This week’s chapter of The Mandalorian Season 3 is jam-packed with a whole lot of characters, a whole lot of action, and a whole lot of larger plot development — but there’s one guest appearance that’s going to make Star Wars fans freak out like an Anzellan watching a bunch of pirates invade their hometown. We’re talking about the arrival of Zeb Orrelios in live-action.
How did the Star Wars Rebels mainstay appear on The Mandalorian? What does his return signal for the future of the franchise? SPOILERS AHEAD as we break it all down.
Who is Zeb Orrelios on The Mandalorian?
Zeb’s debut comes in “Chapter 21: The Pirate,” during a scene set at a New Republic bar on Adelphi. The scene focuses on pilot Carson Teva (Paul Sun-Hyung Lee) getting a message from Greef Karga (Carl Weathers) alerting him to the pirate siege on Nevarro and asking for help. Enter: Zeb Orrelios, who sits down next to Teva and acts like Nevarro’s fate is a foregone conclusion.
When Teva says he’s going to forward the dispatch to Coruscant, Orrelios points out that Coruscant is swamped with work and they haven’t responded to any message in weeks. Teva decides to fly to Coruscant and alert them to Nevarro’s plight face-to-face, to which Zeb gets to say one of Star Wars’ classic lines: “Good luck… You’re gonna need it.”
Who is Zeb Orrelios?
There’s the straightforward answer: he’s a New Republic pilot and presumably a member of Blue Squadron, considering his uniform. His full name is Garazeb Orrelios, and he’s a Lasat from the planet Lasan.
But if you’ve watched Star Wars Rebels, then you know that Zeb is also a primary member of the Ghost crew whose actions in the run-up to the Battle of Yavin were highly influential in the formation of the Rebel Alliance. His cunning, grit, and extraordinary agility and strength served the crew well in their battles against the Empire. You can stream all four seasons of Star Wars Rebels on Disney+.
Additionally, Zeb Orrelios is voiced once again by Steve Blum. If his voice sounds familiar, that may be because you heard him voicing Wolverine over the past 20 years in various X-Men video games and animated appearances, as well as the animated series Wolverine and the X-Men.
What about those director cameos? Zeb isn’t the only surprise in that bar scene!
Oh, you caught those? Yeah — if you look closely, seated at the bar are Mandalorian directors Deborah Chow, Rick Famuyiwa, and Dave Filoni.
You get a better look at them right before Carson Teva gets his message as the camera sweeps past this trio of pilots.
All three of these characters debuted way back in Season 1 of The Mandalorian, in Chapter 6 to be precise.
What does Zeb Orrelios’ debut mean for Star Wars?
Zeb is but the latest in a long line of animated characters who have made the transition from animation to live-action. The most prominent one has to be Ahsoka Tano, who made her debut played by Rosario Dawson on The Mandalorian. Ahsoka’s getting her own show, which will co-star Natasha Liu Bordizzo as Sabine Wren — who was one of Zeb’s shipmates on the Ghost. With the likely inclusion of fellow Star Wars Rebels character Ezra Bridger on Ahsoka’s upcoming TV series, as well as confirmed appearances from Hera and Chopper, it really feels like Ahsoka is being treated as a new, live-action season of Star Wars Rebels. Zeb’s debut here could mean that he’s being set up to play a role on Ahsoka alongside his buddies Sabine, Hera, Ezra, and Chopper.
Ahsoka does not yet have a premiere date, but new episodes of The Mandalorian will continue to premiere on Wednesdays on Disney+.