Opinion: Cody and Captain Rex should NOT be played in live action

Temuera Morrison, the actor most known for playing Jango and Boba Fett, recently excited Star Wars fans everywhere by saying in an interview with the Washington Post that he would be open to playing beloved Clone Wars and Revenge of the Sith characters Clone Captain Rex and Clone Commander Cody.

While fans are understandably excited, this wouldn’t be as good as fans might think. 

Firstly, their stories can be better served in animation. Star Wars’ latest animation project, The Bad Batch, is a much better place to explore what happened to both Cody and Rex. Cody was last seen following Order 66 in Revenge of the Sith, which means that he stayed loyal with the Empire.

Seeing what this looks like in a show centred about what happened to the clones immediately after Order 66 makes more sense, especially as Cody shares links to the main characters. Having Cody appear post Return of the Jedi makes very little narrative sense. Cody appearing in The Bad Batch could be used to explore what it means to be a clone under the Empire. An arc focusing on The Bad Batch and Rex trying and ultimately failing to save Cody would be very compelling. What would make this even more impactful is if Rex was forced to kill Cody, finishing a tragic story between two brothers. 

This is lost if Cody survives past Return of the Jedi, which is the likely time period for Morrison to play him in. Instead, questions about what Cody was doing during the events of the original trilogy would be raised, and they would be difficult to answer. Did Cody stay loyal to the Empire? Did he participate in any major battles, or was he in some other corner of the galaxy? These questions represent an uninteresting lore exercise, and yet would need filling in. Cody would lose a compelling death, and Rex would lose a compelling story. 

Image credit: Lucasfilm/Disney

Rex has the potential to appear in the Ahsoka show, as he is closely linked with Ahsoka already. However, because of the accelerated aging clones go through, Rex would be extremely old. Rex has already been portrayed as an aging clone, outgrowing his iconic blue style armour in Rebels. Accounting for the time jump and design change, Rex would not look or act like his animation counterpart. Cody has been seen in live action before, but he has the same age problem as Rex. Having the Bad Batch continue their stories in animation would allow them to retain their armour and young age. 

Another reason for why this shouldn’t happen is because it wouldn’t be narratively fresh or exciting. In his interview, Morrison stated that it would be “fresh, new and exciting” to find out what happened to Rex and Cody. While it would be exciting to get more Rex and Cody content, the other two descriptors unfortunately don’t apply.

Two prominent characters, Ahsoka and Bo-Katan Kryze, have already made the jump from animation to live action. Sabine Wren has also been confirmed to be making this same jump, with Natasha Liu Bordizzo cast to play her in the upcoming Ahsoka show. Timothy Olyphant’s character in The Mandalorian, Cobb Vanth, made the jump from the books to live action. 

It’s also not new that characters who have not been seen on the screen for a long time make an unexpected reappearance. Both Maul and Palpatine reappeared after audiences thought they had perished. Grand Admiral Thrawn will be making the jump from animation and returning after a presumed death.

Image credit: Lucasfilm/Disney

The animated shows all heavily relate to one another, with all of them sharing the same characters. Boba Fett, the character Temura Morrison plays, had a long absence from the screen after he was thought to be dead before he was revived for his own show, so it is surprising that Morrison doesn’t understand the irony of his comments. 

Overall, while fans would greatly enjoy more Cody and Rex content, their stories are better served in other media. Inserting Cody into a Mandalorian era show would rob him of an emotional death, and the effect of that death on others around him. Seeing an old Rex is not appealing, as it would be forced to leave behind what made the character great. The idea of bringing fan favourite characters from years past is not a new idea in Star Wars. In fact, it has an almost obsession like love for legacy characters, something that it needs to overcome. 

By Kieran Burt

Feature image: Lucasfilm/Disney

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