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Genevieve O'Reilly On How Andor's Mon Mothma Is Different From Her Portrayals In The Star Wars Films - Exclusive

Genevieve O'Reilly has long been part of the "Star Wars" universe, beginning in 2005 as fearless Rebel leader Mon Mothma in writer-director George Lucas' "Star Wars: Episode III – Revenge of the Sith." And while for the longest time it appeared that O'Reilly's time as Mon Mothma was over, everything changed in 2016 when she was asked to reprise the coveted role for "Rogue One: A Star Wars Story."

Following a pair of voice turns as the charismatic character — first in the 2016 animated miniseries "Star Wars: Go Rogue" and a year later in the animated series "Star Wars: Rebels" — O'Reilly's work in the "Star Wars" universe was put on pause once again. Luckily, it's only been five years between "Star Wars" projects this time around for the actor, and in her return as Mon Mothma, fans are going to get a bigger look at the character than ever before in the Disney+ live-action series "Andor."

It only makes sense that Mon Mothma is a pivotal character in "Andor" since it's a prequel series about the formation of the Rebellion that takes place five years before the events of "Rogue One." "Andor," of course, is named for "Rogue One" hero Cassian Andor (Diego Luna), who, along with Jyn Erso (Felicity Jones) and their diverse team of Rebels, sacrificed his life to secure plans to blow up the Galactic Empire's Death Star. "Andor" introduces more team members integral to the formation of the Rebellion, including new characters like Luthen Rael (Stellan Skarsgård) and familiar faces like Mon Mothma, who is ill at ease serving in the Imperial Senate as her surroundings grow dim. It's a different setting than fans are used to seeing Mon Mothma in, which is one of the reasons O'Reilly embraced the character's storyline in "Andor."

Going rogue from the Imperial Senate

Assuming the mantle of Mon Mothma from Caroline Blakiston, who originated the character in "Star Wars: Episode VI – Return of the Jedi" in 1983, Genevieve O'Reilly has had the unique opportunity to play the character in different "Star Wars" timelines involving vastly different circumstances. Genevieve O'Reilly told Looper in an exclusive interview that she was thrilled to bring her character to life in an unfamiliar setting.

"What 'Andor' offers us is an opportunity to look at her in a completely different moment of her life than we've ever witnessed before. We have seen Mon Mothma previously surrounded by Rebels, often in a bunker, sending someone off on a mission. In 'Rogue One,' there is the Rebel fleet behind them, so there is an organized rebellion," O'Reilly explained. "At this moment when we meet Mon Mothma, she is neck-deep in the Empire. She is working as a senator within the Imperial Senate. She is still trying to be a voice for democracy working within the system of government."

Essentially, O'Reilly added, we're introduced to Mon Mothma in "Andor" as "she's come to the end of the hope that there can be change." But once events are set into motion and Cassian Andor emerges, it galvanizes a change in those who want to bring the fight to the evil Empire — including Mon Mothma.

"She's facing the wall of Palpatine's autocracy and realizes that she is a lonely oppositional voice, and so she must step outside that," O'Reilly said. "She must risk everything that she has worked her life for, her career for, to stand up for what she really believes in."

Created by Tony Gilroy and also starring Adria Arjona, Forest Whitaker, Denise Gough, Kyle Soller, and Fiona Shaw, "Andor" is streaming exclusively on Disney+.