When Disney acquired Lucasfilm back in 2012, one of their first orders of business was to create a unified Star Wars franchise canon, meaning just about every piece of media published would be part of the same continuity. This obviously included the films, but also the novels, comic books, and television shows. With all things Star Wars under the same umbrella, it means that there is the possibility for various connections to take place across the platforms. For the most part, the live-action features have toned down any tie-ins, but Rogue One: A Star Wars Story includes a major one that's sure to please longtime canon enthusiasts.
Saw Gerrera, a character who first appeared in the Clone Wars animated series, will be played by Forest Whitaker in the spinoff. The size of Saw's role is unknown, but his inclusion is very exciting for fans. A Star Wars galactic atlas featured some clues about Gerrera, and now more information about the grizzled warrior has been revealed.
The Star Wars Twitter account posted a brief description for the character, which touches on his past and how he factors into the present day. You can check it out below:
— Star Wars (@starwars) November 28, 2016
At the end of Catalyst, it's revealed that Saw has a strong connection to Rogue One protagonist Jyn Erso and her family. It was Gerrera who piloted the Ersos to safety after they defected from the Empire, so they are allies that go back a long way. It will be interesting to see how much of this history is referenced to in the movie, given that it appears Jyn actively seeks the Clone War veteran out on Jedha. Since Gerrera has been fighting the Imperials for a long time, his knowledge could prove to be valuable for the Rebels, and certain members of his extremist cell (quite possible Chirrut Îmwe and Baze Malbus) may have a larger part to play in the overall conflict.
The tweet also hints at a multi-layered character, mentioning the "caring man" he once was that can still "shine through" at times, as well as his declining health. One has to wonder if Saw will make it out of Rogue One alive, especially considering that the Death Star aims its turbo laser at Jedha during the film. Gerrera's potential death could be a key emotional moment in the spinoff, as the main team is spurred by his impassioned "Save the rebellion! Save the dream!" speech that's been featured in the trailers. Saw is conspicuously absent from footage depicting the great beachfront battle on the planet Scarif, so it's highly plausible he meets his noble end early on.
Regardless of what happens to Gerrera, he should prove to be one of the more fascinating characters in Rogue One. Whitaker is an extremely talented actor with several great performances to his name, and he was a major addition to the cast. Based on the marketing materials, it looks like he will play a Maz Kanata-esque role - the wise, old mentor that provides advice to the main heroes. Whitaker should be an excellent fit for that kind of part, leaving an impact on viewers.
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