Warning: Spoilers ahead for The Mandalorian season three. He was one of the most beloved characters of Star Wars Rebels and fans were delighted by a recent live-action cameo, so was that Zeb in The Mandalorian?
The Mandalorian premiered in 2019. The series is set five years after the events of 1983’s Star Wars: Return of the Jedi and stars Pedro Pascal as Din Djarin, also known as The Mandalorian, a lone bounty hunter who goes on the run to protect the Force-sensitive child, Grogu. The show was nominated for Outstanding Drama Series at the 72nd Primetime Emmy Awards in 2020 and won seven awards at the Primetime Creative Arts Emmy Awards that year. Since then, it’s featured cameos and Easter Eggs that only a true Star Wars fan would appreciate (Ahsoka Tano, Boba-Fett, and Luke Skywalker himself among them!), and Zeb’s appearance is no different.
Was that Zeb in The Mandalorian?
Was that Zeb in The Mandalorian? Yep, it sure was and the actor that voiced him in Star Wars Rebels, Steve Blum, reprised his role. The beloved Star Wars Rebels character made a cameo appearance in season three, episode five, aka Chapter 21: The Pirate and marks the beginning of a potential character arc gearing towards the Ahsoka series which is coming later in 2023.
Here’s how Zeb’s cameo goes down. When the Captain of the New Republic, Carson Teva, goes into a bar to review Greef Karga’s transmission, a member of the Lasat species greets him. It could have been any old Lasat, but fans of Rebels instantly recognized Blum’s iconic voice: it’s Garazeb “Zeb” Orrelios, a former rebel and current New Republic pilot, who takes a seat at the bar, exchanges a few words with Teva about the Nevarro situation before wishing Teva luck on his way out.
Star Wars Rebels was a 2014 animated series co-created and produced by Dave Filoni, who serves as executive producer on The Mandalorian alongside Jon Favreau. The appearance of Zeb could just be nice “hey, I know that guy” fan service, but if you’re familiar with Star Wars lore you’ll know that nothing is just a mere coincidence. Eman Esfandi is set to star in the upcoming Ahsoka series as Ezra Bridger, one of the members who served alongside Zeb in the Rebel Alliance’s war against the Galactic Empire, meaning it may not be the last time we see Zeb and his crewmates. Rosario Dawson will reprise her role as the titular Jedi Ahsoka Tano after her cameo in The Mandalorian season two.
“Ahsoka is a continuous story. It is definitely driving toward a goal, in my mind, as opposed to being little singular adventures,” Filoni told Vanity Fair in May 2022. “That’s what I want the character to be doing, and I think that’s what fans want now. They have such a relationship with her. I’ve only recently started to understand that all those kids that watched Clone Wars are now a lot older—they’re very excited about all the things they grew up with, as they should be.”
Filoni told The Hollywood Reporter about how he’s relishing working on Ahsoka and being a part of the Star Wars universe. “I’m really enjoying it. It’s something that I never thought I would be doing, as much as I’ve done all these different things over the years with Star Wars. Writing and directing and collaborating on this type of thing with so many people is just the top of the mountain for me at this point. There’s a lot of work to be done, but I have an incredibly talented team all around me supporting it. So I’m cautiously optimistic. But the fans will let me know. They always do.”
Favreau confirmed to Variety in February 2023 that he’s already written season four of The Mandalorian and that a lot of the future projects will be interconnected. “Season four, yeah I’ve written it already,” he said. “We have to know where we’re going to tell a fully formed story. We had mapped it out, Dave [Filoni] and I, and slowly you start to write each episode. I was writing it during post-production. All of it has to feel like a continuation and one full story.” He continued: “[Dave’s] doing Ahsoka, which I’m producing with him. He’s the writer and showrunner on that. To understand what’s happening on other shows… Skeleton Crew all take place within the same Star Wars time period. There’s a lot more things that we’ve got to keep in mind and also stuff that we’ve built up to from previous seasons of The Mandalorian as well.”
The Mandalorian is available to stream on Disney Plus. Here’s how to watch it for free.
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