Forest Whitaker’s Rogue One Character Hails From The Clone Wars

It’s been a busy day in the Rogue One camp. Fresh from unveiling its new weekly cover along with individual character bios for the movie’s leading cast, Entertainment Weekly has lifted the lid on one mystery that has remained under lock and key all throughout production: the identity of Forest Whitaker’s character.

That’s Saw Gerrera, a Rebel extremist who first appeared in season 5 of The Clone Wars. Originally voiced by Andrew Kishino, Gerrera is a freedom fighter with a storied history that spans all across the galaxy, once fighting alongside an Anakin Skywalker on the verge of his transformation to the Dark Side. Could this lend context to Darth Vader’s appearance in Rogue One: A Star Wars Story?

Who knows. For now, what we do understand is that Disney and Lucasfilm have tweaked Whitaker’s character design to honor Saw Gerrera’s Star Wars lineage, including facial scars and a world-weary outlook on the stars. This is, after all, a man that has witnessed an Empire reach the height of its power before his very eyes, and in his desperation, Saw Gerrera tends to do the unthinkable if it means aiding the Rebel plight.

Here’s what Lucasfilm president Kathleen Kennedy had to share on Whitaker’s veteran: “Consider him kind of a battered veteran who leads a band of Rebel extremists. He’s on the fringe of the Rebel Alliance. Even [they] are a little concerned about him.”

Rounding out the principal lineup are Captain Cassian Andor (Diego Luna), billed as a “by-the-book Rebel intelligence officer” who is essentially ushered in by the Rebel Alliance to “steady the volatile Erso.” Donnie Yen, meanwhile, is Chirrut Imwe, a blind but formidable warrior who takes a stand against the Empire in the absence of the elusive Jedi.

Rogue One also features Baze Malbus (Jiang Wen), Rebel fighter Bodhi Rook (Riz Ahmed), Alan Tudyk’s droid K-2SO – described as “the antithesis of C-3PO” – Imperial leader Orson Krennic (Ben Mendelsohn) and, finally, Galen Erso (Mads Mikkelsen) as the wanted father of Felicity Jones’ heroine, Jyn Erso.

Rogue One: A Star Wars Story will blast into theaters on December 16.