks), in order to shutdown the shield generator that's protecting a reconstructed Death Star.
During Rebels EP Dave Filoni's panel at Star Wars Celebration last weekend, Filoni revealed a piece of art featuring Rex in the outfit of a Rebel fighter on Endor during Return of the Jedi. At a separate event, Filoni was also quoted saying the following (via /Film):
"The one thing that I have toyed with and we’ll see how I feel about this, this is probably a spoiler, Carrie Beck, but I gotta give them something. I’ve said absolutely nothing today. And my wife’s like yeah, it’s just like being home. But I think the one thing I have really thought about is I really do think that Rex is that guy on Endor. I really do. Why else is there a bearded old guy on Endor, Tano? Why? It makes no sense. If you don’t want that to happen, do you know what that means? I’m gonna make that happen. I’m getting like Palpatine, I’m getting power crazy."
Obviously Filoni is working backwards from what was already established in the OT; he's essentially retconning a character who was just an extra into a major connective Easter egg - and it works! Or at least it will work, if Filoni has his way...
The big question hanging over Star Wars Rebels is how many of the titular characters will survive? It's hard to believe that Jedi like Kanan and Ezra simply went unnoticed in the time of A New Hope, so there has to eventually be some explanation of who these two sides of the franchise connect. Rex, on the other hand, is more believable as a character who could move through OT era without too much scrutiny; certainly, it's feasible that Luke, Han and Leia's faction of the Rebellion never came into contact with Rex... until Endor.
The old man in the Battle of Endor scene even looks enough like Jango Fett Temuera Morrison to satisfy the objections of even the most hardcore Star Wars fans.prevnext
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Star Wars: The Last Jedi, from writer/director Rian Johnson, is in post-production now for a December 15, 2017 release. The film follows-up and continues the story of the next generation of the saga as Rey, Poe, Finn, and Kylo Ren find their place in the galaxy and follow the legacy of Luke Skywalker, Leia, and Han Solo. Daisy Ridley returns to star as Rey, with other returning stars John Boyega, Oscar Isaac, Adam Driver, Domhnall Gleeson, Gwendoline Christie, Peter Mayhew, Andy Serkis, Anthony Daniels, Lupita Nyong'o Mark Hamill, and Carrie Fisher as General Leia Organa. Benicio Del Toro and Laura Dern join the cast in as-yet-unrevealed roles.
Star Wars: The Last Jedi is the next Lucasfilm movie on the calendar, set to release December 15.