Mon Mothma is an iconic female character in the “Star Wars” universe. She dates back to the original trilogy installment “Return of the Jedi”, where she is arguably most famous for the line, “Many Bothans died to bring us this information.” However, there have been two different actresses who played Mon Mothma over the years. With a new “Star Wars” series, “Andor”, set to debut on Disney+, many fans are wondering which actress will play Mon Mothma in the new series. Here’s what you need to know about the actress who will play Mon Mothma in the upcoming “Andor” series.
Genevieve O’Reilly Has Been Playing Mon Mothma Since 2005
Check out the sizzle reel for “Andor” above. The upcoming Disney+ series is set to feature the appearance of characters previously seen in “Rogue One”, including Cassian Andor and Mon Mothma. Andor is a spy and pilot, introduced in “Rogue One”. Mon Mothma is a former politician and member of Rebel Alliance, first seen in “Return of the Jedi”. Mon Mothma’s role within the Alliance wasn’t clear in her earliest appearances. According to StarWars.com, by the time of the events of “Rogue One”, Mon Mothma’s official title would have been “Chief of State and head of the Alliance Civil Government and the Commander-in-Chief of the Alliance Forces”.
While she did not originate the role in the original “Star Wars” trilogy, actress Genevieve O’Reilly has become familiar to “Star Wars” fans as the face of the “modern” Mon Mothma, having played the character in a few different corners of the “Star Wars” universe. O’Reilly first played Mon Mothma in 2005’s prequel installment, “Episode III: Revenge of the Sith”. But if you don’t remember her, there’s a pretty good reason. According to Uproxx, her scenes were cut for time from the film’s final cut.
Since her initial appearance as Mon Mothma in “Revenge of the Sith”, O’Reilly has reprised her role multiple times, both on-camera and behind the scenes as a voiceover artist. According to her IMDB page, O’Reilly played Mon Mothma in the 2016 film “Rogue One: A Star Wars Story” and also voiced the character for several episodes of the animated series “Star Wars Rebels”. According to the IMDB cast page for the upcoming “Andor” series about “Rogue One” character Cassian Andor, O’Reilly is set to play Mon Mothma yet again as part of the series. Post-“Episode III”, and before she reprised the role for “Rogue One”, O’Reilly also played Mon Mothma in the stop-motion animated series “Star Wars: Go Rogue“.
Who Played Mon Mothma in the Original ‘Star Wars’ Trilogy?
— Shelley 🌱🍃 (@ShelleyP1971) July 2, 2017
O’Reilly may be well-known to fans today as Mon Mothma, but she is not the first actress to play the role on screen. That honor falls to Caroline Blakiston, who played Mon Mothma in 1983’s “Return of the Jedi”. The actress is still working, with the part of Aunt Agatha on “Poldark” being a recent role of note.
Given the time between the filming of “Return of the Jedi” and “Rogue One”, and given that “Rogue One” is a prequel to “Return of the Jedi”, it makes sense that a younger actress was required to play the part of Mon Mothma in the films which followed the “original trilogy”. This is why O’Reilly was brought in to play the role created by Caroline Blakiston. However, not every “Rogue One” character who appeared in the original trilogy was played by a lookalike actor. In fact, two of the most recognizable roles in the film were actually constructed performances done with CGI, as opposed to performances from a new, living actor. Those parts were Leia and Grand Moff Tarkin, both of which were made with CGI for “Rogue One”, according to IndieWire. Business Insider notes that while Tarkin was a CGI creation for “Rogue One”, there was an actor “underneath” that CGI: English actor Guy Henry.
Mon Mothma is a favorite among some “Star Wars” fans, despite appearing in relatively few installments of the long-running franchise. Perhaps it is simply because, as Yahoo! notes, Mon Mothma is one of only four female characters in the original trilogy who speak on camera. With so few female characters in the first place, it’s no wonder many fans feel a connection with one of the only women who spoke during the entirety of the first three “Star Wars” films. The other speaking roles, according to THR, are Princess Leia, Luke Skywalker’s Aunt Beru, and an unnamed female Rebel officer in “Empire Strikes Back”.
O’Reilly’s Other Roles Include Princess Di & a Part in the ‘Matrix’ Trilogy
— Brad (@Jedi4Liberty) November 29, 2019
In addition to appearing in the “Star Wars” universe, O’Reilly is also known for her voiceover work. She provides the voice of Moira in the popular game Overwatch. It’s rather common for sci-fi actors and actresses to also do voiceover work in sci-fi video games. For example, “Star Trek: TNG” actress Marina Sirtis voiced the role of Matriarch Benezia in Mass Effect, while “Rogue One” star Alan Tudyk has lent his voice to “Star Wars” games featuring his character, K-2SO. Tudyk’s other video game voiceover credits include Green Arrow in the “Injustice” game series.
Genevieve O’Reilly’s other film credits include a minor part in the latter two “Matrix” films as Officer Wirtz, according to IMDB. She also played the role of Princess Diana in the 2007 television special “Diana: Last Days of a Princess“. She also played the pivotal role of Lady Flora Hastings in “The Young Victoria,” opposite Emily Blunt.
As of this writing, O’Reilly’s IMDB page lists just one upcoming project, “Andor”. According to the Daily Mail, filming for “Andor” is taking place in Buckinghamshire, England. Fantha Tracks has published full layout of the set where “Andor” is reportedly being shot, and that layout includes analysis linking elements fron the sizzle reel to the architecture seen on-site, giving fans a sense of how the set was used to create the shots in the final trailer.