In the latest edition of Total Film covering Andor, actor Denise Gough talks playing a female Imperial during Palpatine’s reign. Although likely a real world gender issue of the 70’s and 80’s, we have very rarely had female Imperial Officers on screen. That’s not to say we’ve had none, but the vast majority have been male and certainly only male in the OT movies.
There are also no aliens in the Imperial fleet you’ll notice. Whilst I can’t talk for the current canon, in the old Legends this was all explained. In a nutshell, Papa Palps was prejudiced and only allowed human’s in the Imperial Navy and usually only males. I recall a few prominent female officers as well from those Legends stories, however there usually was some prejudice leveled at them by their male peers.
Gough explains that things are tough for her character in this regard. However don’t feel too sorry for her. Gough also hints that she is very much playing a loyal, therefore likely quite evil antagonist.
“I’m definitely on the Dark Side,” grins actor Denise Gough, nodding to her brief but fearsome appearance in the Andor trailer as Imperial officer Dedra Meero. Excited to be joining Star Wars’ growing roster of female baddies, the two-time Olivier winner describes a shot where she dons her Imperial-issue jacket, “and as the camera pulls round, you see it’s a woman in that outfit. And that felt great, great, great.”
Gough’s arc will address gender politics in the age of Palpatine in a timely fashion: “As a woman, in that world, for her to advance in any way, she has to be like 10 times better than anyone else in that room. And that felt really relevant to everything we’re going through right now.” As such, she believes viewers will be “on [Dedra’s] side”. To a point, anyway… “It’s a clever thing to do, to show you how hard she has to work,” reckons Gough. “It kind of brings you in to feel cheerleader-y for her – and then you’ll be like, ‘She’s a psycho!’ So be careful supporting her…”
As to the dynamic between Dedra and Andor? All the spoiler-mindful Gough can say is “she’s not particularly fond of him”.
I guess what interested me most from this article was this line by showrunner Tony Gilroy.
“We have a very, very, very deep dive into the Imperial side of the story,” he tells Total Film in the latest issue.
Honestly I’ve been looking for more of the Imperial side for quite some time. That’s an area I have always felt lacking. Therefore, Andor just keeps sounding better and better to me he more I hear.
It didn’t excite me when it was announced, but I’m actually hyped for Andor now.
What do you think of her comments as Andor actor Denise Gough talks playing a female Imperial during Palpatine’s reign? As always, leave any thoughts below.