Dave Filoni Talks Saw Gerrera and the Rogue One Connection With Rebels


Rogue One: A Star Wars Story will share a certain continuity with the Disney XD’s Star Wars: Rebels, thanks in part to Lucasfilm’s  very own Dave Filoni. In a recent chat with /Film, Filoni sheds a little more light on how his Star Wars: The Clone Wars freedom fighter Saw Gerrera ended up in the all-new spin-off film. Read on for more!



Until a few weeks ago, the identity of Forest Whitaker’s character in Rogue One: A Star Wars Story was something that was being kept under wraps over at Disney and Lucasfilm. Then suddenly, Lucasfilm decided to finally make his identity official and it was learned that he was some kind of a shadowy extremist freedom-fighter.


The character was revealed to be Saw Gerrera, an Onderon Rebels leader who fought alongside Anakin Skywalker in Star Wars: The Clone Wars animated series. In Rogue One it was revealed that his character will be playing “a battered veteran who leads a band of Rebel extremists” and wears a special suit for flight and maintenance.


/Film caught up with with Lucasfilm’s master of animation Dave Filoni to find out about how his ‘The Clone Wars’ creation ended up in the first Star Wars standalone movie.




I was surprised that they chose a Clones character. So how did that happen? Why are there no Rebels characters, but there’s a Clone Wars character in that movie?

You know, I don’t know. It’s interesting to me. I will say, I feel that as the productions have moved along, you think about Rebels was up and running and we’re figuring what all of that is and Rogue One is up and running and they’re telling that story, I feel there’s a nice bit of continuity between the two pieces. I think that they are going to fit really well. And of course I know John Knoll well. And I’ve met [director] Gareth Edwards several times and [screenwriter] Gary Whitta as well. So, we as a bunch of fans can conspire for little things. We want each thing to be unique in its own way and have its own thing. So a tough thing is that I never wanna put something out ahead of its appearance in say Rogue One. I want it to be special when it’s on screen there. And they don’t wanna ape anything that we’re doing. So we try to collaborate to figure things out.


Rogue One Saw Gerrera


I like the reaching back into Clone Wars, because obviously for personal reasons, but Saw is a character that makes a lot of sense for the type of story they were telling. And I like that it seeds off of the ideas that we had at Lucasfilm in the very early days of Rebellion story, which is that it is rooted out of Jedi’s training these groups on a small planetary scale. And that those are the seeds that were placed throughout the galaxy of the Rebellion. So in that way it makes a lot of sense and, you know, again, personally I like that it points you back towards that material and since hey, you wanna know everything, you should probably be watching this. So I think that it’s pretty strong for that. And I think Forest Whitaker is pretty exciting as Saw Gerrera, right?




Oh, he’s awesome. Did they talk to you very early on when they were developing that script about Saw?

Oh, I heard it was happening and I talked to them a little about it. But for me it was easy, I was like yeah, go watch the episodes. You know, go watch the episodes. Then if you have questions, let me know. And I think that it’s like anything. It’s gonna find its own footing and as a character, it’s so many years later. They had a lot of room to decide who is this man now. But I talked to them about what I thought and how I thought he was affected, especially to Kiri Hart. But yeah, we’ll see. It’s exciting. And you never know what ends up in these films. You know, so we’ll have to wait and see.



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6 thoughts on “Dave Filoni Talks Saw Gerrera and the Rogue One Connection With Rebels

  • August 30, 2016 at 9:53 pm

    caught up with with Lucasfilm’s master of animation Dave Filoni to find
    out about how his ‘Rebels’ creation ended up in the first Star Wars
    standalone movie.”

    Not Rebels….. title wrong, too….

  • August 30, 2016 at 10:05 pm

    Cad Bane is in the background of the Filoni header image; Cad Bane confirmed for Rogue One & Rebels cameo. #CadBane4Rebels #TheOtherBlueMan #BlueManGroup

    • August 30, 2016 at 11:05 pm

      I had the same thought. I hope so. That would be awesome !

      Or if not Cad Bane, I have the feeling there might be one or two others with a small cameo (and not just Bail Organa).

      • August 30, 2016 at 11:08 pm

        I could go for a Wedge in the background for a split second cameo.
        Or maybe that over dramatic guy who says, “We’ve picked up a new group of signals. Enemy fighters coming your way.”

  • August 31, 2016 at 1:48 am

    Does anyone know what the issue is with this character’s hair ?? Is this a mess-up by LFL ? Gods forbid ! Someone after principal photography suddenly decided he needed hair ? Is it CGI hair ?! Is this some sort of flashback ?

    • August 31, 2016 at 5:53 am

      They have already stated that at some point in the movie he will cut his hair.

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