The Lost Commander

codyrex

For a bunch of guys with the same face, there are certainly many important clones. There are clones-turned-Rebel like Rex, Gregor, and Wolffe; and there are also ones who are faithful to the Empire like Grey and Styles. Out of the myriad clones that we see in the films and in The Clone Wars animated series, we have still yet to learn what happened to an important one post-Order 66. What happened to Commander Cody? Considering that he is one of the few clones to feature in both the films and the animated series, it seems that his tale may be an essential, yet still unfinished, one.

Brothers. It was the term clones used for all those mixed from that genetic Jango-Fett-cocktail and cloned among the seas of Kamino. Out of all his brothers, Commander Cody seemed closest to Captain Rex. They worked alongside each other countless times as they led the troops of General Skywalker and Kenobi. They uncovered spies, scrapped some clankers, and formed a friendship that was shattered sometime around the events of Order 66. We know that Commander Cody obeyed the order and demanded that his troops fire on his Jedi; in contrast, we know that Captain Rex did not heed Order 66 because he tells Kanan that he didn’t betray his Jedi in the Star Wars Rebels episode, “Relics of the Old Republic.” While Rex’s fate lies with the Rebellion, Commander Cody’s path is still unknown. The question becomes which path would be most impactful: that of the Empire or the Rebellion?

It’s easy to see Cody among the rank and file of the Empire. He could be one of the clones who trains stormtroopers that we’ve heard Dave Filoni describe in past interviews. That doesn’t seem like a fate befitting Cody though. He is one of the most well-known clones. He deserves more. We know that some clones (like Rex, Wolffe, and Gregor) remove their inhibitor chips and defy their fate. Cody could train a squad of stormtroopers, specifically taught the methods of the clones, in order to eliminate clone defectors. This would have more of an impact. It would be a conflict born from the brotherhood of the clones and staged against the inner turmoil started within each man when the neurons fired and forced them to become cold-blooded assassins. It would echo the stories found in the American Civil War of two brothers turned against each other by a conflict that was ripping their world apart. Just like those tales, this one would tug at our heartstrings because we have seen the relationship between these two brothers grow over the course of a war only to watch a new conflict tear them apart, perhaps irreparably.

What other purpose could Cody serve within the Empire than training the “shinnies” conscripted into service? He could easily serve as the dark counterpart to Rex’s rebel war strategies. It doesn’t take much imagination to see Cody being called into Grand Admiral Thrawn’s office only to have Thrawn project an image of some of Sabine’s art incorporating some blue jaig eyes before he says, “Tell me about your brother, CT-7567, the one they call ‘Rex.’” Cody could provide Thrawn with a detailed description of the culture and habits of the clones. He could describe the “childhood” of a clone as well as their training and any cultural beliefs common to them. This information could be invaluable to Thrawn, and as he uses it to help dismantle the Rebels, Cody could be a useful opponent to Rex. He would have knowledge of the terrain of planets where battles were fought during the Clone Wars, he would know how a clone would respond to certain situations, and he would know how Rex would have responded back then. The real question is how the years have changed Rex, and in turn, how have they changed Cody. Rex has probably changed more over the years because his life has changed so dramatically. In comparison, if Cody has kept his ties with the Republic turned Empire, his life has probably changed less. Rex may find it easier to anticipate Cody’s moves than Cody would his. Rex may have that advantage, but with a mind as observant and analytical as Thrawn’s supporting him, Rex’s advantage may not amount to much.

Both of those theories assume that Cody would roll over his duty as a soldier of the Republic into being a servant of the Empire. He could just as likely have felt guilt over his actions during Order 66 and chose to act against the government that had compelled him to do so. We see similar responses from clones like Grey in the Kanan: The Last Padawan comic. In that comic, Grey and his brother, Styles, attempted to hunt down Caleb Dume (the Jedi soon to be known by the moniker, Kanan Jarrus) before Grey had a crisis of conscience and acted to help Caleb escape. Such feelings could easily prompt Cody to serve the Rebellion, perhaps as a double agent. He could pretend to train stormtroopers (possibly explaining why they’re such bad shots), or he could tip off Rex and the rebels to the movements of Imperial troops. The issue with this theory is that as a viewer, I find it hard to imagine Cody being able to act in such a way without being discovered by Thrawn. The very similarity to Grey and Style’s story may also take away from the probability of this happening. It’s likely that the story group would not want to create a story so similar to another one they’ve already told.

It could be that Cody’s future in Star Wars storytelling doesn’t involve the clones at all. Beyond his brothers, Cody also had one other relationship that was meaningful: that between him and his Jedi, Obi-Wan Kenobi. Could Cody’s knowledge of Kenobi be put to use? It’s unlikely. Cody’s only experience with Kenobi was in Kenobi’s capacity as a general, and during this time, Kenobi is hardly acting as a Jedi, let alone a general. The remoteness of the planet Tatooine would also make it difficult to imagine how Cody would be able to parlay his experience fighting alongside Obi-Wan into any measure of success. There’s also the logistical problem of not wanting Kenobi’s presence to be found prior to Star Wars: A New Hope because then you would have to explain why no one else came to kill him. You could have Cody confront Kenobi on his own as penance for having failed to kill him during Order 66, and Kenobi could kill Cody in order to keep his presence secret. Kenobi’s footprint in Star Wars does seem to be under as heavy a curtain of restriction as the secrecy surrounding his disappearance in universe. It’s unlikely that Lucasfilm would risk such a controversial move only to tell a story about a Kenobi and his clone.

Cody is the missing piece of the clone puzzle. With so many of the other clones’ stories already accounted for, it’s time for his tale to be told. His connection to such important characters as Rex and Obi-Wan Kenobi makes it important. If it were not, he would earn a title given to Rex, Wolffe, and Gregor in the title of a memorable Star Wars Rebels episode. Cody would be the lost commander.

 

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