Images used courtesy of Lucasfilm, Ltd.
The fool who denies his destiny, the warrior who creates his own destiny, and the child who sees things not as they are but as they can be: Garazeb Orrelios has been and will continue to be all of these. He has failed his people (at least in his own mind) only to lead them to Lira San, a new home planet. He has gone from muscle-bound brute to still muscle-bound strategist, and he has gone from being the mortal enemy of Agent Kallus to being perhaps the only friend Alexsandr Kallus has. Despite not having a lot of screentime, Zeb has changed quite a bit. As I prepare to watch his fate in the final season of Star Wars: Rebels, I find myself trying look into the future (nearly as difficult as slipping through an imploded star cluster) to try to decipher where Zeb’s road might lead.
In the earliest episodes of Star Wars: Rebels, Zeb was predominantly used as the brute of the crew. He would bash bucketheads and bicker with Ezra and Chopper, but it wasn’t until the second and third season that he grew into more. It would be a shame to see Zeb play the fool and deny that his destiny is larger than that of just another soldier in the Rebellion. On Lasan, Zeb was a Captain of the Lasan Honor Guard. While I don’t know a lot about the military ranks of the Honor Guard, I would imagine that Zeb may have led men and women into battle. Season Four of Star Wars: Rebels could find him working alongside Rex to lead the ground troops of a Rebellion left reeling after Thrawn’s vicious ground assault at the end of Season Three. Perhaps Rex will foster Zeb’s potential for leadership and teach him lessons learned from the horrors of the Clone Wars. Being able to successfully lead his adoptive Rebel family against the Empire could continue to provide closure for Zeb’s haunting failure on Lasan.
In their quest to subjugate the galaxy, the Empire has crushed and enslaved countless alien species. The Wookiees, Twi’lek, and Lasat were all dealt crushing blows by the Empire. In helping to revive his own species on Lira San, perhaps Zeb found his calling. Zeb’s ability to sympathize with those alien races crushed under the Empire’s boot could make him forgo taking on the role of soldier and cause him to make his own way as an unlikely ambassador instead. The season could show him reaching out to those groups brought low by the Empire and persuading them that now is the time to rebel. Depending on how closely Filoni and crew choose to follow the model author Timothy Zahn set out in The Thrawn Trilogy, it might even be that Zeb helps show the Noghri Rukh that the seemingly benevolent Grand Admiral Thrawn and his Empire cannot be trusted. He could bring out case after case of Imperial promises being broken to try to swing the allegiance of Thrawn’s own muscle.
Now that his best friend, former-Imperial, Alexsandr Kallus is on the side of the Rebellion. It doesn’t take much to see Zeb’s future being alongside Kallus; after all, Star Wars does love an unlikely pairing. Zeb’s future could involve something he could have never foreseen: he and Kallus running missions together. With his knowledge of the inner working of the Empire, Kallus could easily infiltrate the ranks of various Imperial outposts while Zeb serves as back up. It could just as easily be flipped, too. Zeb could go to worlds under the Empire’s grip and his superior Lasat agility and strength would allow him to be an excellent agent while Kallus’s training at the Imperial Security Bureau would help him be a great handler in the Rebel Intelligence force. I personally prefer this option because the relationship sets up so many comedic moments. My favorite involves Zeb telling Kallus that he thinks he’s going to grow his hair out like Kallus’s only to have Kallus deadpan that Zeb already has hair everywhere. Humor and suspense makes this option a fun path for Garrazeb’s future.
“Always in motion is the future.” It’s difficult to predict where Zeb or any of the members of The Ghost crew will end up. I just hope that Filoni and his writers have more planned for Zeb than death. While it’s easy to see some of the crew having to make a dramatic sacrifice, that’s just what it is easy. Zeb has faced so much tragedy in his life. He deserves a more meaningful end than a dirt nap.
What do you hope happens to Zeb? Share with me on Twitter at @mapplebee7567!