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Who Is ANDOR’s Mon Mothma: The STAR WARS Rebellion Leader, Explained

Although she only appeared for barely more than a minute in Return of the Jedi, briefing the Rebel Fleet about the attack on Endor, the character of Mon Mothma is crucial in Star Wars. Not only did she get to deliver that iconic line about how “many Bothans died to bring us this information” she gave a face and voice to Rebel Alliance leadership. Since then, Mon Mothma has appeared in a prominent way in many Star Wars stories. And now, Mon Mothma will be one of the main characters in the upcoming Andor series. Her history stretches back to almost the very start of the Skywalker Saga.

Jump to: Who Is Mon Mothma // Mon Mothma Star Wars Appearances // Mon Mothma in Andor // Mon Mothma’s Husband // Mon Mothma’s Daughter, Leida // Mon Mothma’s Evolution into a Leader
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Who Is Star Wars’ Rebel Leader, Mon Mothma?

Mon Mothma was a member of the Galactic Senate in the dying days of the Republic. She represented her home system of Chandrilla. Along with Padme Amidala, she was one of the youngest persons ever elected to the Senate. Mon Mothma, along with Padme and Bail Organa, were a part of the Loyalist Committee, a group of senators dedicated to preserving the ideals of the Republic. Despite their opposition to the Separatist movement, they fiercely opposed the ongoing conflict, hoping to end it through diplomacy.

Mon Mothma During The Republic’s Last Days
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Seen mainly in the background, Mon Mothma appeared in a speaking role only in deleted scenes for Revenge of the Sith. She appeared in one crucial deleted Sith scene in particular, where she and several other senators met in secret. Among them were Bail Organa and Padme. They discussed the growing authoritarian movement within the Republic, which a mere few days later would grow into the Empire. We saw the planting of the seed of what would become the Rebellion in that one scene. For many years, Mothma remained as a part of the new Imperial Senate, secretly working against them from within.

Mon Mothma Forms Star Wars‘ Rebel Alliance
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For years, Mon Mothma tried to fight the system in a peaceful way. However, war was inevitable. Over a decade later, Mon Mothma publically left the Imperial Senate and formed the Rebel Alliance. Despite misgivings from some of her generals, Senator Mothma was behind Star Wars’ Operation Fracture. This was a secret operation to extract Imperial scientist Galen Erso so that he could confirm to the galaxy the existence of the Death Star.

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However, despite being swayed by Galen’s daughter Jyn Erso’s pleas to take the battle to the Empire, Mon Mothma felt the odds were against them. (Luckily, Erso and Cassian Andor go anyway). After the Battle of Scarif, where the Rebels won a victory at great cost, the Galactic Civil War was officially in full swing. And Mon Mothma became not just Chancellor of the Rebel Alliance, but also their Commander-in-Chief. She led the Alliance all the way to ultimate victory on Endor.

Mon Mothma After the Battle of Endor

In the era after the defeat of Emperor Palpatine, Mom Mothma was elected as the first Chancellor of the New Republic. Instead of housing the seat of government on Coruscant, as it had been for thousands of years, the first home of the New Republic was now on Mothma’s homeworld of Chandrilla. She later advocated moving it to Hosnian Prime. Mon Mothma invoked the rule of having a rotating seat of government for the New Republic, keeping it away from Coruscant. Mostly as a way of disassociating from the Empire of old.

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Mon Mothma: Chancellor of the New Republic

During the rebuilding of the Republic, Mon Mothma made some key mistakes which cost the Star Wars universe. Mistakes that lead to a new wave of tyranny across the galaxy. Because the militarization of the former Republic allowed for the Empire to happen, Mon Mothma advocated for decreasing the New Republic fleet by 90%. This allowed member systems to have their own defense forces. A good idea in theory, but one which proved to be unwise.

This led to the breaking of two factions within the Senate. The Populists, who believed each world should have more autonomy, of which Mothma was a vocal proponent, and the Centrists, who argued that a stronger central government was needed. One with a stronger military. Elements of those Centrists would ultimately back what became the Neo-Imperialist First Order. They covered most of this in canon novels, like Bloodline, and various comics as well.

How Did Mon Mothma Die in Star Wars Lore?

Mon Mothma’s death, at least in canon, has yet to be recorded in Star Wars. In older, now non-canon Legends material, she died after serving as the New Republic’s Chief of State for many years. In the new canon, she served as Chancellor of the New Republic after the Battle of Endor, similarly to Legends. After many years, she stepped down from her post because of an ongoing illness. But we never found out if she died from it or not.

Mon Mothma’s Star Wars Appearances

Which Star Wars Movies Is Mon Mothma in?
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Two different actresses have portrayed Mon Mothma in Star Wars movies. First, British actress Caroline Blakiston played Mon Mothma in Return of the Jedi. Then, over twenty years later, Genevieve O’Reilly took on the role of a younger Mon Mothma in Revenge of the Sith. When Rogue One: A Star Wars Story came around a decade later, O’Reilly returned to the role. Thus far, the character has appeared in three different Star Wars films but has been played by two actresses.

Which Star Wars TV Series Is Mon Mothma in?
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Mon Mothma appears in over a dozen episodes of The Clone Wars, all of which showcased her efforts in the Senate between the events of Attack of the Clones and Revenge of the Sith. Here, she was voiced by Kath Soucie. We next saw Mon Mothma on TV in Star Wars Rebels, voiced by Genevieve O’Reilly. She appeared in an important role in the season three episode “Secret Cargo,” which took place about two years before the events of Rouge One/A New Hope.

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In that episode, the now Imperial Senator Mothma publicly spoke out against the genocidal campaigns of the Emperor. Knowing this one act finished her days in the Senate, she formally left the Empire. Onboard the bridge of the Ghost, she sent out a message on the Holonet, one where she asked all rebel cells to unite under one banner to topple the Empire. At this moment, the Rebel Alliance was born. Mothma appears in several more episodes in a leadership role in season four of Rebels.

Mon Mothma in Disney+’s Rogue One Spinoff Series, Andor

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O’Reilly will return to the role she played in Revenge of the Sith, Rogue One, and Rebels for the upcoming live-action series Andor. The series will begin five years before Rogue One, and Mon Mothma will be a sort of co-lead in Andor. From her perspective, we’ll see the rise of the Rebellion from the side of those within the Empire. In an interview with Slashfilm, O’Reilly said the following:

She is still that very dignified senator, but we get to see the woman behind the robe. We get to see a private face of Mon Mothma. We get to flesh out not just the senator, not just the would-be leader of the Rebel Alliance, but also the woman.

O’Reilly added that “we find her in Andor very alone, living in a world of orthodoxy and construct. We see a woman who has had to navigate her ideals and beliefs within systems of oppression.” Season two of Andor will overlap with the events of Rebels, so we may see Mon Mothma’s formation of the Rebel Alliance in Star Wars live-action.

Married Life on Coruscant: Mon Mothma’s Husband, Perrin Fertha

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Something we learned in Andor about the future Rebel leader is that Star Wars’ Mon Mothma is married. In episode four of the series, we meet her husband, Perrin Fertha (Alastair Mackenzie). Unlike his wife, he seems more interested in a life of luxury on Coruscant than in fomenting rebellions. Given that when we Mon Mothma in Rebels, she seems very single, we’re guessing this marriage may not last on the show. We just hope Perrin doesn’t betray Mon Mothma and her Rebellion efforts.

Additionally, O’Reilly noted to Entertainment Weekly:

We see her talking to senators, and then we meet her at home with her husband,” O’Reilly teases. “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.

Mon Mothma’s Daughter, Leida Mothma

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Another new character, introduced in episode five of Andor, is Mon Mothma’s teenage daughter, Leida Mothma, played by Bronte Carmichael. She seems as dismissive of her mother as her father is, and frankly, a bit of a brat. The character originally appeared in Legends canon, in a 1993 Dark Empire sourcebook, and she was still a part of her mother’s life after the events of the original trilogy.

Of course, as we well know, current Star Wars canon may draw inspiration from Legends, but they often take it in their own direction. Perhaps Leida sides against her mother in the upcoming conflict? That seems to be the direction her father is headed towards. We certainly don’t see either Mon Mothma’s husband or child with her in Rebels or Rogue One. That alone doesn’t bode well. Leida also has a brother in canon, but it remains to be seen if he’ll appear as well.

From “Mild Irritation” to Rebel Leader in Andor

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After the Aldhani incident in episode 7 of Andor, Mon Mothma visited her ally Luthen (Stellan Skarsgard), wondering if he was behind it all. He pretty much confirmed it for her, and she then became terrified of the Imperial crackdown that she knows is coming soon. But she also realized it was time to step it up when it comes to the Rebellion. Ahldani was a point of no return.

At one of her husband’s parties, she reunited with a childhood friend from her homeworld of Chandrila, Tay Kolma. He’s a banker, and not exactly a big fan of the Empire. She confides in him that she needs his help in pulling funds from her family’s fortune. Funds that she all but confirms will go to the burgeoning Rebellion. He becomes the first person she allows into her life as a double agent. Mon Mothma tells Tay that the Empire may see her as just “an irritation,” but she plans on being much more than that to them. Andor reveals to us how Mon Mothma is distracting the Empire with harmless antics of seeming good will, but really she is taking large strides for the Rebellion and crucially maintaining a source of money for them.

In an echo of O’Reilly’s pre-series statements, we expect Andor to flesh out the character of Mon Mothma over the next two seasons more than any Star Wars media before it, and we can’t wait to go on this journey.

Originally published on August 30, 2022.

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