Saw makes his live-action debut in the Star Wars Anthology film, Rogue One. He first appears to help save a young Jyn Erso after her father Galen was taken to the Empire to help construct the Death Star. Somewhere after he was severely wounded and became partially mad. He based himself on Jedha, causing trouble for the Empire who were transporting Kyber crystals from the planet to construct the Death Star.
He interrogates the Imperial defector Bodhi Rook, suspecting him of lying and subjects him to torture from a bor gullet. After Jyn, Cassian, Baze and Chirrut are taken to his base, he tells Jyn and shows her a message from her father about a flaw on the Death Star. Later, when the Death Star fired at Jedha, Saw let himself die without even trying to flee.
Saw was a rebel on the planet Onderon, that fell under the sway of the Separatists after the rightful king Ramsis Dendup was dethroned by Sanjay Rash who sold his planet to Dooku in exchange for the Onderon throne.
Saw, his sister Steela, and their friend Lux Bonteri formed a ragtag group of rebels. But their inexperience led them to petition the Jedi Order for help. Due to circumstances, the Jedi Council couldn't "officially" aid the Onderon rebels since their "king" had allied their planet with the Separatists. Saw and Lux argued their king wasn't the rightful king and a traitor, so the Jedi decided to instead send Obi-Wan Kenobi, Anakin Skywalker, Ahsoka Tano, and Captain Rex to train the Onderon Rebels to be able to fight and liberate their planet themselves.
After receiving training and some real fighting experience, the Onderon Rebels moved their operations into the capitol, where they began their work in fighting against the Separatist battle droids patrolling the streets, gaining the support of the civilians, and dealing blow after blow to the false king's rule.
To Saw's disappointment, his sister Steela was elected leader of the Onderon Rebels over him, but he quickly accepted it and gladly followed her lead. But when King Dendup was announced to be publicly executed, Saw snuck into the palace in an attempt to free Dendup, only to be captured himself. He was interrogated first by a Super-Tactical Command Droid, Kyloni, before the Onderon General tried to sway Saw to surrender his allies but Saw refused, declaring himself a patriot and supporter of the true king, which caused the General to realize he was on the wrong side.
When the execution began, the Rebels struck in an attempt to save Dendup and Saw and were almost captured, only for the General to switch to their side and aid them and Dendup in their escape.
The Batte Droids soon descended upon the Rebels' secret base in the wilds, but thanks to a transaction between Anakin and Hondo Ohnaka, they gained new weapons to destroy the Separatists' newest war machines. During the battle, Saw shot one of these war machines down, which caused it to crash near Dendup, Steela, Ahsoka, and Lux.
Ahsoka managed to save King Dendup but as she used the Force to try and save Steela, the war-machine shot her shoulder, only grazing her, but made her lose concentration, and Steela fell to her death.
Saw blamed himself for shooting the machine down and causing his sister's death, and even after Onderon was liberated and Steela's bravery and sacrifice were honored at her funeral Saw mourned for his sister, and appeared unable to forgive himself.
- Saw Gerrera first appeared in the animated television series Star Wars: The Clone Wars, voiced by Andrew Kishino.
- The Art of Rogue One: A Star Wars Story revealed that his name was derived from the Argentine Marxist revolutionary Che Guevara.
- As time passed, Saw became more brutal and paranoid in his methods.