Tiya Sircar, who portrays Sabine, is also featured in another incredible show The Good Place. The innovative, intelligent comedy has taken so many twists and turns but still tells an intriguing story that is also REALLY funny. If you like Tiya’s work and haven’t yet seen The Good Place you should give it a shot. When I had the chance to interview Tiya for the series finale of Star Wars Rebels, I had to geek out a little bit about my newest favorite show. She was so easy to talk to and gracious with her time. Tiya has a gift for engaging people and it’s one of the reasons why Sabine is such a popular character.
Tiya sat down with me and let me ask her some questions about her time on Rebels. When I asked her if there was a moment on the show that was her favorite, one came to mind immediately – “Trials of the Darksaber.” The episode featured Sabine learning to wield the legendary Mandalorian weapon, but through her lessons, she comes to terms with her own past and the conflict within her. “It felt like such a gift that Dave Filoni and the producers and everyone gave me that I got to do that.” I admitted that at the end of the Mandalorian arc I wondered if she was leaving the show. She briefly felt the same way. “At the end of that, I was like ‘What’s going to happen to me?’ Do I never go back? I was a little bit shell-shocked wondering ‘Do I ever see these people again?’ And of course we resolve it at the beginning of Season 4 and I go back.”
Tiya found Sabine had more depth than even she imagined at first. “When we started I was very impressed by Sabine. She was so cool under pressure and confident and capable and she’s this incredible warrior, so I thought, ‘Oh, she’s so mature.’ And then as we progressed throughout the story culminating in that “Trials of the Darksaber” episode and she doesn’t know as much as she thinks she does which I can totally relate. When I was 16 my mom would totally agree, ‘You definitely thought you knew everything and you didn’t.’ … I found it surprising that I kind of had her wrong a little bit. And I’m glad though because characters that never change or grow are a little bit boring.”
I asked Tiya what was the most challenging part about portraying Sabine. “She’s much cooler than me. One note that Dave would give me from time to time is sometimes I’d go into ‘Tia’ delivering this line and he’d very diplomatically be like ‘Yeah, but just maybe just a little less perky and a little more cool.’ And I’d be like, ‘I got it. Less Tia, more Sabine.’ So I’d have to remind myself she’s WAY too cool. Calm down for a second.” The other challenging part about Sabine is her story wasn’t as fully developed as some of the others. “Having done this for so long, Dave has said that Sabine was the biggest question mark for him. He didn’t really have her totally fleshed out. He had the main parameters of who she was, but hadn’t really worked out all the aspects of her personality, and that I helped inform that a little bit. All of us have helped inform the characters and their behavior and even the lines they say. Taylor’s line are tailor-made for Taylor. The longer we worked on the show, the more the writers really knew our voices and infused our characters with our personalities.”
Being a part of the Star Wars phenomena isn’t lost on Tiya. She credits Carrie Fisher as having been a role model. “I can’t imagine my character would exist in the world if there wasn’t a Princess Leia. Carrie Fisher is the queen as far as I’m concerned. Watching the original trilogy as a kid, watching this woman who was unapologetic, super sharp and very quick witted, and also graceful and regal at the same time, I learned from her you can be all of those things. ” Portraying Sabine has certainly changed Tiya’s life. “I don’t think any actor forecasts they will be part of the Star Wars universe at some point in their career. So I certainly never envisioned that for myself. Star Wars is forever. The idea Sabine will part of the Star Wars legacy is a little bit overwhelming and hard for me to wrap my brain around, but just to have been a part of this storytelling is humbling and I feel happy Sabine is part of this story and it feels nice that it will be part of the greater Star Wars story and I get to be a part of that.”
Hopefully, this won’t be the last time we see Sabine. The way Star Wars Rebels came to an end it certainly opened another door for a new beginning and if so, it’s certainly one Tiya would bring her own special light to the show. And don’t let her fool you. She is plenty cool.