Dave Filoni On How Saw Gerrera Ended Up In 'Rogue One', Sharing Continuity With 'Rebels'

A few months back it was revealed that Forest Whitaker's character in Rogue One: A Star Wars Story is Saw Gerrera, the Onderon rebels leader who fought alongside Anakin Skywalker in Star Wars: The Clone Wars animated series. In Rogue One the character has become "a battered veteran who leads a band of Rebel extremists" and wears an armored suit for flight and maintenance. So when I got a chance to talk with Star Wars Rebels and The Clone Wars showrunner Dave Filoni, I had to ask about how his creation ended up in the first Star Wars standalone movie.

Dave Filoni on the set of Star Wars Episode 8

Dave Filoni on the set of Star Wars Episode 8

Star Wars Rebels is getting closer and closer to the time period we see in Rogue One and A New Hope, so when the film was announced many fans had speculated that we might see some of the Ghost crew make the transition to live-action in Gareth Edwards' film. But many were surprised to find out that Forest Whitaker would be playing a character from The Clone Wars animated series. So I decided to ask Filoni about how that happened.I was surprised that they chose a Clones character. So how did that happen? Why are there no Rebels characters, but there's a Clone Wars character in that movie?

You know, I don't know. It's interesting to me. I will say, I feel that as the productions have moved along, you think about Rebels was up and running and we're figuring what all of that is and Rogue One is up and running and they're telling that story, I feel there's a nice bit of continuity between the two pieces. I think that they are going to fit really well. And of course I know John Knoll well. And I've met [director] Gareth Edwards several times and [screenwriter] Gary Whitta as well. So, we as a bunch of fans can conspire for little things. We want each thing to be unique in its own way and have its own thing. So a tough thing is that I never wanna put something out ahead of its appearance in say Rogue One. I want it to be special when it's on screen there. And they don't wanna ape anything that we're doing. So we try to collaborate to figure things out. I like the reaching back into Clone Wars, because obviously for personal reasons, but Saw is a character that makes a lot of sense for the type of story they were telling. And I like that it seeds off of the ideas that we had at Lucasfilm in the very early days of Rebellion story, which is that it is rooted out of Jedi's training these groups on a small planetary scale. And that those are the seeds that were placed throughout the galaxy of the Rebellion. So in that way it makes a lot of sense and, you know, again, personally I like that it points you back towards that material and since hey, you wanna know everything, you should probably be watching this. So I think that it's pretty strong for that. And I think Forest Whitaker is pretty exciting as Saw Gerrera, right?

Forest whitaker in Rogue One: A star wars storyOh, he's awesome. Did they talk to you very early on when they were developing that script about Saw?

Oh, I heard it was happening and I talked to them a little about it. But for me it was easy, I was like yeah, go watch the episodes. You know, go watch the episodes. Then if you have questions, let me know. And I think that it's like anything. It's gonna find its own footing and as a character, it's so many years later. They had a lot of room to decide who is this man now. But I talked to them about what I thought and how I thought he was affected, especially to Kiri Hart. But yeah, we'll see. It's exciting. And you never know what ends up in these films. You know, so we'll have to wait and see.