Disney Plus is whisking us away to the farthest reaches of the galaxy for planet-hopping sci-fi drama Andor, which sees the return of one major character from Star Wars canon: Mon Mothma.


A key figure in the Rebel Alliance during the dark days of the Empire, Mon Mothma has enjoyed a resurgence as of late following high-profile appearances across Lucasfilm's live-action and animated projects.

Originally portrayed by Caroline Blakiston in 1983 blockbuster Return of the Jedi, the role has since been passed down to Irish-Australian actor Genevieve O'Reilly, who returns for Andor.

The new streaming show will feature the character more prominently than ever before, giving us a detailed insight into her personal life, so here's a quick refresher on everything you need to know before tuning in.

Who is Mon Mothma?

Genevieve O'Reilly plays Mon Mothma in Andor
Genevieve O'Reilly plays Mon Mothma in Andor Disney

Mon Mothma first came to prominence as a politician in the days of the Republic, representing her homeworld of Chandrila in the galactic senate for years, serving through the Clone Wars and remaining in post as the Empire took over.

Publicly, she pledged allegiance to the new imperial regime, but secretly she despised their tyrannical rule and became a leading figure in the formation of the Rebel Alliance.

She worked closely with Bail Organa in the rebellion's early years and taught his adoptive daughter, Leia, who would grow up to be a crucial ally in the fight against Emperor Palpatine and Darth Vader.

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Though trained as a fighter pilot, Mothma believed that she was of most value as a strategist, leader and political aide to the Rebel Alliance, meaning she was rarely seen in battle – although she endangered herself in other ways for the cause.

While Mon Mothma has been a significant presence in Star Wars for decades, fans will see a different side to her in Andor, which is the first major project to delve into her fraught personal life.

"What longform narrative allows for is time. And what I'm grateful for is that [creator/writer] Tony Gilroy has invested time and story in this woman," O'Reilly told RadioTimes.com.

"Previously, we've seen her in an important but very public role as a senator, as a leader. This is the first time that we get to see the woman behind the role.

"That we get to see what she has to risk, what it costs, what she has to sacrifice, what she has to fight for... I'm thrilled for fans that they will get to meet a more fleshed out Mon Mothma."

What Star Wars films and TV shows is Mon Mothma in?

Mon Mothma first appeared in 1983's Return of the Jedi, portrayed by English actor Caroline Blakiston, where she gave an important briefing to the rebels just prior to the Battle of Endor.

A younger version of the character was featured in 2005 prequel Revenge of the Sith, now played by Genevieve O'Reilly, although her dialogue was cut from the theatrical version of the film.

Nevertheless, Lucasfilm clearly liked the casting, as they invited O'Reilly back for a more substantial appearance in 2016's Rogue One: A Star Wars Story.

Genevieve O'Reilly plays Mon Mothma in Rogue One: A Star Wars Story
Genevieve O'Reilly plays Mon Mothma in Rogue One: A Star Wars Story SEAC

Speaking to RadioTimes.com, O'Reilly said she never expected her initial cameo appearance would evolve into a major starring role almost two decades later.

"I was just so thrilled to be a part of that," she said. "And I was stepping into the shoes of Caroline Blakiston, who is an extraordinary actor, and I was really keen to do her justice and George Lucas.

"But the idea that I would be here now, all those years later, and many iterations later, and be given the opportunity now to explore Mon Mothma in a way that I've never had the opportunity to do before – I wouldn't have even dreamt of it."

Mon Mothma also became a recurring character on animated shows Star Wars: The Clone Wars and Rebels, which served to flesh out the somewhat limited backstory she had up to that point.

Who is actor Genevieve O'Reilly?

Genevieve O'Reilly arrives at the special 3-episode launch event for Lucasfilm's original series Andor at the El Capitan Theatre
Genevieve O'Reilly arrives at the launch event for Lucasfilm's Andor at the El Capitan Theatre Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images for Disney

Born in Ireland and raised in Australia, O'Reilly has been a working actor across stage and screen since the year 2000, with early roles being in The Matrix sequels as Officer Wirtz and medical drama All Saints as Leanne Curtis.

Besides Star Wars, she is best known for Matt LeBlanc sitcom Episodes, Maggie Gyllenhaal miniseries The Honourable Woman, Sky drama Tin Star, and BBC One's Three Families.

O'Reilly also has a voice role as Moira in popular video game Overwatch.

She is married and currently lives in London with her husband and two children.

Is Mon Mothma still alive?

Mon Mothma's fate has been left unclear since Star Wars canon was drastically altered when Disney acquired Lucasfilm, meaning we can't know for sure whether she is still alive in the year 35 ABY (when Rise of Skywalker, the latest-set instalment in the overarching Star Wars story, takes place).

We do know that the virtuous politician fell ill shortly before the events of The Force Awakens, which caused her to retire from her public role after several decades of service.

This momentous withdrawal is considered by some to be a key factor for the ultimate failure of the New Republic, as without a competent figurehead it erupted into harmful factionalism that allowed the First Order to seize power.

An official Star Wars reference book published in 2005 stated that Mon Mothma died peacefully on her home planet of Chandrila some 20 years after the Battle of Endor, but this is no longer considered canon following the Disney merger.

Andor is available to stream on Disney Plus from Wednesday 21st September 2022. Check out more of our Sci-Fi coverage or visit our TV Guide to see what's on tonight.


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