Mon Mothma made her first appearance in the Star Wars universe in Return of the Jedi. She appeared briefly before the rebels participated in the Battle of Endor. We didn’t know much about her then except that she wore robes that were seemingly influenced by Roman style, she possessed an aura of calmness, and she had an intelligence connection with Bothans. Those gathered around in the briefing room listened to her with rapt attention, indicating a position of leadership.
Since 1983, we’ve spent more time with the former senator. Mon Mothma has appeared in Star Wars: The Clone Wars, in books and comics, in Star Wars Rebels, and of course in Rogue One. We’ve learned more about her past, as well as her life and role in the era beyond Return of the Jedi. These are six facts you might not know about Mon Mothma:
1. Her political background.
Rogue One: The Ultimate Visual Guide revealed Mon Mothma was one of the youngest senators to join the Galactic Senate. She comes from a family with strong political ties; her mother was a governor on their homeworld of Chandrila, while her father was an arbiter-general in the Galactic Republic. Mon Mothma was raising her eyebrows at Palpatine during the Clone Wars alongside Bail Organa and Padmé Amidala. You can spot her conferring with the duo repeatedly in Star Wars: The Clone Wars.
2. She took a stand.
Fast forward to the post-Order 66 era. Like other members of the once Galactic but now Imperial Senate, Mon Mothma was concerned about Emperor Palpatine and his actions not being in the best interest of all. The representative from Chandrila tried to work through proper political avenues to stop Palpatine from accumulating power and damaging the galaxy, but she realized that tactic wasn’t working. So, she openly spoke out against the Emperor, calling him a “lying executioner.” The holo showcasing her bold speech was featured in the Star Wars Rebels episode “Secret Cargo.”
Her actions ensured she was branded a traitor of the Empire. Palpatine put her at the top of the Empire’s “Most Wanted” list.
3. She helped form the Rebel Alliance.
In recent years, we’ve discovered Mon Mothma was one of the architects of the Rebel Alliance, along with Bail Organa. We’re seeing the beginning days of the organization in Star Wars Rebels, and Rogue One shows how far they’ve come in the two years since Mon Mothma gathered the separate rebel factions for a meeting above Dantooine. She risked everything to align with the group and worked to unite the efforts of the rebels. By the era of Rogue One, Mothma was serving as the Chief of State and head of the Alliance Civil Government and the Commander-in-Chief of the Alliance Forces.
4. The burden of leadership.
After the Rebel Alliance declared victory at the Battle of Endor, they moved forward with the creation of the New Republic. It took months, but they pieced together the structure and reestablished the Galactic Senate on Chandrila. Mon Mothma was elected as the first chancellor. Because of the turmoil of the time, the title came with the same emergency powers the Senate had given Palpatine so many years ago. Mon Mothma wasn’t a fan of those powers and viewed them as a danger to democracy.
5. She knows when to toe the line.
Mon Mothma might seem quiet and fair, but don’t underestimate her sense of conniving. She couldn’t have made it through her political career without learning to play the game. When someone who wanted to replace her as chancellor tried to manipulate Mothma in Aftermath: Empire’s End, she showed she wasn’t afraid to play just outside the lines and display her resourcefulness. Mothma accompanied her opponent to an off world meeting, and without spoiling details, she caused some “accidental” delays with customs — delays that lasted long enough for her associates to do some uhh, investigating that helps her.
6. Friends and allies.
One of Mon’s closest friends over the years of civil war, uprisings, successes, and failures has been Leia Organa. They worked together as politicians and supported each other as confidants. The lines blurred on occasion, but even when they didn’t agree within the halls of the Senate, they were able to work out their differences and remain on good terms. And when word about the identity of Leia’s biological father got out in Bloodline, Mothma stood by Leia.
Do you have a favorite Mon moment? Let us know in the comments below!
Amy Ratcliffe is a writer obsessed with Star Wars, Disney, and coffee. Follow her on Twitter at @amy_geek.