‘Star Wars’ Actor Who Curses the Most Reveals How Far He’d Go to Return
'Rebels' voice actor Steve Blum opens up about Zeb and the end of an animated era.
The character who cusses the most in Star Wars isn’t Han Solo, or even Jabba the Hutt. Instead, the heroic Zeb (full name Garazeb Orrelios) from Star Wars Rebels utters the invented curse word “Karrabast!” probably once each episode of the animated series. But now that Star Wars Rebels has completed its fourth and final season, fans probably won’t be hearing Zeb say that word, or much of anything else for a long, long time. Though animated Star Wars projects will continue in the form of a new season of The Clone Wars and the upcoming series Resistance, the days of Zeb and the crew of the Ghost are over.
This week, Star Wars Rebels Season 4 hit Blu-ray, and Fatherly got a chance to chat with Zeb, voice actor and father of three, Steve Blum. Prior to Rebels, Blum had credits on animated shows like Cowboy Beebop, The Legend of Korra, and the voice of Wolverine in Wolverine and the X-Men, among others. Here, he reveals how he’s dealing with the end of Rebels, what his kids think about having a dad in Star Wars, and exactly how far he’d go to get Zeb into a live-action Star Wars movie.
Are you bummed Rebels is over?
Of course! It was a huge part of my life for years. Besides being out of a job, I miss seeing my Rebels family every week. We bonded pretty deeply on this show. Including the crew on the other side of the glass. Which is very unusual for animation. The Lucas family is unlike any other. We geeked out together, they included us in the collaborative process, and we truly became friends, all heavily invested in giving the fans something special and creating a show of the highest quality possible. When we found out it was ending, it was painful. That said, it was tempered by the knowledge that Dave Filoni and company could tell the story they wanted/needed to tell and finish it on their terms. Clone Wars was tough when it stopped before completion. Thrilled to hear that they now finally get to finish it after all these years. Rebels was complete as it is. As a fan, I found that very satisfying. Though I have made it annoyingly evident that I’m available should they want to hire me for ANYTHING Star Wars again!
Are your kids impressed you’re in Star Wars?
Ha! They love it. They’re fans too. Not sure about the impressed thing. I’ve been in the business since before they were born, but until about 10 years ago, they didn’t really care about most of the stuff I worked on. But, sure, it’s freakin’ STAR WARS! That’s gotta get them some street cred. And we love watching ANYTHING Star Wars together.
What are the chances of seeing Zeb in a live-action movie?
Asking the wrong guy. I’m just a voice monkey. I have no idea if they have any plans for that, but yeah, I would sell YOU to get to voice him again!
Zeb uses the Star Wars swear word “karabast!” a lot in the show. How much were you involved in creating this?
I wish I could take credit for that. That was part of the genius of Greg Weisman. But I used it as often and in as many ways as they would allow. Still do.
How much of Zeb is you?
A lot, apparently. Loyal to a fault, busts in without thinking it through sometimes, unusual smell, prehensile feet. Pretty much typecast.
You’ve done countless great voices. What’s the secret to a great character actor who is a voice actor?
I’ve loved cartoons my entire life. And I love great storytelling. I believe every character represents a complete life lived. With full backstory, history, flaws, fears, and talents. Even if a character is cannon fodder with a 30-second lifespan, I imagine everything in his or her life that led up to that moment. I also believe that even the most incidental characters have a purpose ⏤ or the writer wouldn’t have chosen to put them in. I teach classes on this!
Any final words?
May the force be with you! Karabast!
–Star Wars Rebels season 4 is out now on Blu-ray. It’s also streaming on Amazon.
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