You have seen Rebel extremist Saw Gerrera in Rogue One, a man twisted and scarred by a lifetime of resistance against occupying forces. You likely remember Geonosis, a central location in Star Wars: Attack of the Clones, the first battle of the Clone Wars and later the construction site of the gargantuan Death Star.
Who was Saw Gerrera and why was Geonosis so important? You could look up the answers on Wookieepedia, but you have a better option. Enjoy the stories of Saw and Geonosis as they were told on the big and small screens.
Saw Gerrera began as a character created by George Lucas for the unproduced live action television series that has been referred to as Star Wars: Underworld. While a premiere TV movie was written along with a full season of episodes, production costs and technological limitations forced Lucas to shelve this project until a later date. Saw’s debut came in the first full story arc of season five of Star Wars: The Clone Wars in the episode “A War on Two Fronts,” along with his sister Steela who was the leader of a group of rebels on Onderon. He received training and assistance from Obi-Wan, Anakin, Ahsoka, and Rex. Saw would return to Star Wars canon with a mention in the season two Star Wars Rebels episode “The Honorable Ones” and play a pivotal role in James Luceno’s recent novel Catalyst (which is a prequel story to Rogue One).
Geonosis doesn’t look like much–a rust-red planet full of sand and bugs. But beginning in Attack of the Clones it is revealed that these bugs and their leader, Archduke Poggle the Lesser, would play a pivotal role in galactic events in both the Clone Wars and the Galactic Civil War. As early developers of the Death Star project, the Geonosians gave the plans to Count Dooku to give to his master Darth Sidious. We return to Geonosis in The Clone Wars in a series of season two episodes, “Landing at Point Rain,” “Weapons Factory,” and “Legacy of Terror” which give us a closer look at Poggle, Geonosis, the danger of their construction ability and the revelation that the true power lies with the Geonosian Queen.
The story of Geonosis continues in the novels Tarkin and Catalyst, both by James Luceno, by which development of and construction of the Death Star are central to the plots of those books. We return to Geonosis in the previously mentioned Star Wars Rebels episode, “The Honorable Ones” which goes into details about the Sterilization of Geonosis which was later explored in-depth in Marvel Comics’ Darth Vader #4.
While reading Tarkin, Catalyst, and Darth Vader #4 would provide even greater context, most of the key points to understanding Geonosis and Saw are covered in the television and film content, so if you haven’t read them yet and don’t have the additional time to do so before Saturday, not to worry.
Here is my suggesting viewing guide with descriptions from Starwars.com in the order of which they should be viewed to prepare you for Star Wars Rebels: Ghosts of Geonosis Part 1 & 2:
Ten years after the invasion of Naboo, the galaxy is on the brink of civil war. Under the leadership of a renegade Jedi named Count Dooku, thousands of solar systems threaten to break away from the Galactic Republic. When an assassination attempt is made on Senator Padmé Amidala, the former Queen of Naboo, 20-year-old Jedi apprentice Anakin Skywalker is assigned to protect her. In the course of his mission, Anakin discovers his love for Padmé as well as his own darker side. Soon, Anakin, Padmé, and Obi-Wan Kenobi are drawn into the heart of the Separatist movement and the beginning of the Clone Wars.
“BELIEVE IN YOURSELF OR NO ONE ELSE WILL.”
Anakin, Obi-Wan, and Ki-Adi-Mundi lead an invasion to stop Poggle the Lesser and the Geonosians from rebuilding their droid army. Things go terribly awry when Geonosian forces shoot down the Republic ships, which crash off-course. Under mounting pressure to accomplish their mission, Anakin, Obi-Wan, and Ki-Adi-Mundi each have their own set of challenges to overcome–hordes of enemy troops, deadly traps, unforgiving terrain, and a massive energy shield.
“NO GIFT IS MORE PRECIOUS THAN TRUST.”
Anakin, Ahsoka, Luminara Unduli and her Padawan, Barriss Offee, lead a mission to destroy a droid factory on Geonosis. But Poggle the Lesser has other plans as he deploys his newest weapon, the indestructible super tanks. Desperate to accomplish their mission before the foundry comes online, the Jedi devise a daring plan in which Anakin and Luminara will act as decoys, diverting the super tanks, while Ahsoka and Barriss infiltrate the plant via a labyrinth of catacombs beneath the city. The plan is risky. The stakes are high. It’s their only option, but are the Padawans up to the challenge?
“SOMETIMES, ACCEPTING HELP IS HARDER THAN OFFERING IT.”
After a battle to destroy a new droid factory on Geonosis, Jedi Master Luminara Unduli disappears while tracking Poggle the Lesser. Obi-Wan and Anakin lead a platoon of clone troopers in search of her. Following her trail, our heroes descend deep into the lair of Karina the Great. To their horror, they learn that the hive is alive and teeming with undead defenders. Apparently, Karina can reanimate and control her subjects. Will Obi-Wan and Anakin overcome Karina’s undead horde and find Luminara before it’s too late?
FEAR IS A MALLEABLE WEAPON.”
Anakin, Obi-Wan, Ahsoka, and Rex travel to Onderon, a world under Separatist control. There, they will train a group of insurgent rebels–including Lux Bonteri–to help take back the capital city of Iziz from the rule of a duplicitous king.
6. Star Wars: The Clone Wars: Front Runners (S5E3)
“TO SEEK SOMETHING IS TO BELIEVE IN ITS POSSIBILITY.”
Supervised by Ahsoka, the Onderon rebels infiltrate the capital and carry out a series of strikes on targets throughout the city. As the Separatist-aligned king comes under increasing pressure to deal with the growing rebellion, the rebels choose a new leader.
7. Star Wars: The Clone Wars: The Soft War (S5E4)
“STRUGGLES OFTEN BEGIN AND END WITH THE TRUTH.”
After a rebel attempt to rescue Onderon’s true king, Ramsis Dendup, an unexpected ally steps forward to halt Dendup’s execution and aid the rebel cause.
“DISOBEDIENCE IS A DEMAND FOR CHANGE.”
As a full-scale revolt embroils Onderon, the rebels strike a decisive blow against the planet’s Separatist-aligned king. Unfortunately for the rebels, such victory comes at a high price.
9. Star Wars Rebels: The Honorable Ones (S2E15)
Zeb and Agent Kallus find themselves stranded on an icy moon of Geonosis after a failed Imperial ambush of the rebels. Bitter enemies, they must put aside their differences and work together in order to survive.
Attack of the Clones is two hours and 22 minutes and each of the television episodes runs 22 minutes. So plan wisely: set aside five hours and 18 minutes this week and get ready for Rebels to return on Saturday. This content is available in multiple ways, in both digital and physical media. Attack of the Clones is available on Blu-ray in addition to being available for purchase digitally. Star Wars: The Clone Wars is available on Blu-ray and DVD in addition to being available in the U.S. on Netflix streaming. Star Wars Rebels is available on Blu-ray and DVD as well as available on multiple digital platforms for purchase.
Take some time this week and follow the history of Geonosis and the path of Saw Gerrera and how they both collide with the crew of the Ghost in Star Wars Rebels: “Ghosts of Geonosis” this Saturday at 8:30 PM.