Forest Whitaker’s Star Wars character, Saw Gerrera, has had a long and strange career—even for someone who lives in a collected universe that regularly sloughs off character canon like it’s a Hutt molting its skin. (Do Hutts molt? Nobody tell us.) Originally conceived for George Lucas’ never-realized TV show Underworld way back in 2005, Gerrera is best known to most audiences for Whitaker’s portrayal of him in 2016's Rogue One, where he represents the extremist edge of the Rebellion, one of the few Rebel characters who’s ever represented as anything other than stalwart, honorable, and true. (That is, he’s prepared to blow up anyone, and anything, if it means taking the Empire down.) But the character has actually popped up all over the place in Star Wars material covering the period between the Clone Wars and his death right before the destruction of the first Death Star, sometimes played by Whitaker—including in the animated Rebels, and the recent video game Jedi Order—and sometimes voiced by Andrew Kashino, as in Disney+’s current The Bad Batch.
Well, we can now add another Whitaker role to the Gerrera pile, as Collider reports that the Oscar winner has apparently signed on to appear in Andor, the Rogue One prequel series centered on Diego Luna’s Cassian Andor. Specifically, Playlist notes an interview that series co-star Stellan Skarsgård gave to a Swedish radio station recently, reporting that he’d filmed a scene with Whitaker on the series. (Was he supposed to say this? Was he counting on Swedish to protect him? Who can say.)
It’s an exciting idea, certainly, especially since Gerrera—named, officially or not, so as to evoke the obviously memory of Che Guevara—is a powerful symbol for the moral ambiguity that Rogue One injected into the Star Wars universe, forcing the audience to ask themselves questions about what lines can be crossed in pursuit of defeating a giant, obviously evil Empire and their large planet-destroying space machines. Whitaker lent the character an air of both integrity and fanaticism in his on-screen appearances; seeing him return to the part for a younger live-action take on Gerrera’s unflinching idealism should be fascinating to see.
Andor was created by Rogue One screenwriter Tony Gilroy; it’s currently set for a 2022 release.