Star Wars Series Will Explore The Empire’s Sexism

Star Wars is meant to showcase an intergalactic feel, meaning it includes people and creatures from all walks of life. Now, a new series will tackle sexism in the Empire.

By Matthew Creith | Published

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Andor Has Broken A Very Odd Record

star wars sexism

Throughout the Star Wars franchise, several concepts have seemed to remain constant for over four decades. Chief among these is something that many studios and filmmakers have had to contend with, particularly the idea of balancing stories and structure around all sexes depicted in the project. In the first Star Wars trilogy, the lone female voice came from Princess Leia, played by the late Carrie Fisher. In recent years, the franchise has done what it could to examine all sides of the coin, but The Empire seems to be one of the remaining pieces to discuss. Now, it appears that a new Star Wars series is set to explore The Galactic Empire’s own sexism in a much-needed way.

According to a report by GamesRadarAndor will confront the topic of sexism when it comes to The Empire, mainly through the lens of the character Dedra Meero. Actor Denise Gough is set to portray Dedra Meero, an Imperial officer who appears in the new Disney+ series that is set to debut on September 21st. Playing opposite Diego Luna and addressing the apparent sexism that exists in the Star Wars universe, the actor explained in her interview with GamesRadar that “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.” She goes on to say that “It’s a clever thing to do, to show you how hard she has to work…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…” Meero is a character that exists to further along the Dark Side in an era of Palpatine rule, one of the only female officers that are brought into focus in the new series.

Andor is Disney+’s latest foray into the Star Wars franchise, which has seen success in shows like The Mandalorian and Obi-Wan Kenobi. According to ComicBook.com, Denise Gough’s Star Wars character of Dedra Meero will address sexism and gender issues head-on in story arcs, including being a woman and member of the Galactic Empire and how her journey differs from the men around her. Until this point, there haven’t been a lot of examples in other Star Wars films where Imperial officers are played by women. It appears that Gough is happy to explore this in Andor and further the discussion forward as more Star Wars films and series are produced.

A prime example of these changes is John Boyega’s character of Finn, who started out in Star Wars: The Force Awakens as a Stormtrooper. When the trailer for the movie was released, it was the first time audiences saw a Black man in a Stormtrooper suit. Boyega spoke to GQ about his experiences in the film and how reactions to his race in a storied franchise like Star Wars shaped his perception of the fan base he was entering. Denise Gough will likely contend with haters on social media as well for a bit after Andor is released, as the character she embodies will face many challenges in the Star Wars series that have to do with sexism and her place in The Dark Side. Unlike Boyega, Gough seems prepared for these discussions as she has taken on a character built to do just that. It seems fitting that in 2022, Disney is gearing up for some much-needed changes, even if Andor is supposed to take place before the events of the 1977 original film.