- "I'm fighting for you and everyone else not to lose what they've got. And I won't apologize for how I do it."
- ―Saw Gerrera
Saw Gerrera was a human male Onderonian resistance fighter who, as a leading member of the Onderon rebels, fought against the Confederacy of Independent Systems on Onderon during the Clone Wars. He and his younger sister, Steela Gerrera, were instrumental in the rebel liberation of their homeworld during the Onderonian Civil War. He later became a key member in the fight against the Galactic Empire and the formation of the Alliance to Restore the Republic. His tactics against the Empire led him to be seen as an extremist, one whose notoriety was recognized by the Empire and, many years later, the New Republic.
In the early resistance against the Separatist Alliance on Onderon, Gerrera and his fellow soldiers were outnumbered and out-fought by the Separatist Droid Army. They requested help from the Jedi High Council, which led the Grand Army of the Republic in its fight against the Separatists, but the Jedi Order chose not to become actively involved in the fighting on Onderon. Instead, they sent a team of advisors—Generals Anakin Skywalker and Obi-Wan Kenobi, Commander Ahsoka Tano, and Clone Captain CT-7567 "Rex"—to train the Onderonian fighters. The Jedi and Captain Rex taught them proper techniques and strategies for taking on the battle droid army, and, through their efforts, the rebels began to turn the tide. Gerrera came to resent that the rebels chose Steela as their leader, and he was soon captured in an ill-concocted solo effort to rescue the deposed King Ramsis Dendup from the Separatists. They were both rescued by the rebels, who eventually mounted a final battle against the Separatists. Through their efforts, the rebels liberated their world and returned Dendup to the throne. The fight, however, came at a personal cost: Steela was killed during the final battle, and Gerrera was left to mourn his sister—feeling responsible for her death.
At the end of the Clone Wars, the Republic was transformed into the Galactic Empire. Later, Saw brought Galen Erso, Lyra Erso, and Jyn Erso to the uninhabited planet of Lah'mu. When Orson Krennic took Jyn's parents away from her, Saw found her and raised her until she was a young adult. Gerrera claimed Jyn as his own daughter. Gerrera fought against the Imperial Military and led a resistance group known as the Partisans, a militant organization that some considered an extremist organization with terrorism tactics, and operated under the codename, "Stoneface." His resistance cell, a continuation of his Onderonian resistance, was one of the first in the group of cells that formed the Rebel Alliance. He was later involved in the early campaigns of the Rebel Alliance, by which time his more-extreme tactics had come to stand in stark contrast with those of Alliance leaders Bail Organa and Mon Mothma. He eventually based his group on Jedha, where he met Jyn again. When Jedha City was destroyed by the Death Star, Saw told Jyn he was done running and stayed on Jedha, and was killed by the aftermath of the blast.
Early life and career
- "We're looking forward to taking the fight to those scrappin' droids."
- ―Saw Gerrera, to Anakin Skywalker
Saw Gerrera was a human male who was born on the jungle planet Onderon during the last years of the Galactic Republic. Growing up within the walls of Onderon's capital city of Iziz as an Onderonian with his sister Steela Gerrera, Saw learned to greatly respect Onderon's monarch, longtime King Ramsis Dendup. In 24 BBY, thousands of star systems seceded from the Republic and formed their own galactic government, the Confederacy of Independent Systems. Within two years—in 22 BBY—the Republic and Confederacy broke into all-out war—a Clone War—and King Dendup, wishing to keep his people out of the conflict, sided with neither the Republic and its newly-acquired Grand Army of clone troopers, nor the Confederacy.
Not more than a year after the opening salvos of the Clone Wars were fired during the First Battle of Geonosis, the Clone War continued to sustain itself on battlefronts across the galaxy. At this time, at the behest of the Confederate Head of State Count Dooku of Serenno, the Separatist Droid Army invaded Saw's homeworld and subjected its citizens to Confederate law. And to make matters worse for Saw, King Dendup was ousted from his royal throne and replaced with King Sanjay Rash, a "puppet leader" who answered directly to Count Dooku. King Rash enacted a Royal Proclamation that declared any who tried to usurp him from his throne would be declared a terrorist. Deeply troubled for Onderon's future and undeterred that he and Steela had been banished from Iziz for openly defying King Rash, Saw and Steela began to gather resources and other like-minded individuals in the hopes of forming a resistance to fight against Rash and his battle droid forces.
Clone Wars combatant
- "If you have a chance to fight, you take it. That's what we did on my world when the Separatists took control."
"Were you victorious?"
"Eventually. But we paid a price—a terrible price."
- ―Saw Gerrera reflects on the Clone Wars in 18 BBY with a Hiitian general
Helping hand from the Jedi
- "He fashions himself as our leader, though no one elected him."
- ―Steela, on how Saw arose to lead the freedom fighters
Approximately two standard years later, in 20 BBY, Saw had become the self-proclaimed de facto leader of the Onderon rebels, and as a result of being banished from Iziz, the rebels took up residence in an abandoned outpost within a group of ancient ruins in Sector S-29 of the wilderness. Around this time, Lux Bonteri, the son of the late Mina Bonteri, the former senator of Onderon in the Republic's Galactic Senate joined Saw and his resistance. Having obtained enough armor, blasters, and various other small arms to supply their forces, Saw, Steela, and Bonteri plotted to take back Iziz for Onderon; the rebel leaders, however, after a number of small skirmishes with battle droid forces, came to the realization that they were both under-equipped and had neither the training nor skills to wage open war against the Confederacy. Therefore, Saw and Bonteri reached out to the Republic, requesting aid. As a result, the esteemed Jedi High Council on the Republic's capital world, Coruscant, heard Saw and Bonteri's story via HoloNet transmission. Diminutive Grand Master Yoda promised that the Jedi Order would find a way to aid them. A short time later, the freedom fighters were alerted to an intrusion in the jungle Sector S-11 and Steela led a squad to investigate. Shortly, Steela, mounted on a dalgo steed, returned with Yoda's promise: Jedi Knight Anakin Skywalker, his Togruta Padawan learner, Ahsoka Tano, Jedi Master Obi-Wan Kenobi, and 501st Legion clone trooper CT-7567, nicknamed "Rex." Saw, mounted on his reptavian ruping, welcomed the four Republic Military advisors to his world. Skywalker informed Saw that they couldn't fight the Onderonian Civil War for the resistance—Onderon, after all, was legitimately aligned with the Confederacy, no matter how illegitimate Saw viewed the situation—but he would train Saw's resistance to fight well on their own.
Rex explained that as a clone trooper, he would assist the Jedi Generals, and after relocating a half-kilometer to a clearing in the jungle where a captured Separatist Armored Assault Tank was left dormant, Jedi Commander Tano and Clone Captain Rex instructed the freedom fighters on how to disable the tank: they had drop a pair of Electro Magnetic Pulse grenades—"droid poppers"—into both the tank's cockpits, one for the pilot and one for the gunner. Saw and Bonteri teamed for the exercise, but sharing in a tense rivalry, incidentally sabotaged one another by refusing to cooperate. Disgusted, Saw ridiculed Bonteri for being a "terrible soldier," which disappointed the Jedi advisors. As the day wore on, Saw grew increasingly frustrated, berating Steela for regularly attending to Bonteri, with whom she shared a mutual attraction. As the confrontation between Saw and Bonteri almost came to blows, Steela diffused the two men, explaining that there would be both a time for the direct fight that Saw desired, and the political speeches that Bonteri excelled at.
The rebels next returned to the encampment, where General Skywalker and Rex demonstrated how to most efficiently disable droideka security droids. Protected by a deflector shield, droidekas were immune to blaster bolts. Skywalker, thus, indicated that a slowly rolled droid popper was the best way to disable the droids. Confident in his abilities, Saw stepped up and attempted the technique first; however, he rolled the grenade too quickly and failed to penetrate the shield. Bonteri tried next and succeeded. Later, after many tries and much coaching from Tano, Saw managed to roll the grenade at the right speed and pierce the shield.
Shortly thereafter, the Jedi advisors moved on to coaching the rebels on how to properly utilize their blaster rifles. Steela, a sniper, impressed the Jedi with her skill. But while practicing, she was alerted to the fact that their encampment was under attack. Separatist B1-series battle droids and an Assault Tank pushed through the brush and opened fire on the rebels. Saw narrowly avoided being taken out by a missile blast from a B2-HA super battle droid, and advanced onto the frontline of the skirmish and returned fire. At a signal from the Jedi and Steela, Saw and other rebels heaved disruptor explosives into the path of the droids. Still outgunned, Steela loosed the dalgos, falumpasets, and tee-muss mammals, which stampeded and trampled the remaining droids. With only the armored tank remaining, Saw and Bonteri tried once more to disable the tank. On this attempt, however, the rebels worked together and succeeded in destroying the tank with a pair of thermal detonators. Elated in their first victory, Saw quipped that Bonteri looked more like a soldier than a politician, due to the grit that had come to cover him during the altercation. Knowing that their base location was compromised, the rebels and their advisors concocted a plan to infiltrate Iziz and pose as civilians in the hopes that they could wage the guerrilla war from within the capital.
Taking the fight to the Confederacy
- "The people were fearful, Master."
"Indeed. Judging from the reactions I saw today, I'm afraid they will mistake your intentions."
"I don't understand. Why are they afraid?"
- ―Tano, Kenobi, and Saw examine the public perception of the rebels
Later in the day, posing as hunters, the rebels and military advisors boarded a pair of dalgo-yoked Mandalorian transports and traveled to Iziz and fooled the "dim-witted" OOM command battle droid checkpoint in order to gain pass through the city's ray shielded main gate. The rebels then split up; Saw alerted other rebels already within the city that the time to fight had come, while Steela, Bonteri, Tano, and others went in search of new recruits.
As time went on, many more Onderonians enlisted with the independence fighters and they took shelter in a safe house deep in the city. Holding Iziz under siege from within, Saw, Bonteri, and Steela received regular intelligence and guidance from not only Skywalker, Kenobi, Tano, and Rex, but the Jedi Masters on Coruscant as well. Saw and the rebels took as many chances as they could to disrupt battle droid patrols and destroy droids harassing Iziz civilians, engaging in as many as five engagements in a single day—sometimes, even in high-traffic areas, such as Malgan Market. Saw often opened fire on Separatist minions publicly, which caused fear to mount in the civilian population, despite the fact that civilian casualties sat at zero.
One day, Saw and his resistance held a meeting in their Iziz safehouse, where Skywalker congratulated them on waging a thus-far successful campaign. Kenobi and Tano, however, believed that the public perception of Saw's rebels had not gone as planned; the people were growing ever more fearful of the sudden violence that had besieged their city. Saw, however, believed that the people were fearful simply because the droids were still active—that he hadn't done enough to demobilize the Confederates. Steela and Bonteri added that they had to assure the general populace that the freedom fighters were just that: fighting for the freedom of the people. Steela believed the rebels had to win the hearts and minds of the people to gain their trust, something Saw did not understand. In order to prove to the civilians that the rebels could oust the Separatists, Bonteri proposed that they strike the Onderon power generator. In agreement, Skywalker, Kenobi, and Rex returned to the Core Worlds, having outfitted the rebels as planned.
The Jedi Knights pledged that they would continue to provide credits to the Saw's movement and also stationed Tano to remain on Onderon. At dusk, Saw, Tano, Bonteri, and Steela scouted out the power generator complex. Lying prone on a rooftop, Bonteri explained that if they could manage to disable the power compound it would cause a city-wide power outage, which, given time, would bring the Droid Army to a literal standstill: the droids operated independently of a control computer, but still had to recharge periodically using power cells. However, before assaulting the generators, the rebels concluded that they needed to know more about the compound. Saw took it upon himself to gather the desired intel: he quickly descended the building and brutishly ripped the head off of a patrolling "clanker" in the street and returned to the rooftop where a robolobotomy was performed using a Republic-provided device. From the holographic images provided from the cranial unit, Saw and the rebels came to the conclusion that any attack on the compound would be futile; the droids were too numerous. Bonteri, however, saw an opportunity and added that if they had enough firepower it could be done with a hijacked Separatist Assault Tank .
In order to secure the tank, the resistance concocted a ruse: on a nearby street, the rebel Dono detonated an EMP-loaded airspeeder in the path of droid Patrol 118, beginning the attack. Saw, utilizing droid poppers and a DC-15A blaster carbine, took down the entire patrol, with the exception of the commander droid. The rebels let the commander call for reinforcements, hoping that the Separatists would deliver aid in the form of an Assault Tank. First, however, a pair of droidekas were sent in. Outmatched from the front, Saw and Bonteri navigated behind the droidekas in a flanking maneuver.
True to his training, Saw rolled his EMP grenade into the droideka's bubble shield and successfully disabled it, but Bonteri's grenade went too fast and alerted the other droideka to the danger behind. The droid turned and fired at its adversaries, but Saw acted quickly, shoving Bonteri to safety. Saw dove behind the disabled droideka, but was pinned down, so Steela leaped into action and deposited a droid popper gently into the droideka's shield bubble, disabling it. Just then, the desired Assault Tank rumbled onto the street and fired on the rebels. Saw and Bonteri rapidly closed the distance between them and the tank, taking down its B2-series super battle droid escorts on the way, and disabled the repulsorcraft using the duel droid popper strategy, just as they were trained. Saw then boarded the tank and attempted to get it running again, but to no avail. Steela, however, having a self-described "woman's touch," and being the better pilot of the two of them, managed to start it up once more.
Saw piloted the tank to the entrance to the generator compound and blew in the compound's two metal gateways. Steela sniped the droid guards while Saw waited for the tank's laser cannon to recharge. Bonteri and Steela fought off several BX-series droid commandos before Saw was able to target the generator itself, and when he fired on it, the ensuing explosion plunged the entire city into darkness. Saw donned night vision goggles in order to see, and was pleased to see that the freedom fighters were being cheered on by the Iziz citizens. Saw, Steela, Tano, and Bonteri returned to the safehouse and celebrated, raising drinks for Onderon. Skywalker, Kenobi, and Rex appeared via the HoloNet and a holoprojector and congratulated the resistance troopers. Kenobi added, however, that the time had come for the movement to elect an official leader. Confident that he would be elected by popular vote, Saw was disheartened when instead Steela was chosen by the Onderonian soldiers. Saw angrily stormed off.
King Rash and his Separatist forces had truly begun to feel the pressure from the rebel raids throughout Iziz, so Dooku granted them new droid legions of reinforcements headed by the super tactical droid General Kalani. The reinforcements were delivered in several Multi-Troop Transports on the orders of Count Dooku himself. Later, Saw hid incognito on a city street and helped Steela and more freedom fighters destroy a Confederate Army convoy that consisted of a Troop Transport, an Assault Tank, and numerous battle droids. Saw single-handedly wrecked the Assault Tank using his training; he blew up the hovertank agilely using two grenades. Steela then delivered a speech to the Onderonoians who had gathered amid the wreckage. She reminded them that Rash had committed treason against the Onderon people by selling out the world to the Separatist Alliance and requested that they join Saw and the rebels to reclaim the world and reinstate the rightful king, Ramsis Dendup.
The King's blessing
- "The Separatists have very little compassion—or patience—for things that stand in their way."
"We have a duty to protect what's ours, General. A duty once entrusted to you."
"I thought you'd depleted your arrogance with Kalani."
"It replenishes every hour."
- ―General Tandin and Saw discuss their patriotic duties after Saw's lengthy interrogation
Shortly, Saw and the rebel leadership returned to their safehouse and were informed by trooper Dono that former King Dendup was scheduled to be executed by King Rash the next day in the central Yolahn Square. Steela surmised that Rash intended to kill his predecessor simply as an example to the rebels; to humiliate the freedom fighters and their cause. Tano reasoned that if Dendup was executed he would become a martyr and bolster the rebel cause. For his part, however, Saw ignored both the words of the war advisor and his sister and took it upon himself to rescue King Dendup before Rash even had a chance to publicly declare Dendup a traitor. Steela ordered Saw to stand down, but Saw, believing that his life was worth the risk of preserving Dendup's, covertly set out nonetheless, unaware that Steela had tasked Dono to tail him.
After donning a cloak, Saw jogged to the foot of the Unifar Temple in Yolahn Square and scaled the multistory temple utilizing a grappling hook. Once atop the temple roof, Saw quickly spotted King Dendup in the temple courtyard and beheaded a nearby sentry droid while making his way to him. Saw bowed before his lord, swearing fealty to the former king and introduced himself, explaining to the king the execution situation. In angst, Dendup chastised Saw for "interfering with the affairs of the throne" by forming the resistance and confessed to Saw his failure as Saw's king: by not choosing to ally Onderon with either the Republic or the Confederacy during the Separatist Crisis, a side had been chosen for him; and as a result of Dendup's choice not to choose, the Onderonian Civil War had broken out, and Onderonians like Saw had stepped up to rectify his errs. Nonplussed, Saw encouraged Dendup, surprising the king with news that the rebels had the support of the Jedi Order. Greatly encouraged, Dendup agreed to escape with Saw, but when Saw fired his grappling hook to escape the royal prison courtyard, he was frustrated to find that it was blocked by a one-way shield, which alerted the Unifar Temple to the intrusion. As klaxons wailed and spotlights targeted, Saw and Dendup were taken into custody by a sextet of droidekas.
Saw was transferred to the royal central command of the palace, where at Kalani and King Rash's order, Saw was cuffed and hung in a containment field and placed under interrogation by Kalani. General Akenathen Tandin of the Royal Onderon Militia supervised the investigation. Kalani tortured Saw for throughout the night but Saw the patriot of Onderon refused to divulge to the droid general any of of the rebel secrets. As a result, Kalani grew increasingly embittered, so he hiked up the dose of electric torture and the longevity of the doses; hoping Saw would break down. His body smoking from the electricity, Saw held to his beliefs and will and suffered the torture until Kalani and his EV-series medical droid heightened the electric shocks to great enough wattage to easily kill Saw. Saw hung while the torture took its toll not only on his body, but on his mind and spirit; Saw hardened himself and had begun on his irreversible path to becoming a remorseless soldier. Tandin, feeling sympathetic to his fellow Onderonian, commanded Kalani and his droids to give Saw rest. Kalani reluctantly agreed.
Shortly, Saw was given a drink of tea by Tandin, who questioned why Saw had chosen to rebel against Rash's throne, believing that Onderon's past under the rule of Ramsis Dendup was outdated, and the future was Onderon under Confederate rule. Saw explained that he chose to rebel because King Rash misused the power of the kingship to empower himself, rather than the people. Saw boomed over Tandin's arguments, proclaiming that he fought in Dendup's name for the former king had chosen to politically fight for the people, therefore not choosing to side with either the Republic or the Confederacy for his own gain as Rash so quickly had. Saw's words of patriotism weighed heavily on Tandin.
The next day, Rash and Kalani, escorted by a quartet of IG-100 MagnaGuards, marched King Dendup and Saw in chains to the steps of the Unifar Temple overlooking Yolahn Square to their intended executions. Hundreds of Iziz citizens gathered to witness the proceedings and listened to Rash's speech, where he declared Dendup and Saw traitors deserving of death by beheading. Rash prepared his MagnaGuards and their electrostaffs to behead Dendup utilizing an electroguillotine. However, trooper Dono, having relayed to Steela and Bonteri that Saw had been arrested, put into motion a raid to free Dendup and Saw from the Separatists—Bonteri tossed smoke bombs into the Separatist ranks, causing chaos while Steela and other soldiers extracted Saw and Dendup. Saw even managed to knock Kalani to the ground with his binders before the group began their withdrawal. The retreat was cut short, however, when B2 battle droid reinforcements surrounded Steela's extraction team and forced her troopers to surrender their weapons—much to the dismay of the Onderonian citizens, who had come to see Saw's rebels as allies, and Rash's Separatists as intruding invaders. Having regained control of the function, Rash prepared to execute Dendup and Saw once more along with the newly incarcerated Steela.
Having surrendered to his fate, Saw thanked his sister for her attempt to save his life. General Tandin on the other hand, having heard the truth in Saw's words hours prior, decided not to surrender Saw and Dendup to the fate Rash intended for them. He then tore into the square with his Onderon guards and held King Rash and Kalani at laser lance point. Saw was touched and surprised that Tandin had abandoned King Rash's Royal Court, and sided with the Onderonian rebels. Tandin used Rash as a human shield and ordered the rebels to flee into the city, thanking Saw for helping him see that he had betrayed the true Onderon by serving King Rash. The Royal Militia followed Saw and the rebels to their safehouse while Tano helped Tandin escape Rash and his forces.
Sometime later, Tandin expressed to King Dendup that he had, thanks to well-expressed words from Saw, officially defected from the Separatist-led Onderon Royal Court and pledged himself and his army to Saw's rebels and Dendup. Dendup, like Steela, believed that to win the civil war, they had to win the minds of the people. Saw agreed, and made it his priority to protect Dendup from the Confederate strength of Count Dooku who no doubt wanted Dendup dead more than ever after the day's debacle.
The true cost of conflict
- "I'm sorry for your loss."
"Thanks, but it's over now. Let's just leave it at that."
- ―Ahsoka Tano and Saw, during Steela's cremony
The war raged on and the resistance eventually moved their headquarters from the urban population of Iziz to the remote eastern mountain range known as the Onderon highlands, where, back in the jungle, Saw was reunited with his team. At the highlands, Saw and the rebels constructed a new base, known as "the nest;" named for the rupings who used the highlands as a nesting ground. During this time, Padawan Tano and Bonteri enacted a quick mission back to Iziz where they utilized a holographic message of King-in-exile Dendup declared his allegiance to the Onderon rebels, whom he called patriots of true Onderon. Upon their return, Bonteri informed Saw that the civilians had taken to the Iziz streets to riot as a result of hearing Dendup's message. Encouraged, Saw voiced his desire to join the civilians and take the fight straight to Rash in the streets of Iziz, but Steela, Tano, Tandin, and King Dendup, all disagreed—they believed the rebels needed to avoid civilian casualties at all costs, thus the Confederate forces had to be drawn out of the crowded city and into the wilderness of the highlands.
It wasn't long before Kalani located the rebels in the highlands and sent his army out to confront them. Meanwhile, the rebels and Royal bodyguards dug into the jungle mesas and prepared to repel the droid infantry. Once the battle of the Onderonian highlands began, Saw led a group of ruping riders, providing air support for the dalgo-mounted cavalry commanded by Tandin. The Confederate forces were caught off-guard by the rebels attack and were mostly destroyed by the rebels diverse forces of rupings, cavalry, snipers, and blaster cannons mounted on towering fambaas. Saw and his riders swept over the battlefront, destroying the droid's support vehicles with grenades. However, before the skirmish could be won, three HMP droid gunships entered the fray and systematically turned the tide of battle by killing much of Tandin's cavalry and fambaas. Saw's ruping riders were downed by two, and Saw was forced to hide from the droid fighters and recollect himself. Seizing the next opportunity, Saw bore his ruping towards a distracted gunship and lobbed a detonator at the hovering droid. However, the detonator did no damage to the craft as it was heavily ray shielded. The gunship next targeted Saw, and it managed to kill his ruping, throwing Saw to the ground. With the battle's tide having turned, Tandin's cavalry retreated, and the Royal General hoisted Saw atop his dalgo as the surviving rebel forces retreated back to the nest in complete disarray.
At the nest, the Gerreras, Tandin, Tano, and Bonteri convened to strategize. Tano explained that she had contacted her Jedi superiors Anakin Skywalker and Obi-Wan Kenobi and requested aid from the Jedi Council, but he wasn't sure he would be able to help the rebels. Refusing to be discouraged, Steela pointed out that since the droid could not be stopped before reaching the nest, the fort had to be fortified for the incoming invasion. Emboldened by her spirit, Saw expressed how proud he was of his sister. She accredited her skills as a leader to watching Saw. Saw returned to organize the defense at the battlefront a short distance from the nest, and shortly, Tano, Bonteri, and Steela arrived bearing new armaments provided by Skywalker and Kenobi through the Weequay Hondo Ohnaka, the pirate lord of the Ohnaka Gang: Sienar Fleet Systems RPS-6 rocket launchers. Saw immediately took one of the rocket launchers and fired a missile at a nearby gunship. The droid ship was brought down by the single shot; revitalizing the rebels' resolve to fight now that they had a weapon that could deal damage. The launchers were being distributed among the insurgents, when word came that the nest had been found and was under attack by the remaining gunships.
Steela hurriedly took the rupings with her troops and headed the short distance back atop the mesas where the fort was located in order to protect King Dendup. Saw, meanwhile, with a pair of soldiers, supported Steela by distracting the gunships. Within minutes, only one gunship remained, and Saw took aim with his launcher and shot down the final droid ship. The mortally damaged ship careened through the sky and smashed into a cliff face where Steela was protecting Dendup from several commando droids. The weakened cliff face gave way, and Saw was horrified to see that Steela had fallen with it, and was hanging from the cliff edge. Tano began using the Force to lift Steela to safety, but the droid gunship remained partially active, and it fired on Tano, striking her in the shoulder with a bolt. Tano's wound disrupted her concentration long enough for her telekinetic hold on Steela to be severed. Saw ran in horror to his fallen sister as she fell to her death on the rocks below. As Saw cradled Steela's lifeless body, he recounted the fact that it had been he who had shot down the gunship. Saw was racked with a guilt; a guilt he would never banish from his mind.
The rebels emerged victorious over the Separatists in the highlands, and the Confederate defeat prompted Dooku to withdraw Kalani and his forces from Onderon and move to the planet Agamar due to the apparent long-term conflict the rebels intended to fight. And later in the day, the rebels returned to Iziz, where Dendup was reinstated as King—Sanjay Rash having been assassinated by Kalani on Dooku's orders after the Confederate defeat in the highlands. Later, a funeral was held for Steela on the steps of the Unifar Temple in Yolahn Square. Thousands of Onderonians turned up for the funeral in mourning over Steela's untimely death. Saw paid his respects over his sister's sarcophagus and rejected Tano and Bonteri's condolences, angry he couldn't prevent Steela's death. Full of guilt and brokenhearted, Gerrera made it his mission to continue his battle against all forms of what he considered evil.
Siege at Onderon
- Admiral Yularen: "Sir, we've received a transmission from someone using your subspace frequency "Fulcrum.""
- General Skywalker: "Saw Gerrera?"
- General Kenobi: "Perhaps the siege at Onderon has taken a turn for the worse."
- Admiral Yularen: "No, sir, it's not Gerrera."
- ―Admiral Yularen, General Skywalker, and General Kenobi during the battle of Yerbana
Despite their victory in the Civil War, Onderon and Gerrera were not free from conflict. During the Outer Rim Sieges and the closing days of the Clone Wars, Gerrera, who had begun to use Anakin Skywalker's subspace frequency "Fulcrum" by this time, was involved in the Siege at Onderon. During the battle of Yerbana, Skywalker and Kenobi, after receiving a transmission that used the former's subspace Fulcrum frequency, believed Gerrera was reaching out to them, with the latter Jedi speculating something may have gone wrong with the Onderon siege. Admiral Wullf Yularen, however, let the Jedi know it was not Gerrera who was contacting them. In reality and as the two learned when they came aboard their Venator-class Star Destroyer, Tano and Lady Bo-Katan Kryze had contacted them to share information about the rogue Sith Lord Darth Maul.
Age of the Empire
Marked as insurgents
- "The old ways are done. You can either adapt and survive, or die with the past. The decision is yours."
- ―Saw Gerrera, to Clone Force 99
Following the Republic's transformation into the Galactic Empire, Saw Gerrera's militia was branded as an insurgency by the Galactic Empire due to their resistance against the Proclamation of the New Order, despite their role in liberating Onderon during the Clone Wars and their position as allies to the Republic. Believing the Empire's existence to pose a threat to all they had fought for during the Clone Wars, Gerrera and his militia began pushing back against the Empire, drawing the attention of Admiral Wilhuff Tarkin. In response, Tarkin deployed experimental Clone Force 99 to deal with Gerrera's faction, though also as a test of Clone Force 99's loyalty. Upon arriving and seeing Gerrera's group, the squad refused to execute their orders, save for Crosshair, who insisted on fulfilling the mission. Gerrera and his men apprehended the squad of clones, but soon released them, giving Hunter, the squad's leader, a chance to pick a side. Gerrera then left with his militia, leaving the squad of clones alone. Later, a new squadron led by Crosshair, who had left the Clone Force 99 due to their defection from the Empire, arrived to finish the mission to eliminate Saw and his militia. However, Saw was already gone, and the only ones left were some militia members and some civilians. All were killed, including the Elite Squad Trooper ES-01, who refused to eliminate the civilians, which was seen as treason by Crosshair.
Resisting the Empire
- "For years, Saw Gerrera was the most wanted criminal in the galaxy. His rampant terrorist strikes resulted in atrocious civilian casualties earning him this distinction. He was known to subject prisoners to torture behind the bounds of the Alderaan Convention."
- ―Exantor Divo
Gerrera later fought against the Imperial Military, organizing a group that became known as the Partisans. During this time, he hired a Lasat mercenary and fought an Imperial platoon under ISB Agent Kallus when they were sent to Onderon to bring peace.
Sometime before 17 BBY, Gerrera joined an arms smuggling ring led by Has Obitt. The smugglers were to deliver arms to resistance fighters in the Salient system, however, this smuggling ring was the brainchild of Orson Krennic. Krennic was using small uprisings as an excuse to take control of planets heavy in resources needed to build the Death Star. Obitt had revealed this information to his smuggler partners, and they decided to double-cross the Empire. When they arrived at Salient, it became clear that the Empire was expecting to arrest Obitt and the other mercenaries. Gerrera convinced Obitt to stay and fight the Empire. The people of the Salient system eventually lost the battle and Obitt was captured and later released by Wilhuff Tarkin; Gerrera, however, was able to escape.
Helping the Ersos
In 17 BBY, Obitt came in contact with Lyra Erso. Erso wanted to have her husband, Galen, to quit working with Krennic, and the only way to do so was for the family to flee Coruscant. Obitt, who had known the Ersos since Jyn's birth, knew Krennic would expect him to help the Ersos, so he asked Gerrera to go in his stead. Gerrera smuggled Lyra, Galen, and Jyn Erso off Coruscant and helped them set up a homestead on Lah'mu. The Ersos stayed vigilant while living on Lah'mu, forming an escape plan in case Krennic found them. The plan was for Lyra and Jyn Erso to hide in a shelter dug under a cave and to contact Gerrera for extraction.
- "These have been hard years. We've lost comrades, friends, family...to the Empire. Dark times. And yet the fire still burns. Hope still burns. The Jedi are not yet lost. We are not yet lost. Kashyyyk is not yet lost! For the cause!"
- ―Saw Gerrera, to his Partisans
Sometime later in 14 BBY, Gerrera and several of his Partisans traveled to Kashyyyk. There, they discovered that one of the Empire's refineries was using wroshyr tree sap to make a powerful compound. Following this, they met Jedi Padawan Cal Kestis, who they asked for help in their attempts to free the Wookiees.
In return for Kestis' assistance in the attack on Kashyyyk, the Partisans agreed to search for Wookiee Chieftan Tarfful, who could aid Kestis in searching for a Jedi holocron with the names of several force-sensitive children. After the takeover of the refinery, Gerrera made a speech to encourage the flame of rebellion against the Empire and offered Kestis a place among the Partisans, saying that it would be nice to have a Jedi fighting at his side. Kestis felt honored by the offer, but he refused because he could not abandon his mission. Gerrera said the offer continued before it leaves. After finding Tarfful in the Shadowlands, the Partisans became overwhelmed by the Imperial forces, and the majority were forced to retreat before Kestis returned to Kashyyyk. Those who remained on Kashyyyk did so to Gerrera's disdain.
Mentor for Jyn
- "The last time I saw you, you gave me a knife and a loaded blaster and told me to wait in a bunker 'till daylight."
"I knew you were safe."
"You left me behind."
"You were already the best soldier in my cadre."
"I was sixteen."
"I was protecting you!"
- ―Jyn Erso and Saw Gerrera
Saw brought Jyn to the planet Wrea, where he had an outpost set up that was still mostly empty of occupants. He revealed his dislike for droids after Jyn suggested he obtain a unit. The day after her arrival, Jyn found a training ground set up with hanging husks of dilapidated droids used for targeting practice by Saw. Jyn then asked for Saw's help in training to fight. On the third day of her stay, she got the chance to practice her hand to hand skills on several sets of stormtrooper armor Saw had put up for her benefit.
In 6 BBY, Saw and several other members of his Partisans were hired by Arane Oreida to go to Inusagi and to infiltrate Sakoola blossom festival and kill Governor Cor Tophervin. He and his Partisans massacred the festival, killing Imperials, the Inusagi chieftess, guests and many Inusagian civilians to send a message to the Empire.
As Jyn matured, and as Saw became increasingly paranoid over time, he came to fear that Jyn would eventually be recognized as the daughter of a known Imperial collaborator and thus exploited to be used as a ransom against Galen. To help prevent this, Saw tortured Partisans to assess if they knew of Jyn's identity, even disposing of Jari at an unknown Imperial barracks due to the same reason. With the constant worry of others finding out Jyn's identity Saw decided, when Jyn was sixteen, to abandon her in a bunker with nothing more than a knife and a blaster for protection. He had instructed her to wait in the bunker until morning, by which time Saw was gone. He came to justify the decision by telling himself, and later her, that she was already one of his best people and that he knew she could survive without his aid. The decision was seen as a betrayal by Jyn, left a feeling of disenchantment for Saw, and for the rebellion in general, in her mind.
Assassination of Moff Panaka
- "The bombing was the work of a group that calls themselves the partisans, [sic] led by a man named Saw Gerrera. He's a brave man, an intelligent fighter…but his methods are becoming more violent, more extreme."
- ―Breha Organa
In 3 BBY, Gerrera arranged for a bomb to detonate at the residence of Moff Quarsh Panaka. The bomb achieved its objective of killing the Moff who was supposedly one of the Emperor's most loyal servants. The timing of the bomb narrowly missed killing Princess Leia Organa of Alderaan, who had only just bid farewell to the Moff moments before the explosion. Although no real proof was ever given that Saw ordered the Moff's death, Breha Organa correctly surmised that as leader of the Partisans, he must have been involved in some way.
Galactic Civil War
Mission to Geonosis
- "The Empire is hiding something. Something important."
- ―Saw Gerrera, to the Spectres
In 2 BBY, Saw led a mission to investigate the apparent disappearance of the Geonosian species of the planet Geonosis. His Partisan group had become one of the many cells that would form the Rebel Alliance. Saw undertook the Geonosian mission on behalf of Rebel Command and Senator Bail Organa, an ally of the growing rebellion in the Imperial Senate. His team lost contact with Rebel Command after picking up an energy reading, which turned out to be an operational deflector shield generator.
While exploring an underground labyrinth, Saw and his team were ambushed by Klik-Klak, the sole Geonosian to have survived the Sterilization of Geonosis. Klik-Klak's battle droids killed Saw's team but Saw managed to survive long enough for members of the Spectres rebel cell and Rex to rescue him. Saw saved the Spectres and Rex from a group of B1 battle droids and a droideka. Believing that the "bug" Klik-Klak was key to finding out why the Empire had exterminated the population of Geonosis, Saw convinced Rex and the Spectres to help him capture Klik-Klak.
While exploring the central air shaft, Saw and his team discovered Klik-Klak hiding on the other side. While the Spectres Ezra Bridger and Chopper pursued the Geonosian, Saw waited with Kanan and Rex when the Spectres' leader Hera Syndulla contacted Kanan. When Hera told them to leave, Saw convinced the Spectres to delay their stay so that they could complete his original mission to investigate the disappearance of the Geonosian species. Using the Force, Kanan used a stone bridge to ferry Saw and Rex safely across to the other side of the air shaft.
Once they had crossed, Saw and his rebel companions managed to corner Klik-Klak. Saw also shot out Klik Klak's remote controller with his blaster; deactivating several droidekas which were attacking the Spectres Sabine Wren and Garazeb Orrelios above. Saw then interrogated Klik-Klak and demanded to know what the Empire was building on Geonosis. Unable to speak Galactic Basic Standard, Klik-Klak drew in the sand repeatedly. Ezra managed to befriend Klik-Klak. After Chopper picked up an energy reading, Saw forced Klik-Klak to lead them to the source.
Saw and his companions soon discovered the energy reading came from Klik-Klak's nest, which served as his workshop and contained a transmitter. Still bitter about the loss of his sister Steela at the hands of the Separatists, Saw aggressively questioned Klik-Klak and rummaged through his place. Saw's aggressive methods yielded no results while Ezra's gentler methods convinced Klik-Klak to reveal that he was the custodian of the last known Geonosian queen egg. Saw wanted to interrogate Klik-Klak off-world but Ezra objected on the grounds that Klik-Klak and the egg were among the last of their species and belonged on Geonosis. In the end, Kanan brokered a compromise whereby the rebels could question Klik-Klak at Chopper Base and then return him to Geonosis.
Saw, his rebel allies and their prisoner Klik-Klak rendezvoused with the Spectres' ship Ghost in the central air shaft. Once aboard, Saw exchanged pleasantries with Hera and the rest of her crew. While Kanan and Hera were preoccupied, Saw reneged on his earlier agreement and tried to take Klik-Klak off-world on the shuttle Phantom II. To force Klik-Klak's cooperation, Saw shocked him with an electro-shock device. This sparked an argument with the Spectres and Rex, who all objected to Saw's harsh methods. After fighting off Ezra and Rex, Saw threatened to destroy the Geonosian queen egg. In response, Ezra and Rex urged him not to become like the Empire he was fighting against.
Saw's argument with the Spectres was interrupted by the arrival of Captain Brunson's Arquitens-class command cruiser, which blocked the air shaft and deployed a squad of Jumptroopers to board the Ghost. Saw joined the rebels in repelling the Imperial boarders as the ship descended into the depths of Geonosis. Once at the bottom, Saw and his rebel comrades discovered several poison canisters which provided compelling evidence that the Empire had perpetrated genocide against the Geonosians. Regretting his past behavior towards Klik-Klak, Saw argued that the Geonosians deserved the same right to rebuild as other peoples and released Klik-Klak and the Geonosian egg.
After releasing Klik-Klak and taking several of the poison canisters, the Ghost managed to escape Geonosis by blasting through the Imperial light cruiser with proton torpedoes. Despite their successful escape, the rebels lost the poison canisters and were forced to make do with images of the canisters instead. Though Senator Organa and Commander Jun Sato regarded the mission as a success for rescuing Saw and obtaining a new deflector core, Saw was disappointed that they still had not found out what the Empire was building on Geonosis. Kanan reassured him that they would eventually find out sooner or later.
Jalindi and a personal quest
- "If you continue to allow this war to be fought on the Empire's terms, not yours, you are going to lose."
"I will not be lectured on military strategy by a man who has proven himself a criminal."
"The Empire considers both of us criminals. At least I act like one."
- ―Saw Gerrera and Mon Mothma
In 1 BBY, Saw was first mentioned by Bail Organa, where he gave information that was supplied by Saw; primarily, a new relay being used by the Empire. When the Rebellion wanted to tap into the relay to learn what the Empire was doing, Saw, who had sent an astromech, appeared and stated that they were cowards, as they were not doing what it would take to win. After Mon Mothma cut off communications with him, Saw prepared to head to the relay to destroy it. He arrived on his U-Wing with the help of his pilot, Edrio. Upon opening the doors to drop bombs, he was surprised to see Ezra and Sabine, greeting the two while tossing out three packs of proton bombs onto the relay. Telling them that the bombs would detonate soon, he let them board his starfighter and proceeded to fly out of the area just as the bombs exploded, destroying the relay and killing Brom Titus.
Outside in Jalindi's space, Hera contacted him and told him to return Ezra and Sabine. Saw agreed and prepared the process; however, a Star Destroyer suddenly appeared, forcing Saw to leave for Faos Station with them. During the trip, Saw told the two that he needed their help as, after the events on Geonosis, he still did not know what the Empire was building. Upon arriving at Faos Station, he, Ezra, Sabine, and Chopper boarded Freighter 2716.
Upon investigating the materials, which were used for the construction of Star Destroyers, Saw claimed that the Empire was up to something. Continuing his investigation, they found Imperial stormtroopers on the ship and learned that the freighter was heading towards the remote Tonnis sector, cementing Saw's suspicions. When Chopper told him that hold 12 contained an Imperial shuttle, they went in and found prisoners, who were either power or reactor technicians. Later on when Ezra kept hearing "singing," Chopper revealed that hold 17 was a restricted area. Upon opening the door to that hold, they encountered a death trooper, prompting Saw to fire at point-blank range, killing the trooper. Sabine tossed several smoke grenades into the room, which Saw used to blend in and take down several troopers.
After clearing the area, one of the troopers managed to escape. Saw wanted to go after her, but Sabine told him not to. They inspected the mysterious cargo the troopers were protecting and realized that it was an unusually large kyber crystal. Saw, adamant in finding out what the Empire was building, reluctantly stayed to guard the crystal while Ezra and Sabine went to sabotage the hyperspace drive. However, he quickly betrayed them and stunned the two in the engine room.
When Ezra and Sabine woke up, they asked Saw why he betrayed them. Saw stated that they were very close to finding out the secret weapon and told them to look on the screen. When the freighter arrived at the Tonnis sector, they only saw a single Star Destroyer. Confused, but still convinced of the Empire's nefarious designs with the crystal, he used Ezra's lightsaber to destroy the freighter's hyperdrive before firing onto the crystal's mounting, effectively turning the crystal into a time bomb. He then freed the two, while Edrio, who had tailed the freighter, informed Saw that he was outside. Knowing that Ezra and Sabine no longer agreed with his methods, Saw bid farewell to them while they made their individual escapes before the freighter and Star Destroyer were obliterated.
Mission to Dooma 4
- "Hold On! We'll wait here for a while!"
- ―Saw Gerrera
Gerrera later learned that the Imperial Metal Factory on Dooma 4 was providing components for a secret Imperial project. He and the Partisans undertook a mission to the factory to blow up the station.
Taking the fight to Jedha
- "We are not insurgents. We are partisans. We are a rebellion. I bring battle-hardened fighters. I bring experienced tacticians. I bring pilots, a squadron of them. I bring the means with which to fight back. I am inviting you, both of you, to join me in this."
- ―Saw Gerrera to Baze Malbus and Chirrut Îmwe
With his campaigns against the Empire becoming increasingly brutal, Alliance High Command, at the urging of Mon Mothma, formally censured Gerrera and severed all official ties with the Partisans. By this time, Gerrera had lost his right leg and struggled to walk on a low-grade cybernetic replacement. His lungs had also been damaged, confining him to a pressurized armor suit and requiring him to regularly take supplementary oxygen from a breath mask.
Having previously learned that the Empire's massive kyber crystal had come from Jedha, Gerrera relocated his militia to the moon, feeling that it was an appropriate place to bring his rebellion, as it was a sacred world to many different galactic religions. Due to the Imperials defiling many religious temples and artifacts in their pursuit of kyber crystals, small, local insurgent cells had begun forming in the Holy City of NiJedha in opposition to the occupation. From his new base of operations in the Catacombs of Cadera, just a half-day's walk outside the Holy City, Gerrera began recruiting and organizing the local insurgencies under the umbrella of his Partisans. During this time, he also held command over a pair of UT-60D U-wing troop transports and six T-65 X-wing fighters. Calling them the Cavern Angels, Gerrera began deploying this squadron in hit-and-run air raids against Imperial facilities in the Holy City, as well as the outlying, Imperial-controlled kyber mines.
Among the local insurgents Gerrera recruited were Guardians of the Whills Chirrut Îmwe and Baze Malbus, whom he enticed into joining by providing much needed provisions for the orphanage run by Îmwe and Malbus's friends, Kaya and Killi Gimm. Over several months, the Partisans attacked the Imperial occupiers, leading to harsher and harsher reprisals from the Empire. The Star Destroyer that had previously orbited high over Jedha descended to rest right above the Holy City, and the number of stormtroopers, tanks, and walkers on patrol in the streets increased significantly. Îmwe and Malbus came to Gerrera asking for assistance stealing a spacecraft so the Gimm sisters could flee the planet with their orphans. A group of Partisans, led by Beezer Fortuna, helped Îmwe and Malbus steal a Sentinel-class shuttle. Under the orders of Gerrera, Fortuna and the other Partisans attempted to double-cross Îmwe and Malbus, wishing to use the shuttle to blow up the Star Destroyer over the city. Îmwe and Malbus were able to talk the Partisans out of taking the shuttle, allowing the orphans to escape Jedha. However, this led to Gerrera parting ways with Îmwe and Malbus.
Reuniting with Jyn and death
- "Save the Rebellion! Save the dream!"
- ―Saw Gerrera, to Jyn Erso, as Jedha is ripped apart
In 0 BBY, just prior to the Battle of Scarif, the Partisans captured Bodhi Rook, a recently defected Imperial pilot. Bodhi carried a message from Galen Erso, who was trying to alert the Rebellion to the nearly-completed Death Star project. However, increasingly paranoid and believing that Imperial spies were everywhere, Gerrera was convinced that the defection was a trick by the Empire. To ascertain the truth, Gerrera used a mairan named Bor Gullet to read Rook's mind, at the risk of driving him insane. Afterward, he left the catatonic Rook in a cell, before deploying his men under Benthic and Edrio to attack an Imperial kyber convoy in Jedha City. In the ensuing firefight, Rebel intelligence Captain Cassian Andor, along with Jyn Erso, were captured: both were on the moon in search of Rook, whom the Rebel Alliance had learned had a message from Galen Erso.
Jyn and Cassian, along with Îmwe and Malbus, who had been caught up in the fighting, were brought to Saw's headquarters in the Catacombs of Cadera. Saw would see only Jyn. He questioned her on why she was there, demanding to know if she was there to kill him. She told him that she was there to ask for the message from her father and when it was given to the Rebel Alliance she would be on her way. Saw asked her why she did not believe in the dream of freedom throughout the galaxy. She told him about how he abandoned her at the age of sixteen and that his war did not mean anything to her. He then showed her the message from her father which revealed the weakness in the Empire's superweapon. However, as they spoke, Grand Moff Wilhuff Tarkin and Orson Krennic had resolved to test-fire the Death Star's superlaser on Jedha, having traced Bodhi there and seeing an opportunity to wipe out Saw's insurgency. A low-power shot wiped out Jedha City in an instant and created a blast wave that spread for kilometers in every direction, threatening the Catacombs. Realizing the threat, Saw released his prisoners, commending Galen's message to Jyn and begging her to save the Rebellion. However, he declared that he would "not run any longer" and remained in the Catacombs. After seeing Jyn's party escape, his last act was to tear off his breath mask before the blast wave consumed the Catacombs, killing him. His last thoughts were for his late sister Steela, and his last word was her name.
- "We call ourselves the Dreamers."
"Dreamers? Azen said you were Saw Gerrera's partisans."
"We can't be him. We're just following in his footsteps. We're keeping alive the Dream. Saw was the face, the voice, of our cause."
- ―Staven and Iden Versio
Shortly after the Battle of Yavin, some remaining partisans regrouped and formed the Dreamers led by Staven and Lux Bonteri. The elite Imperial unit known as Inferno Squad infiltrated the Dreamers at their base of Jeosyn and destroyed them from the inside. Another group of remaining partisans led by Benthic remained on Jedha defending against the Imperials who returned to the moon for more kyber crystals. By the time of the New Republic, some like the Centrist junior senator Ransolm Casterfo remembered Saw Gerrera and his Partisans as violent extremists who represented the worst of the Rebel Alliance. Casterfo cited Saw's actions as evidence of the Alliance's alleged atrocities during a political discussion with the Populist senior senator Leia Organa.
Personality and traits
An impassioned rebel
- "You target civilians, kill those who surrender, break every rule of engagement! If we degrade ourselves to the Empire's level, what will we become?"
"There she is! That's the leader the Rebellion needs! Where is that fire, that passion, when your people need it most? I hope, Senator, after you've lost, and the Empire reigns over the galaxy unopposed, you will find some comfort in the knowledge that you fought according to the rules."
- ―Mon Mothma and Saw Gerrera
In his youth, Saw Gerrera was a hot headed soldier who was eager for leadership. Saw Gerrera had a reputation as an able but ruthless and cunning commander during the Clone Wars and the rebellion against the Galactic Empire. His harsh methods led many to regard him as an unrepentant extremist. Gerrera bore great antipathy towards the Separatists for invading his homeworld Onderon. He also disliked the Geonosians due to their alignment with the Separatists and for building gunships which led to his sister Steela's death. This coupled by the loss of his comrades during a mission on Geonosis led him to brutally interrogate the Geonosian Klik-Klak, much to the discomfort of his former comrade Rex and the Spectres.
Despite his extremism, he did not like being considered a terrorist, since he had a different concept of that word than others. Rather he considered himself a patriot and that resistance was not the same as terrorism.
Despite his antipathy towards the Geonosians, Gerrera was horrified by the Empire's genocide against the species and believed that they had the same right to rebuild as other species. Gerrera's change of heart led him to release Klik-Klak and the Geonosian queen egg he was guarding. Gerrera disagreed with the Jedi's principled tactics and believed that it cost them the Clone Wars. Gerrera also opposed the Empire and was prepared to defeat it through any means necessary. When he met the Padawan Cal Kestis, Saw offered him a place in his rebel group, acknowledging that a Jedi would aid the Partisans in their fight against the Empire. When Kestis refused because he had his own mission, Gerrera said the invitation continued, not giving up on the idea of having Kestis, a Jedi, on the side of the Partisans.
- "I'm not a terrorist. I'm a patriot. And resistance is not terrorism."
- ―Saw Gerrera
Gerrera's aggressive tactics including the killing of prisoners, civilians and violations of the rules of engagement created strife with Mon Mothma, the leader of the Rebel Alliance. Gerrera regarded Mothma as weak and indecisive while Mothma regarded him as a war criminal and terrorist. Gerrera saw potential in Ezra, Sabine, and Chopper as effective soldiers for a mission to discover the Empire's secret superweapon. However, Gerrera's willingness to risk the lives of civilians in this quest strained his partnership with Ezra and Sabine. Ezra, who initially admired Gerrera's ability to acquire intelligence, became disillusioned with his ruthless and aggressive tactics. Gerrera believed that if a planet was lost, then there was no other option but to leave, which put him at odds with fellow Partisan Mari Kosan, who chose to stay with the Wookiees on Kashyyyk.
Gerrera became a mentor to Jyn Erso after she lost her parents to the Empire. He abandoned her at the age of sixteen in order to protect her from other rebels who wanted to use her as a hostage due to her status as Galen Erso's daughter. Gerrera initially did not believe the Imperial defector Bodhi Rook's report that the Empire was building a new superweapon called the Death Star and had him tortured with a Bor Gullet. Despite his estranged relationship with Jyn, Gerrera was still able to inspire her to find the weakness in the Empire's superweapon in order to save the rebellion. Gerrera was unafraid of death and stayed behind when the Empire destroyed the Jedha Holy City.
Ruthless though he was, Gerrera carried several regrets throughout his life. He felt responsible for the death of his sister, Steela. Thus, he vowed to keep up his war against what he saw as evil, no matter what form his enemies took. He felt that he failed his homeworld of Onderon after the Empire rose to power.[source?] Despite justifying his reasons for doing so, he deeply regretted abandoning Jyn Erso and leaving her on her own.
Skills and abilities
- "I will do whatever is required to be the victor."
- ―Saw Gerrera, to Ezra Bridger
As a seasoned veteran of the Clone Wars, Saw Gerrera was a skilled and cunning fighter and commander who learned combative arts from the Jedi; he was skilled in hand-to-hand combat, able to overpower both Ezra and Rex could easily incapacitate both stormtroopers and death troopers. He was also versed in the usage of various melee weaponry including a staff, truncheons, and knives in addition to ranged weaponry. He was proficient in operating a blaster, sniper rifle, and explosives, having used a grenade to destroy several battle droids and later helped the Spectres and Rex to hunt down Klik-Klak.
While an exceptional fighter, Saw's greatest attribute was his intellect and leadership skills as a military tactician, which only improved and sharpened over time. He was an effective military commander who was adept in extracting information and launching hit-and-run raids on the Empire. Contrary to the rest of the rebels however, he was unrestrained by ethical concerns and as a result, willing to do just about anything to bring down his enemies. His torture of Imperial prisoners and willingness to treat civilians as collateral damage strained relations between his group and the Rebel Alliance. Overtime, he also proved to a charismatic leader and mentor to those in the Partisans. As a veteran in the Clone Wars, he was keenly aware of how to battle droids in combat and memorized various models and their weaknesses.
Saw later suffered severe injuries to his lungs and legs which forced him to wear a pressure suit for survival and to walk on prosthetic legs.
Behind the scenes
- "Saw Gerrera is maybe the original rebel. He is the first one in a long line of people that got trained by Jedi to fight for themselves; to save their planets during the Clone Wars. He's the beginning of what would eventually become the Rebel Alliance."
- ―Dave Filoni, on Saw Gerrera
The character of Saw Gerrera was voiced in Star Wars: The Clone Wars and Star Wars: The Bad Batch by Andrew Kishino. Saw Gerrera was played by Forest Whitaker in the 2016 Star Wars Anthology film Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, who returned to voice the character in Star Wars Rebels and Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order. He was originally conceived by Star Wars creator George Lucas for the unproduced live-action television series Star Wars: Underworld. Prior to being officially unveiled, Saw was given the codename "Castro" by various staff involved in the film.[source?]
Accordingly, the character's name is a "mnemonic riff" on real-life Argentinian revolutionary and associate of Castro - Che Guevara as revealed in The Art of Rogue One: A Star Wars Story. Lucasfilm Story Group's Kiri Hart was the one who suggested that the character be used in Rogue One. Another inspiration for Gerrera's character, according to Phil Szostak, was Marlon Brando's Colonel Kurtz from Francis Ford Coppola's 1979 film Apocalypse Now. According to writer Gary Whitta, Forest Whitaker was the only actor they considered to play Gerrera in Rogue One.
- Disney Magic Kingdoms (Mentioned only)