How ‘Andor’ Is Shaping Mon Mothma Into a Rebel Leader

Andor, at its core, is about change. Diego Luna’s titular character is slowly but surely changing into the man we meet in Rogue One: A Star Wars Story. The Rebel Alliance itself is growing into a force to challenge the Empire. Overall, the series has explored how the galaxy changes into the place it is during the original Star Wars trilogy. That trend continues with the latest episode, “Announcement” — particularly where Mon Mothma (Genevieve O’Reilly) is concerned.

“Announcement” details the reaction that various people across the galaxy have concerning the Aldhani heist that Cassian and a group of Rebels pulled off. For the Rebels, it’s a sign that they’re on the right path. For the Empire, it’s a clear message that the Rebels can be a genuine threat to Emperor Palpatine’s reign. And for Cassian, he slowly learns that he can’t just slip back into his old life, as the Empire is now occupying his home of Ferrix.

Mon Mothma’s Most Pivotal Moment
But it’s Mothma who has the biggest and most pivotal moment, as she starts making moves to support the Rebels from behind the scenes.

However, that decision doesn’t come lightly. In fact, the episode opens with Mothma considering cutting all ties with Luthen Rael (Stellan Skarsgård), as she fears the Aldhani heist could bring unwanted heat upon her. Rael correctly points out that Mothma knew what she was getting into, and his speech reveals the fervor of a true believer in the cause. “No one ever forged a weapon they weren’t going to use,” he tells Mothma. His words turn out to have more of an impact on her than he realizes.

Later in the episode, Mothma is attending a party hosted by her husband Perrin Fertha (Alastair Mackenzie), with plenty of Courascant’s movers and shakers showing up. One of those movers happens to be Tay Kolma (Ben Miles), a very influential banker. Mothma convinces Kolma to help her free up money from her family account on Chandrila. She does so by saying she’ll form a “special committee” with Kolma at the head, so that he can move back and forth to Chandrila without raising any suspicion.

During their conversation, Mothma encourages Kolma to act as though they’re having a normal conversation, rather than openly plotting rebellion against the Empire. This action, combined with her gaining funds through selling items to Rael, shows that she is fighting for the Rebellion in her own way. Not every Rebel victory is in space battles or Imperial heists; it’s also in the moves that Motha is making in the Imperial Senate. As a Senator, she has access to information about the Empire’s movements, which can be helpful for planning Rebel missions. And the money she raises helps the Rebels get the weapons and vehicles they’ll need.

A Family Divided?
Throughout Mothma’s appearances in Andor, just as much attention has been paid to her relationship with Fertha and her daughter, Lieda (Bronte Carmichael), as to her political maneuvering. While Mothma is secretly plotting against the Empire, Fertha openly supports it. In fact, two of his closest friends are even part of Palpatine’s inner circle! And Lieda is drifting further and further apart from her mother, accusing Mothma of caring more about her political career than her life. Given the danger that Mothma’s in, including spies that watch her every move, she can’t tell her family what she’s doing. But the fraying bonds are just another example of how Andor explores how joining the Rebellion and/or the Empire will ask more of someone than they expect.

Fans of other Star Wars media, particularly Star Wars Rebels, know that Mothma eventually openly supports the Rebellion. “Announcement” marks the latest step on her path towards embracing that role, and future episodes of Andor will no doubt continue to explore her journey.

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