Inhibitor chips have gone from being the crazy conspiracy theory within the Star Wars universe to an actual, full-blown truth that (literally) changed the clone troopers as we knew them.
Brought up during season 6 of The Clone Wars, an incident where a clone prematurely executed Order 66 and killed a Jedi led to a wild conspiracy. Two clones became suspicious of the behavior, while others simply brushed it off as nothing. In the end, it was the clone Fives who got the closest to revealing the evil plan about inhibitor chips to Anakin and Captain Rex. The chip, of course, is what’s planted in the minds of clones to control them into following orders and was the ultimate tool to defeat the Jedi with Order 66.
This was also brought up in Disney+’s The Bad Batch when the group was confronted with Order 66. The regs followed commands while the Bad Batch (and sort of Crosshair), were practically immune. They eventually learned about inhibitor chips as well. And it wasn’t until episode 7, “Battle Scars,” when Rex shows up that he tells them they must remove their inhibitor chips just like his was — lest they risk falling into the same fate as Crosshair. So, how did Rex remove his inhibitor chip in the first place?
Captain Rex’s inhibitor chip
To learn about how Rex got his inhibitor chip removed, we have to rewind back to The Clone Wars season 7 and the penultimate episode of both the season and the series.
With Maul captured from Mandalore successfully, Ahsoka, Rex and their troops were on their ship, ready to turn him in. Things were looking up from that point on, but the peace wouldn’t last long. Only moments later while on the ship, the call for Order 66 went out by Palpatine. This led the clone troopers, including Rex, to turn on Ahsoka — even though she was no longer a Jedi, she was still on their hit list.
Trying to escape, Ahsoka and her droid R7 were eventually able to stun Rex so he didn’t do any further damage. And since Ahsoka saw the case on Fives, she knew it was the inhibitor chip that was causing this issue with the clones. Ahsoka then took Rex to a medical room to have the implant removed. It was a race against the clock as other clones tried to break into the room. But with some time and a little bit of help from the Force (we’re assuming), the operation was a success and Rex was back to his regular self again.
The same procedure was later performed on Wrecker, Tech, Echo and Crosshair, but it wasn’t nearly as treacherous as Rex’s procedure. At least, for now, we know these clones have the freedom to live how they want without the chips impeding them.