This interview was originally published on February 12, 2019, at the now-defunct website The Wookiee Gunner. Parts of the article were updated after it was transferred over to Radical Grid.
Earlier this year, we sat down with Myrna Velaco, the voice of Torra Doza in Disney Channel’s Star Wars Resistance.
We talked about Myrna’s first experience with Star Wars, any laugh-out-loud moments while recording, how Torra’s mom plays a role in her life, her reaction to Sabine’s starbird in Torra’s room, Torra’s relationship with her father and Kaz, and what fans can expect from Torra as the season winds down.
On getting a second season
Admittedly, we’ve known for a little while, but it’s really exciting to finally say it out loud and know there’s more story. There’s absolutely more story, and I cannot wait for everybody to watch it as well.
I was just re-watching Rebels right now, and I was like “Man, four or five seasons to just really get know everybody and watch them grow up.” That would be a dream come true to be able to really watch these kids grow up as well. And the whole story to just expand and the universe to expand as well.
On her first experience with Star Wars
My first experience with Star Wars was The Ewok Adventure. It was on TV when I was, I guess I must have been like 5 or 6 years old. My mom was cooking something in the kitchen, like she does, and I was home alone because my big sister was at school. I watched the Ewok movie and was like “They’re on a different planet!? And those little teddy bears!” Right off of that, I wanted to know more about Star Wars. Admittedly, I was the only in my family — my super Mexican family — that really figured out what is this part of American pop culture. So, I went out and looked for Star Wars, and it always kind of fell a little short up until Episode I and the Skywalker saga kind of happened in front of us. That’s when I was maybe 12 or so, and I was like “Oh okay! I’m back online! This is the kind of stuff I was missing in my life!” So yeah, I was a kiddo and I found it.
To my mom’s credit, I know that she did watch the original trilogy in the drive-in in San Diego… so I do know that she did watch them, but it didn’t create the sense of wonder in her that maybe other things did. So, it was really exciting for me to be like “Mom, these are the things I like!” and for her to be like “Oh yeah, I know of that!” It definitely is really great that that’s something that I know kind of kickstarted my family’s adventures into nerdy pop culture stuff. And we all kind of helped each other out with figuring out who we are and what we love in life, but that’s my little thing.
On the show’s humor
There is not a single recording session that I’m not holding my mouth shut trying not to laugh while we’re recording. I walk out of these recording sessions saying, “I am the luckiest person in the world because I get to watch all of the people that inspired me grow up right in front of me and learn to be around them.” These voice actors, I can’t express how intensely in awe I am of them. And also, not even just the voice actors, but Don Faison comes in and records with us every once in a while. And I’m like “I watched Scrubs while I was doing math homework, and I learned how to be funny because of you!” I’m always blown away. And then, the writing, like I don’t know if I got the job because I was sucking up, but I would read a page and be like “This is just the best writing I’ve read ever in my life!”
We get the scripts the day before we record, so I sit in my living room with my little blanket and my little tea and I get myself nice and comfy. Every page I have something to say and it’s always like “Oh my god! This is just [amazing]! What is going on?!” So, it’s an emotional roller coaster being part of this cast, and I’m just super fortunate to be here.
On whether Torra’s mom plays a role in her life
Oh, I don’t know how much I’m allowed to say! Yes… the answer is yes. I mean, don’t you think it’s funny that Torra’s a really great pilot, but you’ve never seen Captain Doza in a racer or a fighter or anything? Her mother plays a huge part in her life, and that, I think, is all I can say!
On Star Wars Rebels and the Sabine poster in Torra’s room
Sabine is the best, and yes, I love Rebels. It’s one of those shows that it’s this weird thing that me and my friends do — I don’t know if this is like the community of TV watchers at large — but we’ll re-watch shows every year to like “This is Lord of the Rings season!” and “This is Star Wars season!” So, Rebels has a season, and we watch Rebels every year. It’s one our little “this is our family tradition,” if you will, with friends and family.
Her room is just exactly what I would want my room to be growing up as well. And at first, I was thinking, “You know, I don’t remember seeing her room,” but then it occurs to me, whenever we get inspiration visuals, they’re what I call paper dolls. They don’t have this life to them. And so, I know that I clocked the symbol as Rebels once I was watching it on TV, and I was like, “Oh, this is so awesome!” And all of the easter eggs are just so cool, but there’s something about when they show it to us for inspiration that I was like “Yeah, that’s like a normal room. Cool, good for her, she’s got a room.” But I don’t think it really popped until I was watching it with everybody else in real time. And seeing the scope of how big her room is, first of all, like I didn’t have a room that big growing up. But also, seeing different dimensions of her toys… I just love catching all these little easter eggs as well. Knowing that I’m kind of catching it along with everybody else makes it a little bit more exciting and more part of the community. So, I want to see inspiration, but I know I’m not going to get it with the same impact until I’m watching it with everybody else, too.
On whether Torra is Resistance material or if her father would stop her from joining
I don’t know that Captain Doza can stop Torra from doing anything she wants… I think Torra is Resistance material because I kind of believe that who isn’t? If you care about other people as much as you care about yourself, you are Resistance material. Torra has shown that over and over again, so yeah, she’s Resistance material. Yeah, she would fight for a just cause, if she needed to. I think the question is whether or not her father would stop her and what that would look like if he had to stop her. So yeah, why wouldn’t she be?
On Torra joining or helping the First Order in the hopes of a good outcome
When we were recording, part of me really thought that Torra could. Why couldn’t she? She’s very smart and capable and mischievous enough to figure out the First Order, but there’s something about Torra that isn’t lockstep the way the First Order is. I think that if Torra was told to march, she’d end up skipping… so I don’t know that she is First Order material because I think there’s kind of a level of optimism and hope in her that is inherently a Rebel and Resistance quality. So, I think it would be hard for her, but I think she could do anything.
On whether Torra knows about her father’s past as an Imperial
I think a lot of times, we don’t think about our parents’ past and how that affects us, so I do often wonder about that with Torra. Does she understand fully the scope of Captain Doza’s idea of protecting her from the ravages of war? I’ve thought about it, and I think she does. I think she did know about Captain Doza’s involvement with the Empire, and I think she understands fundamentally as well that people are capable of change. She knows that because her father changed, so I think that makes it impossible for her to like the First Order, but I think it also makes her family unit that much stronger as well.
On Torra’s brother-like relationship with Kaz moving forward as things get more dangerous on the Colossus
I think Torra is no stranger to danger, but I don’t think — hmm, let me think about this answer because again, I’m not sure how much of it is giving stuff away! I think Torra also understands what forgiveness fully at its core is, and I think even though Kaz has lied to her, they are aware that sometimes you have to break a rule in order to save a bigger part of our humanity, if you will. Torra knows it’s okay to lie a little, I think. So, I think that their friendship is only going to get stronger because these lies were born out of protecting each other, and I think she knows that. She can have a level head about that and still be like “Well, you owe me, but yeah, we’re cool.”
On what fans can expect from Torra as the season winds down
I’m so excited for you guys to watch the end of this season! Torra is going to come into her own, and we’re all just going to be like “What a freaking little badass!” I love who she’s growing into. I can’t wait for everybody to see what’s happening in our minds when we were recording, and I cannot wait to see how the animators translated that as well because the whole cast does some major growing up in these last few episodes. It’s just so cool to see them realize who they are and who they are not, to make the plot thicken… They grow up fast, but they grow up good.
Listen to the rest of our interview here to learn more about her thoughts on family, her Resistance-watching habits, and what Hogwarts House Torra would be sorted into in the world of Harry Potter.
Lastly, make sure to follow Myrna on Instagram.
The first season of Star Wars Resistance is available on Disney+ and the second season is currently available on DisneyNOW.