Why Mon Mothma is the most underrated Star Wars character

The fearless leader with a lengthy rebellious streak is arguably the most underrated Star Wars character.

Mon Mothma (Genevieve O'Reilly) in Lucasfilm's ANDOR, exclusively on Disney+. ©2022 Lucasfilm Ltd. & TM. All Rights Reserved.
Mon Mothma (Genevieve O'Reilly) in Lucasfilm's ANDOR, exclusively on Disney+. ©2022 Lucasfilm Ltd. & TM. All Rights Reserved. /

It's International Women's Day, and here at Dork Side of the Force want to highlight some of the many incredible female characters in the Star Wars universe. One of these characters is also one of the most underrated: the fearless political leader Mon Mothma.

Why Mon Mothma is the most underrated Star Wars character

When the character Mon Mothma first debuted in 1983 in Return of the Jedi, played by Caroline Blakiston, it is unlikely that George Lucas envisioned the important role that the Rebel leader would have throughout several key periods in the galaxy. However, between a deleted scene from Revenge of the Sith and more notable appearances in Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, Andor, Star Wars Rebels, and Ahsoka, we have seen just how important Mon Mothma was in overthrowing the Empire and setting up the New Republic.

In the aforementioned deleted scene, we see Mon Mothma, portrayed by the outstanding Genevieve O'Reilly, discussing efforts to limit the attempts by Chancellor Palpatine to amass more power in the Senate. This laid the groundwork for Mon Mothma's involvement in a host of other Star Wars projects.

The most notable of these was in the TV show Andor, where we see Mon Mothma working behind the scenes to undermine the Empire as it reaches its strength. While we usually see our heroes throughout the franchise attack the Empire with spaceships, lightsabers, and blasters, it was compelling to see Mon Mothma's more covert efforts she uses and her mastery of the political system to subvert the Empire. At the same time, we see Mon Mothma forced to juggle difficult family dynamics with her husband and daughter, which greatly humanizes her struggle. We will definitely see more of Mon Mothma's efforts to undermine the Empire in the second season of Andor.

She appears briefly in Rogue One, ultimately shooting down Jyn Erso's attempt to convince the Rebel Alliance that they need to do everything they can to get the plans for the Death Star. It is clear that she empathizes with Erso's plea. However, as a politician and consensus builder, she cannot single-handedly overrule the wishes of the alliance.

This is a similar role Mon Mothma plays in the Ahsoka series, where she is the Chancellor of the New Republic. Hera Sydulla implores Mon Mothma and other New Republic leaders to take the threat of Grand Admiral Thrawn's return seriously, but it falls on mostly deaf ears. Again, Mon Mothma is handcuffed by a lack of consensus from her allies. It is a great irony in Mon Mothma's story that she struggles so much to return the galaxy to the ways of democracy rather than dictatorship, only to have the messiness and gridlock of democracy be part of the reason that the First Order eventually emerges.

Despite this tragic irony, Mon Mothma still deserves a lot of credit for her efforts throughout the galaxy. While her struggle may not be as dramatic as a lightsaber duel or Death Star trench run, the behind-the-scenes machinations and politicking to hold together the Rebel Alliance were absolutely necessary in defeating the Empire. For this, she deserves a lot of credit. Plus, with Andor and Ahsoka having second seasons, there is a good chance that we will see more of Mon Mothma in the not-so-distant future.

Happy International Women's Day!

Next. Ahsoka makes Mon Mothma’s Andor story more tragic. Ahsoka makes Mon Mothma’s Andor story more tragic. dark