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Star Wars: Rebels Introduces Zeb, Based On An Unused Ralph McQuarrie Design

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Over the past week or so, Disney and Lucasfilm have been slowly introducing some of the new characters featured in Star Wars: Rebels. We’ve met heroes Kanan and Ezra, as well as the villainous Inquisitor. It’ll be interesting to see if any of these characters factor into the future of live-action Star Wars movies beginning with Episode VII. The newest Rebels character getting an introduction is Zeb, a member of an alien species we’ve never seen before.

Zeb Orrelios is a member of the budding Rebel Alliance. He’s the muscle behind the team but is unexpectedly smart and clever for someone his size. The video above from IGN describes Zeb as charismatic and strong, while he doesn’t get along with the team’s astromech droid Chopper. While Zeb is a new species of alien, hardcore Star Wars fans might recognize the character’s design. Although Zeb and Chewbacca don’t seem to be related, the new alien character is based on Ralph McQuarrie’s original concept art for the mighty Wookiee. Check out the side-by-side comparison below.

zeb-ralph-mcquarrie-concept-art-comparison

Prolific voice actor Steve Blum will play Zeb. Blum has been featured in a number of notable animated series over the years. He’s best known as the voice behind Wolverine in The Avengers: Earth’s Mightiest Heroes and Wolverine and the X-Men, Spike Spiegel on the English-dubbed Cowboy Bebop, and Starscream in Transformers: Prime and Transformers: Dark of the Moon. Steve Blum describes Zeb as:

[An] ape-like physical power and abilities, a wicked sense of humor, intelligence and integrity, and so much more that I can’t yet reveal. The attention to detail from the entire production team is inspiring. Every bit of minutia is carefully crafted to satisfy the most discerning fan of the franchise. I’m humbled and honored to be a part of the Rebels crew.

It seems like the only character left to introduce is Hera Syndulla, the Twi’lek co-pilot of the Ghost. She is also believed to be the daughter of Cham Syndulla, the freedom fighters from Star Wars: The Clone Wars. Considering the steady stream of videos from Disney and Lucasfilm, look for Hera’s video as soon as this week. If you want to get a first look at Hera Syndulla, here are some images from a Rebels‘ LEGO toy set.

Rebels takes place between Revenge of the Sith and A New Hope, a few years before the start of Episode IV. The Galactic Empire is taking over planets in the Outer Rim, and a band of teenage renegades start to sabotage the Imperial stranglehold on the planet Lothal. The animated series will mainly feature the very early stages of what will become the Rebel Alliance and the Galactic Empire.

Star Wars: Rebels will air sometime in October 2014. It will premiere on the Disney Channel, and then move to Disney XD.

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