I’ll be the first to admit I was not your typical girl when I was younger. I was on a shooting team and loved to play sports. I did love to dress up but I also loved to get dirty too. In fact to this day I am probably the only girl I know that can fix cars and things around the house better then most men. (Not that I am bragging..okay may a little). So when I got the during my Disney Press trip to see Star Wars Rebels I was excited. I was a huge fan of the movies growing up and I have to say that Princess Leia was my favorite. One of my favorite things about the new series is that is give girls good strong role models. Up until this point there have been very few actions stars in movies that are girls and that is sad. I also had the incredible honor of sitting down and talking to Vanessa Marshall & Tiya Sircar who play Hera and Sabine.
Star Wars Rebels: GIRL POWER with Vanessa Marshall & Toya Sircar
Q: What was it like auditioning for the role that you have? Was it really nerve-racking?
Tiya : Not, not as much as you might think, ’cause we didn’t know what we were auditioning for. So, that helped in that probably you weren’t freaking out. Um, and so it wasn’t until I actually got the phone call that I had gotten the job, which was great. And they said — and by the way, it’s Star Wars. And I was like, well, you know, it’s like doubly exciting, ’cause I got a job and it’s not — it’s way more exciting than I even realized.
Vanessa : Well, I didn’t know what it was, but everything’s a Star Wars metaphor for me. I’m a huge Star Wars fan. So, I felt that there were elements of Star Wars within the piece of copy that I read. they said that, my character was a, a strong leader against the tyranny and da da da. And I’m like, hmm, well, all right, well, alliance. So, I actually sort of transposed what I know about Star Wars onto the little copy and I got a callback. And I thought, oh, cool, I’m gonna be a wolf. And when I, when I got to the callbacks —
Tiya : Oh, you saw a character.
Vanessa : — I saw a, a drawing of the character on the wall, and I know what —
Tiya : You were like a wait a minute.
Vanessa : — race that is. I mean that’s not a Trekkie. I know exactly what’s going on here. And it sort of dawned on me in the moment, and I had to pull it together. Because I’m such a huge fan. I — if I really thought about it, I’d probably have a heart attack.
Q: How do you feel about aboiut playing these female character that you can actually portray as strong characters?
Vanessa : Hera 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. I do think it’s really wonderful, uh, 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.
Vanessa : 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. So that we’re not even thinking in terms of gender or class. We’re united towards doing the right thing.
Tiya : Not to get too, you know, well, social commentary on you, but you know, there are, in my own personal opinion, so many female personalities that, well, for better or worse, you know they 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. It makes me cringe. I don’t have kids, but it makes me cringe to think like all little girls are like — this is, 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 so like not even concerned about the superficial stuff whatsoever.
Vanessa : Right.
Tiya : She’s never taken a selfie in her life, you know.
Vanessa : No, exactly. Yeah.
Tiya : And if she knew what that was, she wouldn’t be interested. So I think it’s really amazing to get to play these two smart women. They are right there alongside the guys, m– beating up the bad guys. And, um, you know, it’s just — uh, uh, I hope that, that young girls and young boys, I mean can aspire to be like these characters, because they’re fighting for the greater good. They’re doing the right thing and they’re, and theyr’e just like really smart and savvy about it while they are doing it.
Q: Who are you guys’ favorite characters in the Star Wars universe? Can you pick one or?
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 — because Ashley Eckstein is so wonderful and she’s really a wonderful character that we watched grow from being a young you know, towards becoming a Jedi. Um, but I think it’s the same principles. Women who are strong on so many levels that are really inspiring. So, I would say, overall, probably Princess Leia.
Tiya : And I have a soft spot for Han Solo, but who doesn’t?
I am so excited about Star Wars Rebels. Not just because of being a Star Wars fan but because of the girl role models that my girls will really like. I think it is important for little girls to learn that you don’t have to just be pretty or depend on someone to help you. They can do and be anything they want.
Remember the Star Wars Rebels series premieres TONIGHT ON DISNEY XD!! Watch and Tweet with me using the hashtag #StarWarsRebels!