Andor's Genevieve O'Reilly Explains How Mon Mothma Is Different This Time Around

O'Reilly takes on the Star Wars character once again, and it's a pivotal time in Mothma's life.


The character of Mon Mothma was first played by Caroline Blakiston, making her debut as the Rebellion figurehead in Star Wars: Return of the Jedi. However, the character has primarily been played by Genevieve O'Reilly, who's appeared in Episode III, Rogue One, and the animated series Rebels.

O'Reilly has become the face and voice of Mothma through the time period before the Battle of Yavin (BBY) but after the tail end and fall of the Galactic Republic. The Disney+ series Andor will explore her character more than ever before. O'Reilly was excited to get back into the role.

"It was just so wonderful to get the call from Tony Gilroy--our quite brilliant writer and creator of this--who was interested in investigating more about Mon Mothma, who was interested in investing time and story in her not just as a political figure, but also as a woman," O'Reilly told GameSpot. "That's, you know, the phone call every actor wants to have. So I was really thrilled. And he's a deeply curious and charismatic character, Tony Gilroy, and he's someone you lean into."

O'Reilly has already explored Mothma around this period, as Star Wars: Rebels takes place roughly around the same time. However, this takes place prior to her appearance in that, so the character isn't who we know her as there yet. So O'Reilly and Gilroy got a chance to explore new avenues. "I think what Tony was interested in doing was respecting the work that had been done [in Episode III and Rebels] respecting what's there, and yet being willing to investigate the character more--kind of creating parameters within the Star Wars lore that already exists and being interested in being creative with the time that we have," said O'Reilly. "What don't we know? What could it be? What could this possibly mean? We know she's been a senator from the age of 16. We know that she has been representing Chandrila. Since that time, we know that, but what does that look like? What is it [like] for a woman to have been a figurehead, a political figurehead for that many years? What are the customs around that? What are the constructs around that life?"

"We know that she, within even Revenge of the Sith, at that time, it was about the very early talks about advocating change within the Empire. What does it look like to be 16--or however many years it is--after that, still trying to do it? What is it? What does it feel like for that woman to perhaps realize that she can't do that anymore? And if she has to step outside that, how dangerous is that? What does she have to risk? What does she have to sacrifice? Who is this woman?"

The first season of Andor should see some significant changes for the character, in order to connect to the woman she becomes in Rogue One: A Star Wars Story. Mon Mothma makes her return in Andor, and new episodes debut on Disney+ on Wednesdays.

In GameSpot's Andor review, Mat Elfring said, "There's a lot of potential for the season as a whole, but it's a bit tough to figure out how this specific story is going to play out, even if we ultimately know how it'll end. The opening episodes don't grab the attention of the audience exceptionally well, but there is a lot to enjoy here. The cast is solid and the sets are great. It's a Star Wars show that fits into its own little pocket of the universe and doesn't rely on the rest of what's happening in the galaxy to be enjoyable."

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