Star Wars: The Clone Wars' Showrunner Clears Up Order 66 Plot Hole

star wars the clone wars season 7 rex bad batch disney+
(Image credit: Disney+)

Star Wars: The Clone Wars was able to finally finish telling its story and fill in some of the blanks from the prequel era with Season 7, but that doesn't mean that the Disney+ revival answered every question before the final credits rolled. In fact, one aspect of Order 66 on The Clone Wars contradicted a plot point from Star Wars Rebels, when Rex claimed to Order 66 survivor Kanan Jarrus that he never turned on his Jedi because he had his chip removed. Clone Wars proved that's really only true from a generous point of view, but now showrunner Dave Filoni has cleared up that plot hole.

Speaking with Nerdist about the final season of Star Wars: The Clone Wars, Dave Filoni said:

I think when you reach [Rex] in Rebels and he says, 'I took out my control chip' to Kanan as a way of explaining that we all can make a choice. I think he sees that as true and I think it's one way that he's coped with things. He did get it removed. Kanan doesn't need to know the minute details of Rex's life.

According to Star Wars: The Clone Wars' final episodes, Rex and the rest of the clones around Ahsoka did turn on her when Palpatine executed Order 66, and it was only after Ahsoka knocked him out and dragged him away to get the chip removed that he was able to think straight again. It was a pretty thrilling turn of events that packed an emotional punch, but Rebels fans had heard Rex describe a different situation when it came to Order 66. According to Dave Filoni, Rex's story to Kanan wasn't exactly a lie, but rather his truth that helped him cope.

Plus, Rex and Kanan hadn't exactly settled down for a heart-to-heart when Rex said that he didn't turn on his Jedi. Kanan wanted nothing to do with Rex and the other clones at the time, so Rex telling the full story and "minute details," as Dave Filoni stated, probably wouldn't have gone over too well with Kanan. Filoni elaborated on Rex and Kanan's conversation about The Clone Wars after they met on Star Wars Rebels:

I think that's where you can get hung up on continuity so much that you don't actually tell a story that's about real people. So Rex at that moment tells Kanan the point of view Kanan needs to understand who Rex is and what he's really about. Later on, do they have a scene where they get into the truth of it that was a lot scarier? Probably, but I think Kanan also knows that. So I think it takes them [Ahsoka and Rex] a long time to cope with everything. The life they knew is gone. It's tough. It would be hard because with The Clone Wars, I know where it ends. I don't get to have the parade in this one unless it's the 'Imperial March.'

While Rex and Kanan's conversation in Rebels may have stuck out as a plot hole when the final episodes of The Clone Wars released on Disney+, I doubt any fans would argue against that the truth of what happened was indeed a lot scarier and a lot more nuanced than Rex could or would have told this angry Jedi he just met and who didn't like him. Clone Wars showed Order 66 from a clone's perspective, and reminded viewers that they were real people with personalities before their chips were activated. Ahsoka didn't want to kill them, and she and Rex gave them burials. They lost everything.

That story might have been too much and too dark to be told on screen Disney XD's Rebels, even after Rex and Kanan bonded and became friends. Besides, it's not like the full story of Rex's experience with Order 66 is the only event that Star Wars Rebels left off-screen, only to reveal the truth later. I'm looking at you, Jacen Syndulla! Even the cast didn't know about that particular twist.

Unfortunately for fans of Star Wars TV shows like Clone Wars and Rebels, the end of Clone Wars means the end of animated Star Wars series for the time being. The good news is that The Mandalorian Season 2 will premiere before the end of 2020, and there are several more Star Wars live-action TV shows already in the works at Disney+. For now, you can find Clone Wars, Rebels, The Mandalorian Season 1, and much more Star Wars content on the Disney streamer. For some viewing options set elsewhere than the galaxy far, far away, check out our 2020 summer TV premiere schedule!

Laura Hurley
Senior Content Producer

Laura turned a lifelong love of television into a valid reason to write and think about TV on a daily basis. She's not a doctor, lawyer, or detective, but watches a lot of them in primetime. CinemaBlend's resident expert and interviewer for One Chicago, the galaxy far, far away, and a variety of other primetime television. Will not time travel and can cite multiple TV shows to explain why. She does, however, want to believe that she can sneak references to The X-Files into daily conversation (and author bios).