Interview With Star Wars Rebels' Tiya Sircar
Tiya Sircar has made an indelible impression on the Star Wars Universe as the Mandalorian warrior Sabine Wren.
As a part of the Ghost Crew, Sircar's character has been on a journey of discovery—once rejecting her heritage and now embracing it. She learned to wield the legendary Darksaber and is know attempting to unite her people against the might of the Empire.
And Sircar's performance has been among the best in an impressive cast where everyone is given a chance to shine. But the finale of Star Wars Rebels is fast approaching with its fourth season, set to premiere this fall, and the actor is having to deal with the end of an era.
"It's pretty sad, I'm not gonna lie to you," Sircar said to ComicBook.com's Patrick Cavanaugh. "It's sad to us, as well. I'm won't speak for everyone, but, oh my gosh. I was floored when we found out. I wasn't expecting it. I was just shellshocked, is the word I used."
But the actor, who is celebrating her 25th Birthday today (Happy Birthday, Tiya!), recognized the incredible opportunity she's had in portraying the the most popular Mandalorian since Boba Fett.
"And then Dave [Filoni, Executive Producer of Star Wars Rebels] talked us off the ledge and he told us this was always the plan. Of course, Dave doesn't tell you everything if you don't need to know," Sircar said. "We certainly didn't need to know until we needed to know. Once he put it in that perspective, that we get to tell the story we want to tell and we get to end on our own terms. Not everyone is afforded that luxury. To get that opportunity is a gift and we will be taking advantage of that."
Sircar was able to answer a few of our questions at last month's Star Wars Celebration in Orlando in anticipation of the last episodes of Star Wars Rebels.
ComicBook.Com: Due to how long it takes to animated shows, you often record dialogue that won't air on TV for a year to 18 months, not even knowing how audiences will respond to dialogue they won't hear for quite some time.
Sircar: Which makes doing press hard, by the way. THIS is easier, because we know what not to say, but sometimes, when you're in the middle of season 3 and season 2 is on television and people are asking about this one thing that happened and you're saying, 'I do remember that, it's been 9 months, so let me think about it.' This is a little different because we know what's coming up and we know NOT to talk about it.
ComicBook.Com: With this show, it seemed like Dave [Filoni] and Lucasfilm knew how long this story would take to tell, but how far along in the evolution of your character that you found out it was ending?
Sircar: That's a good question. Like had I gotten to do "Trials of the Darksaber?" Hmmm. When we were told, I wasn't saying, "But what about Sabine?! What does she get to do?!" I think we had probably already recorded that stuff and I'd gotten, personally, to get to do so much with my character. Yes, I'm sad, of course, I'd love to do this job indefinitely and play this character indefinitely. When I was told, I wondered, "Okay, how are we gonna do this? How is this gonna happen?" And then I watched Rogue One and I thought, "Wait a minute…" As a fan and as an audience member and, of course, not knowing really any insider information, other than knowing Rebels was ending, I wondered what our last episode was going to be and timeline wise and how close we would be to this Scarif business. I just have so many questions, and of course, I haven't gotten any answers from Dave. That's nothing new. Once I got over the initial shock and sadness, knowing that this was going to end, I thought, "Okay, but how are we gonna do it?" I know whatever it's going to be, it's going to be amazing, because Dave Filoni is going to make sure we go out with a bang.
ComicBook.Com: During panels and press conferences, the actors use your character names and actor names interchangeably, demonstrating how you all bring to your individual characters. Will it be harder to say goodbye to Sabine or to your co-stars?
Sircar: I will say one thing before I answer that part, is that it's so easy for us to do that, because in the strangest way, our relationships in real life so closely mirror our characters' relationships. I don't know how that happened, if it happened organically. From getting to record as a group over so many years. I don't think people on other shows say, "Oh yeah, we feel exactly the same way about each other as our characters do." Maybe minus any potential love story between Kanan and Vaness--I just did it! [laughs] I did it just now. The dynamic is that Freddy is my big bro and Taylor, I rag on him all the time. And then Steve is forever the comic relief that's making the weird noises. And Vanessa is the most maternal and loving. She has snacks for me when I need them. Literally. It's so funny and wonderful how that has happened. Whether Dave Filoni's master mind knew that would happen or luck of the draw, that's why it is so easy to call Vanessa Hera and call Hera Vanessa. My relationship with her is Sabine's relationship with her character, for all of them.
I will say this: my own conjecture, if our ending is something Rogue One-esque, just say. We're not there, only Hera is there, so who knows where we are, and what if it is something like that? So my mind started to wander and, if it IS something like that, I don't know if I would feel more heartbroken at the loss of these characters or because I feel so strongly about these people that I would feel like it was happening to them. This is all conjecture and it's just my crazy mind trying to figure out how things are going to end for us.
Yes, you're right, I have such a close bond with these people and we've forged such a familial bond, really, and I get to see them all the time. We have such fun. It sounds like maybe lip service, but I'm telling you, it isn't even work. I'm amazed that my job is just to get to play and hang out. I know that not all voice actors get that opportunity. You go to a sound booth, you record your lines, you might not ever see these people, and we have the luxury of getting to interact all the time. It's such a joy. That is part of that job that I will miss the most.
ComicBook.Com: How has Sabine inspired you and how do you think you've inspired Sabine's journey?
Sircar: That's a hard question because I think Sabine is the coolest, much cooler than I am. I talked earlier about Dave telling me now, of course he never told me then, because he was such an enigma. No, he'll say "We didn't really know what Sabine was going to be but then your personality infused our vision of where she was gonna go and what she was gonna do." So maybe, in some way, us having known each other for such a long time. You get to know each other and form a really, really close bond. So in some ways, maybe I did steer Sabine's trajectory. Also, I just feel really honored that Dave entrusted me with telling that kind of story with this kind of a character.
Sabine, to me, I feel inspired by her and that I get to play this young woman who, when we started, was just a teenager. She didn't really act like a teenager, but to get to play this young woman who has never been interested in the fluffy, self-serving, self-absorbed, vapid stuff. She's just an inspiration, to me anyway, and I hope to you girls and boys. They think, "Dang, this chick has her head on right." Maybe just the fact that, the more and more female characters like that we get to see, I feel will change the conversation about the kinds of female characters and the importance of female characters. Little girls can maybe, hopefully, look up to her, but also little boys too. The more little boys can watch this capable, strong, kick-butt character, who just happens to be a girl their perspectives will hopefully change. Jyn, Rey, Hera, Ahsoka, I feel like we won't even have to talk about "She's a strong female character," just that they're amazing characters. That's my hope, and I think Star Wars is doing right by future generations of Star Wars audiences, because pretty soon, little boys and little girls will be playing with adventure figures and then I'll be like, "Girls, boys, who cares?" It's awesome.
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This animated entry in the "Star Wars" franchise fills the gap between the events of "Episode III" and "Episode IV." Imperial forces occupy a remote planet and are ruling -- and ruining -- its inhabitants' lives with an iron fist. A clever, disparate crew aboard the starship Ghost takes a stand against the Empire, facing new villains and colorful adversaries. The rebels on the Ghost include leader Kanan, ace pilot Hera, feisty heroine Sabine, tough guy Zeb and 14-year-old con artist Ezra.
Star Wars Rebels airs Saturdays at 8:30 p.m. ET/PT on Disney XD, and follows the adventures of Hera (Vanessa Marshall), Sabine (Tiya Sircar), Zeb (Steve Blum), and the Jedi Kanan (Freddie Prinze, Jr.) and Ezra (Taylor Gray), a small crew that's finding their way in the nascent Rebel Alliance a few years before the events of Star Wars: Episode IV - A New Hope.
Executive produced by Simon Kinberg and Dave Filoni, the in-canon series helps to connect the worlds of the films and the previous animated series, Star Wars: The Clone Wars, with guest appearances so far by characters like Lando Calrissian, Ahsoka Tano, Darth Vader, Darth Maul, Leia Organa, Wedge Antilles, and more.0comments