The latest Star Wars streaming series, Andor, has been hailed as a breath of fresh air for its more nuanced portrayal of the Empire. In the original Star Wars movie, the Rebels were portrayed as the good guys and the Empire as the bad guys. But in Andor, there are no traditional heroes and villains; rebels have many flaws and imperials have many redeeming qualities.
Not everyone who works for the Empire is pure evil. From Andor’s Dedra Meero to Rogue One’s Galen Erso to The Mandalorian’s Migs Mayfeld, many likeable Imperial characters populate the Star Wars universe.
One of the things that makes Andor such a breath of fresh air in the Star Wars canon is that he doesn’t rigidly adhere to black-and-white archetypes of heroes and villains. Every character in the series, on both sides of the conflict, is a complete human being with both flaws and redeeming factors.
Dedra Meero, for example, works with the Empire to crush the Rebellion. But, as a high-ranking supervisor of the Imperial Security Bureau (essentially the Empire’s CIA), she feels on the safe side of the war.
Introduced in Rogue One, Orson Krennic is the Director of Advanced Weapons Research for the Imperial Army. He is more dedicated to doing his job well than to the Empire’s main goal of oppression and fear.
When Grand Moff Tarkin was trying to take credit for the Death Star to consolidate his power, a furious Headmaster, Krennic, told him, “We’re here in the middle of my achievement, not yours!” Krennic doesn’t just want the galaxy to live in fear; like everyone else, he wants recognition for his hard work.
The Obi-Wan Kenobi miniseries featured the Inquisitors in live-action form. While the Grand Inquisitor is pure evil, blindly serving Darth Vader, the Third Sister is far more sympathetic. At first, Reva Sevander seems like a simple villain, but she’s really a vengeful anti-heroine.
It turns out that Reva is not a loyal servant of Vader; she is a former young Jedi who secretly plots against Vader in retaliation for the slaughter of her classmates.
After all the Imperial officers introduced in the original Star Wars movie died in the destruction of the Death Star, The Empire Strikes Back introduced a bunch of new ones, like Admiral Ozzel, General Veers, and Captain Needa. When it comes to Imperial officers, Needa had a lot of integrity.
When Vader asked for an update on the Millennium Falcon hunt, Needa took the fall: “I will take full responsibility for their loss and apologize to Lord Vader.” Unfortunately, integrity doesn’t go very far with Vader. Cut to Needa being Force choked to death and Vader joking, “Apologies accepted, Captain Needa.” »
After R2-D2, C-3PO, and BB-8, Rogue One introduced another lovable droid to the sprawling Star Wars ensemble. K-2SO is an Imperial enforcer droid who has been reprogrammed by Cassian Andor to work for the Rebellion.
Andor showed how ruthless and unstoppable these enforcer droids are when obeying their native Imperial code. Not only does K-2SO have nobler controls; he also has an endearing dry sense of humor.
Grand Admiral Thrawn
Despite being a cold-hearted Imperial bureaucrat who takes orders from the Empire, Grand Admiral Thrawn is a surprisingly fair leader. He rewards hard work, encourages underlings he believes in, and he’s incredibly smart, which makes him oddly likable.
Unlike most Imperial villains, Thrawn is oddly caring and compassionate. He does not rule with an iron fist and he avoids collateral damage as much as possible.
Galen Erso’s role in Rogue One concealed a plot hole in the original Star Wars film. It turns out that Jyn Erso’s research father was kidnapped by the Empire and forced to design the Death Star.
The glaring weakness exploited by the Rebellion was sneakily included in the station’s design in a deliberate attempt to sabotage the Empire.
Assistant Inspector Syril Karn
Dedra Meero isn’t the only sympathetic Imperial in Andor; fans also find themselves empathizing with Assistant Inspector Syril Karn, who has an overbearing mother and is demoted to a desk job. As a detective working for the Pre-Mor Authority, Karn just wants to find his co-workers’ murderer.
Rather than get drawn into the grand battle between the Rebels and the Empire, he just wants to solve Cassian’s double homicide case and bring an outlaw to justice.
In the first season of The Mandalorian, Mando met former Imperial Migs sniper Mayfeld when he was hired to help with a prison break. During the second season, his character was significantly deepened with revelations about the atrocities he was involved in during his time in the Empire.
Filled with remorse and PTSD over his Imperial days, Mayfeld shoots his former commanding officer, blows up an Imperial oil refinery, and hints at joining the New Republic just to help him sleep at night.
The friendliest character working for the Empire is the evil overlord of the whole operation. Wayward Jedi padawan Anakin Skywalker was corrupted by the Emperor, turned to the dark side, and was used as a subordinate weapon of war for years before returning to the light side.
Anakin’s estranged son Luke inspired him to renounce the dark side, kill the Emperor, and bring down the Empire in an emotional final sacrifice.