Who was that pilot in The Mandalorian? If you have not watched Rebels yet, you might be a little confused by all the fanfare about the New Republic pilot Zeb in The Mandalorian.
Still, few things cause a stir with Star Wars fans than something from the Rebels animated series appearing in live action. Such was the case this week when the Lasat warrior Zeb made an unexpected appearance as a New Republic pilot in The Mandalorian episode “Chapter 21: The Pirate.”
Here is everything you need to know about the alien pilot that appeared in The Mandalorian Season Three. We look at Zeb’s history and discuss what this could mean for future shows and other characters from Rebels.
Spoiler Warning: This article contains spoilers about The Mandalorian and Rebels and potential spoilers for the forthcoming Ahsoka and Skeleton Crew. To see what you need to watch to learn about this character yourself, skip ahead to the spoiler-free list Zeb watchlist.
Who Is the Alien Pilot in the Mandalorian Season Three?
If you have not seen Star Wars: Rebels, that purple alien pilot might not seem important to the overall Mandalorian story. But the character is actually Zeb, a member of the Spectres rebel group on Lothal in Rebels.
Who Is Zeb in Star Wars Rebels?
Garazeb “Zeb” Orrelios is part of the Spectres rebel cell based on Lothal. Zeb Orrelios is a Lasat, a species known for their strength and honor. Once a member of the Lasat Honor Guard, he is a fearsome warrior. Often the muscle of the Spectre team, he frequently uses his strength and specialized weapon, the AB-75 bo-rifle, to take out Imperials.
Although he often seems gruff or even uncaring, he is fiercely loyal to the rest of the Ghost crew. Despite initially not getting along, he shares a close bond with Ezra Bridger over the Empire’s destruction of both their home worlds.
He also forms an unlikely friendship with Imperial Security Bureau Agent Alexsandr Kallus. Kallus, who had been involved in the genocide on Zeb’s homeworld Lasan, eventually defects to the Rebels due in part to their friendship.
At the end of Rebels, Zeb is still working with the Rebel Alliance to Restore the Republic. The show’s epilogue explains that he and Kallus eventually go to Lira San, the lost home world of the Lasat.
Who Is Zeb in The Mandalorian?
In The Mandalorian episode “Chapter 21: The Pirate,” Garazeb Orrelios is now a New Republic pilot. While his exact role within the is unclear, he appears to be stationed at Adelphi Base with Captain Carson Teva.
The episode deals with Pirate Gorian Shard’s attempted takeover of Nevarro. Zeb Orrelios makes a small cameo as a New Republic pilot on the planet Adelphi. He talks briefly with X-Wing pilot Carson Teva.
Based on what little we have seen on screen so far, the base seems to be home to one or more New Republic starfighter squadrons. Tevo is a member of the Adelphi Rangers, but it is unclear if Zeb is also part of that squadron.
The base is home to at least X-Wing and Y-Wing starfighters, but we have yet to determine what Zeb flies. Other New Public pilots stationed at Adelphi Base with Zeb and Carson include Trapper Wolf, Jib Dodger, and Sash Ketter.
The episode marks Zeb’s first live-action appearance in Star Wars. Some viewers initially questioned whether this character was actually Zeb, but he is listed in the episode’s credits. Voice actor Steve Blum returned to provide Zeb’s distinctive tone.
What Does Zeb’s Appearance in The Mandalorian Mean?
On its own, Zeb’s appearance in The Mandalorian does not necessarily mean anything. With only a few seconds of screen time, Zeb’s appearance could be little more than an Easter egg for long-time Star Wars fans.
However, his appearance is likely a teaser for the upcoming Ahsoka series. With fellow Rebels characters Sabine Wren and Hera Syndullah appearing, most fans expect Zeb to appear in the new series. He could make a small cameo or appear throughout the show.
The Mandalorian Season Three also included another Rebels Easter egg, the puurgil space whales in the episode “Chapter 17: The Apostate.” Fans have long assumed the Ahsoka series would serve as a sort of spiritual sequel to Rebels. While not definitive, this supports that assumption.
Looking beyond Ahsoka, Zeb could also appear in the forthcoming Skeleton Crew. Still expected in 2023, the series takes place around the time of The Mandalorian.
Footage shown during Star Wars Celebration Europe on April 7, 2023, indicated at least one of the pirates would also appear in Skeleton Crew. Carson Teva, Zeb, or other members of the Adelphi Base could pop up as well.
The popular Rebels character could also appear in future seasons of The Mandalorian or the untilted Dave Filoni live-action film announced at Celebration 2023. With the growing Mandalorian universe, Zeb could easily show as anything from an Easter egg to a major role in future projects.
What Do You Need To Watch To Learn About Zeb?
As one of the main characters of Star Wars: Rebels, Zeb appears in most of the series. While not every episode is critical to his character’s development, they all relate to his overall story.
The series is also becoming increasingly important to future Disney+ Star Wars series. While this list does not provide Zeb’s complete, it highlights the most important parts of his character and story.
Star Wars: Rebels takes place from 5 BBY to 0 BBY, starting five years before the Original Trilogy and leading up to shortly before the events of A New Hope.
Rebels – “Entanglement” (Short #3)
One of the original Rebels shorts released before the series debuted, it establishes Zeb as the muscle of the Ghost crew. It highlights his tendency to get into fights and his interest in smashing Stormtroopers.
Rebels – “Droids in Distress” (Season 1, Episode 3)
“Droids in Distress” gives a rough backstory for both Zeb and the Lasat species. The episode explains that the Empire destroyed his homeworld of Lasan, with Zeb thinking he is the last Lasat. It also establishes the conflict between Zeb and ISB Agent Kallus.
Rebels – “Fighter Flight” (Season 1, Episode 4)
With Zeb and Ezra sent on a mission to find meiloorun fruit, the episode focuses on their relationship. Despite a rocky start, the two must work together to escape the Empire. “Fighter Flight” also shows Zeb’s intelligence and quick thinking, learning to pilot a TIE Fighter in mere minutes.
Rebels – “Always Two There Are” (Season 2, Episode 5)
“Always Two There Are” showcases Zeb’s strategy, skill, and strength, even in the face of lightsaber-wielding, Force-sensitive Inquisitors. The episode also shows his loyalty to his fellow Spectres and his unwillingness to give up.
Rebels – “Legends of the Lasat” (Season 2, Episode 14)
“Legends of the Lasat” provides essential background about Zeb’s character. After rescuing two Lasat, they reveal that Zeb was once part of the Lasan High Honor Guard. The episode then goes deeper into the history of the Lasat and the possibility of a future for their species.
Rebels – “The Honorable Ones” (Season 2, Episode 17)
Zeb and Agent Kallus find themselves stranded on Bahryn, the icy moon of Geonosis. The two enemies must work together to survive. Unexpectedly, they develop a level of trust and even respect before being rescued.
This episode establishes Agent Kallus’ arc for the rest of Star Wars: Rebels. While not directly related to Zeb, you may also want to watch “The Antilles Extraction” (Season 3, Episode 4) and “An Inside Man” (Season 3, Episode 10) to continue Agent Kallus’ story.
Rebels – “Warhead” (Season 3, Episode 14)
Zeb shows off his leadership and strategy skills in an attempt to prevent the Empire from finding their Rebel base. Working with both Chopper and AP-5, he must defend against an Imperial droid.
Imperial Agent Kallus is also briefly involved in this episode. For more on his story, consider watching “Through Imperial Eyes” (Season 3, Episode 17) and “Zero Hour” parts one and two (Season 3, Episodes 21 & 22).
Spoiler-Free Zeb Watchlist
Here are the most important Star Wars: Rebels episodes related to Zeb:
- Rebels – Short #3 “Entanglement”
- Rebels – Season 1 Episode 3 “Droids in Distress”
- Rebels – Season 1 Episode 4 “Fighter Flight”
- Rebels – Season 2 Episode 5 “Always Two There Are”
- Rebels – Season 2 Episode 14 “Legends of the Lasat”
- Rebels – Season 2 Episode 17 “The Honorable Ones”
- Rebels – Season 3 Episode 14 “Warhead”
Rooks is an SEO strategist, writer, and content editor that occasionally masquerades as a designer, photographer, and cook.
A lifelong Star Wars geek, his earliest memories are playing with Kenner action figures while watching the Original Trilogy on VHS. Aside from keeping up with the latest Star Wars movies, shows, books, and comics, he enjoys living out his own Star Wars story at Galaxy’s Edge East.
Aside from Star Wars, his fandoms include the MCU, Harry Potter, Battlestar Galactica, and the Lord of the Rings. Other hobbies include traveling, craft brewing, and beat-matching.
Rooks is passionate about cooking and loves discussing and occasionally writing about food, beer, and cocktails. You can usually find him hamming out words at a local coffee shop or brewery, eating around Orlando with his wife, and doing anything to avoid folding the laundry.