Comics lover nation

Prodigy’s Rylee Alazraqui on Rok-Tahk’s Journey Into Science

  • Share

Rylee Alazraqui plays Rok-Tahk on Star Trek’s first animated series for all ages, Star Trek: Prodigy. The Brikar may look imposing, but she’s a gentle soul on the inside, which the 11-year-old Alazraqui brings out in her performance. At first, with that intimidating appearance, Rok-Tahk seemed to be taking on the role of protector among the USS Protostar‘s ad hoc crew. However, in the episodes that have aired since Prodigy returned from its midseason break, Rok-Tahk has taken a deeper interest in the sciences. While she’s still working out which sciences she wants to study, the knowledge she’s already acquired proved vital to curing the sickness Dal contracted in this week’s episode, “All the World’s a Stage.” had the chance to speak with Alazraqui about what it’s been like voicing Rok-Tahk throughout these developments. Here’s what she had to say:

(Photo: Jesse Grant/Getty Images for Paramount+)

This episode goes really deep on the Star Trek references. How much of that did you get, and how much just rolling with the context of the episode and learning as you go?

Rylee Alazraqui: I’m new to the whole Star Trek community. I definitely learn more about it every day and every episode that goes by. With Starfleet, and all these things surrounding this whole Star Trek universe, it’s crazy. Like you said, I’m learning by each episode and seeing what’s new and what comes next, and what types of different programs there are. And Starfleet, Starflight, everything.

Where is Rok-Tahk at this point in the season? It seems like that initial flush of, “Hey we’re on a starship” is starting to settle in, and now they’re really considering some bigger questions about what they’re wanting to do.

Right now, their goal is to get into Starfleet and learn more about that. And Rok-Tahk is definitely feeling more settled into the ship. And I think before, she was a little more cautious about it and she was more of the security. But now as we know, she is discovering more of her science side, and she is discovering all these math things and science, and she’s really into that instead of security and fighting.

Because Rok-Tahk inside, she’s just a sweet little girl who likes to solve equations and help out her friends and stuff like that. So I think she’s definitely settling into the ship and becoming closer with everyone on the Protostar. And I think that she is playing it day by day. She’s getting more comfortable every day and learning more about everything surrounding her and bonding with everyone.

How much did you know about the direction that the writers were going to take with the character when you started? Were you yourself expecting her to stick with the security track? Were you surprised by her interest in science?

I didn’t really think that much about that. The first recording I did, I knew that she was more of a tough character and she was going to be doing kind of that. But as I kept going to the recordings and kept watching episodes, there were more difficult lines, and it was hard for me because the lines are really hard, and I can’t say some of the stuff. But I noticed that, and I noticed that it was changing.

The episodes keep revealing little sides of her. They’re showing her science side, and then she evolved into this science freak in some of the episodes. Now she is taking her passion to another level, and she wants to focus on science instead of physical things like fighting and security. I definitely did see it coming with all the vocabulary in the recordings, but as the episodes go on, I think everyone’s going to learn more about her science side than her security-fighting side.

How bad is the technobabble? Because Star Trek is fairly infamous for its technobabble dialogue with all the fake science stuff.

Well, of course, Rok-Tahk knows all the stuff, but Rylee doesn’t. I’m sure the Star Trek friends out there know what she’s saying, but as for me, when I go into record, I just say it and don’t know what I’m saying, but I’m like, “Yeah, that sounds Star Trek-y, whatever. We’ll go with that.”

But I’m learning more about what they mean and what they mean to Star Trek and what they mean to all the Star Treks that’s come before Star Trek: Prodigy, so this vocabulary is getting easier for me because I’m learning more with each episode. I’m knowing more about what the words mean with every single episode that goes by.

I know for some actors it helps them to relate to their characters. Do you find the way you relate to Rok-Tahk changing as their focus changes? Or is it pretty much the same as when you started in the role?

In the role, they told me to be myself but be a little more — What’s the word? A little more “cutesy” if that makes sense. So I toned up my voice to make it sound a little more high-pitched. But that was when I was younger so it was a bit easier for me. But now as Rok-Tahk’s growing, because she’s growing in the show as well, I don’t have to keep up that high-pitched voice. I changed my voice a little bit, but I know that she’s growing up on the show as well, so there’s little Rok-Tahk, and then she’s evolving with each episode, and with every episode, she is growing.

My normal voice as Rok-Tahk is easier for me instead of doing another voice, so I do my own voice and then I go a little higher at times or a little lower at times because Rok has those moments. But definitely, in the beginning, I did go a little higher than expected. But now I’m feeling that I just keep my normal voice. If I have to go higher, I go higher, go lower, go lower.

Rok-Tahk seems very attached to Murf. Can you say anything about what’s going on with Murf and what that might mean for Rok-Tahk’s relationship with Murf?

I don’t want to spoil anything, but definitely something is happening with Murf. He’s changing into something, and we don’t know what. I definitely think Rok’s relationship with Murf is really, really special, and they’re really, really connected. She just found him somewhere and brought them on the ship and hey, now they’re very close. I feel like for Rok to see him changing is the process of adults seeing their kids growing up, so it’s like Rok seeing her little baby slime-worm child growing up and changing into this different thing, and I think she’s curious.

As this episode ended, she saw, and she was like, “What’s going on?” So he’s definitely changing into something else, and I’m pretty sure Rok is still going to act the same way she acted toward the slimy little guy, but she’s definitely curious to see what’s going to happen soon.

What can we expect from Rok-Tahk for the rest of the season? More of this scientific journey? Or are there more twists and turns as the season progresses?

As the season progresses, there are definitely going to be a few twists and turns as it goes on because, hey, it’s Star Trek. There are a lot of things that happen during the season, but I think that Rok definitely stays pretty much the same. She’s focusing on her science side, and she’s getting closer with everyone. New challenges come up every single episode, she completes them, she advances, and new things happen. But she’s definitely staying on that science side. And every single episode, the crew’s goal, all their goals is to get closer to Starfleet and get closer to each other, and complete missions. They all grow very close together by the end of the season and as we go on. But I definitely think that Rok is just staying to her science side, learning about that, bonding closer, and completing new missions.

Star Trek: Prodigy streams exclusively on Paramount+. New episodes debut weekly on Thursdays.

  • Share

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *