While the connection to Rogue One: A Star Wars Story and its endearing rebel agent played by Diego Luna may be the main draw of upcoming series Andor, there’s definitely going to be much more to it. One look may have audiences assuming this will mostly follow the story of Cassian Andor’s radicalization during some of the darkest years in the Galactic Empire’s oppressive regime. But that’s just scratching the surface, according to one of the show’s stars.
Star Wars has addressed the human and more flawed side of the Empire before, usually leading to some surprisingly engaging and poignant stories. But this time, the deep dive into how they operate may be dealing with some different issues than before. Denise Gough, who plays Imperial officer Dedra Meero on Andor, recently spoke to Total Film about what audiences can expect from her character and story, and there are some modern talking points at play.
“I’m definitely on the Dark Side,” Gough prefaced while speaking with Total Film. But then she went on to discuss how her character, a Star Wars villain as she may be, will help convey commentary on gender politics in the Empire (and maybe real life as well, by extension.) “As a woman,” she continued, “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 a result, Gough seems to expect many audience members to root for Dedra. However, therein lies the gray area that some of the best Star Wars stories have explored. “It’s a clever thing to do, to show you how hard she has to work,” Gough wend on. “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…” It can be a precarious path to walk, trying to address gender politics while also presenting a more nuanced approach regarding morality. But hopefully, Andor can pull it off.
Some might be a bit put off by the idea of Star Wars tackling modern issues and current events, but it seems like they’ve simply forgotten that this franchise has always done that from the very beginning. George Lucas himself has explained again and again that the rebels in A New Hope were inspired by freedom fighters like the Vietcong who opposed the U.S. forces in the Vietnam War. Meanwhile, the Empire is meant to be an analogue of the U.S., despite the multitude of British accents.
The point is, Star Wars is a franchise of social commentary delivered in a shiny sci-fi package, and it always has been. So Andor discussing the extremely modern topic of gender in personal and professional situations is, if anything, par for the course. Here’s hoping the show can stick the landing, but either way, it’s nice to know what it’s going for.
Andor will premiere its first 3 episodes on September 21st, 2022, on Disney Plus.
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Source: Total Film