Denise Gough Doesn't Want A Redemption For Andor's Dedra Meero

One of the more interesting characters on "Andor" is Dedra Meero, the Imperial Security Bureau officer played by Denise Gough. When we first meet Dedra, the audience learns to identify with her through the challenges she faces in her job. It just so happens that she works for the Empire, traditionally the villains of the "Star Wars" universe. Yet "Andor" is already a show built around a Rebel "hero" whose first act when we met him in "Rogue One" was to kill an injured informant in cold blood. The series has continued to explore the gray areas in-between the conventional, clear-cut, black-or-white divisions of "Star Wars."

Even in the the original "Star Wars" trilogy, there were Imperial officers you could root for, like Admiral Piett (Kenneth Colley), if only because their position was so precarious at all times. One wrong move and Darth Vader was liable to permanently relieve them of duty via a Force choke. Dedra is very much a character cut from the same cloth as Admiral Piett, with the added twist that she's a woman trying to survive and thrive in a cutthroat environment dominated by men.

In a recent interview with, Gough spoke of maneuvering between the cracks of moral complexity as Dedra, saying:

"I want you to be very conflicted about your feelings about her. The great thing about Dedra, and what I love about playing her, is that ... when I first started playing her, I was sitting in this room surrounded by these men — a lot of men who weren't doing their jobs properly. And so I was really rooting for Dedra. You're really on her side. And then she does certain things that you just think, 'Okay, so maybe I can't support that.'"

'Please don't redeem her'

At the Imperial Security Bureau, Dedra faces resistance (not to be confused with the future Resistance) from her colleague Blevin (Ben Bailey Smith). He's territorial about his jurisdiction and doesn't want to let her investigate what she believes to be an organized Rebel conspiracy spread out across multiple sectors. Yet the initiative Dedra shows ultimately catches the eye of their superior, Major Partagaz, played by Anton Lesser (known for his role as Qyburn on "Game of Thrones.")

Dedra prevails in her efforts, and she even seems to be motivated to do right, in a sense, and preserve order across the galaxy, as opposed to just being driven by a desire for career advancement. However, this soon leads her to the torture room with Bix Caleen (Adria Arjona). It's here that Dedra shows her sadistic side and reminds us that she's still one of the bad guys — or gals. As Gough put it:

"For people watching, initially you really want [Dedra] to succeed, because you just see a woman really striving for success. But then what you have to sit with is, once you get on board with her at the beginning just because she's a woman in a man's world ... [she is] just as capable of doing the most heinous things for power. Somebody said to me the other day, 'Please don't redeem her.' And I thought, 'Oh, that's so good.' Don't apologize. Let her be just as ambitious as the most villainous of men and color in all the shades so that everyone's conflicted when they're watching."

Dedra definitely makes the viewer's loyalties shift back and forth, but that's part of what makes her character and "Andor" as a whole so compelling. The penultimate episode of the show's first season streams next Wednesday on Disney+.