Fearless and courageous, Captain Rex was a natural leader among men and a reliable comrade on the field. Considered to be the ideal soldier, there is still much about our beloved captain that we know nothing about. He carried many curious traits and a fate that remain a mystery. He also bore many other aspects that made him an intriguing character. Anyone familiar with my tastes knows that Captain Rex is my absolute favorite character in the Star Wars universe. That said, I have many fan-made theories about his origin and what made him stand out from the rest. Popularly known as headcanons, an aspect of a character or story that exists solely in the imagination and not related to canonical material, this post seeks to combine fact with fangirl musings from myself and TWG contributor Lledra and open up a discussion about everyone’s favorite clone trooper.
Headcanon: As part of a basic flight training exercise, one of the trainers brought Rex and his squad to a platform outside of the facility. There, sat an aiwha, a flying cetacean creature native to Kamino. When asked who wanted to go first, his squad members stepped back, leaving Rex on his own at the front. The trainer took him as a volunteer, despite his grumbling, and commended him on his bravery. Rex mounted the aiwha as the rain continued to pour. Taking the reins, his trainer advised him to go gently. Rex, with his short legs, kicked the majestic creature on its side and instantly regretted doing so. It flapped its wing-fins in response, standing vertically to toss Rex off. The aiwha swiftly turned, whipping its reins around and striking Rex on the chin, before it ascended up into the stormy skies. The trainer appeared at Rex’s side, whose chin bled from the contact with the reins.
“I said gently, cadet,” he said.
Background: Rex was designed with a scar on his chin to mirror Harrison Ford’s own blemish, which he originally got in the 1960s during a car accident. As a result, I wanted to give Rex a similar “vehicle” related accident that happened prior to his more experienced days. Since it was the only scar on his face, I wanted the event to be something that did not involve his armor. In my past headcanons, he received the scar in sparring accidents or through other actions on the battlefield, but the one Lledra and I came up with about him mounting a main source of transportation on Kamino seemed more genuine.
Discussion: How do you think Rex got his scar?
Headcanon: After the First Battle of Geonosis, the Mandalorian trainers on Kamino caught wind of Rex’s outstanding performance on the battlefield and passed on to him the Jaig eyes, a sigil used as a mark of honor and awarded for acts of bravery. Grateful for the recognition, Rex displayed the Jaig eyes proudly on every uniform or armor suit he wore.
Background: Jaig eyes are part of Mandalorian culture and remain canon as a result of them being used in Star Wars: the Clone Wars. Therefore, one could assume that there were Mandalorian trainers on Kamino along with the other bounty hunters, such as Bric and El-Les. Rex had to have been introduced to them, since I do not see him as the kind of individual who would carry such a symbol and not properly earn the right to wear them in the first place. Since the Jaig eyes are awarded in response to acts of bravery, I thought it would be fitting for Rex to receive them after his first real taste of war on Geonosis. Perhaps, a Jedi during that battle noted his valor and recommended that he get recognition for his work.
Discussion: What do you think Rex did to earn his Jaig eyes?
Headcanon: Fully aware that his brothers were already picking out names for themselves, Rex struggled to come up with one of his own. After learning the various vehicles and droids during one of the easier sessions in his Advanced Recon Commando training, one droid stood out to him the most: the RX-series pilot droid. The droid seemed to have all of the answers and was skilled in the areas of information and knowledge. As a young soldier, he also desired to be recognized for his own skills and expertise, so RX became Rex. Nobody else knew why he chose it and he preferred to keep it that way.
Background: From a real-world perspective, Rex got his name because his original name was going to be Alpha and George Lucas sought something different to avoid the alliteration between he, Anakin, and Ahsoka. As a result, he was given the name Rex. Rex has two meanings. First, Rex in Latin means “king,” which I interpreted over the years as king among men. Rex had demonstrated his skill time and again and he did seem extraordinary when it came to his talents. Second, Rex is also one of the many traditional names you would assign to your pet dog, who are known to be loyal and man’s best friend. From an in-universe perspective, I see Rex as the type of clone who would want to be recognized by his chosen name, much like Fives. I chose the RX-series pilot droid as inspiration because of its recent canonization in Star Wars Rebels: Head-to-Head.
Discussion: From an in-universe perspective, why do you think Rex chose that name?