Battered veteran of the Clone War and rebel extremist in the fight against the Empire, Saw Gerrera will be making his Star Wars Rebels debut in early 2017.
News on his return to animation comes days after the release of Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, where his years of combat and ailing health have weakened him but not his commitment to fight. Word spread quickly when a Rebels based podcast, Rebels Reactions, shared an image of a promotional poster that had been distributed at their local Toys”R”Us in Lakeland, Florida.
Saw is featured prominently on the poster, and fans were quick to notice his natural eye color—a characteristic that was debated about on social media when the live-action version of the character appeared to have a different color.
Most fans ultimately came to the conclusion that there is more to the story—a story that will take place on Geonosis, as seen in the background of the poster and in the official description and title of the mid-season opener.
In “Ghosts of Geonosis,” the Ghost crew returns to Geonosis in search of a missing rebel team sent to investigate suspicious activity there and are surprised by what they find.
For those keeping up with other works in Star Wars, such as the novels and comics, Geonosis is where the Death Star was made. We even saw a hint of it in the episode “The Honorable Ones,” where Zeb and Agent Kallus crash landed onto its icy moon. Kallus also briefly mentioned Saw Gerrera and how one of his men had viciously attacked his unit on Onderon.
The Ultimate Visual Guide for Rogue One further explains what Saw was up to in the years leading up to A New Hope.
For nearly 20 years, Saw has been following tenuous clues that, unbeknownst to him, point to the Death Star operation. In his pursuit to prove the true nature of the Empire, Saw has revealed how far he is willing to go—targeting civilians and employing ghastly interrogation techniques. Such acts have strained his relationship with the Rebel Alliance to the extent that he has been formerly censured and ousted as an ally.
The Visual Guide also states that two years before the events of A New Hope and Rogue One, he led a mission to investigate Geonosis. Additionally, in Rogue One, he’s surrounded by an analysis computer that tracks the purging of a Geonosian insecticide from his reinforced lungs.
Whatever happened to Saw on Geonosis definitely took years off his life, and we’re very curious to find out how the Ghost crew will play a part in Saw’s story.
UPDATE, 12/21/2016: EW released an official report stating that Forest Whitaker will reprise his role as Saw Gerrera in Star Wars Rebels. The article includes a few quotes from Dave Filoni regarding the research Forest had been given regarding the character.
“It’s an incredible honor to have Forest Whitaker play Saw in ‘Rebels,'” said Dave Filoni over at Deadline.com. “Forest did a great job at capturing Saw in a way that is a bit mad, a bit crazed, a bit afraid, but also a bit sympathetic. He sees something coming, but no one will take action before it’s too late.”
Read more about Rogue One‘s Star Wars Rebels references in an interview with Lucasfilm’s Matt Martin over at StarWars.com.