In Return of the Jedi, there is a character on Han Solo’s strike team to the Forest Moon of Endor who has a white beard, and in legends he became known as Nik Sant. But after Captain Rex was brought to Star Wars Rebels, fans noticed a striking resemblance. As Rebels entered its fourth and final season, Rex’s costume even much more closely resembled the one worn by Sant.
But Dave Filoni has refused to make it canon that Rex is actually that bearded guy on Endor, saying that he’s fine with whatever fans believe – whether they believe it’s Rex or not – and that Rex could have been on Endor and not been Sant.
That much, at least, has been confirmed: Rex did in fact fight in the Battle of Endor. That was made clear in the epilogue to Rebels, as the narration by Sabine revealed that Hera Syndula and Captain Rex both fought at Endor. In a pretty cool touch, the latest Galaxy of Adventures short actually gives us a look at him in the fight!
It’s a really well-done short about Han Solo, and I love seeing the progression of the character throughout the films, including Solo, as he becomes a hero in the Rebellion. So while it’s a very enjoyable episode, what I find interesting and worth discussing here is that we see Rex, for the first time, fighting on Endor!
In case you missed it, you can see Rex in three brief shots: when Han, Leia, and others are firing at the Imperials, when Han lures a trooper into a trap, and when Han stands with his team compiled. For an example, here’s a shot that pans out to show Rex in the foreground.
You will notice that Rex is looking pretty similar to the version we’re used to in Rebels, while fitting in perfectly with the style of the Rebel strike team to Endor. But note that he still is wearing parts of his clone armor, as you can note the blue and white gauntlets that are part the armor of a clone in the 501st. You can also see them clearly in another shot of Rex in the short, this time on the far right of the screen.
Just like Filoni likes it, I actually think that this version of Rex supports whatever side you want to believe. Do you think Rex is the same guy as Sant? Well then the image above may lend support to that, as Rex is standing in a very similar pose and in a very similar location on-screen to Sant in ROTJ. Both of the shots below are from when Han lures a Scout Trooper into a trap, and on the left it’s from ROTJ and from the right it’s from Galaxy of Adventures (obviously). You’ll note that not only are Rex/Sant standing in very similar positions but are also in similar locations on-screen.
But do you think Rex isn’t the same guy as Sant? There’s also something in this short that will greatly aid such an argument: the animated shot clearly shows that Rex is still wearing parts of his clone armor at the battle, and Sant is wearing no such armor in ROTJ. That would seem to suggest that perhaps they’re different people who just happen to look quite a bit alike.
Ultimately, I don’t really think that it matters whether they’re the same people. While it would make for a really cool easter egg in ROTJ, the reality is that it’s cool enough that we know Rex fought on Endor. It’s entirely possible that there was a Captain Rex and a Nik Sant on Han’s strike team. Either way, I think it’s cool to get a true look at Rex fighting on Endor, and I hope that one day we might learn further stories about Rex’s days in the Rebellion, because he clearly would have known Han, Leia, and probably Luke – so you can imagine the cool stories that could be told!