*Note: there are spoilers here for The Clone Wars and Battlefront II: Inferno Squad by Christie Golden
There is a lot of tragedy in Star Wars (it is a Space opera after all) and the focus of tragedy has been on the Skywalker family: Anakin Skywalker, born into slavery who would become Darth Vader, Luke Skywalker who would defeat the Empire (and his father) only to have his nephew destroy his attempt to rebuild the Jedi Order, and Ben Solo who, like his grandfather, fell to the dark side and killed his father. Add in Shmi Skywalker remaining in chains while her son is taken away, getting freed by a man she would marry only to be killed by Tusken Raiders and Leia who loses her husband and son while also sacrificing herself. The Skywalker family has taken some tough losses but, as I mentioned, there is plenty of tragedy to go around in the galaxy.
Like the troubled partisan fighter Saw Gerrera, Lux Bonteri comes from the planet Onderon, which we got a good look at in The Clone Wars season five arc. His mother, Mina Bonteri was a Separatist Senator during the Clone Wars but had a fairly close relationship with Padme Amidala (and we see how the two met in Queen’s Shadow by E.K. Johnson). Like all of the Skywalkers, Lux Bonteri had to deal with the loss of both his parents. His father, an officer in the Separatist army, was killed by clone troopers. This had a great impact on shaping Lux’s bias towards the Republic but that was challenged when he met Ahsoka Tano. The Padawan accompanied Senator Amidala to Raxus Secundus in an attempt to broker a dialogue between the two sides to try and end the war. Lux’s conversation with Ahsoka was a needed perspective for her on the war, coming from a Separatist who was not a military general or fighter.
Lux: How many separatists have you met?
Lux: Well, I mean you think we are all the bad guys but how many of us have you actually met? And droids don’t count.
Ahsoka: Well, other than military officers like Grievous and Ventress…none I guess. You and your mother are the first.
Lux: Well, look at me am I so bad?
— The Clone Wars, Heroes on Both Sides
credit Lucasfilm ltd.
The episode was another important point in Ahsoka’s growth but it also started to change Lux’s perspective. Unfortunately, Palpatine saw Senator Bonteri as a threat to his overall plan of taking control of the Galactic Republic and ordered Dooku to have her killed. We see neither Bonteri’s death, which is disguised as a “Republic” attack nor Lux’s response to his mother’s death. This makes his next appearance when he confronts Dooku and accuses him of killing his mother more meaningful. Lux’s tactics start taking a dark path when enlists Death Watch to help kill Dooku and gets Ahsoka involved; unfortunately, he learns a valuable but costly lesson when he and Ahsoka witnesses Death Watch destroy an entire village.
By the time they meet again on Onderon, where we also meet Saw for the first time, he has matured in his opinions and has transferred his affections to Saw’s sister, Steela. Ahsoka and Captain Rex help train Lux, the Gerrera’s, and a small group of rebels to help free Onderon from a Separatist puppet King but it ends in tragedy when Steela is killed during a final battle. Lux and Saw are heartbroken but they are successful in freeing Onderon, Lux becomes a Senator for the Republic, and Steela’s funeral is the last time we see him in The Clone Wars.
From there, we don’t know what happened to him during the rest of the Clone Wars and most of the Imperial rule. He is mentioned once in Rebel Rising by a woman, Maia, whom we learn is Lux’s goddaughter. But Christie Golden’s 2017 novel Battlefront II: Inferno Squad, released before the game, fills in some of the holes. Lux ended up marrying an Imperial and becoming a step-father but joined the Rebel Alliance, using his step-daughter’s intel to help the Rebels (under the name “The Mentor”). This got Iden Versio and the Inferno Squad involved to wipe out this faction of the partisans.
“You can’t quit hoping, Iden. Cling to it like a lifeline, because it is. Hope that something you do, or say, will make a difference.
Look at what happened with the Death Star. One man hoped, for years, clutching an awesome tremendous secret close in his heart, that somehow he’d be able to reach someone and let them know that abomination had a weakness. The rebels who stole the plans at Scarif died, but they hoped that they had transmitted the signal in time. Leia hoped the plans would reach the rebels.
Hope, Iden. It’s at the root of everything we believe. Without it, we’re nothing.”— Lux Bonteri to Iden Versio, Battlefront II: Inferno Squad (2017)
In the end, his speech works in planting doubt in Iden Versio and she ends up stunning him instead of killing him. Iden would go on to defect to the Rebel Alliance with fellow squad member, Dell in the Battlefront II story mode and it is a nice nod that Lux might have influenced that decision.
I guess that, if we do see Lux in another medium besides the books, it will be connected to the two women he loved when he was younger: Ahsoka and Steela.
Even though plot details are still a secret, Ahsoka will likely involve the former Jedi looking for Thrawn to, we assume, find Ezra. But there will need to be other story beats in between where viewers, who aren’t canon junkies and never watched The Clone Wars, can get to know Ahsoka. There are few characters still alive that can give insight to Ahsoka during the Clone Wars besides Bo Katan. But an older Ahsoka running into an older Lux Bonteri would be interesting given that he was a love interest and had run-ins with the original Death Watch, which is also relevant to The Mandalorian. A connective tissue that could work and because Lux’s whereabouts during this time are unknown, the creative window is open for how he could show up in her life again. Star Wars often fails at pure romance but forbidden love and the angst it brings never fails to remind us we are watching a Space opera.
The Bad Batch
While Lux might not be the most memorable character from The Clone Wars like some of my other “Whatever Happened to…” subjects, he is an interesting parallel to Saw Gerrera. They both are from Onderon and came together to free it from Separatist rule, even though Lux was from a Separatist family. And both were close to Steela Gerrera (Saw as her brother, Lux as a love interest) and were devastated by her death. Steela’s death drove Saw into slow madness and, coupled with survivor’s guilt, became more extreme in his tactics against the Empire. Lux veered more practical but the two maintained contact until Saw’s death. We have already seen Saw in The Bad Batch and been to Onderon twice so it is not a stretch that we could see the former Senator but it would have to be connected to Saw and his partisans. And the possibility of him showing up in The Bad Batch depends on whether this show extends beyond one season and Disney/Lucasfilm has been silent on that information.
Other Canon Materials (Novels and Comics)
Christie Golden makes it clear that Iden Versio did not kill Lux in the book and Lucasfilm Story Group does occasionally give direction to authors on what they can take creative liberties on and what they cannot. Golden might have been instructed not to kill Lux. If so, they might have a plan for him to appear post-Inferno Squad or just want to keep him on the table for other novels. And that’s ok too.
Lux is not a fan-favorite character like Cad Bane or a former Jedi out in the galaxy like Quinlan Vos, therefore putting him in live-action won’t be as high profile. Although an even lower-key character Cobb Vanth made his way to live-action, helped by the face and presence of Timothy Olyphant so the right casting and situation could pique interest. And Lux is an important character in Ahsoka’s arc and a former Senator from a key world in Star Wars canon so as far as him showing up again? I wouldn’t bet against the odds.
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