Sokka

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Sokka
Avatar: The Last Airbender/The Legend of Korra character
Sokka.png
Voiced by Jack DeSena (original series)
Chris Hardwick (The Legend of Korra)
Information
Aliases Wang Fire, Snoozles (by Toph), Master Swish (by Katara in book 2 episode 5)
Gender Male
Relatives Kanna (paternal grandmother)
Pakku (step-grandfather)
Hakoda (father)
Kya (mother;deceased)
Katara (younger sister)
Aang (brother-in-law)
Kya (niece)
Bumi (nephew)
Tenzin (nephew)
Pema (niece-in-law)
Jinora (grand-niece)
Ikki (grand-niece)
Meelo (grand-nephew)
Rohan (grand-nephew)
Nationality Southern Water Tribe
Age 15 (Avatar: The Last Airbender)
16 (The Promise & The Search)
17 (The Rift)
Deceased (The Legend of Korra)
Bending Element None
Hair color Brown
Eye color Blue
Position Protagonist

Sokka is a fictional character in Nickelodeon's animated television series Avatar: The Last Airbender. The character, created by Michael Dante DiMartino and Bryan Konietzko, is voiced by Jack DeSena. In the live-action film The Last Airbender, he is portrayed by Jackson Rathbone.

In the show, fifteen-year-old Sokka is a warrior of the South Pole's Southern Water Tribe, a tribe of people able to manipulate water.[1] He, along with his younger sister Katara, discover an Airbender named Aang, the long-lost Avatar, and accompanies him to defeat the imperialistic Fire Nation and bring peace to the war-torn nations.[2]

Concept and creation[edit]

In the Avatar Nick Mag Presents: First Edition issue by co-creators Michael Dante DiMartino and Bryan Konietzko, stated that Sokka was originally designed as a minor figure; but when his comedian voice actor Jack DeSena brought liveliness to his character, they began to emphasize this quality.[3]

As a result of his design, Sokka's character is a source of comic relief throughout the series, often a victim of visual slapstick. Among various running gags involving Sokka are his immersion in viscous substances, such as raw sewage, slurry, phlegm, or saliva; and forgetting that Toph is blind. Sokka also has a tendency to produce or at times laugh at jokes shared by no other character.[4]

In "Tales of Ba Sing Se", Sokka's name was written as 索卡, whereof Sǔo (索) means to search, demand, ask, exact, or isolated and Kǎ (卡) means to check, block, or card.[5] The character for Kǎ also appears in Katara's name.[6]

Plot overview[edit]

Sokka, forced to mature quickly when his mother Kya was killed, cultivated his martial skills with a militant zeal, while his younger sister Katara did chores and practiced her waterbending abilities.[7] When he was thirteen, his father and the other men left to fight alongside the Earth Kingdom against the Fire Nation, leaving him and his sister to look after their tribe, advised by their grandmother.[8] As the oldest male present, Sokka came to assume a leader's role by age of fifteen, fiercely protecting the village from external threats while trying to train children in defense.

In the initial episode, Katara and Sokka discovered Aang in suspended animation. Fire Prince Zuko attacks the village and Sokka fights him. However he loses and Zuko takes Aang away. Advised by their grandmother Sokka and his sister, Katara save Aang and embark with him to find a waterbending instructor while Sokka plans to improve his own skill en route.[2] In the episode "The Warriors of Kyoshi", Sokka's male chauvinism is challenged when he and the gang are captured by the all female Kyoshi warriors led by fifteen year old Suki, who eventually host them graciously in honor of the avatar. Sokka learns to respect Suki's skill and soon after he apologizes for his behavior he trains with the warriors, even being forced to wear their female armor dresses. Sokka and Suki soon develop a romantic bond and later in the series they become a couple.

After arriving in the Earth Kingdom, Sokka and the group discover a secret underground library. Sokka and Aang learn of the Day of Black Sun where all firebenders are powerless. Sokka and the group attempt to give this information to the Earth King but are stopped by Dai Li. The group finally exposes their leader's corruption and they tell the Earth King of their plan of invading the Fire Nation. In episode "Sokka's Master", Sokka seeks an instructor in swordsmanship, and receives training with Master Piandao, a Fire Nation swordmaster, in which creativity and lateral thought are the bases of his technique. In the episode "Day of Black Sun" Sokka invades the Fire Nation along with his allies. However he discovers from Azula where his girlfriend Suki is and that she has known about the invasion for months. The invasion fails and Sokka and the younger members of the group are forced to retreat. In the episode "The Boiling Rock" Sokka infiltrates the prison where his father might be being held with the help of Zuko. Sokka also discovers that his girlfriend, Suki is being held at the prison. However his father is not. He initially decides to escape the prison with Suki, Zuko and other inmates but decides to wait for his father to possibly arrive. Sokka's father, Hakoda does arrive and Sokka formulates a plan of escape with him. The two along with Zuko, Suki and another inmate execute the plan and after a fight with Azula escape the prison. However Sokka is again separated from his father at the Western Air Temple due to a Fire Nation ambush. They are forced to split up with Sokka going with Aang, Katara, Toph, Zuko and Suki.

In the four-part series finale,"Sozin's Comet," Sokka and Katara meet with Katara's waterbending master, Pakku, who has now married their paternal grandmother, Kanna or "Gran-Gran". In the battle against antagonist Ozai, characters Sokka, Suki, and Toph hijack a Fire Nation airship and use it to destroy other airships while Aang duels with Ozai himself. With the battle over, the trio reunite with Aang. At Zuko's coronation, Suki is reunited with the Kyoshi Warriors, Sokka and Katara are reunited with their father, and the rest of the group reunited with their friends. In the end, Sokka is seen in Ba Sing Se.

In the first season of the sequel series The Legend of Korra, which picks up 70 years after Ozai's defeat, Katara (now an elderly woman) states that Sokka is deceased; in the third season, Tenzin (Katara and Aang's son) mentions that Sokka was present when a gang of criminals attempted to abduct Korra as a child, confirming that Sokka (biologically) outlived Aang (Sokka was 69 years old when Aang died), but died when Korra was a child. Flashbacks reveal that a middle-aged Sokka served as the representative of the Southern Water Tribe on the United Republic Council 40 years prior.

Personality[edit]

According to his sister Katara, Sokka was initially skeptical, abrasive, sexist and immature and was always sharp-witted. Incapable of bending abilities himself, Sokka instead pursues martial arts, sciences, and engineering.[2][9] He is intelligent, resourceful and at times he even proves to be quite scholarly. However, he is often clumsy and sometimes mistaken. He holds little interest in the mysticism of bending and prefers to rely on his strength and wits.[10][11] He tends to be rash, and his pride often leads to embarrassment, as during a haiku contest wherein he, in his final verse, included too many syllables.

As an advocate of human carnivorism, Sokka is the main hunter in the group; often makes dry-witted jokes or abrasive remarks; and accordingly once describes himself as "the meat and sarcasm guy".[12][13]

Under the guidance of swordsmaster Piandao, Sokka displays various unorthodox procedures when undergoing his training; such that Piandao relates that though Sokka's skills were unimpressive, he displayed much creativity, versatility, and intelligence.[14] As a rule, most or all of the foregoing characteristics appear as sources of comic relief.

After his failure to invade the Fire Nation, Sokka attempted to restore his honor by risking his life in order to rescue his father from a highly secure prison known as 'the Boiling Rock'.

Innovations and abilities[edit]

Unusual for an inhabitant of a mystical world, Sokka prefers mechanistic science and is something of a jack-of-all-trades. He seems naturally adept at creating weapons from any available material [9] and adapting them to various purposes, as when he used explosives to simulate Firebending [15] or optical illusions to help his sister Katara imitate Earthbending.[16] Alongside the Mechanist, Sokka devised a system of control for an experimental hot air balloon and partly began the design of waterbending-powered submarines. Sokka also demonstrated advanced mathematic skills and a talent for geometry towards the end of the series; but is whimsically depicted in the epilogue as a poor draughtsman.

In addition to his engineering skill, Sokka shows a remarkable talent for poetry in The Tales of Ba Sing Se, wherein he competes with a local instructor in a haiku contest, and holds his own at length before mistakenly adding an extra syllable to the end of a haiku.[6] Sokka writes with his right hand, but draws with his left hand,[17][18] and may therefore be accounted ambidextrous.

As the only non-bender in Aang's group, Sokka is often overshadowed by the bending skills of his friends;[19] but his skill in martial arts improves as the series progresses, and it is sometimes he who devises victorious strategy. Alongside his trademark boomerang, Sokka is shown wielding clubs, a machete, spears, and later a black jian [14] capable of cutting through solid metal, identified as his "space sword". Sokka also receives a white lotus Pai Sho piece from his master, the symbol of the secret 'White Lotus' Society notable for disregarding traditional rivalries and hatreds between the nations; it should be noted that although most of the series' protagonists have had in-depth interactions with members of the White Lotus, Sokka is the only one to receive this implied invitation.

Appearances in other media[edit]

Sokka's character has appeared in three THQ video games for the show, which are Avatar: The Last Airbender video game[20] and Avatar: The Last Airbender – The Burning Earth.[21][22] and Avatar: The Last Airbender – Into the Inferno. Like Aang, Sokka also appears on some Avatar T-shirts sold by Nick,[23] as well as in Tokyopop's films comic (sometimes referred to as cine-manga).[24]

Film[edit]

Jackson Rathbone stars as Sokka in the feature film The Last Airbender and significant criticism was pointed at the character difference.[25] Rathbone received the Golden Raspberry Award for Worst Supporting Actor for his role in the film.

References[edit]

  1. ^ Pittarese, Frank (2006). "Nation Exploration". Nickelodeon Magazine (Winter 2006): 2. 
  2. ^ a b c Director: Dave Filoni; Writers: Michael Dante DiMartino, Bryan Konietzko (2005-02-21). "The Avatar Returns". Avatar: The Last Airbender. Season 1. Episode 2. Nickelodeon.
  3. ^ "In Their Elements." (September 2006) Nick Mag Presents, p. 7
  4. ^ Director: Giancarlo Volpe; Writers: Michael Dante DiMartino, Bryan Konietzko (2006-12-01). "The Guru". Avatar: The Last Airbender. Season 2 (Book 2). Episode 19. Nickelodeon.
  5. ^ Definitions for 索 and 卡
  6. ^ a b Director: Ethan Spaulding; Writers: Lauren MacMullan (The Tale of Sokka), Joann Estoesta and Lisa Wahlander (The Tale of Toph and Katara) (2006-09-29). "The Tales of Ba Sing Se". Avatar: The Last Airbender. Season 2. Episode 15 (Book 2). Nickelodeon.
  7. ^ Director: Dave Filoni; Writers: Michael Dante DiMartino, Bryan Konietzko (2005-02-21). "The Guru". Avatar: The Last Airbender. Season 1 (Book 1). Episode 1. Nickelodeon.
  8. ^ Director: Giancarlo Volpe; Writer: Ian Wilcox (2005-10-07). "Bato of the Water Tribe". Avatar: The Last Airbender. Season 1 (Book 1). Episode 15. Nickelodeon.
  9. ^ a b Director: Dave Filoni; Writers: Elizabeth Welch Ehasz (2005-11-04). "The Northern Air Temple". Avatar: The Last Airbender. Season 1. Episode 17 (Book 1). Nickelodeon.
  10. ^ Director: Dave Filoni; Writers: Aaron Ehasz, John O'Bryan (2005-09-23). "The Fortuneteller". Avatar: The Last Airbender. Season 1. Episode 14. Nickelodeon.
  11. ^ Director: Giancarlo Volpe; Writers: Tim Hendrick (2006-04-14). "The Swamp". Avatar: The Last Airbender. Season 2. Episode 4. Nickelodeon.
  12. ^ Director: Lauren MacMullan; Writers: Michael Dante DiMartino (2005-02-25). "The Southern Air Temple". Avatar: The Last Airbender. Season 1. Episode 3. Nickelodeon.
  13. ^ Director: Ethan Spaulding; Writers: Aaron Ehasz (2006-06-02). "Bitter Work". Avatar: The Last Airbender. Season 2. Episode 9 (Book 2). Nickelodeon.
  14. ^ a b Director: Giancarlo Volpe; Writers: Tim Hendrick (2007-10-12). "Sokka's Master". Avatar: The Last Airbender. Season 3. Episode 4 (Book 3). Nickelodeon.
  15. ^ Director: Giancarlo Volpe; Writers: Michael Dante DiMartino (2005-04-15). "Avatar Roku (Winter Solstice, Part 2)". Avatar: The Last Airbender. Season 1. Episode 8 (Book 1). Nickelodeon.
  16. ^ Director: Dave Filoni; Writers: Matthew Hubbard (2005-03-26). "Imprisoned". Avatar: The Last Airbender. Season 1. Episode 6 (Book 1). Nickelodeon.
  17. ^ Director: Giancarlo Volpe; Writers: John O'Bryan (2006-07-14). "The Library". Avatar: The Last Airbender. Season 2. Episode 14 (Book 2). Nickelodeon.
  18. ^ Director: Ethan Spaulding; Writers: Aaron Ehasz (2006-11-3). "Lake Laogai". Avatar: The Last Airbender. Season 2. Episode 17 (Book 2). Nickelodeon.
  19. ^ Director: Giancarlo Volpe; Writers: Joshua Hamilton (2006-05-26). "The Chase". Avatar: The Last Airbender. Season 2. Episode 8 (Book 2). Nickelodeon.
  20. ^ "Avatar: The Last Airbender Video Game". Nick.com. Nickelodeon. Retrieved 2008-03-22. 
  21. ^ "Avatar: The Last Airbender — The Burning Earth" (Flash). Nickelodeon. Retrieved 2008-03-13. 
  22. ^ "IGN.com: Avatar: The Burning Earth". IGN. Retrieved 2008-03-13. 
  23. ^ "The Nickelodeon Shop — Avatar". Nickelodeon. Retrieved 2008-02-11. 
  24. ^ created by Michael Dante DiMartino & Bryan Konietzko. (2006). Avatar: The Last Airbender Cine-Manga Volume 1. Avatar: The Last Airbender Cine-Manga. Tokyopop. ISBN 1-59532-891-2. Retrieved 2008-03-14. 
  25. ^ Nicole Sperling, "Movies," Entertainment Weekly 1026 (December 17, 2008): 15.

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