The Rebellion Wasn't Built on Hope, it Was Made With Love
Vanessa Marshall, the voice behind Hera on 'Star Wars Rebels', explains.
In Rogue One, Jyn Erso told a room of sniveling naysayers that “Rebellions are built on hope.” But the secret to the success of the Rebel Alliance was actually the ingredient of love. Like Dom’s crew in The Fast and the Furious films, Hera and the crew of the Ghost in the series Star Wars Rebels prove the Rebellion is all about family. And we’re not talking about the Skywalkers or the Solos here. Ahead of the release of Rebels season 3 on Blu-ray, Inverse caught up with the voice of Here Syndulla; Vanessa Marshall. Here’s why she says Hera might be the best mom in all of Star Wars.
“Hera is absolutely a maternal figure to the members of the Ghost,” Marshall tells Inverse. “She mentors Sabine, encourages Ezra, and manages Zeb’s temper. She guides and inspires everyone to dig deep and discover the ruthless selflessness necessary to fuel and complete each mission.” For fans of the show, all of this is true, but it begs the question: with all the dysfunctional families in that galaxy far, far away, is Hera the best mom?
Marshall is hesitant to condemn the other moms of Star Wars in contrast so quickly: “Padme didn’t get a chance to mother Luke and Leia, and we only grazed the surface of Leia’s relationship with her son Ben in The Force Awakens,” Marshall explains. But, because of maternal screen time alone, she admits her character Hera might win in the space mom race. “Meanwhile, Hera has nurtured her crew members for three seasons!” she says. “So yes, Maybe Hera is the best mother in Star Wars!”
Unlike so many characters in Star Wars, Hera is emotionally stable. She runs the Ghost and its crew like a family, albeit a highly efficient family that often blows up Imperial bases. In any case, it’s Marshall’s performance as Hera is probably the glue that holds Rebels together as a series. The makeshift family of Kanan, Hera, Sabine, Ezra, Zeb, and Chopper is what makes Rebels the great, and heartfelt, addition to the Star Wars saga that it is.
Not surprisingly, Marshall explains that some of her own family experience impacts her performance as Hera. In the season 2 episode “Wings of the Master,” we learned that the Rebellion’s acquisition of the B-Wing fighter was thanks to Hera. “My father is a pilot, and I dedicated my performance to him,” Marshall said. She also says “Wings of the Master” is her episode the entire series. “When Hera explains why she flies, it could have been my father speaking.”
Speaking of flying, Hera’s ship the Ghost can be clearly seen flying around in Rogue One. So, we know Hera will almost certainly make it out of the fourth and final season of Star Wars Rebels alive. In Rogue One, “General Syndulla” can be heard being paged at the Rebel base on Yavin IV. So, Hera not only is alive but gets a promotion, too!
Apparently, the secret of Hera’s “cameo” in Rogue One was so well-kept, that Marshall didn’t even know until she saw the film. “I had no idea,” she says. “I was so thrilled to hear that when I saw the movie! Nothing could have prepared me for that!” Though, because she knows her character so well she “immediately wondered if Hera was not in the war room because she was already on the Ghost prepping for the battle of Scarif!”
Perhaps the closest relationship in all of Star Wars Rebels is the subtle almost-romance between the outcast blind Jedi Kanan Jarrus and Hera. But are Hera and Kanan actually a couple? Marshall seems to basically confirm that they are, and even encourages fans to ship what she calls “Kanera.”
“Hera cares very deeply about Kanan,” Marshall says. “There is a sweet bond between them, and an intimate affection that is undeniable. How could she not love him?”
Star Wars Rebels season 3 is out on Blu-ray today.