Mon Mothma is an influential character in the Star Wars universe, but has had very little on-screen impact in the franchise.
She first appeared in one brief scene in Return of the Jedi, and then cameoed in Revenge of the Sith (her bigger scenes wound up cut). She appeared in a more notable role in Rogue One, and she will return in the upcoming Rogue One prequel series, Andor.
With Genevieve O’Reilly once more returning to the role, we will get to see more of Mothma’s story than ever before. The series is about Cassian Andor’s journey to beome the rebel spy we’re familiar with, but it will also focus on Mothma’s behind-the-scenes fight in the Galactic Senate. And as it does so, she will finally get her chance to shine.
“We really get to develop her as a character, and we get to learn about her not just as a senator, but as a woman,” O’Reilly told Entertainment Weekly in a recent interview. “[We learn] what her life is like, what she has to wrestle with, what are the dangers to her life, what it costs to be her. Tony [Gilroy]’s writing is so intricate and so taut. It lives in this world of the spy genre, of a sociopolitical drama, and yet it’s set within a Star Wars world. So it feels universal and intimate all at once.”
O’Reilly elaborated more on that, and how it will show all aspects of her life and not just the Senator we know. “We see her talking to senators, and then we meet her at home with her husband,” she said. “We see the public and the private. We see her literally and figuratively take off her cloak and reveal herself as a woman in a way we’ve never seen before.”
I have made it no secret that this whole storyline with Mon Mothma is actually what I am most looking forward to about Andor, so I’m super excited to see more of this side of things. It’s a side we haven’t seen much of at all, thanks to an over-correction from backlash on the political nature of the prequel trilogy. But there is more than one way to fight a war, and that’s what it sounds like Andor is trying to show. Mon Mothma becomes the formal leader of the rebellion, but far before that she was in the Senate working to bring about change and subtly working against the Empire’s tyranny.
But it sounds like we’ll also see the domestic side of her life too, and we’ve never had any sort of attention on her husband and family. In Legends she had a family, but we haven’t heard much of anything about it in canon. So it will be interesting to see that side of her life, and I’m guessing that will tie in to the fears and dangers that she faces – as it’s not just herself that would be in danger, but those she loves.
In the end, Mon Mothma winds up being one of the most important figures in the Rebellion and the New Republic, and she’s finally going to get her chance to shine when Andor premieres later this month.