If you watched Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, and if you’re not a die-hard fan of the saga and only watched the previous Star Wars movies, maybe you’re not familiarized with some characters or situations shown in Rogue One. One of those characters is the former Rebel leader Saw Gerrera (played by actor Forest Whitaker), whose until now had appeared only in Star Wars novels and animation series. Well, if you want to know more about Saw Gerrera, the official Star Wars site has made a playlist of all Saw Gerrera’s appearances until his final part in Rogue One.
Who is Saw Gerrera?
“I’m not a terrorist. I’m a patriot. And resistance is not terrorism.” ― Saw Gerrera
Saw Gerrera was a human male resistance fighter who, as a leading member of the Onderon rebels, fought against the Confederacy of Independent Systems on Onderon during the Clone Wars. He and his sister, Steela Gerrera, were instrumental in the rebel liberation of their homeworld during the Onderonian Civil War. He later became a key member in the fight against the Galactic Empire and the formation of the Alliance to Restore the Republic. His tactics against the Empire led him to be seen as an extremist, one whose notoriety was recognized by the Empire and, many years later, the New Republic.
In the early resistance against the Separatist Alliance on Onderon, Gerrera and his fellow soldiers were outnumbered and out-fought by the Separatist Droid Army. They requested help from the Jedi High Council, which led the Grand Army of the Republic in its fight against the Separatists, but the Jedi Order chose not to become actively involved in the fighting on Onderon. Instead, they sent a team of advisors—GeneralsAnakin Skywalker and Obi-Wan Kenobi, Commander Ahsoka Tano, and Clone Captain CT-7567 (“Rex”)—to train the Onderonian fighters. The Jedi and Captain Rex taught them proper techniques and strategies for taking on the battle droid army, and, through their efforts, the rebels began to turn the tide. Gerrera came to resent that the rebels chose Steela as their leader, and he was soon captured in an ill-concocted solo effort to rescue the deposed King Ramsis Dendup from the Separatists. They were both rescued by the rebels, who eventually mounted a final battle against the Separatists. Through their efforts, the rebels liberated their world and returned Dendup to the throne. The fight, however, came at a personal cost: Steela was killed during the final battle, and Gerrera was left to mourn his sister—feeling responsible for her death.
Saw Gerrera played by Forest Whitaker in Rogue One: A Star Wars Story.
At the end of the Clone Wars, the Republic was transformed into the Galactic Empire. Later, Saw brought Galen Erso, Lyra Erso, and Jyn Erso to the uninhabited planet of Lah’mu. When Orson Krennic took Jyn’s parents away from her, Saw found her and raised her until she was a young adult. Gerrera fought against the Imperial Military and led a resistance group known as the Partisans. His resistance cell, a continuation of his Onderonian resistance, was one of the first in the group of cells that formed the Rebel Alliance. He was later involved in the early campaigns of the Rebel Alliance, by which time his more-extreme tactics had come to stand in stark contrast with those of Alliance leaders Bail Organa and Mon Mothma. He eventually based his group on Jedha, where he met Jyn again. When Jedha City was destroyed by the Death Star, Saw told Jyn he was done running and stayed on Jedha, and was killed by the aftermath of the blast.
“Save the Rebellion! Save the Dream!” ― Saw Gerrera
Saw Gerrera has fast become one of the most important characters in the Star Wars saga. He fought in the Clone Wars alongside Anakin Skywalker and Ashoka Tano and himself became more machine than man to confront the might of the Empire and Darth Vader. He would do anything he could to resist the Empire and sometimes that got him in trouble with the Rebellion.
1. Star Wars: The Clone Wars (The Onderon Arc – “A War on Two Fronts,” Season 5, Episode 2; “Front Runners,” Season 5, Episode 3; “The Soft War,” Season 5, Episode 4; “Tipping Points,” Season 5, Episode 4) – Saw’s first appearance in the Star Wars mythos was during the Clone War. He was a freedom fighter on his home planet of Onderon and trained by the Jedi in guerrilla tactics. He would later turn those tactics to use against the Empire.
2. Rogue One: Catalyst by James Luceno – After the onset of the Empire in the wake of the Clone Wars, the galaxy is in turmoil. Though Saw plays the smallest of parts in this story, it’s an important one to understand the trajectory of his future and his destiny.
3. Rebel Rising by Beth Revis – Saw Gerrera takes Jyn Erso under his wing and this book tells a tale of their time together, fighting the Empire in every way they can.
4. Star Wars Rebels (“The Honorable Ones,” Season 2 Episode 17 ) – Though Saw doesn’t appear in this episode personally, it offers a shocking window into the sort of treatment Imperials received at his hands.
5. Star Wars Rebels (“Ghosts of Geonosis,” Season 3, Episode 12 and 13) – Long after Jyn and Saw parted ways, Saw was still a force to be reckoned with in the galaxy. In these episodes, he’s sent to investigate the aftermath of what might be the Imperial genocide of Geonosis.
6. Rogue One: A Star Wars Story – This final installment of Saw Gerrera’s playlist shows us some of the connective tissue between Catalyst and Rebel Rising, but it also shows us what ultimately becomes of Saw and how the Rebel Alliance sees him.