‘Avatar: The Last Airbender’: Sokka Not Having Bending Abilities Is ‘Beautiful,’ Says Actor Jack De Sena

As the Avatar: The Last Airbender universe continues to expand years after it left its stamp on the world, the TV show’s voice actors are keeping the torch lit. Diehard fans love hearing perspectives from the series’ cast and creative team, and Jack De Sena recently spoke on his character, Sokka.

Sokka charmed fans as Katara’s big bro, Team Avatar’s resident comedian and foodie, and loyal friend. He is also a warrior and scientist in his own right, ready to protect Avatar Aang and his loved ones. With or without bending, he has his own special qualities that De Sena found to be meaningful.

'Avatar: The Last Airbender' with Aang, Katara, and Sokka
‘Avatar: The Last Airbender’ with Aang, Katara, and Sokka | Courtesy Nickelodeon

Jack De Sena notes importance of Sokka’s non-bender journey in ‘Avatar: The Last Airbender’

Though Sokka was part of the Southern Water Tribe, unlike his sister, he didn’t have water-bending skills. That aspect fed into his story arc of understanding his own worth when surrounded by benders like Aang, Katara, and Zuko. For De Sena, Sokka is totally relatable.

During his appearance on the Avatar: Braving the Elements podcast, he spoke about how fans really connect with the character. “To me, I connect to — and I think a lot of people connect to — Sokka’s ability to then find something else in himself. For Sokka, it’s creative thinking and being a problem solver. And also, the thing that I love that Sokka embodies is being willing to be part of a team with people who you view as more special than you in some way,” De Sena shared.

He mentioned the episode where Sokka felt left out. “There’s an episode where Sokka’s having a lot of self-doubt about how he belongs in this world of benders and goes off to find a sense of purpose through that,” he said. “And while he’s gone, all these people are talking about all the things he’s contributing and everything they’re missing while he’s gone. I think it’s a beautiful thing. This idea that you don’t see it yourself, but other people see what makes you special.”

The episode he’s references is in Book 3 and is titled “Sokka’s Master.” In it, Team Avatar dealt with a meteor and Sokka felt useless. He wound up working solo with a fire-bending master to learn about swordsmanship, and the team built him up.

Which bending ability De Sena wants in the ‘ATLA’ world

All ATLA fans can peg which bending power they’d want to have if they were real, but what about the series’ cast members? While chatting with hosts Janet Varney and Dante Basco, the topic came up, and De Sena spilled.

First, he praised Sokka’s boomerang skills. But if came down to it, he himself wouldn’t mind being a healing waterbender or in true Sokka form, some sort of swampbender.

Who does De Sena ship on ‘Avatar: The Last Airbender’?

ATLA fans recently learned that showrunner Bryan Konietzko always planned for Korra and Asami to get together. Romantic ships are a regular topic in the fandom, and De Sena shared his opinion when asked to weigh in. He expressed strong support for Team Zutara, but also said, “I’m enjoying the growing presence of Zukka shipping.”

However, he really loved Sokka and Suki together. “She changes Sokka in many important ways, and I love the two of them.” Suki remains another fan favorite for her badass combat skills as a non-bender. Fans can keep up with De Sena on Instagram and check him out in Netflix’s The Dragon Prince.

RELATED: ‘Avatar: The Last Airbender’ Franchise Creator Says He Shipped 1 Couple Before Anyone Else