Why is Saw Gerrera important to Star Wars Fandom?

On June 22nd, Entertainment Weekly ran a wonderful series of articles covering Rogue One. While the announcement that Darth Vader will be in Rogue One was exciting (although expected), it was another bit of news that was not only wonderfully surprising, but very important to Star Wars fandom.

When we saw the teaser trailer to Rogue One, many fans were excited to start the speculation on who all the characters might be. Of all of Anthony Breznican’s announcments/articles for Entertainment Weekly the most surprising announcement was that Forest Whitaker is playing Saw Gerrera. Who is Saw you might ask? Breznican writes:

The warrior — seen in the Rogue One trailer asking, “If you continue to fight, what will you become?” — was actually first seen in season 5 of The Clone Wars animated series, when he was a young man on the planet Onderon, unleashing guerilla combat on the droid army of Separatists who took over his world.

Saw Gerrera not only appeared in Clone Wars, he fought alongside Anakin Skywalker himself. While this announcement might seem mildly interesting to some Star Wars fans, another look at the news reveals that this is a really big deal for the fans of Star Wars.

Pablo Hidalgo, Lucasfilm’s Creative Executive in Story Development tweeted a great deal about Saw and his inclusion in Rogue One:

Screen Shot 2016-06-23 at 10.51.44 AMScreen Shot 2016-06-23 at 10.51.58 AM

Even though much can be said about what Pablo tweeted, there is a simple and wonderful reality that comes with this announcement: EVERYTHING MATTERS. Just by the inclusion of an animated character in a live-action film it communicates that all of the Star Wars stories are valuable and connected. The Story Group is paying off. Leland Chee, the Holocron Keeper and member of the Lucasfilm Story Group tweeted:

 

Screen Shot 2016-06-23 at 10.59.58 AMThis is just the beginning and I think that wonderful things are on the horizon. Lucasfilm is telling a story in a way that has never really been done before. They are telling the Star Wars story not only in film and animation, but in comics, novels, short stories, video games, and in other exciting ways. The thought that all of this is interconnected is fun and exciting.

But one of the things that really makes this brilliant is that you don’t have to watch, read, and play every single thing to enjoy the story. They all, in a way, stand on their own and can be enjoyed on their own. But if you want to read everything, you can, and it will be wonderfully enjoyable.

The announcement that Forest Whitaker is playing Saw Gerrera is both an announcement and a reminder of the wonderful times Star Wars fans find themselves in and the even better times that are on the horizon. This is just the beginning.