Lucasfilm announced this week (via Entertainment Weekly) a lot of news about the upcoming "Star Wars" film, "Rogue One." From character names and relationships to hints about the story, there were a lot of revelations, but none so large as discovering who it was Forrest Whitaker would be playing in the film.
He's Saw Gerrera.
For those less familiar with the lexicon of "Star Wars," Saw Gerrera was called a terrorist by some, a freedom fighter by others, and he was, by all accounts, brutal in his methods. He debuted in the second episode of the fifth season of "The Clone Wars" on an episode called "War on Two Fronts."
You can see him briefly in this clip, he's the freedom fighter sliding beneath the droids:
He and his sister, Steela, led the resistance on Onderon against the Separatists and kept that fight up against the Empire after its formation in the wake of Order 66. He worked closely with Ahoska Tano during these initial episodes to free their people, but he became hardened after the loss of his sister. There's also a fascinating Luke/Han/Leia sort of love triangle he's involved in that adds yet another dimension to his character. You can read my initial reviews of these four episodes here, here, here, and here.
His name has been mentioned elsewhere as well, implying a much larger history for him we haven't been told of yet. Agent Kallus mentioned his torture at the hands of Saw Gerrera's men in the fifteenth episode of the second season of "Star Wars Rebels." You can read my original review of "The Honorable Ones" here.
The most shocking thing about this news, though, is that this is the first character to make the jump from the animated series into the live action films. It might be no wonder, though, since Lucasfilm's Pablo Hidalgo revealed on "The Star Wars Show" that Saw is a character that George Lucas originally developed for the character for the live-action series that never made it into production.
My guess is that we'll see the character fleshed out even further and the plight of Onderon will become more focused in the greater lore of the Rebellion. In fact, two pilots who flew against the Death Star came from Onderon, Dex Tiree and Dutch Vander.
We'll see how much more is revealed about Gerrera's past when "Rogue One" hits theatre screens in December of this year.