Rogue One: A Star Wars Story is the cover story for this week's EW, and that means an explosion of news. After revealing Ben Mendelsohn's all-new character, confirming Darth Vader's role in the film, and giving names and new details to most of the other characters, now Lucasfilm has finally revealed who Forest Whitaker's mystery character is: Saw Gerrera. If that name sounds familiar, then you're a die-hard Star Wars: The Clone Wars fan, where the character premiered.
Gerrera was featured on Season 5, Episode 2, "A War on Two Fronts." His character, along with his sister Steela and others, were a group of rebel insurgents on the planet Onderon, occupied by the Separatists. Voiced by Andrew Kishino, he's one of the leaders of this movement, one of the first time any group is called "Rebels," and the first to use the tactics that would later benefit the Rebel Alliance against the Empire.
Saw Gerrera and his group was trained on the show by Clone Captain Rex, Anakin Skywalker (who, of course, becomes Darth Vader later), Obi-Wan Kenobi, and Ahsoka Tano. The closest thing to a love interest for Ahsoka on the show, Lux Bonteri, was also a part of their group.
In Rogue One, Gerrera is now a "battered veteran who leads a band of Rebel extremists. He's on the fringe of the Rebel Alliance. Even [they] are a little concerned about him," Lucasfilm president Kathleen Kennedy told EW. That means while he's fighting the Empire, he's not part of the main Rebel Alliance, or this particular squad on a mission to steal the Death Star plans. He's an ally, but "off on his own," she revealed.
Saw Gerrera also got a cursory mention in the novel Star Wars: Bloodline, which takes place around 5 years ahead of Star Wars: The Force Awakens, further showing how well-connected the various branches of Star Wars are now under the Story Group's guidance.
"The Death Star is the event that sort of pulls everybody [from various Rebel groups] into a place of unity, and prior to that it's a little bit more divided. Who are at the different ends of that spectrum?" posed Kiri Hart, head of story development on the Story Group.
When we last saw Gerrera (no pun intended), his brashness and stubbornness (SPOILER ALERT) inadvertently got his sister killed. Hopefully that doesn't spell doom for any others he's working with in Rogue One.
Rogue One: A Star Wars Story is in theaters December 16, 2016. More information, and a new trailer, is anticipated at Star Wars Celebration Europe in about a month from London, England.