Rogue One: A Star Wars Story was brimming with cameos from well-established Star Wars characters. But while anyone even passingly familiar with the franchise would recognized the likes of Grand Moff Tarkin (the late Peter Cushing) or Darth Vader (James Earl Jones), a lesser known character ties the prequels together the with Rogue One in a neat bow: Saw Gerrera (Forest Whitaker). The grizzled old extremist and Jyn Erso’s (Felicity Jones) secondary father figure who distrusts all of those around him — first appeared in the lore with a turn in the animated series The Clones Wars. But he was a much different person than the broken, paranoid man who begged Jyn to “Save the dream.”
So how did Saw go from young resistance leader to rebel extremist? Star Wars Rebels will fill in the gaps. In a video released by Entertainment Weekly, Rebels executive producer Dave Filoni and Lucasfilm Story Group creative executive Rayne Roberts give fans their first look at an older — but not yet cybernetic — Saw Gerrera.
Set several years before the events of Rogue One, Saw’s return to Star Wars Rebels will have him set in the role of a space Cassandra. Only he seems to realize the Alliance cannot reason with the Empire. The two-part episode is called “Ghost of Geonosis” which some will recognize as the planet where Anakin (Hayden Christensen) and Padme (Natalie Portman) were almost eaten alive by beasts for the pleasure of the planet’s insectoid inhabitants. Further embedded in Star Wars lore is how crucial Geonosis was to the creation of the Death Star, as the plans were allegedly of Geonosian design and the planet was sterilized — with every last Geonosian exterminated — after construction of the Death Star was complete to protect its secrets.
Filoni goes on to say in the EW piece that “Ghosts of Genonosis” will not divulge how Saw lost his foot. However, it appears that Saw’s attempts to shake the Alliance awake to the danger they are in will be a watershed moment in his life. Perhaps whatever the Rebels discover on the planet’s surface will be the catalyst that sends Saw running for Jedha and sends him spiraling into an extremist paranoia.