Star Wars: Rogue One – Everything You Need to Know About Saw Gerrera.
It’s recently been confirmed that for Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, Forrest Whitaker will be playing a live-action version of Saw Gerrera from The Clone Wars. Here’s everything you need to know about the character and why he’s important to the Star Wars saga. Plus, see what The Clone Wars and Rebels showrunner Dave Filoni thinks of the character’s jump between mediums.
Saw Gerrera fought in the Onderon campaign of the Clone Wars.
In The Clone Wars, the 4-episode arc that opened Season 5 revolved around an operation to oust the Separatists from a planet that the Republic just lost control over. For whatever reason, the Grand Army of the Republic could not lend a full-scale invasion to launch a coup, so they instead chose to support a local rebellion that would get their job done. The leader of this group? Saw Gerrera.
A team of military advisors from the Republic were sent to assist the planet’s rebels in the liberation of their planet, and Anakin Skywalker would be the one to teach tactics to Gerrera’s ragtag group. So in an ironic twist, the man who would become Darth Vader ended up training the man who would become one of the most infamous rebels in history, all before the Empire had even been formed.
He’s the first character to jump from a Star Wars television show to a Star Wars movie.
…Provided that you don’t count Boba Fett’s cameo from the non-canonical Star Wars Holiday Special (at which point he had already been designed as a character for The Empire Strikes Back), or the talk that Captain Rex actually fought in the Battle of Endor (which itself was a retcon 32 years in the making). In any case, Saw Gerrera is the first character to appear in a live-action Star Wars movie who was created for a separate medium of Star Wars stories entirely. This is important in that it clearly does establish Disney’s plan for a unified Star Wars setting instead of a series of unrelated works, and it leaves hope that other non-movie characters will make the jump one way or another in the future.
He was originally developed as a character for the unmade Star Wars: Underworld show.
In The Clone Wars, Obi-Wan worried that Saw Gerrera’s tactics were becoming too extreme. This was actually meant to lead into the character’s appearance on the cancelled Star Wars: Underworld show, at which point he would be a full-blown, anti-Imperial terrorist. Naturally, the idea of a morally-grey rebel was seen as too interesting to simply pass up with the scrapped series, so it was repurposed into the new canon – with hints being littered throughout that Gerrera wouldn’t go on to be a war hero. Between this and a more sympathetic take on Palpatine, it seems as if the show’s intent was to paint a traditionally black-and-white morality in varying shades of grey.
He’s seen as an extremist, even by the Rebellion…
Saw Gerrera is a fairly controversial figure as far as his tactics are concerned. In Star Wars Rebels, recurring antagonist Agent Kallus notes that he encountered some particularly ruthless mercenaries that were hired by Gerrera, and that he narrowly escaped a gruesome end. In the Bloodline novel, Gerrera is mentioned by name as soldier who used tactics that were described as being “terrorist” in nature. As it turns out, there’s a reason why he’s considered a controversial figures on both sides of the aisle, and it happened between the Clone Wars and the Galactic Civil War. Whether or not we’ll find out about what soured his relationship with Mon Mothma and Bail Organa in Rogue One is anyone’s guess, but it seems likely that we’ll learn more about what he’s done in future stories.
Saw was militarized by the Republic to fight a proxy war against their worst enemy. A generation later, he becomes their worst enemy.
— Pablo Hidalgo (@pablohidalgo) June 22, 2016
…But the danger presented by the Death Star brings both groups together.
Nothing brings people together quite like the threat of impending doom, and given that Rogue One is all about a planet-annihilating weapon, it’s not hard to see why rebels would put their differences aside to stop the thing from killing billions of people. Thus far, Saw Gerrera has not been advertised as being a part of the group that the other “Rogues” sent after the Death Star plans are in, so it seems as if he becomes an ally partway into the story instead of from the very start.
He’s part of the inspiration behind the symbol of the Rebel Alliance.
While some fans are familiar with Sabine’s take on the Starbird symbol (shown above), it’s not hard to recognize that it’s very much different from the familiar symbol of the Rebel Alliance itself. Pablo Hidalgo just pointed out that a piece of Saw’s uniform is used to define the Rebel Alliance Starbird.
He’s (probably) going to show up on Rebels next season.
A rumor from a while back stated that Sam Witwer and Andrew Kishino would both be returning to Rebels for major roles. While Witwer’s involvement has long since been confirmed (as he reprised two different roles – Emperor Palpatine and Darth Maul), Kishino’s involvement has not yet been substantiated by any other outlet. Kishino’s role, of course, is that of Saw Gerrera, a character that we now know will be appearing in a new movie. Given that Rogue One scribe Gary Whitta is writing an episode, and that Season 3 is set to tie in with Rogue One in a major way, it’s not hard to put two and two together – Gerrera could very well be the key link that ties the two works together.
So with all that in mind, what does his co-creator – Dave Filoni – think of all this?
ComicBook.com got a brief statement from the animation maestro. In short – he’s thrilled!
I have always thought of Star Wars: The Clone Wars as an extension of the Star Wars films, and now, here we are, seeing a character come to life in the flesh on the big screen. I think it’s tremendously exciting, because it’s fulfilling a promise to the fans, that this is one story, and the characters you know and love are throughout it, and influencing the story in many ways. I’m so proud of the Rogue One team, and everyone at Lucasfilm. It’s a great day for Star Wars.
Of course, the greatest question surrounding Saw Gerrera’s involvement in Rogue One is a riddle for the ages: how his eyes changed color – from green to brown – over the span of twenty years. Hopefully, we’ll get an answer to fill that Galaxy-spanning plot hole before the movie comes out. Until then, we like Pablo Hidalgo’s explanation on this:
Perhaps Saw’s eyes are a side effect of being bitten by whatever insect caused Dooku’s facial structure changes. pic.twitter.com/tIJ0DkUbEF
— Pablo Hidalgo (@pablohidalgo) June 23, 2016
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Grant has been a fan of Star Wars for as long as he can remember, having seen every movie on the big screen. When he’s not hard at work with his college studies, he keeps himself busy by reporting on all kinds of Star Wars news for SWNN and general movie news on the sister site, Movie News Net. He served as a frequent commentator on SWNN’s The Resistance Broadcast.