Forest Whitaker isn't done with Saw Gerrera just yet. The Rogue One: A Star Wars Story star, who played the extremist rebel on the big screen, will return to voice Saw on the small screen in Star Wars Rebels. The return comes in the first arc of the second half of the season, starting on January 7, 2017.
"Saw Gerrera is the original Rebel. He is the beginning of what would become the Rebel Alliance," said Star Wars Rebels EP Dave Filoni. He worked on Saw's first appearance, on Star Wars: The Clone Wars, though the character was actually created by George Lucas as a main character for the live-action TV series that never came to be.
"One of the points of the Story Group is to make everything feel connected and legitimate," said Rayne Roberts, Creative Executive, in the announcement video. "We wanted to create a connection between Rebels and Rogue One on the heels of the movie coming out, and it just made sense for Saw to be our connective tissue."
Rebels takes place a few years ahead of Rogue One, so Saw won't be the exact character he is in the film. "He's not quite as beat up as you see him [in Rogue One]. I never wanted to go into a lengthy thing about 'this is how Saw lost his foot,'" Filoni told EW. "It's more about his philosophy and who he is and what he thinks about the Rebellion – and how they go about resisting the Empire."
The story arc, as we revealed last week, is called "Ghosts of Geonosis," and sends the Rebels crew to the site where the Death Star was initially conceived of, and where its construction began - giving the show another connection to the new live-action film. Saw's previous friendship with Clone Captain Rex will be explored, as well as him seeing Jedi again for the first time in about 15 or 16 years at this point.
Whitaker's take on the character will be slightly tweaked from the gruff and mad (both angry and crazy) version in Rogue One. He's a little less damaged here.
"One of the things that happens sometimes is you get some of the actors from the films to play their characters. Forest did a great job of capturing Saw in a way that he's a bit mad, but also a bit sympathetic. He wants them to take action before it's too late."
Rogue One: A Star Wars Story is in theaters now. Star Wars Rebels returns January 7, 2017.
MORE Star Wars News: Where Could We See More of the Rogue One: A Star Wars Story Characters? | Star Wars Rebels Poster Reveals Rogue One Guest Star | How The Force Changed in Rogue One: A Star Wars Story | Cut Footage From Original Star Wars Used In Rogue One | Rogue One Scores One Of The Biggest Opening Box Office Weekends Ever | Who are the Characters in Rogue One: A Star Wars Story? | Why Darth Vader's Costume Changed for Rogue One