The Mandalorian: Zeb Orrelios' Surprise Return Explained

By Nathan Johnson Updated:
Star Wars Rebels main characters poster, The Mandalorian logo

A major character from the animated Star Wars Rebels series made their live-action debut in Season 3, Episode 5 of The Mandalorian.

The big names of Star Wars Rebels continue to be slowly making their way from animation into live-action.

The Mandalorian already started this trend when it introduced Rosario Dawson's Ahsoka Tano into the fold, as well as the live-action version of Katee Sackhoff's Bo-Katan Kryze.

The upcoming Ahsoka series on Disney+ is already confirmed to feature live-action versions of Sabine Wren, Hera Syndulla, Ezra Bridger, and Grand Admiral Thrawn, and that's far from all that's in store.

Warning - the rest of this article contains spoilers for Season 3, Episode 5 of The Mandalorian.

Zeb Orrelios Appears in The Mandalorian

In Chapter 21 of The Mandalorian, Garazeb Orrelios, better known as Zeb in Star Wars Rebels, made his live-action debut.

Garazeb Orrelios, The Mandalorian
The Mandalorian

The character appeared early on in the episode in a saloon on a New Republic base when he talked with Paul Sun-Hyung Lee's Carson Teva.

Garazeb Orrelios, The Mandalorian
The Mandalorian

The credits of the episode confirmed that Zeb was played by Steve Blum, the actor that voiced the Lasat in Rebels.

Garazeb Orrelios, Star Wars Rebels
Star Wars Rebels

This episode also confirmed that, following Rebels, Zeb joined the ranks of the New Republic. Before this appearance, he was last seen in the Rebels epilogue with Agent Kallus as they traveled to Lira San.

With Zeb's return in The Mandalorian, could this be a sign of a bigger comeback down the road?

Zeb's Live-Action Future in Star Wars

Star Wars Rebels continues to make its mark in the current Disney+ shows.

After it was confirmed that Hera Syndulla and Sabine Wren would be a part of the upcoming Ahsoka series, many fans wondered if Zeb would be tagging along as well to bring the whole gang back from Rebels.

This episode of The Mandalorian confirms that Zeb is still active in the big picture. Before the reign of the Empire, the character served in the Lasan Honor Guard and then joined the Ghost crew to eventually help kick off the rebellion.

While many fans will likely be pleased to see him still in action and making his mark as a member of the New Republic forces, that may mean those priorities will keep him from reuniting with his friends in Ahsoka.

However, due to how close Zeb was with the entire crew, specifically Ezra Bridger, it wouldn't be a stretch to theorize that he will find some way out of his duties for a while to rescue someone he basically considers family. Ahsoka is also rumored to be re-visiting the time period before Star Wars Rebels' epilogue, potentially allowing for an appearance there.

It would also be odd if Lucasfilm decided to fully create a bespoke CGI model only to use him in live-action as a 30-second cameo in The Mandalorian.

The studio could have inserted a number of other characters in that position if it only wanted to get fans excited over a cameo, making the chances of him showing up again even more likely. 

Marvel used a strategy of including Tim Roth's Abomination in Shang-Chi and the Ten Rings, which allowed She-Hulk to reuse the model in their show. Star Wars may be taking a similar approach by spreading the cost of a Zeb model over a few shows to better justify its creation.

At the end of the day, Zeb's appearance seems to be more of a message to fans that he is still out there, and that the character can work in live-action.

After this episode, the likelihood of him appearing in Ahsoka is higher than it has ever been, and many fans will now expect to see the Lasat in the upcoming show.

Chapter 21 of The Mandalorian is available to stream on Disney+.

- About The Author: Nathan Johnson
Nathan is a writer at The Direct where he covers Star Wars, the MCU, and DC news. He joined The Direct in April 2021 and currently writes news and feature articles about all three brands mentioned above, but his main specialty is his knowledge about anything and everything Star Wars.