Sokka is a character in Avatar: The Last Airbender.
The character, created by Michael Dante DiMartino and Bryan Konietzko, was voiced by Jack DeSena. According to Entertainment Weekly, “Twilight’s Jackson Rathbone has been asked to play Aang's pal Sokka in The Last Airbender.
In the show, fifteen-year-old Sokka is a warrior of the South Pole's Southern Water Tribe, a race of people who can control and manipulate water. Although not born with the gift of Bending, he continually strives to become a worthy warrior and leader. He, along with his younger sister Katara, discover an Airbender named Aang, the long-lost Avatar, and accompanies him on his quest to defeat the imperialistic Fire Nation and bring peace to the war-torn nations.
Concept and creation
It is provided in the Avatar Nick Mag Presents: First Edition issue by co-creators Michael Dante DiMartino and Bryan Konietzko that Sokka was originally designed to be much more low-key, but when his comedian voice actor Jack DeSena came in and brought liveliness to his character, they began writing towards that strength. Much of Sokka's dialog and actions are derived from improvisations and intentional exaggerations on DeSena's part that the writers chose to include within scripts. Furthermore, DeSena has stated that he is inspired by fellow comedian Jim Carrey, which would explain a majority of Sokka's mannerisms and facial expressions throughout the show.
As a result of his design, Sokka's character has come to serve as a source of comic relief throughout the series, often a victim of visual slapstick. Among various running gags involving Sokka are his affinity for being covered in viscous substances, such as raw sewage, slurry, and Appa's phlegm or saliva, and forgetting that Toph is blind. Sokka also has a tendency to produce or at times laugh at jokes that nobody else thinks funny, a trait he shares with his father.
In “Tales of Ba Sing Se”, Sokka’s name was written as 索卡.
Sokka grew up in his village as an aspiring warrior-in-training of the Southern Water Tribe. Forced to mature quickly when his mother Kya was killed in a Fire Nation raid, he cultivated his warrior skills with a militant zeal, while his sister Katara did chores and practiced waterbending. When Sokka was thirteen, his father and the other village men left to fight alongside the Earth Kingdom in the war against the Fire Nation, leaving him and his sister to look after their tribe with their grandmother, Gran Gran. As the oldest male left in the South Pole, Sokka came to assume a semi-leadership role by the time he was fifteen, fiercely protecting the village from any possible outside threats while trying to train children to be a new generation of defenders.
While on a spearfishing expedition, Katara and Sokka discovered Aang in suspended animation inside an iceberg. After Katara freed him, Sokka initially believed that the Airbender might be a Fire Navy spy, and he eventually grew xenophobic enough to banish him from the village. Upon discovering that Aang was the Avatar, destined to master all four elements and bring peace to the world, Sokka relented, realizing that they had a common enemy in the Fire Nation. He then set off with Katara and Aang on their journey to find a waterbending instructor at the North Pole, determined to hone his warrior skills by way of fighting Firebenders along the way.
In "Sokka's Master," Sokka expresses self-doubt and worry that he is not contributing as much to the group as his bender companions are. Inspired by his friends' encouragement, he seeks out a master from whom he could learn the art of the sword. Rather than fighting with brute force and flawless technique, Sokka's creativity and heterodox approach to things are the cornerstones of his technique, and his master notes that in time Sokka will be a superior swordsman. As he departs, his master gives him a game piece that is later used as a sign of connection to the secret society known as the Order of the White Lotus.
In the two-hour series finale, Sokka and Katara meet with Katara's Waterbending master, Pakku, who has now married their grandmother. In the battle against Ozai, Sokka, his girlfriend Suki, and Toph hijack a Fire Nation airship and use it to destroy others of its kind while Aang duels with the Phoenix King (Firelord Ozai). Sokka and Toph are separated from Suki and attack another airship, but Sokka breaks his leg and strains his arm grabbing hold of Toph, who was falling off the ship. In a compromised position, the pair are attacked by two soldiers, whom Sokka defeats at the cost of his sword and boomerang. As he and Toph are on the edge of the crashing ship, Suki arrives with another airship and saves the two. With the battle over, the trio reunite with Aang and the vanquished Phoenix King. At Zuko's coronation, Suki is reunited with her fellow Kyoshi Warriors, Sokka and Katara are reunited with their father, with the rest of the group reunited with their friends. In the end, Sokka is seen at Iroh's tea shop in Ba Sing Se where everyone teases a painted picture he created of the entire team, wherein he altered some factual details to make the scene more "memorable".
Skeptical, abrasive, and sharp-witted, Sokka is detached from Aang, Katara, and Toph's pursuit of the bending arts. Not gifted with bending abilities himself, Sokka instead prefers the ways of the warrior and the scientist, and he takes his responsibility as protector very seriously. He is also very intelligent and good at inventing ideas and plans on the spot, even if these ideas are not always effective.
Patriotic and long to hold a grudge, he strongly wants to exact vengeance for the Fire Nation's decimation of the Water Tribe and the death of his mother. He holds little interest in the mysticism surrounding bending and prefers to solve problems using his strength and his wits. He tends to be rash, however, and his pride often leads to embarrassment. Despite his obvious cleverness, Sokka sometimes appears foolish. His sarcastic and absurd behavior can sometimes extend into important decisions.
A passionate carnivore, Sokka has demonstrated his love of meat on multiple occasions and is the chief hunter of the group. Sokka also has an affinity for sarcasm. In the episode "Bitter Work," Sokka shouts vowing to give up both meat and sarcasm for assistance, agreeing to consider himself no longer "Sokka, the meat and sarcasm guy," but willing to be "Sokka the veggies and straight-talk fellow." By the end of the episode, however, he has given up neither meat nor sarcasm.
Under the guidance of swordsmaster Piandao, Sokka displays various unorthodox procedures when undergoing his training. As he presents Sokka with his blade, Piandao relates that though his skills were hardly impressive, he displayed much creativity, versatility, and intelligence.
After the failure of the Invasion, Sokka proves to have a sense of honor. He felt strongly disappointed, given that the invasion was his idea and probably his fault for the invasion force being captured. Sokka was willing to restore his honor by risking his life in order to rescue his father from a highly secure Fire Nation prison.
Sokka writes with his right hand, but draws with his left hand. He is possibly ambidextrous, as he is often seen wielding his club, sword, and boomerang with both hands, although his left-handed art is crude and rudimentary.
Innovations and abilities
For an inhabitant of a mystical world, Sokka shows a remarkable proclivity towards science and is something of a jack-of-all-trades. He seems naturally adept at creating weapons out of any materials at any time. He learned how to construct amateur explosives from his father, which he once used to simulate Firebending. In another instance, Sokka used trickery and optical illusions to help his sister Katara fake the ability of Earthbending. Working side by side with fellow technologist, the Mechanist, Sokka has managed to engineer a system of control for an experimental hot air balloon as well as conceptualize the design for waterbending-powered submarines. Sokka also demonstrated advanced math skills and a talent for geometry towards the end of the series. He is also able to navigate the landscape by just looking at the map. Alongside his trademark boomerang, Sokka is proficient in a variety of weapons, including clubs, a machete, spears, and the newest addition, a black jian molded from a meteorite that is capable of cutting through solid metal, called a "space sword". Sokka's ultimate achievement is destroying the entire Fire Nation Air Force along with Suki and Toph, as well as being the one to finally take down the fire bender he called "combustion man" .
In addition to his engineering skill, Sokka has shown a remarkable talent for poetry. In The Tales of Ba Sing Se, he stumbles into a poetry reading and holds his own when competing with the instructor in a haiku contest. However, his hubris gets the best of him and he is thrown out for accidentally adding an extra syllable to the end of a haiku.
As the only non-bender in Aang's group, Sokka is often overshadowed by the bending skills of his friends. However, it is usually Sokka who comes up with a plan for victory. His skill in Martial Arts noticeably improves as the series progresses, though earlier in the series it was usually his persistence rather than skill that often allowed him to fight against more extensively trained opponents, such as Zuko in "The Avatar Returns" and Ty Lee in "The Chase."
Sokka has come to learn the art of swordsmanship in order to improve his contribution to the team. Under the tutelage of the Fire Nation swordmaster Piandao, Sokka undergoes various activities, including sparring matches with the butler Fat to hone his sword wielding skills as well as arts such as painting, calligraphy and rock gardening to sharpen to his mind. Eventually, when instructed to make his own sword, he uses fragments of a meteorite that fell the night before to collect the metal needed to forge his blade. Sokka's sword, like his master's, is patterned on a Chinese jian, but unique in that due to the properties of the alien material used for its creation, the blade retains an unusual all-black appearance. The sword is also able to slice through the toughest materials, including regular metal (as seen when Sokka slices through a Fire Nation cannon during the Day of Black Sun). Although Sokka proves unable to defeat his master in heated battle and must leave to continue his training on his own, Piandao states the belief that Sokka retains traits which one day could very well come to make him an even greater swordsman than himself. This is proven as the series progresses; during the invasion, Sokka used his sword skills to defeat multiple Fire Nation soldiers. Also, in The Boiling Rock, Sokka and Zuko teamed up to fight Azula, a highly skilled firebender, to a stalemate with Zuko defending against her fire blasts and Sokka keeping her back with his sword. In the series finale, his fighting abilities culminate in a scene that finds Sokka using a combination of his speed, agility, and deft motion to disable two Firebenders of the Royal Guard, while wounded and dangling from a falling Fire Nation airship, though he sacrifices the sword in the process.
Sokka was also given a white lotus Pai Sho piece by his master, an important symbol to the secret White Lotus Society. Members of the society are known for appreciating philosophy, being masters of bending and warrior disciplines, and for disregarding traditional rivalries and hatreds held between the nations.
Beginning in the third season, Sokka also on occasion assumes the persona of Wang Fire, an upperclass Fire Nation citizen. First done to pass as Aang's father, he subsequently dons an oversize beard for comic relief as in "Nightmares and Daydreams", pulling scams in "The Runaway", and used it to enlist in the Fire Nation army in Avatar comics.