Saw Gerrera had an interesting character development when he made the jump from Clone Wars to Rogue One. While the young man wasn’t the most stable person during the Onderon arc, Saw clearly had his mind in order while working with the Jedi to liberate his planet. Then in Rogue One, Saw is clearly paranoid and distrusts everyone, including his own surrogate daughter Jyn Erso. It was a bit of a jarring transition. I mean sure, after the death of his sister Steela, I could see how Saw could possibly go off the rails and completely lose his mind. But starting with the beginning of his story to jumping to the end of it, there felt like an entire middle journey of how he got to that unhinged portrayal was missing.
Luckily, every time we’ve gotten Saw on screen, that has shaded in more and more. It’s happened in Star Wars Rebels, The Bad Batch, Jedi: Fallen Order, and now again in Andor in the episode “Daughter of Ferrix.”
Andor does a great job showcasing how and why Saw slowly develops into the paranoid person he is in Rogue One. Everyone in the Rebellion is still separated during this time period. Each group has its own agenda despite Luthen’s attempts to pull them into a unified force. Certain plans start falling apart which forces Luthen to share that if Saw goes to help out another rebel, Anto Kreegyr, Saw will be killed. Luthen is aware that Kreegyr is walking into a trap and is willing to let him die to protect other assets. This doesn’t sit right with Saw, realizing how easily Luthen can cast people’s lives to the side. It leads to a spiral of paranoia as Saw accuses Luthen of being an ISB member.
And what does Luthen do? He calmly tells Saw that his own right-hand man, Benthic “Two Tubes,” is working for him as a spy. Benthic is immediately aghast, denying the claims. Luthen continues to spin that he has had spies with Saw this entire time. Of course, this is all a ploy to distract Saw long enough to pull a blaster on him to refocus their conversation.
But the look in Saw’s eyes says it all. Even though Luthen lied to him through that spiel, the idea is already planted. Maybe it’s not Two Tubes that is the spy, but from then on, Saw has every reason to wonder if Luthen is watching and listening. If someone new joins the Partisans, Saw will question if they’re there for the cause or to spy on him. Did he think this about Jyn Erso too? Of her father Galen? It’s a deep cut to him mentally and one that clearly plagues him until his demise.
The problem of the rebels at this time is they distrust each other. Clearly, Luthen’s tactics are not helping. It’s this kind of behavior that pushes Saw down the path to being who he is in Rogue One. Andor’s “Daughter of Ferrix” was a wonderful example of shading in how he got there.
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