Forest Whitaker's "Rogue One" role will likely be familiar to "Star Wars" fans. Entertainment Weekly reports that Whitaker will play Saw Gerrera, a divisive Rebel Alliance figure who has appeared in "The Clone Wars" animated series and was mentioned in Claudia Gray's "Star Wars: Bloodline" novel.
“Consider him kind of a battered veteran who leads a band of Rebel extremists,” Lucasfilm president Kathleen Kennedy explained. “He’s on the fringe of the Rebel Alliance. Even [they] are a little concerned about him.”
Gerrera debuted in "The Clone Wars" Season 5, where he conducted guerilla warfare against the droid army of Separatists that ruled his planet Onderon. Alongside his sister Steela, he was trained by Anakin Skywalker, Obi-Wan Kenobi and Ahsoka Tano. The events of the series left him with a deep distrust of authority.
While Gerrera represents the more radical side of the Rebel Alliance, his presence in "Rogue One" goes to show how the threat of the Death Star managed to pull all the Rebel factions together during a difficult time. “The Death Star is the event that sort of pulls everybody 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?” Kiri Hart, Lucasfilm’s head of story development, shared.
Directed by Gareth Edwards (“Godzilla,” “Monsters”) from a script by Gary Whitta and Chris Weitz, “Rogue One” stars Felicity Jones, Mads Mikkelsen, Alan Tudyk, Donnie Yen, Forest Whitaker, Diego Luna and Riz Ahmed.
“Rogue One: A Star Wars Story” opens December 16.