‘Star Wars Rebels’ Season 3 Trailer Continues ‘Rogue One’s Saw Gerrera Deception

saw gerrera rogue one a star wars story
Saw Gerrera in 'Rogue One: A Star Wars Story.' (c) Disney

Much was lost in bringing Saw Gerrera to the big screen in Rogue One: A Star Wars Story.

Gerrera — an anti-Imperial extremist too violent for the Rebel Alliance — was first introduced in the Star Wars: The Clone Wars series, but it was his domineering presence in the Rogue One: A Star Wars Story marketing and trailers that first indicated just how important the character would be to the early Rebel Alliance and the eventual destruction of the Death Star in the original Star Wars.

Then Rogue One came out, revealing a radically altered movie (our review) missing a significant amount of the trailer footage. But while the changes may have made for one of the most memorable Star Wars endings — a sprawling space and infantry battle on and above the Imperial installation on Scarif — it was obvious that Saw Gerrera (Forest Whitaker) got the short end of the stick. Entire monologues were excised. Whitaker’s different haircuts suggest that an entire other time period had originally been featured prominently in Rogue One — likely flashbacks to Jyn Erso’s (Felicity Jones) young adulthood with Gerrera’s terrorist faction. We were left with a fraction of a character; an old warhorse whose main contribution is to subject Bodhi to the Bor gullet before allowing himself to be killed. Gerrera’s story felt half-told, like we were seeing the end of something with no beginning.

But stuff gets cut from movies all the time. Everyone knew Rogue One was going through major changes and reshoots. Surely, there was no intentional distortion made by the marketing team to sell us on a narrative that no longer existed...

What happens is marketing love those shots, and go, ‘oh, we've got to use that.’ And you say, ‘well, it's not in the movie.’ And they say, ‘it's okay, it's what marketing does, we just use the best of whatever you've done.’ And so there's lots of little things, but towards the end you go, ‘I know that's not in the film, but the spirit of it's in the film.’"

Oh. That’s Rogue One director Gareth Edwards talking to Empire.

What’s even more bizarre is that Saw Gerrera’s return in Star Wars Rebels Season 3 continues to use footage from scenes that no longer exist:

With all this wonderful dialogue performed by the Academy Award-winning Forest Whitaker, who could resist? It’s not often an opportunity presents itself to market a kids’ cartoon with star power of this calibre.

And, honestly, who cares if they’re treating unused footage as actual Star Wars material? Still, there will always be something a little strange about free-floating powerful, non-canonical lines, like character information received from an alternate dimension. It will forever be a bit of a shame that we’ll never know this line in context:

“What will you do when they catch you? What will you do when they break you? If you continue to fight… what will you become?”

It could have been a powerful expansion to our understanding of a weak character.

But now it’s just marketing.

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