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Mon Mothma Facts Only Fans Of The Rebel Alliance Will Know

For anyone who has only seen the original "Star Wars" trilogy, Mon Mothma might not seem like a hugely important character. After all, she only makes a single brief appearance during the events of "Star Wars: Episode VI – Return of the Jedi" and has just a few lines of dialogue. While it is clear she has some sort of leadership role within the Rebel Alliance, the focus is entirely on the established heroes such as Luke Skywalker, Princess Leia, and Han Solo.

But it turns out that Mon Mothma has had a significant influence over events in the world of "Star Wars" throughout the entire "Star Wars" saga and beyond. From her opposition to Palpatine during the Clone Wars to the formation of both the Rebel Alliance and the New Republic, she has played a pivotal role in galactic history.

With the release of the Disney+ series, "Andor," fans are now getting to see more of the political leader than ever before, yet there's still plenty to learn about Mon Mothma that even the most studious "Star Wars" fan might not know.

Mon Mothma was born on the planet Chandrila

Although her exact date of birth has never been revealed in any canonical "Star Wars" media, a brief reference in the first season of "Andor" — during the episode "Narkin 5" — suggests that Mon Mothma must have been born between 48 and 49 years before the Battle of Yavin. That would make her around the age of 50 during the events of the original trilogy. She was born on the planet Chandrila, which gives its name to her personal shuttle — the Chandrila Mistress – used throughout "Star Wars: Rebels."

Chandrila is a core world that — according to the novel "Moving Target: A Princess Leia Adventure" – would have been one of the first targets for the second Death Star had it become fully operational. Meanwhile, the "Star Wars: Aftermath" book trilogy showed how Chandrila became an important part of the New Republic and even acted as the new capital of the government – until a rotating system that saw the capital move to different planets was implemented. Prior to its appearances in more recent stories, the planet had not really been featured in the "Star Wars" canon but had been briefly mentioned in some releases.

She was a very young politician

Mon Mothma may well have been destined for a political career. From an early age, she demonstrated an aptitude for the field — something that perhaps should not be all that surprising given the roles that her family had. According to "Star Wars: Rogue One: The Ultimate Visual Guide," her unnamed father was an arbiter-general in the Galactic Republic. This put him in charge of disputes between different planets as all parties tried to mediate a satisfactory agreement. On the other hand, Mon Mothma's mother was the governor of the planet, while her cousin Vel Sartha ultimately became an important figure in the rebellion against the Empire.

The young adult novel "Queen's Shadow" reveals that Mon Mothma became a senator in the Galactic Senate representing Chandrila in the year 32 BBY. This suggests that she was elected while just 16 or 17 years of age, making her one of the youngest senators ever. Although she never gained a higher position of power, Mon Mothma proved to be a respected member of the Senate and was able to make many connections during her time in politics.

The senator was part of a group opposed to Emperor Palpatine

Arguably the best example of Mon Mothma's ability to forge alliances with like-minded individuals was when she became part of the Loyalist Committee during the final days of the Galactic Republic. This saw her allied with several other important figures that opposed the ongoing war with the Separatists and the growing power that Palpatine was being allowed to wield.

The group included Bail Organa, Onaconda Farr, and Padmé Amidala and eventually led to the Delegation of 2,000 — a formal protest that was delivered to Palpatine to demand that he end the war and hand back emergency powers. Yet their efforts had little effect on stopping Palpatine's ambitions, and the leader continued to seize power until he was able to disband the Galactic Senate and form the Galactic Empire.

However, her close friendships with the likes of Organa and Amidala would not be wasted. She acted as a mentor to Amidala as well as providing continuing support to Organa as he worked within the Imperial Senate to oppose the Emperor. Mon Mothma continued to meet with allies even after the death of Amidala and the destruction of the Jedi Order.

Mon Mothma was branded a traitor to the Empire

Mon Mothma spent years opposing Palpatine's rise to power and was a crucial voice against the granting of emergency powers to the future Emperor. This put her in an important position when it was time to form the Rebel Alliance as she had the necessary experience and connections with like-minded leaders from across the galaxy. However, she didn't immediately leave the senate once Palpatine formed the Galactic Empire and instead worked within the government institution to try and offer as much resistance as possible.

As her opposition to Palpatine grew, Mon Mothma became more of a target for the Empire. Spies were sent to watch over her, severely limiting her ability to operate as a rebel agent. This changed when she spoke out about the Ghorman Massacre, placing the blame for the killing of peaceful protestors directly onto the Emperor. This saw the politician become a wanted person and she was branded a traitor, forcing her to flee from Coruscant and resign her position in the Imperial Senate.

Mon Mothma was a key founder of the Rebel Alliance

After officially defecting from the Imperial Senate, Mon Mothma became one of the most wanted fugitives in the galaxy and Palpatine made her an important target for capture. To ensure she reached safety and could continue her efforts to resist the Galactic Empire, several rebel groups worked together in a mission known as Operation Handoff. Gold Squadron and the crew of the Ghost escorted Mon Mothma and fought against a variety of Imperial ships that were pursuing her before finally delivering the politician to Dantooine.

It was in orbit around Dantooine that Mon Mothma officially formed the Rebel Alliance, which was more formally known as the Alliance to Restore the Republic. Speaking from the Ghost on the HoloNet communication network, Mon Mothma made a speech confirming her resignation and asked that rebel groups from across the galaxy come together to answer her call to arms against the Empire. Separate groups then joined Mon Mothma at Dantooine as a new Rebel navy was created and an official Declaration of Rebellion sent out publicly to bolster support in addition to informing the Empire of its aims.

She set in motion the plot to steal the Death Star plans and organized the Battle of Endor

In many ways, Mon Mothma could be considered one of the most important figures in Galactic history during the time of the Skywalker Saga. Not only did she play a vital part in the formation of the Rebel Alliance but she also had a hand in orchestrating several key events that would help hasten the downfall of the Empire.

The first example of this was depicted in the 2016 film "Rogue One: A Star Wars Story." Mon Mothma is one of the Rebel Alliance leaders who sanctions the mission for Jyn Erso and Cassian Andor to find Death Star designer Galen Erso in the hopes of discovering a weakness in the superweapon. While many other rebels were dismissive of the claims that the Empire had developed the Death Star or did not believe they could stand up to its power, Mothma was determined to find a way to end its threat.

Mon Mothma was also pivotal during the events of "Return of the Jedi," a film that saw the character make her on-screen debut in the franchise. Here, she briefs the Rebel Alliance commanders about the plan to destroy the second Death Star and the presence of Emperor Palpatine, setting the stage for what was to become the decisive Battle of Endor.

She trained as a fighter pilot

Although Mon Mothma spent almost her entire life in the world of politics, she could have taken a different path if things had worked out differently. During the events of the official young adult novelization "Return of the Jedi: Beware the Power of the Dark Side!" the Rebel Alliance leader speaks to Princess Leia and reveals that she had been trained as a fighter pilot at one point. She says, "I trained as a fighter pilot once, you know. It was after the Empire's massacre on Kashyyyk. When I knew diplomacy was dead, I was ready to fight, just like you are now."

Mon Mothma tells Leia this as a way of explaining that, although the Princess may be useful on the ground for the Battle of Endor, she could play a larger role as a political leader. The risk of dying during such an attack is so great that it could waste Leia's ability to one day be an influential figure in the New Republic. This is exactly the lesson that Mon Mothma herself realized after her training and is what prompted her to return to her role as leader of the Rebel Alliance rather than fighting on the frontlines.

Has always been a close friend and ally of Leia Organa

In many ways, Mon Mothma acted as a close ally and mentor to Padmé Amidala, so it makes sense that she would also have a close relationship with her daughter, Leia. The two almost seemed destined to work together, with Bail Organa and his wife adopting Leia while she was a newborn baby following the death of Padmé in "Revenge of the Sith." Having known Leia from such an early age, Mon Mothma played a key role in the life of the young princess as she slowly emerged as a political force in her own right.

During "Moving Target: A Princess Leia Adventure," Leia and Mon Mothma strike up a friendship and begin to show that they trust each other. This trust continued to grow, and Leia would eventually earn a high-ranking place in the Rebel Alliance, with Mon Mothma having enough confidence in her to give Leia the stolen Death Star plans. Following the Battle of Endor, she tasked Leia with diplomatic missions to recruit worlds to the New Republic and offered her support when the truth about her parentage was revealed to the public in the novel "Bloodline."

Mon Mothma was elected as the first chancellor of the Galactic Senate of the New Republic

As one of the most influential members of the Rebel Alliance, Mon Mothma was in a powerful position following the defeat of the Empire. Momentum began to build toward the formation of the New Republic shortly after the Battle of Yavin and she was a natural choice to help form the new government and lead it. The "Aftermath" trilogy charted much of the early progress in establishing the New Republic and how it chose Chandrila to act as its temporary capital.

With more worlds joining the new government as news of the Emperor's death spread, the Galactic Senate was soon re-established. It voted to elect Mon Mothma as the first chancellor of the New Republic, and one of her first actions was to limit the use of emergency powers that had previously been granted to Palpatine. A popular figure throughout the galaxy, she was able to unite worlds from the Core all the way to the Outer Rim through her determination and charisma.

She is a shrewd operator who isn't afraid to bend the rules

Despite the fact that Mon Mothma is arguably one of the most honorable and wholly good characters in the entire "Star Wars" franchise, that doesn't mean she always plays by the rules. As a successful politician, she occasionally has to engage in manipulation or underhand behavior to accomplish her goals. One example of this occurred during the events of "Aftermath: Empire's End," when she faces off against a political rival who has plans to replace her as chancellor.

In the story, Senator Tolwar Wartol orchestrates a vote against sending military aid to Jakku, which he hopes will show Mon Mothma as a weak and ineffectual leader. However, the chancellor is able to prevent the vote from taking place by delaying their arrival on the planet Nakadia by smuggling a contraband pta fruit onboard the ship they were traveling on. This prompted customs officials to carry out a lengthy inspection and gave Mon Mothma's allies time to foil Wartol's plans.

She always fought for peaceful solutions and was against large-scale militaries

Throughout her career, Mon Mothma was an advocate for peaceful solutions. Even during the Clone Wars, when she was a strong believer in the Galactic Republic, she campaigned for an end to hostilities with the Separatists rather than continuing military action. In fact, she went so far as to meet with leading figures in the Separatist Alliance to try and negotiate a peace treaty — efforts that were ultimately foiled due to the intervention of General Grievous.

Once the Rebel Alliance achieved victory over the Empire at the Battle of Endor, which resulted in the death of the Emperor and the destruction of the second Death Star, Mon Mothma made clear that she did not want the New Republic to be a military force. She pushed back against shows of force and instead tried to unite worlds through diplomatic means. Part of this involved disbanding much of the New Republic's military once the threat of the Empire was completely removed, keeping just a small percentage of the original numbers in place.

Her actions and departure helped the rise of the First Order

Mon Mothma undoubtedly was one of the most important people not only in forming the Rebel Alliance and opposing Emperor Palpatine but also in forming the New Republic and establishing democracy in the galaxy once again. Yet she does bear some of the responsibility for the fall of the New Republic and the rise of the First Order.

Her desire to make the new government a peaceful organization that would be defended by local planetary militias rather than a central military force left the New Republic vulnerable. Its demilitarization effectively gave the First Order an advantage in terms of sheer power and combat prowess. Mon Mothma was primarily responsible for that decision.

She was also a strong supporter of Princess Leia and had groomed her to take over as chancellor once she left the post. When the secret that Darth Vader is Leia's biological father was revealed in the novel "Bloodline," her chances of taking up leadership of the New Republic rapidly diminished. This gave rise to different factions vying for control of the senate upon her retirement and made it a softer target for the First Order to attack.

A variety of actors have portrayed her

Mon Mothma made her first appearance in the "Star Wars" franchise in 1983 as one of the supporting characters in "Return of the Jedi." Here she helps plan the attack on the second Death Star and is portrayed by Caroline Blakiston. Her next live-action appearance didn't come until the release of "Revenge of the Sith" in 2005, with the younger version of the character played by actor Genevieve O'Reilly.

O'Reilly has continued to portray the character in a number of other "Star Wars" projects. She reprised the role in "Rogue One" and voiced the role in several appearances of the animated series "Star Wars: Rebels." O'Reilly is part of the main cast of "Andor," Mon Mothma between the events of "Revenge of the Sith" and "A New Hope." Other actors who have voiced the character include Kath Soucie in "Star Wars: The Clone Wars" and Carolyn Seymour in the 2002 video game "Star Wars: Jedi Knight II — Jedi Outcast."

She has an alternate history in the Expanded Universe

When Disney acquired the rights to "Star Wars," it essentially reclassified decades of Expanded Universe novels, comics, and other stories as non-canon. Much of that material focused on events after "Return of the Jedi" and depicted what happened to characters after the downfall of the Empire. One of the central figures in these stories was Mon Mothma, who followed a rather similar path as she does in the official continuity.

Following the Battle of Yavin, Mon Mothma set up a temporary government in the form of the Alliance of Free Planets until the New Republic could be properly established. She ultimately was elected as chief of state of the New Republic, a role she held for seven years against threats such as Grand Admiral Thrawn and a revived Emperor Palpatine. She ultimately died peacefully in her sleep a short time before the invasion of the Yuuzhan Vong but had long since retired as a political leader by that point, handing over power to various figures such as Leia and Borsk Fey'lya.