A protective alliance is pulling apart, economies are shaking, currency is plummeting. Chaos looms.
The day after a particularly divided United Kingdom voted to separate from the European Union, the state of the Rebellion in Rogue One: A Star Wars Story sounds a lot like the galactic version of “Brexit.”
If only the U.K. had Mon Mothma to lead it now.
In the Star Wars universe, she’s the former senator responsible for uniting disparate planetary systems being menaced under the rule of the Empire. This “Mother of the Rebellion” (and noted caftan enthusiast) delivered the pilot briefing in Return of the Jedi about the second Death Star, ending with the ominous line: “Many Bothans died to bring us this information.”
In Rogue One, set just before the events of the original Star Wars, Mothma plays a pivotal role in bringing about the destruction of the first Death Star, too. She recruits a young outlaw named Jyn Erso (Felicity Jones) and pairs her with Capt. Cassian Andor (Diego Luna) for a covert mission to retrieve data about the Imperial superweapon.
We’ve already seen Mothma in the teaser trailer, but it was unclear whether that would just be a cameo. Lucasfilm president Kathleen Kennedy now tells EW she gets a “significantly larger” role than in Jedi.
“We actually see quite a bit of her,” says Kennedy (who’s kind of the Mon Mothma of Lucasfilm now). “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.”
Mothma is played in Rogue One by Genevieve O’Reilly — who bears a startling resemblance to Caroline Blakiston, who played the part 33 years ago in Jedi.
O’Reilly also played a younger version of the character in 2005’s Revenge of the Sith, but her big sequence was cut, relegated to a deleted scene on the DVD. When casting the part for Rogue One, director Gareth Edwards brought the actress back.
Sometimes there are second acts in political lives — even in the galaxy far, far away.
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