One of the most exciting things about being able to learn about television shows and movies in advance is learning about the people behind the shows. Why did they get involved? What was exciting to them? What are they most proud of? In this installment from our Star Wars Rebels series we have the opportunity to tell you about the characters Hera (Vanessa Marshall) and Sabine (Tiya Sircar) and the actors that portray them.
Disclosure: This interview was part of the #DisneyInHomeEvent #StarWarsRebels and #VeryBadDayEvent press trip. Though travel and accommodations were covered by Disney, all thoughts and opinions are my own. All photos in this post are courtesy of Disney.
Meet Hera Syndulla and Sabine Wren
Vanessa: Hera [Vanessa’s character] is the leader and while she is fierce, she’s a great fighter and a great pilot, she’s also very nurturing, and she sort of plays a maternal role within the crew. And I think she sets a really great example, and I think she does a lot of mentoring to — Sabine. Now, I will also say parenthetically as a Star Wars fan, she is a Mandalorian. So I personally bow down to her character.
Tiya: But that’s Vanessa not [LAUGHS] —
Vanessa: Right. Getting back to Hera. I do think it’s really wonderful that Star Wars Rebels embodies two female characters that we all can aspire to act like them whether we’re adults or children or even little boys or little girls.
I’ve said before that the empire universally oppresses all races and all gender to where it sort of neutralizes elements. These aren’t good women or good female characters. They’re all good people.
Vanessa: So that we’re not even thinking in terms of gender or class. We’re united towards doing the right thing.
Vanessa: And while they are strong, female characters, it’s also kinda cool that there’s this different element that even transcends those distinctions.
Tiya: And not to get too social commentary on you, but there are, in my own personal opinion, there are, so many female personalities that, for better or worse, may be famous not for a specific skill or talent but just famous for the sake of being famous. And maybe not for the right reasons, if you know what I mean.
Tiya: So, which I think you do — because you’re all nodding. So, it’s such an honor and it makes me cringe, you know, I don’t have kids, but it makes me cringe to think like all little girls are like this is what they have to look up to and to aspire to be, and it’s worrisome for me. So, to me, it’s such an honor to get to play this female character. Sabine’s a teenager.
And yet she is so intelligent and not even concerned about the superficial stuff whatsoever.
Tiya: She’s never taken a selfie in her life, you know. [LAUGHS]
Vanessa: No, exactly. Yeah.
Vanessa : And I think also that, that what we’re all driven by is hope. Once again in transcending gender that I hope that kids take that hope, that it’s important to have faith, to have morals, to have ethics, and adults could probably [CHUCKLES] learn from that as well. And some of those, those bigger human values that are not often embodied in, say, the people who are famous for things less than, you know, desirable. But it’s really cool. There are some very wonderful, delicious ideas that are also in– inspiring over all, you know. But I agree, definitely. These are really cool women for younger girls to emulate.
Tiya : And they’re still fun, too.
Who are Tiya and Vanessa’s favorite Star Wars characters?
Vanessa : Well, you know we both love Princess Leia, because she’s a strong female character, but I also don’t wanna forget Ahsoka from the Clone Wars.
Tiya : And I have a soft spot for Han Solo, but who doesn’t? I mean — [LAUGHS]
Vanessa : Oh, yeah. Yeah.
Tiya : But as inspiration, Leia. [CHUCKLES]
Vanessa: You know, it’s hard to choose. I sort of believe that I love Chewie, but I think that’s born on the fact that it was my first action figure that I got. But, you know, in terms of things that have really touched my heart, I would say Leia.
I was so excited to come back and share with my daughters all these interesting stories from the interview – and from the show. I admit we had a bit of a rebellion of our own with a DVR’d version of Star Wars: Rebels with our friends. We printed out the fun filled activities, had pizza and cookies and enjoyed the premiere commercial free. The girls (yeah that’s my story and I’m sticking to it) are looking forward to even more rebellious nights with mom – as Star Wars Rebels joins the Disney XD schedule on a regular basis!
About Star Wars Rebels
Star Wars Rebels is a brand new half hour series which premieres October 13 on Disney XD. Rebels, set five years before the events of Star Wars: Episode IV A New Hope, tells the story of the Rebellion’s beginnings while the Empire spreads tyranny through the galaxy.
Star Wars: Rebels continues the epic tradition of the legendary Star Wars saga with all-new exciting, action-packed adventures. It is a dark time in the galaxy, as the evil Galactic Empire tightens its grip of power from world to world. As the series begins, Imperial forces have occupied a remote planet, ruling with an iron fist and ruining the lives of its people. The clever and motley crew of the starship Ghost is amongst a select few who are brave enough to stand against the Empire. Together, this ragtag group will face threatening new villains, encounter colorful adversaries, embark on thrilling adventures and become heroes with the power to ignite a rebellion.
You can learn even more in depth information about Star Wars Rebels in this interview with Producer Dave Filoni and Freddie Prinze Jr (voice of Kanan Jarrus)
Star Wars Rebels, the series premieres 10/13 on Disney XD at 9PM EST/PST. You can also purchase it on DVD starting Oct. 14, 2014