Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, a film about the Rebel Alliance mission to steal the plans to the original Death Star, will (unsurprisingly) feature some familiar characters - and in a significant capacity. Now there is word regarding Mon Mothma, the "Mother of the Rebellion" who was first seen in Return of the Jedi. Mothma delivered the famous line "Many Bothans died to bring us this information," and she will likely say more along those lines - given the presence of Darth Vader and other nefarious figures in this upcoming Star Wars anthology film.
Given her role as one of the leaders of the Rebellion, Mon Mothma's presence in the Rogue One teaser trailer was of little surprise, but fans were likely left curious as to how prominent her role will be in the film. Will Mothma be seen sparingly in a similar vein to Darth Vader or will she be playing a bigger role alongside the new characters featured in Rogue One?
EW has been pumping out new information regarding Rogue One all week, which includes some quotes from Lucasfilm president Kathleen Kennedy regarding Mothma. As can be inferred from the trailer, Kennedy explains how Mothma plays a pivotal role in the destruction of the first Death Star and has a "significantly larger" role compared to Jedi. She will be responsible for recruiting Felicity Jones' young outlaw character, Jyn Erso, and pairing her with Diego Luna's Capt. Cassian Andor. Together, they will assemble a team and go on a covert mission to retrieve data regarding the Imperial superweapon.
Kennedy elaborated even further in regards to Mothma's presence in Rogue One and what she is all about:
“We actually see quite a bit of her. The Rebel alliance is in disarray. Pretty panicked. Up against it. And she is trying the best she can to provide the leadership, in amongst a wide variety of Rebel soldiers that have very differing opinions as to what to do.”
Mon Mothma will be portrayed by Genevieve O’Reilly, who looks more than a little like Caroline Blakiston, the actress who originated the part back in 1983. This won't be O'Reilly's first time filling the shoes of Mothma. O'Reilly originally had a role to play in Revenge of the Sith, only to be cut from the film. That sequence can be seen as a deleted scene on the film's Blu-ray/DVD release. Things may have not worked out there, but based on this information, it appears Mothma may actually have a chance to develop or at least allow audiences to see new layers of the character.
It is exiting to hear more about Mothma's presence in this film as it just adds to the joy of seeing new and old character put together for this upcoming feature. Adding characters from other Star Wars properties such as Star Wars: Clone Wars only further emphasizes the interest in seeing these anthology films that step away from the episodic ones. Ideally, enough of director Gareth Edwards' hand will be felt as well - as that could allow for Mothma and the other characters to exist in a Star Wars film that breaks off in terms of its tone from installments past.
Perhaps others may feel these anthology films really should stick to being completely original concepts that merely exist in the Star Wars universe and rely a lot less on fan-favorite characters. It is the kind of thing that puts Rogue One in a tricky position, as it is essentially taking the best of both worlds and will likely steer Disney and Lucasfilm in a certain direction depending on the level of its success. It is Star Wars, however, and fans will be getting more than enough diversity in characters and story in the decades to come.
Rogue One: A Star Wars Story opens in U.S. theaters on December 16, 2016, followed by Star Wars: Episode VIII on December 15, 2017, the Han Solo Star Wars Anthology film on May 25, 2018, Star Wars: Episode IX in 2019, and the third Star Wars Anthology film in 2020.