Mon Mothma is finally getting her chance to shine.
First introduced as the elegant rebel leader in Return of the Jedi, Mothma has become a major figure in the Star Wars franchise, appearing in books, shows, and films, but her on-screen appearances have been very brief compared to her in-universe impact.
But in Andor, Mothma stars in her secret efforts at rebellion while in the Imperial Senate. She’s a scene stealer any time she appears, so it felt fitting to give a reminder to viewers about who she is and why she’s such an important figure in the franchise.
Mon Mothma was a Senator from Chandrila who joined the Republic Senate as a teenager, working in the political realm during the waning years of the Galactic Republic. As The Clone Wars broke out, Mothma sought peaceful resolutions, and she formed friendships with fellow senators Padme Amidala and Bail Organa, among others. Particularly in the final days of the war, as Chancellor Palpatine’s powers grew, Mothma and her allies grew increasingly concerned. This led to them collaborating in secret about the need for a rebellion to stop Palpatine’s concerning ambitions.
Their worst fears were realized when the Republic crumbled. Amidala was killed, Palpatine declared himself Emperor, and Mothma and Organa just barely escaped accusations of treason. Their work of rebellion continued, but was driven even more underground. Mothma and Organa continued to work toward peace, and against Palpatine, from the Senate, all the while laying seeds of rebellion throughout the galaxy. That all culminated in 2 BBY, when the Empire’s atrocities on Ghorman pushed Mothma over the edge. She gave a speech directly attacking Palpatine, and she resigned from the Imperial Senate. Aboard the Ghost, Mothma formally launched the Alliance to Restore the Republic, giving a speech and calling allies to respond. Above Dantooine, Mothma watched as ships from across the galaxy arrived, joining the rebellion and taking the fight from a secret underground rebellion to a group openly at odds with the Empire – with Mothma the Empire’s public enemy number one.
From that point on through the end of the Galactic Civil War, Mothma served as formal leader of the Rebellion, leading the Alliance High Command and acting as commander in chief. She coordinated the war effort while remaining in hiding from the Empire’s attacks and spies, and after a multi-year war the Rebellion won. Striking the decisive blow at the Battle of Endor, where not only was the second Death Star destroyed but Palpatine and Darth Vader both killed, the Alliance moved quickly to establish a new government.
The New Republic was formed, and Mon Mothma served as its first Chancellor. She stationed the capital on Chandrila (to be moved around after that rather than staying centralized), and she pushed for a massive military disarmament to send a message about the pursuit of peace. This disarmament was a powerful symbol at the time, but it unnecessarily weakened the Republic’s military to levels that made it susceptible years later. She was badly injured in an assassination attempt in the final year of the war, but the leader of the rebellion survived. A year after Endor, the war officially ended with the Battle of Jakku. Mothma presided over the signing of the Galactic Concordance, ending the war with the Imperial surrender.
She continued to serve as the Chancellor of the New Republic for many years, and under her leadership there was peace and stability, but she would eventually step down due to illness. Without her leadership, the Republic became divided by politics, setting the stage for the rise of the First Order.