New Star Wars Rebels concept art has confirmed a long-believed connection between the original and prequel Star Wars trilogies. For a long time, people had wondered what happened to the expertly trained clone troopers once Chancellor Palpatine had established the First Galactic Empire, and thus created the first stormtroopers. The clones had temporarily fought alongside the newly formed Empire in the period between the prequel and original trilogies, yet by the time George Lucas' original Star Wars movie rolls around, the clones had essentially been retired and the Empire almost entirely relied on volunteers.
However, thanks to the inclusion of certain original clone troopers in Disney XD's Star Wars Rebels animated series -- clones who fought alongside the Rebel Alliance -- people had presumed that many clones also took their fight to the Empire. A theory that one of the Rebel soldiers seen during the Battle of Endor in Richard Marquand's Star Wars: Episode VI -- Return of the Jedi has been floating around since Captain Rex (an original clone created for The Clone Wars animated series) joined Star Wars Rebels season 2 and audiences saw how much he and the other clones had changed. It turns out, that theory has just been proven correct.
Star Wars: The Clone Wars and Star Wars Rebels writer Steven Melching has unveiled new concept art online that explicitly confirms that Captain Rex had continued to fight alongside the Rebel Alliance and was even present during the Battle of Endor. The concept art clearly states that the asset's name is Clone Trooper Rex B, and the clone CT-7567, seen first in The Clone Wars and again in Rebels, was nicknamed Rex. Seems pretty cut and dry.
— Steven Melching (@stevenmelching) August 5, 2017
What's even more interesting is that Melching is not only confirming that clone troopers survived throughout the original trilogy -- and the ongoing Galactic Civil War -- but that the one soldier seen on Endor was, in fact, the beloved character Captain Rex. Beyond confirming the explicit connection between the two trilogies, that means that Saw Gerrera -- portrayed by Forest Whitaker in Gareth Edwards' Rogue One: A Star Wars Story -- wasn't the first original character from The Clone Wars animated series to appear in live-action.
As previously mentioned, this theory began circling the internet two years ago when Captain Rex first appeared on Star Wars Rebels, and the series' creator and executive producer Dave Filoni had mentioned at that time that he wanted to make that theory a reality -- and it looks like he's finally done so.