Who is He?

Saw Gerrera, leader of the anti-Empire Partisans; brother of Steela Gerrera, the leader of the Onderon rebellion during the Clone Wars.

What is He?

Species: Human.

Race (as in, the real-world racial categorization his real-world creators assigned him): Black.

Where is He?

Born on Onderon, Saw has mostly been known by where he has fought, or has holed up in a cave: Onderon, Kashyyyk, Geonosis, Segra Milo, and Jedha (where he was killed by the Empire).

When is He?

Saw and his younger sister Steela are first seen in the Clone Wars era; they appear to be in their late teens to mid-twenties, making them roughly the same age as Anakin Skywalker. Steela dies during the Clone Wars; Saw survives until the year 0 BBY, when he’s killed by the Empire’s attack on Jedha.

Why is He?

In Spanish, guerrera means “female fighter” or “female warrior”. Implicitly a reference to Steela, the choice of Gerrera for a last name also roughly describes what Saw is like: someone who will fight just about anyone. While Saw has certainly teamed up with people many times throughout his life, diplomacy is not his strong suit, and compromise is never shown to even occur to him as an option. He adds a little more matter to a galaxy that used to be mostly empty, populated only by the Empire, “wretched hive[s] of scum and villainy”, and the Rebellion.

Where Can I See (And Hear About) Saw Gerrera?

Saw’s first appearance is in the “Onderon arc” of season 5 of the animated series The Clone Wars, episodes 2 through 5. He’s voiced here by Andrew Kishino, who reprises the role in season 1, episode 1 and season 2, episode 15 of the animated series The Bad Batch.

He appears in live-action, played by Forest Whitaker, in the film Rogue One: A Star Wars Story and in episodes 8 and 11 in the Disney+ series Andor. Whitaker also voices Saw in the animated series Rebels, in which he is mentioned in season 2 episode 17 and a major character in season 3 episodes 12 and 13, and season 4 episodes 3 and 4; and he voices Saw in the video game Jedi: Fallen Order.

Saw is also mentioned in the video game Jedi: Survivor, in the novel Star Wars: Bloodline, and in Marvel’s Star Wars #39.

Where Can I Read About Saw Gerrera?

Saw is a major character in the novelization of Rogue One, and in the novels Catalyst: A Rogue One Novel and Rebel Rising, both of which provide more detail about his history with Jyn Erso and her family. He’s also a minor character in the novelization of the film Solo: A Star Wars Story.

Why All The Fuss?

“[Saw] has even sort of, embodied in him, that feisty spirit of the Rebellion. The take-no-garbage kind of individual. He’s stoic and strong and brash. He’s ‘that’ guy, and it’s that kind of strength tempered with Steela’s calm, level-headed thinking, that is, to stand up to something that will ultimately become the Empire, absolutely critical and necessary.”

Andrew Kishino, voice-actor for Saw Gerrera in Star Wars: The Clone Wars and The Bad Batch

Which certainly would’ve been an interesting idea — Saw and Steela embodying the duality essential and evident in most real-life radicals and revolutionaries: driven by passion and a desire for freedom, and guided by calm consideration; except there’s just one little thing: Steela was marked for death by the creators from the very start. George Lucas had already created Saw to be the caricature who goes “too far” before Dave Filoni ever thought up Steela.

Most of Saw’s existence in Star Wars is spent without this other half; and Steela’s short stint portrays her as essentially a Mary Sue. Whatever the intention of the creators, the result is that Saw and Steela are never really each other’s other half. The Gerrera siblings never embody the duality of a true revolutionary and of a true revolution.

Stereotypes and Black Rebels

In actuality, Steela is a bit player in the already-existing tragedy of Saw Gerrera. The fridged female character who was created for the purpose of fleshing out a male character’s story; and that story only makes us the audience sympathetic toward, but nonetheless disagree with, the oh-so-tragic man — who somehow never manages, over the next 30+ years, to develop some emotional maturity and find a way to be whole again.

Saw is literally just a stereotypical “angry Black man”. And that particular racist trope is often interwoven with the political idea that any attempt at social change that doesn’t adhere to the ends and means laid out by ‘respectable’ people is ultimately as bad or worse than what it’s trying to overcome. In Rebels, Saw is written to be just as genocidal and pointlessly violent as the Empire. Because his thematic purpose is to play second-fiddle to the two upper-class White women leading the Rebel Alliance.

The same Alliance which also, just coincidentally, utterly fails to stop fascism from taking over again after a mere 30 years. All the while, Steela plays second fiddle to the second fiddle. For Black women, the double disrespect toward Steela and failure of White women moderates is very real.

The Gerrera Siblings: Black Agency and Real Character Depth

Saw gets a more positive, albeit pretty trite and superficial, role for one episode of The Bad Batch: instead of one of the usual White moderates, HE gets to make the classic Star Wars inspirational speech-that-doesn’t-actually-say-anything-besides-“Oppression bad, you should fight”. And in Andor, he finally gets to demonstrate some knowledge and critical thinking; he’s portrayed as operating in a realistically contentious environment full of espionage, propaganda, and strategic exigencies.

But however much Tony Gilroy wanted (or didn’t want) Star Wars fans to finally, truly understand the so-called anarchist and seriously, open-mindedly consider his ideas and actions, Star Wars as a whole has painted a thoroughly unfavorable portrait of Saw Gerrera in its attempts to draw simplistic, respectable lines on how social change should be fought and achieved.

And in the process, it has carelessly and thoughtlessly stripped Steela Gerrera of agency, dignity, and a meaningful legacy. It’ll take creators who know more about Black womanhood and Black liberation than I do, and who are more dedicated to both than Star Wars’ past and current creative teams, to give even an ounce of it back — to Steela, or to Saw.

“These have been hard years. We’ve lost comrades, friends… family… And yet the fire still burns. Hope still burns.”

Saw Gerrera, Jedi: Fallen Order

Saw Gerrera Star Wars Books, Films, TV, and Games

The Clone Wars, Season Five

Aired from: September 29, 2012 – March 2, 2013

Star Wars: The Clone Wars Season Five

Publisher’s Synopsis:

As the Clone Wars sweep through the galaxy, the heroic Jedi Knights struggle to maintain order and peace. But despite the best efforts of these brave protectors, more and more planets are falling prey to the sinister forces of the dark side…

Part of: Star Wars: The Clone Wars

Watch it here!

Catalyst: A Rogue One Novel

Published: November 15, 2016

Star Wars: Catalyst cover

Publisher’s Synopsis:

War is tearing the galaxy apart. For years the Republic and the Separatists have battled across the stars, each building more and more deadly technology in an attempt to win the war. As a member of Chancellor Palpatine’s top secret Death Star project, Orson Krennic is determined to develop a superweapon before their enemies can. And an old friend of Krennic’s, the brilliant scientist Galen Erso, could be the key.

Galen’s energy-focused research has captured the attention of both Krennic and his foes, making the scientist a crucial pawn in the galactic conflict. But after Krennic rescues Galen, his wife, Lyra, and their young daughter, Jyn, from Separatist kidnappers, the Erso family is deeply in Krennic’s debt. Krennic then offers Galen an extraordinary opportunity: to continue his scientific studies with every resource put utterly at his disposal. While Galen and Lyra believe that his energy research will be used purely in altruistic ways, Krennic has other plans that will finally make the Death Star a reality. Trapped in their benefactor’s tightening grasp, the Ersos must untangle Krennic’s web of deception to save themselves and the galaxy itself.

Part of: Prequel to Rebel Rising

Read it Here!

Rogue One: A Star Wars Story

Released: December 16, 2016

Rogue One: A Star Wars Story poster

Publisher’s Synopsis:

“‘A New Hope’ is the story of a boy who grows up in a tranquil home and dreams of joining a war. What if we have the story of a girl who grows up in a war and dreams of returning to the tranquillity of home?”
―Gareth Edwards

From Lucasfilm comes the first of the Star Wars standalone films, “Rogue One: A Star Wars Story,” an all-new epic adventure. In a time of conflict, a group of unlikely heroes band together on a mission to steal the plans to the Death Star, the Empire’s ultimate weapon of destruction. This key event in the Star Wars timeline brings together ordinary people who choose to do extraordinary things, and in doing so, become part of something greater than themselves.

Part of: Prequel to A New Hope

Watch it Here!

Rogue One: A Star Wars Story (novelization)

Published: December 16, 2016

Rogue One: A Star Wars Story novelization

Publisher’s Synopsis:

Go beyond the film with a novelization featuring new scenes and expanded material.

As the shadows of the Empire loom ever larger across the galaxy, so do deeply troubling rumors. The Rebellion has learned of a sinister Imperial plot to bring entire worlds to their knees. Deep in Empire-dominated space, a machine of unimaginable destructive power is nearing completion. A weapon too terrifying to contemplate . . . and a threat that may be too great to overcome.

If the worlds at the Empire’s mercy stand any chance, it lies with an unlikely band of allies: Jyn Erso, a resourceful young woman seeking vengeance; Cassian Andor, a war-weary rebel commander; Bodhi Rook, a defector from the Empire’s military; Chirrut Îmwe, a blind holy man and his crack-shot companion, Baze Malbus; and K-2SO, a deadly Imperial droid turned against its former masters. In their hands rests the new hope that could turn the tide toward a crucial Rebellion victory—if only they can capture the plans to the Empire’s new weapon.

But even as they race toward their dangerous goal, the specter of their ultimate enemy—a monstrous world unto itself—darkens the skies. Waiting to herald the Empire’s brutal reign with a burst of annihilation worthy of its dreaded name: Death Star.

Part of: Prequel to A New Hope

Read it Here!

Rebels, Season Three

Aired from: September 24, 2016 – March 25, 2017

Star Wars: Rebels Season Three poster

Publisher’s Synopsis:

Having established a secret base on Atollon, the Ghost crew, now led by a more powerful Ezra, strengthens the rebel fleet by acquiring new resources and recruits eager to stand against the Empire. However, the Imperial efforts to eliminate the rebellion are now being led by the coldly analytical Grand Admiral Thrawn, whose strategic, tactical and cultural insights make him a threat unlike any they have faced before. In season three, Ezra and Sabine take on new roles and challenges as the rebels prepare for their biggest mission yet—a direct assault on the Empire.

Part of: Star Wars: Rebels

Watch it Here!

Rebel Rising

Published: May 2, 2017

Star Wars: Rebel Rising by Beth Revis

Publisher’s Synopsis:

When Jyn Erso is eight years old, her mother is murdered and her father taken from her to serve the Empire. But despite the loss of her parents, she is not completely alone. Saw Gerrera, a man willing to go to any extremes necessary to resist Imperial tyranny, takes her in as his own daughter and gives her not only a home but all the abilities and resources she needs to become a rebel.

Jyn dedicates herself to the cause—and the man. But fighting alongside Saw and his people brings with it danger and the question of just how far Jyn is willing to go as one of Saw’s soldiers. When she faces an unthinkable betrayal that shatters her world, Jyn will have to pull the pieces of herself back together and figure out what she truly believes in…and whom she can really trust.

Part of: Prequel to Rogue One

Read it Here!

Rebels, Season Four

Aired from: October 16, 2017 – March 5, 2018

Star Wars: Rebels season four

Publisher’s Synopsis:

“It was a simple story about a boy who was lost and a girl who was broken. They fought alongside a survivor, a war veteran, and a fallen knight. I led them into battle against an evil so terrible it tried to black out the stars. We fought for each other. We fought for those who could not. But we never imagined it would end like this.”
―Hera Syndulla

Part of: Star Wars: Rebels

Watch it Here!

Solo: A Star Wars Story: Expanded Edition

Published: September 4, 2018

Solo: A Star Wars Story: Expanded Edition (novelization of Solo film)

Publisher’s Synopsis:

Don’t miss the exclusive content in this thrilling adaptation of Solo: A Star Wars Story, with scenes from alternate versions of the script including Han Solo’s time in the Imperial Navy, Qi’ra’s past, the beginnings of the rebellion, and more!

Though Han Solo has thrilled Star Wars fans for decades, the notorious wisecracking scoundrel was chasing adventure and dodging trouble long before he walked into the cantina at Mos Eisley spaceport.

Young Han dreams of someday soaring into space at the helm of his own starship and leaving his home, the gritty industrial planet Corellia, far behind. But as long as he’s trapped in a life of poverty and crime—and under the thumb of the sinister Lady Proxima and her brutal street gang—reaching the distant stars seems impossible. When Han tries to escape with his girlfriend and partner-in-crime, Qi’ra, he makes it out—but she doesn’t. Desperate for a way to find his own offworld vessel and free her, Han enlists in the Imperial Navy—the last place for a rebellious loner who doesn’t play well with others.

When the Empire clips his wings, Han goes rogue and plunges into the shady world of smugglers, gamblers, and con artists. There he meets the charming and cunning high roller Lando Calrissian, makes an unlikely friend in a cantankerous Wookiee called Chewbacca, and first lays eyes on the Millennium Falcon. To snag his piece of the outlaw pie, Han joins a crew of pirates to pull off a risky heist. The stakes are high, the danger is great, and the odds are slim. But never tell Han Solo the odds.

Part of: Stand-alone Canon Novel

Read it Here!

Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order

Released: November 15, 2019

Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order cover

Publisher’s Synopsis:

From Respawn Entertainment comes a brand-new action adventure game which tells an original Star Wars story about Cal Kestis, a Padawan who survived the events of Star Wars: Revenge of the Sith. Play, and become a Jedi.

Part of: Star Wars Jedi series

Play it Here!

The Bad Batch

Began airing: May 4, 2021

Star Wars: The Bad Batch season one

Publisher’s Synopsis:

The series follows the elite and experimental clones of the Bad Batch (first introduced in The Clone Wars) as they find their way in a rapidly changing galaxy in the immediate aftermath of the Clone War. Members of Bad Batch (Clone force 99) — a unique squad of clones who vary genetically from their brothers in the Clone Army — each possess a singular exceptional skill, which makes them extraordinarily effective soldiers and a formidable crew. In the post-Clone War era, they will take on daring mercenary missions as they struggle to stay afloat and find new purpose.

Part of: Sequel to Star Wars: The Clone Wars

Watch it Here!


Began airing: September 21, 2022

Star Wars: Andor

Publisher’s Synopsis:

The Andor series will explore a new perspective from the Star Wars galaxy, focusing on Cassian Andor’s journey to discover the difference he can make. The series brings forward the tale of the burgeoning rebellion against the Empire and how people and planets became involved. It’s an era filled with danger, deception and intrigue where Cassian will embark on the path that is destined to turn him into a rebel hero.

Part of: Prequel to Rogue One

Watch it Here!

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