Rogue One: A Star Wars Story introduced us to so many memorable characters. Sadlly, there’s only so much time in a film given to flesh out certain characters, while others are left with a bit of mystery. Forest Whitaker’s character, Saw Gerrera, didn’t get much screen time but he was integral to not just Jyn Erso’s story but to the entire Rebellion. The film couldn’t get into his story much, but there’s so much more to his character than we saw.
Saw Gerrera was first introduced to the Star Wars universe in the animated series Star Wars: The Clone Wars in an episode called “A War on Two Fronts” during the show’s fifth season. He led a resistance force against the Separatists on his home planet Onderon alongside his sister, Steela Gerrera, and with the help of Anakin Skywalker and his padawan Ahsoka Tano. It was in this episode that Saw’s sister would fall in battle.
When the Clone Wars ended, the Republic transformed into the Galactic Empire, which gave Saw a new enemy to fight against. When we meet Saw in Rogue One he’s gone from being a rebel leader into being the leader of an extremist faction called the Partisans. The Partisans (who you see in the film) are one of the first groups that formed the Rebel Alliance.
Through his many years of fighting, Saw has turned into a paranoid extremist who often crosses the line in his quest to bring down the Empire. While his days of fighting the Empire are done on the silver screen, he will be appearing in future episodes of the third season of the animated series Star Wars Rebels, which takes place about three years before the events of Rogue One with Whitaker returning to voice the character.