Saw Gerrera and THAT Decision He Made in Rogue One

Rogue One saw Jyn's adoptive father/guardian Saw Gerrera voluntarily stay behind to die while his base on Jedha crumbled as the city of Jedha was destroyed the by test blast of the now-operational Death Star.

Why did he do this? Why did a man so apparently dedicated to bringing down the Empire simply stand back and literally let his world cave in on him? It's simply not clear about his reasons but we can certainly take a guess or two.

We first wonder if, as a big believer in the Force, he believed he was going to a better place. It's kind of like how Obi-Wan Kenobi let Darth Vader strike him down with a mortal blow – except, in that instance, Obi-Wan Kenobi knew during his encounter with Vader that he would be able to become a Force ghost and be able to guide Luke through his mission.

If it was to be some kind of Obi-Wan zen-type moment, director Gareth Edwards has failed to convince the viewer this is the case.

Saw had been a guerrilla fighter for many years. It seemed that he was still in this mode right up until the point he came face to face with Jyn. He was clearly actively engaged as a guerrilla prior to that point – that's why Galen Erso sent defector Bodhi Rook to him with his hologram message to get to Jyn.

saw Gerrera forest whitaker rogue one
Image Courtesy of Lucasfilm

So, based on that, Saw's head was still in the game and he was still a resistance fighter – until the devil in the sky came to town and blew it up.

At one point, he asks if Jyn is here to kill him as if the whole Bodhi defection was one long ruse for Jyn to kill him as part of some revenge plot for abandoning her some years before. He questions this as there was not “much of him left” to take. He's in a suit that actually appears to be holding him together and it acts as some kind of breathing apparatus like Darth Vader.

Maybe, he's tired of life, maybe he's tired of something. He's certainly not going to learn how to make beer anytime soon.

However, the Star Wars Database makes it very clear that his ill health does not affect his will to fight:

“Saw’s ailing health has not withered his resolve to fight.”

So why is it when his world is falling about that he decides to end his life? Surely he could still have helped Jyn in some way?
If he was too ill to fight he could have given tactical advice. He could have continued to serve as a facilitator of knowledge in the murky world in which he was involved. He could have gone out in a blaze of glory.

We may not ever know but, in some ways, this end to Saw Gerrera renders his character a bit of a waste in the context of the movie. He didn't really serve too much of a purpose other than rescuing Jyn at the beginning of the movie, some 15 years in the timeline before.

Why bring in a fine actor such as Forest Whitaker to play this supposed badass character just for him to opt-out at the moment when he was needed the most, just when he was presented with his best-ever chance to make a real difference in his fight against the Emperor?
Why did he want to give up his dream that he initially wanted to save so badly? We honestly have absolutely no idea. He could have simply retired and spent his credits watching Twileks like Oola dance the night away.
This article was produced and syndicated by Wealth of Geeks.