Looking for a way to introduce Star Wars Rebels to your friends? Or perhaps you’d like to revisit key moments from the series before it returns? Then look no further than Rebels Revisited.
In this installment…Zeb. In my opinion, he’s the most underrated character in Star Wars Rebels. While his tough guy exterior and brawler tendencies tend to dominate everyone’s impressions of him, a closer look reveals someone much more multilayered and nuanced. These episodes give us our most insightful glimpses into that person. A guardian with a heart of gold named Garazeb Orrelios.
1. “Droids in Distress” (Season 1, Episode 3)
Zeb is a protector.
We learn in this episode that he was once a captain in the Lasan Honor Guard until the Empire wiped out most of his people in a devastating attack. When the Ghost crew accepts a job smuggling the same type of weapons used in that attack, Zeb repeatedly objects and tries to convince the crew to destroy them instead. He didn’t know the final destination of the weapons. He didn’t know who was going to use them. He didn’t care. All that mattered to Zeb was that no one else should be made to experience the destruction the weapons were capable of the way that he and his people once did. The Honor Guard of Lasan may be gone, but their commitment to protecting others lives on in Zeb.
2. “Fighter Flight” (Season 1, Episode 4)
Zeb demonstrates his defender tendencies again in this episode, when he helps Ezra free a family friend from Imperial custody using a stolen TIE fighter. The joyride serves as a bonding experience for the two — not because they faced down the Empire and lived to tell the tale, but because of their shared commitment to protecting others.
3. “Legends of the Lasat” (Season 2, Episode 14)
If Zeb is the most underrated Star Wars Rebels character, then this is the series’ most underrated episode. “Legends of the Lasat” is a fantastic piece of Star Wars storytelling, complete with timeless themes (fear of failure, overwhelming guilt, faith in times of crisis, a displaced people searching for a home), meditations on the Force (the Ashla and the Bogan), and music (you owe it to yourself to listen to “Journey into the Star Cluster” again). And it’s all built around Zeb and his role in the future of his people.
4. “The Honorable Ones” (Season 2, Episode 17)
An episode about understanding your enemy and yourself. Stranded on an icy Geonosian moon, Zeb and Kallus, an ISB Agent who eliminated rebel threats, must cooperate in order to survive. The pairing of these two lead to some of the most meaningful dialogue concerning war in a galaxy far, far away as they share their experiences and perspectives with each other. Zeb has a profound (and unexpected) effect on Kallus’ future here, and it once again reminds us that this brawler is capable of far more than just fighting.
5. “Warhead” (Season 3, Episode 14)
Zeb. Home alone with Chopper, AP-5, and a murderous probe droid with a case of amnesia. While “Warhead” doesn’t delve into the core of Zeb’s emotions or contain any mythology-expanding moments, it’s a fun episode that features the Lasat working to overcome an increasingly difficult situation (and it contains a reference to one of my favorite movies of all time).
What role will Zeb play in the battle for Lothal? Find out when Star Wars Rebels kicks off its final episodes on Monday, February 19 on Disney XD.
Justin Bolger is Lucasfilm’s Star Wars social media strategist and he doesn’t like the Empire…he loves it. Catch him occasionally on The Star Wars Show and talk Star Wars with him on Twitter @TheApexFan.