News of Forest Whitaker's character in Rogue One: A Star Wars Story continues to excite Star Wars fans Wednesday, as the character itself - an extremist Rebel working on the fringes of the Rebel Alliance - is very exciting. Add to that his history with The Clone Wars and even beyond, and you have the new living example of the Star Wars Story Group keeping all of Star Wars connected.
Dave Filoni would never claim ownership or creator credit for the character, a George Lucas creation originally developed for a live action TV show that didn't wind up happening. He does, however, have the most direct history with the character as showrunner of Star Wars: The Clone Wars, the animated series that wound up being host to Gerrera's debut.
"I have always thought of Star Wars: The Clone Wars as an extension of the Star Wars films, and now, here we are, seeing a character come to life in the flesh on the big screen," Filoni told ComicBook.com in a statement about the news. "I think it’s tremendously exciting, because it’s fulfilling a promise to the fans, that this is one story, and the characters you know and love are throughout it, and influencing the story in many ways. I’m so proud of the Rogue One team, and everyone at Lucasfilm. It’s a great day for Star Wars."
Filoni now showruns Star Wars Rebels, the animated series that takes place just a few years prior to the events of Rogue One. Rumors and speculation have swirled that characters from that series may cross into live action or vice-versa, but nothing has been confirmed in that aspect yet. The Han Solo: A Star Wars Story (not final title) film is expected to take place in a similar timeframe, between Episode III - Revenge of the Sith and Episode IV - A New Hope, and with this sort of character crossover now established, there's every possibility we'll see something similar there.
For now, Filoni is happy to see a character he helped bring to animated life come to live-action life. He even posted to facebook, joking that he "SAW that coming" and again, offering his congratulations to the team behind Rogue One.
Rogue One: A Star Wars Story is in theaters December 16, 2016. Star Wars Rebels the animated series returns to Disney XD this fall.