With Sabine Wren, Hera Syndulla, Chopper, and Ezra Bridger confirmed to be in the Ahsoka series, Star Wars Rebels‘ Ghost crew is about to have a major reunion. Ahsoka merchandise points to Jacen Syndulla being in the series as well. That just leaves Kanan Jarrus, who tragically died in Rebels, and Garazeb “Zeb” Orrelios.
Zeb survived the events in Rebels and actually made his live-action debut before Sabine, Hera, or Ezra when he appeared in The Mandalorian season 3. “Chapter 21: The Pirate” shows Zeb on the planet Adelphi. Zeb is revealed to be a member of the New Republic’s Adelphi Rangers.
He expresses his disappointment at hearing Greef Karga’s transmission about Nevarro being overrun by pirates, as he had believed Nevarro would make it. When Adelphi leader Carson Teva decides to go to Coruscant to try and convince the New Republic to aid Nevarro, Zeb wishes him luck.
Between Steve Blum’s voice and how Zeb was visually brought to life in The Mandalorian, live-action Zeb looks and sounds great. The question is whether he will now reunite with the rest of the Ghost crew in Ahsoka.
On the one hand, it seems inevitable. Ahsoka is largely being treated as Rebels season 5, or at least as a Rebels sequel series. Continuing the story of Rebels without one of its original characters, who is alive and well at this point in the timeline, seems like an odd decision.
Given how much Zeb cares about Ezra and everything Zeb did to defeat Grand Admiral Thrawn and the Empire, he would definitely be invested in finally finding Ezra and stopping Thrawn from reviving the Empire. Zeb’s brief appearance in The Mandalorian demonstrates that he is frustrated by the New Republic’s bureaucracy, but he is still working with the New Republic because he still wants to help those in need and wants to defeat the last vestiges of the Empire.
That being said, between Ahsoka, Sabine, Hera, Chopper, Ezra, Thrawn, Baylan Skoll, Shin Hati, Morgan Elsbeth, Marrok, Huyang, Mon Mothma, and possibly Jacen Syndulla and Anakin Skywalker’s Force ghost, Ahsoka is already an incredibly crowded series. Unfortunately, there may not be enough room for Zeb to join the story as well, at least not in a way that does him justice.
His cameo in The Mandalorian season 3 could serve as an effective way of explaining his absence in Ahsoka. The audience knows he is busy working with the New Republic and that the Adelphi Rangers have their hands full with Imperial remnants, pirates, and other threats in the Outer Rim. Hera, Sabine, or another character could easily make a reference to this at some point in the series.
Creating a Lasat for live-action probably isn’t cheap, either. Ahsoka already has a Togruta, a Twi’lek, and a Chiss among its most prominent characters, and adding a Lasat to the mix will only add more challenges and expenses. The Mandalorian showed they could do it, but that was only for an appearance that lasted for about thirty seconds. Doing it for a whole series is a different story.
Ahsoka‘s marketing has prominently featured Sabine and Hera, along with glimpses of Chopper, Ezra, and Thrawn. Since Zeb was already shown in The Mandalorian and is active during this point in the timeline, there isn’t any reason to hide him having a role in Ahsoka. Like the other Rebels characters featured in the marketing, showing Zeb would excite Rebels fans even more for Ahsoka.
While we won’t know for sure until Ahsoka season 1 concludes, these factors lean toward Zeb not appearing in Ahsoka, or at least only appearing as a cameo and not in a substantial role. There are already too many characters and too much going on without throwing Zeb into the show as well. The Mandalorian provides an elegant explanation for his absence and even gave fans a glimpse of him in all of his live-action glory.
With Zeb established in The Mandalorian and Ahsoka only being one part of the Mandoverse’s ongoing narrative, Zeb could definitely have a more prominent role in another upcoming series or Dave Filoni’s upcoming movie. Then again, I may be eating my words if Zeb ends up having a significant role in Ahsoka.
Ahsoka debuts with a two-episode premiere on August 23, only on Disney+.
This piece was written during the 2023 WGA and SAG-AFTRA strikes. Without the labor of the writers and actors currently on strike, the Star Wars content being covered here wouldn’t exist.