Saw Gerrera lives! The radical freedom fighter played onscreen in Rogue One by Forest Whitaker, is returning to the small screen for multiple episodes of the animated series Star Wars Rebels. The Oscar-winning actor will voice a slightly younger version of his movie character in the two-parter “Ghosts of Geonosis,” airing Jan. 7 on Disney XD.
“Saw Gerrera is maybe the original Rebel,” Rebels executive producer Dave Filoni says in the introductory clip above. “Forest did a great job at capturing Saw in a way that is a bit mad, a bit crazed, a bit afraid, but also a bit sympathetic. He sees something coming, but no one will take action before it’s too late.”
Created by George Lucas, an idealistic young Saw first surfaced on the Filoni-produced series Star Wars: The Clone Wars, where he was trained by Anakin Skywalker and Obi-Wan Kenobi.
During a four-episode arc, Saw suffered great tragedy, which set him on the path to extremism that reached its inevitable conclusion in Rogue One, where the grizzled, battle-damaged Saw leads a band of guerrilla fighters against the Imperial incursion in the sacred Jedi city on Jedha. Because of his role as protector to the Erso family (which plays out in the Rogue One prequel novel Catalyst), Saw also comes to learn the Imperials are building a planet-smashing battle station, and he’s willing to stop them by any means necessary.
Saw is the latest character to cross over from the films. Because Rebels is set just a few years before the events in Rogue One and A New Hope, where disparate cells of the nascent Alliance begin to come together, several familiar faces have popped up over the course of three seasons, including Princess Leia, Darth Vader, Emperor Palpatine, Grand Moff Tarkin, R2-D2, C-3PO, Chewbacca, Bail Organa, and Wedge Antilles. Meanwhile, eagle-eyed fans of the animated series were rewarded with shots of the Rebel team’s ship, the Ghost, parked on Yavin 4 and participating in the climactic dogfight in Rogue One.
Watch ‘Rogue One’ Stars Play With Their Action Figures: