Mon Mothma was an influential figure in the Republic, in the Rebel Alliance, and in the New Republic. Though she doesn’t have a ton of screentime in the Star Wars films, she casts an important influence in the story of Star Wars – so what was she up to after the Battle of Endor?
Here’s what we know:
In the wake of the Battle of Endor, Mon Mothma continued to lead the Rebel Alliance in their battle against the reeling Empire, attempting to stop Operation: Cinder across the galaxy. As the war stretched on, in the months after Endor, the Alliance to Restore the Republic was officially re-organized into the New Republic. The Galactic Senate was re-instituted, the government was established on Chandrila, and Mothma was elected as the first Chancellor. Ironically, because of the wartime conditions, Mothma was given the very same emergency powers that she had so decried when they were bestowed upon Chancellor Palpatine years earlier. She hated this and sought to abolish it as soon as possible.
It is also worthwhile to note that Mothma established the Galactic Senate on her homeworld of Chandrila to begin the New Republic. Planets loyal to the Rebellion had seen harsh treatment (Alderaan was destroyed and Mon Cala was subjected to harsh treatment and occupation), and Mon Cala and Chandrila were both going to be targets of the Empire with the second Death Star. For Mothma to headquarter the New Republic on her own homeworld was a bold risk and quite courageous, but also helped somewhat protect other worlds if the worst were to happen.
As the final year of the Civil War dragged on, Mothma continued to oversee the War effort while also working to establish a brand new government and help planets and systems heal from the oppression of the Imperial rule. It was no easy job.
At one point, Mothma agreed to a meeting with Grand Admiral Rae Sloane on Chandrila for what was believed to be a peace meeting. It turned out to be an attack, however, and a bombing left many dead and Mothma wounded. Later, Mothma received word that the Imperial remnants were amassing at Jakku. Requiring approval from the Senate to send the New Republic fleet, Mothma sought to go to battle… and was voted down. But due to some shrewd political maneuvering, she wound up getting the vote and sent Admiral Gial Ackbar and the fleet to Jakku, where the Empire was soundly defeated. The War was over. Mothma met Grand Vizier Mas Amedda on Chandrila and the Galactic Concordance was signed, which brought a formal and official end to the conflict between the New Republic and the Empire.
The Empire was ordered to cease all hostilities, and with the conclusion of the War, Mothma also made good on her promise to disarm the New Republic military. In the wake of the Galactic Concordance, the Senate soon passed the Military Disarmament Act, which reduced the size of the New Republic military by 90 percent. This act was opposed by some, including Senator Leia Organa, but was easily passed. Mothma wanted to send a message to a hurting galaxy that they were done fighting.
In hindsight, Mothma’s actions can appear to be foolish, as ultimately the New Republic Defense Fleet allowed the Empire to be reborn in the Unknown Regions as the First Order and was unable to stop their rise. In addition, it was the Disarmament (along with the Senate’s lackadaisical approach to the rising threats) that caused Organa to start the Resistance. But as is often the case with history, even galactic history, the truth is more complicated than it might initially appear. Yes, Mothma’s desire to reduce the military by such a drastic amount likely left the Republic vulnerable, but it also sent an important message. The galaxy had been through the Clone Wars, then endured the oppressive rule of the Empire, then went through the Civil War. Systems were weary and done with war, and a government that came along and exerted their massive military might would have been viewed with much skepticism. Mothma’s actions helped send a message to the galaxy that this New Republic had no intentions of getting into another war.
Another step that Mothma took was to put into motion a plan that saw the Senate rotate worlds. It was decided that the Senate would not be permanently located on any one particular planet, which helped to further distinguish this new government from the Old Republic (where the capital had been Coruscant), another step in sending a message to the galaxy. This is also the reason why the Senate was on Hosnian Prime in the years leading up to The Force Awakens rather than Chandrila.
At some point, Mothma was forced to retire as Chancellor of the New Republic due to illness. She had overseen a largely successful establishment and transition to a brand new government, had helped the galaxy heal in the wake of the Imperial reign, and had managed to keep the Galactic Senate mostly unified. Without her as the Chancellor of the Republic, that unity quickly disintegrated, and under the ensuing Chancellors the Senate split into opposing parties, the Populists and the Centrists.
It is unknown when Mothma stepped down as Chancellor, and we don’t know what happened to her afterward. We do know, however, that she was still alive as of six years before TFA, as she sent Leia Organa a message of support following the revelation that Organa’s father was Darth Vader – something that it seemed Mothma had suspected for a while.
A Senator from Chandrila. The leader of the Alliance to Restore the Republic. The first Chancellor of the New Republic. Between this and all of the countless stories and accomplishments contained within those roles, the story of the galaxy can hardly be told without Mon Mothma. We don’t know how her story ends, but we can certainly recognize her massive influence in the events of the Star Wars saga.
Check out more in the “What were they up to after Endor?” series: