You never know who's going to show up on The Mandalorian. In previous seasons we've had appearances by original trilogy individuals such as Boba Fett, R2-D2, Luke Skywalker, and Bib Fortuna. We've even seen animated characters come to live action including Ahsoka Tano and Bo-Katan Kryze.
Coming on the heels of last week's flashback featuring Jedi Master Kelleran Beq, 'Chapter 21: The Pirate,' has a quick cameo of another familiar face.Slight spoilers for The Mandalorian Season 3 Episode 5 below.
While New Republic pilot Captain Carson Teva is stationed on the Adelphi outpost, he receives a distress call regarding a pirate attack from the leader of Nevarro (and friend of our favorite Mandalorian), High Magistrate Greef Karga. While Teva plays the message, a hulking alien walks over and shares his thoughts on the situation. Fans of Star Wars Rebels might recognize this alien's face and voice as Garazeb "Zeb" Orrelios.
Like Ahsoka and Bo-Katan, Zeb is another Star Wars animated character to receive the live action treatment. Let's learn more about the former member of the Spectres rebel cell and what his presence could mean for the live action Star Wars universe moving forward.
Who is Zeb Orrelios?
Zeb Orrelios is a male member of the Lasat, a humanoid sentient species from the planet Lasan. On his home world, he was a captain of the High Honor Guard, a revered military group in charge of protecting the royal family. When the Empire attacked the planet nearly wiping out all of his people, he was left emotionally scarred and with a bitter resentment towards the Imperials.
We first met Zeb in the series premiere of Star Wars Rebels as a member of the Spectres, a small rebel cell that predominantly operated on the planet of Lothal. They participated in multiple missions and raids against the Empire. Orrelios served as the group's muscle and used the codename Spectre-4.
It seems that following the fall of the Empire, Zeb stayed with the military and moved from the Rebel Alliance to the New Republic. He would be stationed at the Adelphi base where we see him with Captain Teva.
What are Zeb Orrelios's powers?
Similar to other Lasats, Zeb possesses strength, agility, and reflexes vastly superior to most humans. His muscular legs and digitigrade locomotion give him both great jumping ability and speed, while his finger pads and prehensile toes make him an adept climber. In addition, his large eyes and ears provide enhanced sight and hearing.
Due to his training as a High Honor Guard, he is a skilled fighter both in hand-to-hand combat and as a marksman. He also specializes in the Guard's traditional weapon the Bo-Rifle, which functions as a blaster rifle and electrostaff used in melees.
Orrelios also proved to be an efficient pilot who taught himself to fly an Imperial TIE fighter without any formal training. He must have continued improving his pilot skills because he eventually became one of the New Republic fighter pilots on Adelphi.
Who are Zeb Orrelios's Allies?
Zeb's biggest allies and friends were his fellow teammates from the Spectres that we saw in Star Wars Rebels. They were also known as the Ghost crew due to the name of the ship they used as their mobile headquarters. The Ghost crew were led by the Jedi Knight, Kanan Jarrus, who managed to survive Order 66. Other members include Hera Syndulla, the Twi'lek owner and pilot of the Ghost, Sabine Wren, a former Imperial cadet and Mandalorian who specialized in demolitions, Ezra Bridger, a Lothal orphan who became a Jedi apprentice under Jarrus, and Chopper, the groups astromech droid.
One of the more engaging storylines from Star Wars Rebels is the friendship between Orrelios and Agent Alexsandr Kallus. Kallus was first introduced as a captain of the Imperial Security Bureau and antagonist to the Spectres. At times he found himself in situations where he and Zeb relied on each other to survive, developing a kinship with his enemy. Eventually, the Imperial would become a spy feeding intel to the Rebellion. After the fall of the Empire, the bond between the pair grew so strong, that Zeb brought Kallus to the ancient home of the Lasat on the planet Lira San to show how Zeb's species still flourished.
Who plays Zeb Orrelios?
Steve Blum originally voiced Zeb in Star Wars Rebels and returns to the role in The Mandalorian. He is a veteran voice actor who began his career in animation in 1992. He has worked in numerous fan-favorite roles from Spike Spiegel in Cowboy Bebop to Wolverine in several Marvel productions to multiple Transformers. Blum also has performed extensive voice work in video games, even being rewarded the Guinness World Record for most prolific video game voice actor in June of 2012. At that point he had 261 credited appearances, but that number has continued to grow.
What role will Zeb Orrelios play in the future of Star Wars?
So far, Zeb's appearance is a nice Easter egg for fans who've been following along closely with the Star Wars Universe. However, that doesn't stop people from speculating-- particularly about the upcoming Ahsoka series. From the little hints and clues from the other Star Wars shows and news from reports, it seems like the plot will involve some loose threads from Star Wars Rebels.
The end of the Star Wars Rebels animated series saw Ezra Bridger direct a pod of whale-like creatures known as purrgil to destroy Grand Admiral Thrawn's fleet and pull Thrawn's Star Destroyer, Chimaera, into deep space with the Jedi padawan still onboard. When Ahsoka made her live action debut in 'Chapter 13: The Jedi' of The Mandalorian, she confronts Imperial Magistrate Morgan Elsbeth for information on Thrawn's whereabouts. Perhaps she's still searching for her missing friend.
Then came news of casting for Ahsoka with Natasha Liu Bordizzo playing Sabine Wren and Eman Esfandi playing Ezra. From the Star Wars Celebration panel in 2022, we learned that Chopper would be involved, and the Ahsoka exclusive first look also teased Hera Syndulla.
All that was left was for Zeb to appear for a complete Spectres reunion of the remaining members. Here he is live in the CGI-purple flesh. So far, The Mandalorian has already been planting seeds for Ezra's rescue with Ahsoka's subplots and even having Grogu cross paths with some purrgil in the season three premiere. It would be a little silly if Zeb didn't crossover to the Ahsoka series to help bring his little brother back.