- "War is not a state of being. It is meant to be a temporary chaos between periods of peace. Some want it to be the course of things: a default fact of existence. But I will not let that be so."
- ―Mon Mothma, shortly after the death of Emperor Palpatine
Mon Mothma was a human female politician who served as the representative of Chandrila in the Galactic Senate and Imperial Senate, as the revolutionary leader of the Alliance to Restore the Republic, and as the first Chancellor of the New Republic. Mothma came to political prominence during the Separatist Crisis and the Clone Wars when, along with such allies as Senators Bail Prestor Organa and Padmé Amidala, she became an outspoken proponent of peace between the Galactic Republic and the Confederacy of Independent Systems. She also spoke out against the increase in executive power given to Supreme Chancellor Palpatine, who transformed the Republic into the Empire at the war's end.
Mothma worked with Organa and other allies to plant the seeds of rebellion against the Imperial regime. Mothma left the Senate after publicly denouncing Emperor Palpatine, which was soon followed by the establishment of the Rebel Alliance. Mothma sanctioned the recruitment of Jyn Erso, who led the Rogue One squadron in stealing the Death Star plans during the Battle of Scarif. After the Battle of Yavin saw the destruction of the Death Star, Mothma led the Alliance through the Galactic Civil War. The Battle of Endor, which Mothma helped plan with the Alliance High Command, saw the death of Emperor Palpatine and left the Empire in chaos.
In Endor's aftermath, the Rebellion formed the New Republic and headquartered the new Galactic Senate on Chandrila. Mothma was elected as the first chancellor of the New Republic Senate and intended to do away with Palpatine's emergency powers, which the Senate gave to the office of the New Republic chancellery. She also intended to demilitarize the Republic, hoping to cut the New Republic Defense Fleet by ninety percent while leaving the defense of member worlds to the worlds themselves. When the war with the Empire finally came to end, the Republic and the Imperial remnants signed the Galactic Concordance and the Republic passed the Military Disarmament Act. The end of Mothma's chancellery brought a close to a period of unity in the Republic, with several political factions, such as the Centrists and the Populists, breaking out in disagreement over the best future for the new government.
- "Wizard! Teen senator takes on Coruscant"
- ―Headline of Bormea Today
By 32 BBY, she had joined the Republic's Galactic Senate, becoming one of the youngest senators to date. At the age of fifteen, during the Chandrilan winter, Mothma fell in love, discovered smashball and her parents' imperfections. Because of that, she decided to turn her back on her family's political dynasty to become a historian. By the next summer, however, her moment of rebellion had been forgotten. She ended up returning to politics, both because of family pressures and a genuine love of governance.
The Clone Wars
- "We are loyalists, trying to preserve democracy in the Republic."
- ―Mon Mothma
An advocate for peace
She became a member of the Loyalist Committee, a group of senators tasked by Supreme Chancellor Sheev Palpatine to maintain the integrity of the Republic during the political crisis that saw the formation of the Confederacy of Independent Systems. After the Clone Wars broke out between the newly-formed Grand Army of the Republic and the Droid Army of the Separatist Alliance, Mothma remained a member of the Loyalist Committee but became an outspoken opponent of the war with the Separatists. Mothma, along with friends and allies like Senators Padmé Amidala of Naboo and Bail Prestor Organa of Alderaan, came to fear that the Republic's push to defeat the Separatists made it blind to the toll that the war would take on the Republic. She warned that wartime measures, such as the increasing scope of the emergency powers that the Galactic Senate gave the chancellor, were a threat to democracy. It was the desire of Mothma and her allies to find a peaceful solution to the Clone Wars, and Mothma served as a mentor to Amidala as the young senator became one of the leading advocates for peace in the Republic.
During the Battle of Malastare, the Grand Army of the Republic discovered a creature known as the Zillo Beast that dwelled underneath the surface of the planet Malastare. Having been given a way to the surface by the bombardments during the battle, the Zillo Beast fought against the Republic Army, and it was discovered that the creature was nearly-indestructible. In the hopes of replicating the indestructibility for use in clone trooper armor, Chancellor Palpatine approved the creature's relocation to Coruscant, the capital of the Republic. The Zillo Beast escaped from captivity and made its way towards the Senate Office Building to find the chancellor, who had ordered the beast be destroyed so its indestructible scales could be removed for testing and replication. The creature attacked the Senate Office Building, and Mothma was present during the attack, walking the corridors of power with Senator Organa. The Republic and the Jedi soon eliminated the creature, bringing an end to the threat against the Senate.
The neutrality of the planet Mandalore, led by Duchess Satine Kryze, soon came into dispute when the Mandalorian splinter group known as Death Watch threatened to overthrow the pacifist New Mandalorian government that the duchess led. The Senate debated whether or not to send military assistance to Mandalore, a move that the duchess strongly opposed—and one that the Separatists hoped the Republic would enact, as they believed that the people of Mandalore would greet the Death Watch as liberators fighting against a Republic occupation force. The Senate initially voted to send an occupation force, based on doctored evidence suggesting that Mandalore's Deputy Minister Jerec called for a Republic presence on his world to combat Death Watch. In actuality, the full recording of Jerec showed that he argued strongly against a military occupation. Mothma was present in the Senate session in which Jerec's true words were broadcast, and the Senate ultimately voted against sending Republic forces to Mandalore.
In response to the growing number of refugees displaced by the ongoing war with the Separatists, Senator Amidala and Senator Organa led a conference to discuss and, hopefully, resolve the issue. The conference took place on the planet Alderaan, and Mothma was in attendance. She and Organa greeted Amidala, the keynote speaker, when she arrived on Alderaan and escorted her to her quarters. The conference was briefly disrupted when a bounty hunter, Aurra Sing, attempted to assassinate Amidala on behalf of the imprisoned crime lord Ziro the Hutt, but the conference continued onward when Amidala was saved by Padawan Ahsoka Tano. Soon after, Senator Mothma attended a party thrown by Amidala in Amidala's apartment in honor of Senator Aang, a member of the Military Oversight Committee who was persuaded to vote in favor of reducing military spending.
Military funding debate
- "My dear, you were brilliant."
"Thank you, but perhaps we should wait until we actually win the vote before we make a victory speech."
- ―Mon Mothma and Padmé Amidala, following the latter's speech arguing against increased military spending
The Galactic Senate became embroiled in debates regarding the cost of fighting the Clone Wars. A particularly passionate topic of debate was whether the Senate should fund the creation of more clone troopers to combat the Separatist Alliance, despite the Republic nearing bankruptcy as a result of the war. Senator Gume Saam argued in favor of a bill that would open new lines of credit to fund the Republic's war effort. Mothma spoke out against the measure, arguing that it would essentially deregulate the banks. The Senate, at Organa's urging, tabled any decision on the proposal until the matter could be considered further. After an attack by Separatist demolition droids destroyed Coruscant's central power distribution grid, the Senate voted on the measure and opted to deregulate the banks in order to open additional lines of credit to fund the war effort.
Despite the passage of the bank deregulation, the debate over increased military funding continued. Senator Halle Burtoni of Kamino, the source of the clone troopers, proposed legislation to create five million additional clone soldiers. Organa intended to speak before the Senate in opposition to the bill, but he was injured in an attack by Separatist-aligned bounty hunters Chata Hyoki and Robonino. As the Senate awaited his address, representatives in favor of Burtoni's bill urged the Senate to vote, while Mothma insisted that the bill's opposition, which included herself, be allowed to speak out against the legislation. With Organa too injured to speak, Amidala addressed the Senate on his behalf, giving an impassioned plea to oppose increased military funding so as to continue funding critical social services for the people of the Republic.
The Senate prepared to vote on the measure, and the bill's opposition continued working to persuade their fellow senators to vote against the increase in military spending. Mothma worked with Amidala, Organa, and Senator Onaconda Farr of Rodia in the efforts, and Amidala delivered another speech to the Senate on behalf of their position. The speech was greeted with enthusiasm from the Senate, and Mothma and the other opposition senators celebrated Amidala's address over drinks. Mothma told her former protégé that she did brilliantly, though Amidala was reluctant to feel victorious until such time as Burtoni's bill was struck down. Burtoni herself crashed the conversation, suggesting that the opposition was loyal to the Separatists. Mothma urged the feuding representatives to end their argument, and Farr forced Burtoni to leave the gathering. The senator from Chandrila then praised Farr for leading the efforts against the bill, and the Rodian expressed regret for once siding with the Separatists against the Republic. Mothma assured him, however, that he was now doing the right thing by helping defeat the military spending increase. Farr unexpectedly collapsed after his drink was unknowingly poisoned, so Mothma ran to find help for the dying senator of Rodia. After his death, Mothma attended a memorial service for Farr on a Coruscant landing platform, before the senator's body was returned home.
After the service, Mothma attended a meeting in Chancellor Palpatine's office, where Lieutenant Tan Divo of the Coruscant Security Force shared his theory that Farr had been murdered. After the meeting, Mothma conversed with Amidala, Organa, and Farr's aide Lolo Purs. Mothma wondered who would have wanted to harm Farr, and, despite Divo's theory that the murder was a result of a secret from Farr's past, Purs speculated that the assassination was the result of Farr's opposition to the spending bill. Organa urged them to put an end to speculation and double their efforts on defeating the bill, but Amidala insisted that they delay the vote until Farr's murderer was apprehended, lest senators vote in favor of the measure in order to avoid harm coming to themselves. Organa agreed to put a delay motion before the Senate while Amidala said she would conduct her own investigation. Mothma questioned her decision, as Divo had asked them not to interfere, but Amidala was sure that they could resolve the case better than Divo, in whom she had little confidence. Organa worried that such an investigation could disrupt the coalition against the bill, a concern that Mothma shared. Knowing that Amidala would see it through anyway, Mothma recommended that Amidala bring her head of security, Captain Gregar Typho, with her, but Amidala preferred to handle it alone. At Mothma's insistence, however, Amidala agreed to work with Senator Organa on her investigation.
During the course of their investigation, Amidala and Organa were targeted for death by the assassin. They were discovered by Lieutenant Divo, who later met with the opposition group, including Mothma, and theorized that the killer was targeting the opposition leadership. Divo placed the group under his protection as he continued the investigation, though Purs left after objecting to having themselves all kept in one room as an easy target. Purs soon returned, claiming she had been attacked by Burtoni, one of the suspects in the murder, which Burtoni laughingly denied. She also denied being involved in the assassination of Senator Farr. Despite suspicion falling onto Burtoni, Amidala realized that Purs had to have been the assassin; the poison targeted Rodians, so Purs would have died too if only she had taken a drink. Her duplicity having been discovered, Purs admitted to killing Farr due to his brief allegiance to the Separatist Alliance, and Purs was arrested for her crime. Soon thereafter, the Senate voted on the funding bill and passed the measure in spite of the opposition efforts of Mothma and the others, leading to the production of more clone troopers.
The war continues
As the war progressed, a peace conference was held between the Republic and the Separatists on the neutral planet of Mandalore, overseen by Duchess Satine. Mothma, Amidala, and Organa represented the Republic in the conference, while three members of the Separatist Senate represented the interests of the Separatist Alliance. The Separatists demanded that the three senators, as representatives for Chancellor Palpatine, recognize the legitimacy of the Separatist Alliance's existence, a stance that the senators were reluctant to take. The talks were disrupted by Lux Bonteri, son of the assassinated Separatist Senator Mina Bonteri, and asserted that Count Dooku, the leader of the Separatist Alliance, was behind his mother's death. Bonteri was removed from the talks, but the talks did not result in peace between the two sides.
The Jedi soon learned that a criminal named Moralo Eval had hatched a plot to kidnap Chancellor Palpatine. In order to infiltrate the conspiracy, led by Count Dooku himself, Jedi Master Obi-Wan Kenobi faked his death so his face could be surgically altered to look like the bounty hunter Rako Hardeen, who had fired the shot that supposedly killed the Jedi Master. Believing that Kenobi was dead, Mothma attended the funeral held for the Jedi Master in the Jedi Temple. Kenobi ultimately disrupted the plot to kidnap the Chancellor, and Palpatine was left unharmed.
Some time later, Mothma attended yet another funeral in the Jedi Temple, this one for the victims of the bombing that killed several Jedi and civilians alike. Mothma was a member of the court that would decide the fate of Ahsoka Tano, who was arrested and charged with being the mastermind of the temple attack. Tano was prosecuted by Admiral Wilhuff Tarkin and defended by Senator Amidala. Ultimately, it was discovered that Padawan Barriss Offee, who had grown disillusioned with the Jedi High Council for their leadership in the continuing Clone Wars, was responsible for the plot and had framed her friend and fellow Padawan for the attack. Tano was freed from Republic custody and chose not to return to the Jedi Order, as she was unwilling to return after the Jedi Council did not trust her innocence.
Later in the war, former Senator Rush Clovis was installed as the leader of the InterGalactic Banking Clan. He was merely a pawn of Count Dooku, however, and his installation as leader led to a Separatist invasion of Scipio, the headquarters of the Banking Clan. The Senate voted to authorize a Republic military strike against the Separatist invasion force, and the Republic was able to repel the Separatists. In response to the actions of the Separatist Alliance, and following the death of Rush Clovis, the Banking Clan senator Nix Card ceded control of the banks, save one branch, to Chancellor Palpatine, a move that Mothma reacted to with disapproval. Palpatine promised to reinstate private control of the banks when the Clone Wars were over but urged that it was necessary to ensure financial stability in the interim, a stance that most of the Senate greeted with enthusiastic approval, since the Republic was saved from bankruptcy. Shortly thereafter, Mothma was present in a Senate session in which Queen Julia of the neutral planet Bardotta spoke via hologram and requested the Republic's assistance in uncovering why Bardottan spiritual leaders were disappearing. At the queen's request, the Republic sent Gungan representative Jar Jar Binks, as well as Jedi Master Mace Windu, to help resolve the situation.
Fall of the Republic
In the final days of the Clone Wars, the Chancellor continued to amass more executive powers. Palpatine was given control of the Jedi Council and appointed regional governors to oversee all of the star systems in the Republic. A small group of concerned senators, including Mothma, Amidala, and Organa, met in Organa's office at Cantham House to discuss the developments. Amidala wondered if the Chancellor would dismantle the Senate, to which Mothma said there was little use in disbanding it. In her view, the Senate barely existed due to its diminished powers. The group refused to allow a millennium of democracy to end without a fight, and Mothma assured the group that they were not like the Separatists. Rather, they were still loyalists hoping to preserve the democracy of the Republic. Amidala lamented that the Chancellor, one of her oldest advisers from Naboo, had allowed things to reach such a point, and Mothma told her that Palpatine had expertly played the Senate during the war. Organa began to explain that he and Mothma were beginning to put together an organization to push back against Chancellor Palpatine, but Amidala cut him off, saying that she understood and that some things were best left unsaid. It was decided that the group would not discuss their plans with any outsiders, including family, without the agreement of the entire group.[source?] This simple meeting eventually set the spark for a highly secret Rebellion movement.
Later, Mothma and the rest of the senators met in Padmé Amidala's apartment, where Mothma tells them that they are forming an alliance to stop Palpatine. However, Padmé suggests bringing the plan to the one Jedi she trusts, but Mothma and the group agree with Organa to appeal to the Senate first.
The Clone Wars came to a close following the deaths of Count Dooku and the droid General Grievous. Jedi Knight Anakin Skywalker discovered that Palpatine was secretly Darth Sidious, a Dark Lord of the Sith who had manipulated the entire conflict to gain power over the Republic. Mace Windu and three other Jedi Masters attempted to arrest the chancellor, but the Dark Lord killed them all and seduced Skywalker to the dark side of the Force, anointing him as the Sith Lord Darth Vader. Having found justification to eliminate his enemies, Palpatine declared the Jedi Order to be enemies of the Republic and ordered Darth Vader and clone troopers across the galaxy to destroy the Jedi. A disfigured Chancellor, injured in his confrontation with Master Windu, spoke to the Senate about the so-called Jedi betrayal and proclaimed that, in the interest of stability and security, the Republic would be reorganized into the Galactic Empire. The worst fears of Mothma and her allies were confirmed. Amidala died soon thereafter.
During the Senatorial arrests, Mothma was among the senators charged with colluding with the Jedi Order and treason, yet she, like Bail Organa, was released after publicly claiming to be a loyal Imperial. Amidala's death was blamed on the Jedi Rebellion, but Mothma, who attended her close friend's funeral, knew who was really at fault — Vader. Vowing to return democracy to the galaxy, Mothma and Organa continued to prepare for resistance to the Emperor's rule.
The Rebel Alliance
- "This is our rebellion."
- ―Senator Mon Mothma on the combined rebel fleet
Before she died, Amidala secretly gave birth to twins: Luke Skywalker and Leia Organa, the latter of whom was adopted by Senator Organa and his wife, Queen Breha Organa of Alderaan. Mothma knew the adopted Princess from an early age and watched as she grew to become a politician in her own right. Mothma became the princess' political tutor, teaching her before she took her father's place in the Imperial Senate, and watched as the princess became a leader in the emerging rebellion against the Empire.
That rebellion emerged the years following the rise of the Empire, when several resistance movements developed across the galaxy to oppose Imperial rule. One such group was the crew of the starship Ghost, which operated on the Outer Rim world of Lothal before becoming part of a wider rebellion against the Empire. In time, these various resistance movements were united under Mothma and Organa's leadership. They also had help from Ahsoka Tano, who had become a key figure in the emerging rebellion by acting as a contact for rebel cells. Under Mothma and Organa's guidance, these cells became the Alliance to Restore the Republic.
Building an Alliance
- "This is Senator Mon Mothma, I have been called a traitor for speaking out against a corrupt Galactic Senate. A Senate manipulated by the sinister tactics of the Emperor. For too long I have watched the heavy hand of the Empire strangle our liberties, stifling our freedoms in the name of ensuring our safety. No longer! Despite Imperial threats, despite the Emperor himself, I have no fear as I take new action. For I am not alone. Beginning today we stand together as allies. I hereby resign from the Senate to fight for you, not from the distant hall of politics but from the front lines. We will not rest until we bring an end to the Empire, until we restore our Republic! Are you with me?"
- ―Mon Mothma to the various rebel cells
In 2 BBY, Mothma fled from Coruscant after she was branded a traitor and immediately rocketed to the top of the Empire's "Most Wanted" list for giving a speech condemning the Ghorman Massacre. Mothma also resigned from the Imperial Senate due to her dissatisfaction with the Senate's failure to rein in the Empire's wrongs, with the Imperial Security Bureau issuing an alert for Mothma in an attempt to capture her. ISB agents also visited Cantham House on Coruscant, the meeting place of the Cantham House meetings, based on suspicions they had, and questioned Leia and several others there. Mothma fled into hiding with her senatorial attache Erskin Semaj and the Y-wing squadron known as Gold Squadron. With the help of Senator Organa, Mothma rendezvoused in deep space with Phoenix Leader Hera Syndulla's ship Ghost. Hera and her crew were members of the Phoenix Cell, which operated in the Lothal sector. After Mothma's freighter, the Chandrila Mistress was attacked by Imperial forces, she and her crew abandoned their ship and sought refuge aboard the Ghost. Mothma helped Hera's droid Chopper to detach the Ghost from her stricken freighter.
After escaping into hyperspace, Hera introduced her crew to Mothma. Mothma praised both Ezra Bridger, who was flying Gold Two's Y-wing starfighter, and the Lasat Captain Garazeb Orrelios for their services to the rebellion. Ezra thanked Mothma for her speech criticizing the Emperor. When Erskin counselled her to abandon her planned mission to Dantooine, Mothma refused and argued that she had to be present at that meeting. Mothma then informed the Spectres that she was planning to build an alliance of rebel cells to challenge the Empire and unify the rebellion. After Erskin warned them that the Empire was trying to intercept any ship leaving the system, Hera decided they would travel through the dangerous Archeon pass.
During the journey, the rebels came under attack from Grand Admiral Thrawn's prototype TIE Defender starfighter and two TIE Interceptors. Three Y-wings were lost during the skirmish but the rebels also managed to destroy the two TIE interceptors. While Gold Leader Captain Jon Vander and Ezra distracted the TIE Defender, Hera flew the Ghost out of the Archeon Nebula only to find their way blocked by two Star Destroyers commanded by Governor Arihnda Pryce and Admiral Kassius Konstantine.
While Hera and Chopper readied the Ghost's hyperdrive, Mothma tried to stall Governor Pryce with a list of demands. Pryce however rejected her demands and ordered Konstantine to activate the Star Destroyer's tractor beam projector. Before the Ghost could be drawn inside the Star Destroyer, Vander and Ezra emerged from the Archeon Nebula. Under Hera's orders, they fired their proton torpedoes into the nebula. This caused an explosion which badly damaged the two Star Destroyers and allowed the rebels to flee to Dantooine.
Above Dantooine, Mon Mothma gave a speech stating that she had resigned from the Imperial Senate since it had been corrupted by the Emperor. With the Senate no longer able to protect the rights and freedom of the galaxy's citizens, she advocated the formation of an Alliance to Restore the Republic. This speech was witnessed by Senator Organa, General Jan Dodonna, and members of Ryder Azadi's Lothal resistance group and Phoenix Squadron. Shortly later, the rebel fleet emerged from hyperspace above Dantooine and the Alliance was formed, beginning the Galactic Civil War.
- "Senator, there must be someone you can send or something you can do."
"I wish I could help you, Commander Bridger, but I can't. Doing so would play into Thrawn's hands, and he would wipe out all we've worked to build."
"I know. He planned this."
"Senator Organa was right. It was too soon for open warfare against the Empire. I promise you, we will do our best to negotiate fair treatment for the prisoners."
"What if there are no prisoners? I'm not ready to give up yet."
"You have courage, Ezra. May the Force be with you."
- ―Ezra Bridger and Senator Mon Mothma discussing the Battle of Atollon
After escaping Grand Admiral Thrawn's siege of Atollon, Ezra contacted Mon Mothma via hologram and tried to solicit her help in sending reinforcements to aid the besieged Phoenix Squadron and General Dodonna's Massassi Group. However, the rebel leader was unwilling to expose the true strength of the Rebel Alliance to Thrawn and admitted that the Alliance was not yet ready for open warfare against the Empire. When Mothma promised to negotiate fair treatment for the prisoners, Ezra warned that Thrawn might not take prisoners. Before exiting the conversation, Mothma complimented Ezra for his courage and wished that the Force would be with him. Ultimately, the rebels managed to escape Atollon with the help of Mandalorians from Clan Wren.
Mission to Jalindi
In the aftermath of Atollon, the Rebel Alliance, including Mothma, relocated to Yavin 4. Around 1 BBY, following Phoenix squadron's return from a failed supply mission, Mothma welcomed Hera Syndulla at the subsequent meeting, commending her bravery. After Bail Organa attributed their faulty intelligence to a new Imperial satellite relay on Jalindi, Ezra remarked on Saw Gerrera's more extreme methods of acquiring the information, to which Mothma was quick to remind him the rest of the Rebellion does not torture prisoners. When Alexsandr Kallus suggested intercepting the satellite relay, Mothma agreed to the plan and placed Hera in charge of the mission. At the meeting's conclusion, Ezra once again pleaded for Mothma's help in liberating Lothal. Though sympathetic to the planet's plight as much as other worlds under Imperial control, Mothma reminded Ezra the Rebellion was not yet strong enough to do so. That night, Saw appeared via hologram from an astromech droid, denouncing the leaders of the Alliance. Mothma was quick to respond, demanding to know his reasons for contacting them. When Gerrera reminded her of her refusal to destroy the Jalindi relay, Mothma in turn refused to fall to his level, reminding Saw of his numerous war crimes. Despite this, the relay was inevitably destroyed by Gerrera and the Ghost crew following the unexpected arrival of Brom Titus.
Raid on Lothal
Weeks later, Mothma informed Ezra of a message from Azadi concerning a new development of the TIE Defender. Having witnessed the ships in action firsthand, Mothma asked for Ezra's help in gathering intelligence on Lothal. Bridger and the rest of the Ghost crew readily agreed, though Mothma could not guarantee their extraction due to the Empire's massive blockade. After Hera and Chopper acquired the TIE/D Defender Elite's flight data recorder and returned to Yavin 4, Mothma and Erskin Semaj greeted the two rebels.
Mon Mothma later attended a briefing with General Dodonna, Senator Organa, Semaj, and Syndulla to discuss the flight data recorder. During the meeting, Hera urged Mothma to launch a strike on the Imperial TIE Defender factories on Lothal and added that she had a ground strike team. Mothma responded by asking her and Chopper to wait outside while she discussed the matter. In private, Mothma and the others discussed Protocol 13. Hera re-entered the meeting and urged the rebel leadership to launch the strike. Mothma was swayed and authorized Syndulla's strike. However, Syndulla's squadron of X-wing starfighters was intercepted and largely wiped out by Thrawn's Seventh Fleet.
The Mustafar operation
- "This is Mon Mothma. I have an assignment for you. The Rebellion needs you and we don't have much time. You must work together. You must not fail. In disguise, your team's mission is to recover Imperial intelligence critical to our survival."
- ―Mon Mothma
Death Star plans
- "We need to stop this weapon before it's finished."
- ―Mon Mothma, to Jyn Erso
By 0 BBY, Mon Mothma had become Chancellor and Commander-in-Chief of the Rebel Alliance. As leader of the Alliance, Mothma was privy to Operation Fracture, a secret operation to extract the scientist Galen Erso so that he could testify to the Imperial Senate regarding the existence of a planet-destroying superweapon called the Death Star. The Alliance had learned about the existence of the Death Star from the defecting Imperial pilot Bodhi Rook, who had been captured by Gerrera's Partisans.
Operation Fracture involved the Alliance rescuing Galen's daughter Jyn Erso so that the Alliance could make contact with Gerrera and question Rook about the Death Star and Galen's location. The Alliance also needed Jyn to verify Galen's identity. When General Davits Draven objected to Jyn's presence on the Operation Fraction team due to her criminal and violent tendencies, Mothma countered that Jyn was essential to identifying Galen and persuading him to testify in the Senate about the Death Star. While recognizing Jyn's criminal tendencies, Mothma argued that everybody including criminals and outcasts deserved a second chance.
Mothma also supported General Draven's recommendation that Captain Cassian Andor be assigned to Operation Fracture. While describing him as one of the best and brightest rebel operatives, Mothma expressed concerns that rebel fighters like Andor had to grapple with doing terrible things in the course of their services to the Rebellion. In addition, Mon Mothma was also briefed about several topics including Galen Erso's expertise on crystal science and energy generation, suspected Imperial disinformation, speculation about the Empire's planned weapons test, Grand Moff Tarkin, and Alliance military assets by various colleagues including General Draven, Senator Nower Jebel, Advisor Hostis Ij, General Jan Dodonna, and Admiral Raddus.
Jyn convinced Saw to show her the message, which detailed the superweapon's destructive power and a weakness that Galen had deliberately set in the station. He also explained that a copy of the weapon's technical readouts were kept in the Citadel Tower on Scarif. Jyn was unable to deliver the holographic recording to the Alliance due the Destruction of Jedha City. Erso and Andor were able to escape Jedha, and set course for Eadu. En route, Andor relayed news of Jedha's destruction, while General Draven confirmed his orders to kill Galen Erso.
Following the return of Andor's team to the Massassi base, Mothma led a discussion among the Alliance's leaders regarding the future of the rebellion. Despite knowing that full-scale war against the Empire was inevitable and wanting to escalate the fight, Mothma followed the recommendations of the council and denied Jyn Erso permission to launch a mission to retrieve the Death Star plans. Erso, Andor, and their crew disobeyed her orders and formed the Rogue One squad, which fired the opening shots of the Galactic Civil War at the Battle of Scarif. Rogue One's actions led to the intervention of the Alliance Fleet, which allowed the successful theft and transmissions of the plans to the Profundity and Tantive IV.
Shortly thereafter, the Empire used the Death Star to destroy Alderaan, killing Organa with it. Mothma became the sole political leader of the Rebel Alliance, serving as its own chancellor throughout the Galactic Civil War.
After the Battle of Yavin, in which Luke Skywalker, who had become a Rebel pilot, destroyed the Death Star and prevented the annihilation of the Rebel Alliance, the Alliance debated trying to convince the Chekkoo clan of Rodia to join the Rebellion. Mothma was unsure of the idea, but Ackbar and Leia Organa agreed with it, and it was eventually decided they would send Skywalker on the mission.
At some point later the Alliance High Command met in the Alliance Fleet to discuss what actions to take next. Organa, who had just completed a successful assault on Weapons Factory Alpha on Cymoon 1, urged the leadership to allow her team to continue pressing the Alliance's advantage against the Empire. Admiral Gial Ackbar told the princess that they could not maintain such an offensive due to still being on the run, a stance that Mothma agreed with. The chancellor said that the few resources that they had must be put towards keeping the fleet moving so the Empire could not find them. Only by establishing a new base, Mothma said, would they be able to change that stance. Concerned for the well-being of her old friend, Mothma also reminded the princess that she could not afford to continue pushing herself or her team so hard in the fight against the Empire.
High Command later received word that Skywalker had been captured by Grakkus, a Hutt crime lord, on the moon of Nar Shaddaa. Despite Skywalker's value to the Alliance and his status as the hero of the Battle of Yavin, Mothma made the difficult choice to decide against using any large amount of Alliance resources to rescue him, knowing that the Rebellion could not move against a Hutt stronghold. She also believed that sending a covert team would be a suicide mission. Nonetheless, Skywalker's Wookiee friend Chewbacca and protocol droid C-3PO agreed to travel to Nar Shaddaa to help the captive Rebel. With help from Organa, the smuggler-turned-Rebel Han Solo, and astromech droid R2-D2, who rendezvoused with them on Nar Shaddaa, Chewbacca and Threepio successfully rescued Skywalker.
After Alliance forces managed to shoot down Darth Vader onto the planet Vrogas Vas during the battle of Vrogas Vas, Mothma approved of Leia's request for a coordinated Alliance strike on the Sith Lord, stating that his capture was preferable but eliminating him was acceptable.
Mothma attending an Alliance High Command meeting in which Skywalker and Organa suggested that the Alliance attempt to hijack an Imperial-class Star Destroyer in order to break the Siege on Tureen VII. Mothma was skeptical of the plan, but ultimately approved it due to Skywalker and Organa's reputation.
Following the Battle of Hoth, Mothma met Lieutenant Thane Kyrell, an Imperial-turned-Rebel, after he had become intoxicated following a night of drinking. Though he did not know who she was, Mothma helped find a chair so he could sit down, and he told her all about how he had defected from the Empire but still loved Ciena Ree, a childhood friend turned lover who served in the Imperial Navy. Mothma listened to his story, including how he was afraid that he might shoot Ree down in battle some day and that he did not want to let his fellow Rebels down for fear of killing the woman he loved. The next morning, Mothma briefed Kyrell and other pilots on a mission they were to carry out for the Alliance. At the end of the briefing, Mothma spoke to Kyrell, who apologized for his actions the previous night. Mothma told him that she did not drum anyone out of the Alliance for getting intoxicated once in a while, lest there be no Rebellion left to fight the Empire, but she did want to know he was capable of doing his duty. He assured her that he was, and he took heed of her words that it was acceptable to love someone on the other side of the war so long as he loved the cause of the Rebel Alliance more.
The Battle of Endor
- "The Emperor has made a critical error and the time for our attack has come."
- ―Mon Mothma, just before the Battle of Endor
Three years after the Battle of Yavin, the Alliance learned from Bothan spies that the Empire was building a second Death Star in orbit of the Forest Moon of Endor. Mothma met with the Alliance High Command to discuss strategy for how to deal with the threat of a new Death Star, and it was agreed that the battle station had to be destroyed before it was fully operational. The leadership began planning for an assault on the Death Star II over Endor, but first the Alliance Fleet, which had broken up following the Rebellion's defeat during the Battle of Hoth—Mothma insisted that it break into smaller groups to avoid another disaster that the Empire could celebrate—would have to regroup near Sullust. Organa volunteered to lead an operation, codenamed Operation Yellow Moon, to distract Imperial forces while the Alliance Fleet gathered together. Mothma was opposed to the idea at first, and she spoke with the princess about her concerns—concerns stemming from Organa's willingness to sacrifice herself for the Alliance.
The chancellor knew that Organa was in love with Captain Solo, who had been taken captive by Jabba the Hutt months earlier, and worried that Organa was willing to sacrifice happiness to die for the Rebel cause. Mothma also knew that Organa blamed herself for the destruction of Alderaan, so she told the princess a piece of intelligence: the Emperor intended to use the new Death Star to destroy worlds such as Mon Cala and even Chandrila, all to eliminate opposition to his rule. Mothma knew that if she allowed herself to be ruled by such fears, she would not be able to serve the Alliance. The chancellor approved Operation Yellow Moon, and urged her young friend not to deny herself an opportunity for love—a love denied because of total devotion to the Alliance—because of what happened to her parents and to Alderaan. Operation Yellow Moon was successful and the Alliance Fleet gathered near Sullust. When it was assembled, the High Command addressed Rebel forces aboard Home One, the Rebel command ship, and shared the existence of the second Death Star.
Mothma also revealed that the Emperor himself was personally overseeing the completion of the station's construction. During the briefing, Admiral Ackbar and General Crix Madine outlined the plan of attack. General Solo was picked to lead a ground assault to destroy the shield generator protecting the Death Star, while Organa, Chewbacca, and Skywalker volunteered to accompany him. After the briefing, Mothma spoke to Organa and expressed concern that the princess had volunteered for the mission. As with Operation Yellow Moon and the rescue of General Solo from Jabba the Hutt, Mothma feared that Organa was putting herself, a valuable member of the Alliance and the future republic that they hoped to build, at too great a risk. Mothma shared a story of how, after the Empire's massacre on the Wookiee homeworld of Kashyyyk, she thought that diplomacy was dead and she trained as a starfighter pilot in order to fight against the Empire. She realized, however, that while she could have helped win a battle, she could contribute more as the leader of the Alliance. Despite Mothma's concerns, which the princess understood, Organa felt it was her destiny to be part of the Battle of Endor and chose to accompany the Rebel forces to the Forest Moon.
Before the Alliance Fleet left for Endor, Mothma's ship departed so she could be taken to a safe location. The Battle of Endor commenced once the Rebel forces arrived over the Forest Moon. Unknown to the Rebellion was that the Emperor had allowed them to learn of the station's existence to lure the Rebels into a trap meant to destroy them once and for all. However, the Alliance emerged victorious: the second Death Star was destroyed, the Emperor was killed, and the Empire was left leaderless and in chaos. The tide had turned in the war against the Empire.
Creating a new order
- "I've seen war. I know its shape. I know its margins. But I'll never be comfortable with it. It is our fault and we must act that way to uphold our responsibilities. And it's why the war must stop soon. We cannot keep fighting it."
- ―Mon Mothma, shortly after the death of Emperor Palpatine
Twenty days after the Battle of Endor, Mothma tasked Organa with traveling to Naboo in order to gather support for the formation of a New Republic. Organa was reluctant to leave her other duties and recommended that Mothma send diplomats in her place, but the chancellor believed that Organa's skill and reputation were essential for the mission as the princess represented the best that the Rebel Alliance had to offer. Organa, along with her assigned pilot, Lieutenant Shara Bey, departed for the mission. Their time there coincided with the Empire launching an attack against the planet, as part of Operation: Cinder, but Organa and Bey fought alongside Queen Sosha Soruna to repel the Imperial attack. The Alliance continued fighting back against other strikes in Operation: Cinder for months.
The Alliance formed the New Republic in the months following the Battle of Endor. The Galactic Senate was reestablished and headquartered on Chandrila, as the New Republic felt that Chandrila represented a planet with big ideas that the Republic would need in order to be successful. Mothma was elected as the first chancellor of the New Republic Senate, and, to her great reluctance, the charter of the chancellor included the emergency powers that had once been given to Palpatine during the Clone Wars. It was Mothma's intention to do away with those powers, believing them to be a poison to democracy. Mothma also planned to propose a massive military disarmament once the Galactic Civil War came to end, hoping to cut the size of the New Republic Defense Fleet by ninety percent. The other ten percent would go towards training and supporting local militias, which would be responsible for the defense of their worlds. She proposed to put these ideas on the agenda of the first meeting of the reconstituted Senate.
Later, Chancellor Mothma corresponded via hologram with Admiral Ackbar, General Crix Madine, Commander Kyrsta Agate, and Captain Saff Melor. The New Republic officers discussed the disappearance of Captain Wedge Antilles during a mission to Akiva and the reliability of an Imperial informant known as the Operator. When Melor advocated sending military ships to Akiva as a show of force, Mothma cautioned against it because she did not want to promote an aggressive image of the New Republic in the Outer Rim Territories.
Captain Melor disagreed with the Chancellor and argued that Akiva was a marginal world whose government were allies of the Empire. In response, Mothma countered that the people outweighed strategic and political considerations. Mothma revealed she had intelligence of a rebellion on Akiva; which she attributed to the success of the New Republic's messaging campaign. Admiral Ackbar agreed with the Chancellor's assessment. As a compromise, he proposed sending a small strike team of New Republic Special Forces to Akiva. The group agreed to Ackbar's proposal. As a result, Akiva became one of the first Outer Rim worlds to join the New Republic.
Juggling ideals and reality
- "I know. You're not wrong. And you are a hero, and you helped us all be the heroes needed to get to this point. But such passion and idealism have to be tempered by reality. This is a government. It has a lot of moving pieces."
- ―Mon Mothma debating with Princess Leia
In 5 ABY, Chancellor Mon Mothma continued to preside over the New Republic's war against the Galactic Empire. The New Republic liberated more worlds from the Empire including Akiva and Arkanis. Chancellor Mothma and Princess Leia later traveled to the oceanic planet of Velusia to meet with Grand Vizier Mas Amedda, who was still struggling to rule the Imperial capital of Coruscant; which was in the throes of a civil war. On the atoll Kolo-ha, the Grand Vizier tried to surrender but the Chancellor refused to accept his surrender and ordered him to find a way to secure the Empire's surrender. If he tried to walk away, Mothma and Leia threatened to have him tried for war crimes.
Later, Chancellor Mothma presided over a meeting to discuss the state of the New Republic. During the meeting, Mothma urged her fellow leaders to focus on winning more member worlds. When her adviser Hostis Ij advocated finding new lines of food, fuel and other vital supplies, Auxi Kray Korbin interjected that a stronger military was not the solution. When Leia entered the room, Chancellor Mothma greeted her and apologized for not inviting her. Mothma was aware that Leia was under stress since her husband Han Solo had embarked on a mission to rescue Chewbacca.
When Leia tried to lobby for ships and resources to be sent to liberate Kashyyyk, Mothma praised her for her idealism but warned her that the New Republic was preoccupied with trying to govern the galaxy. Despite Leia's pleas, Mothma reasoned that the New Republic lacked sufficient resources and manpower to liberate Kashyyyk. Frustrated, Leia stormed off.
The faux peace offer
- "The show is part of it. The galaxy is a myriad, wonderful place. It is home to such wild miscellany. Present her is individuality. Something the Empire, I feel, has missed. If there is to be any kind of treaty, it is vital we preserve what makes life in this galaxy special. It is critical we preserve all of what you will see on display. All ways of existence. All the choices for all of us."
- ―Chancellor Mothma hosting Grand Admiral Sloane
After Admiral Ackbar liberated the planet Kuat and the strategically important Kuat Drive Yards, Chancellor Mothma contacted the Admiral via hologram to inform him and Princess Leia that she had received a communication request from the Operator, a shadowy Imperial operative who had been supplying vital intelligence on Imperial movements to Admiral Ackbar. Grand Admiral Rae Sloane, the leader of the Empire, then joined the conversation and claimed that she was the Operator. While Leia and Commodore Kyrsta Agate expressed skepticism, the New Republic leaders including Mothma took an interest in Sloane's offer to discuss peace with the New Republic.
Believing that victory was imminent, Mon Mothma agreed to submit Sloane's offer to the Senate. As a gesture of trust, Sloane offered to have the Imperial–Republic peace talks take place on Chandrila with minimal guard. Mothma accepted Sloane's offer and agreed to remain in contact with her using a special channel. Later, Chancellor Mothma and Senator Organa greeted a hundred prisoners that the former New Republic pilot Norra Wexley and her team had liberated from Ashmead's Lock prison on Kashyyyk with the help of Han Solo. Unknown to Mothma and her fellow leaders, the real Operator was Fleet Admiral Gallius Rax, who was ruling the Empire from behind the scenes. In secret, Rax was planning to attack Chandrila using the liberated Ashmead's Lock prisoners to assassinate the New Republic leadership. He used inorganic bio-chip implants to control the former captives.
A month following the rescue of the Ashmead's Lock prisoners, the Galactic Senate agreed to Sloane's offer for peace talks. Mothma timed the peace talks to take place after the Liberation Day celebrations to mark the liberation of the Ashmead's Lock prisoners. To prevent any obstacles to the peace talks, the Chancellor ordered the New Republic military to refrain from making any incursions into Kashyyyk. As a sop to Leia, Mothma agreed to raise the matter of Kashyyyk's liberation in her meeting with Sloane. Her pragmatism failed to sway the idealistic Leia, who insisted that the Wookiees' freedom and dignity was non-negotiable.
After Grand Admiral Sloane landed at spaceport in her shuttle, Chancellor Mon Mothma and several New Republic soldiers, guards, and officials received the Grand Admiral and her entourage. Mothma then took her Imperial guests to the Old Gather-House and the Senate Plaza to watch the Liberation Day festivities, which featured artistic and musical displays by the various member worlds and species in the New Republic. When Sloane made a disparaging remark about Gabdorin music, Mothma responded that the New Republic represented everybody in the galaxy.
Following the parade, Chancellor Mothma began a speech praising the liberated Ashmead's Lock prisoners for their contributions to the Rebellion. Before she could conclude her speech, the prisoner Brentin Lore Wexley tried to shoot her but was restrained by his wife Norra. The other prisoners also opened fire on the various New Republic officials present. Mothma survived the attack due to Norra's quick response but suffered serious injuries. Commodore Agate was badly scarred while General Madine and Adviser Hostis Ij were rumored to be dead. The attack ended any prospect for resolving the Galactic Civil War through diplomacy. In response, Fleet Admiral Rax ordered the Imperial fleets to assemble at Jakku.
In the thick of politics
- "The chancellor has made herself clear. This meeting is over. We will see you all on Nakadia."
- ―Auxi speaking on behalf of Chancellor Mothma
In the months after the attack on Chandrila, Chancellor Mon Mothma chaired a meeting of the Committee for Imperial Reallocation, which dealt with redistributing the resources of the fallen Empire. Growing weary, Mothma advocated ending the meeting early and delaying it till next month. Mothma was preoccupied with efforts to move the Senate and her office to the Mid Rim world of Nakadia. Despite Senator Ashmin Ek's protests, Auxi Kray Korbin reiterated the Chancellor's position and adjourned the meeting.
Before leaving, the Hosnian Prime councilman Sondiv Sella asked Mothma about her arm. Mothma replied that her arm was still recovering and that she was taking therapy exercises. Sella also promised to lobby the committees to fruition and to support her for the upcoming election. After the senators had departed, Mothma and Auxi chatted about her popularity ratings and the matter of appointing a new adviser to replace the late Hostis Ij, who had perished during the attack on Chandrila. After reflecting on her tense rivalry with the Orishen Senator Tolwar Wartol, Mon asked Auxi how she could convince the Senate to vote for her again in the upcoming election.
Auxi reassured Mothma that she was doing the right things by apportioning resources and infrastructure for worlds afflicted by the Empire and the vacuum of leadership. While Mothma had kept the military strong, she had not tried to enforce her will on a weakened galaxy. When Auxi mentioned the liberation of Kashyyyk, Mon respond that Kashyyyk had been a complicated matter since the Senate had resisted their involvement but that Leia had gotten involved. Mothma had approved the clandestine action because it had been successful.
When Auxi opined that Kashyyyk was a victory for them, Mothma reminded her that they had secured this win by defying the will of the Senate. Auxi responded that leadership could mean defiance but Mothma countered that Palpatine was defiant. Auxi reminded her that Princess Leia was defiant but was not Palpatine. Auxi then raised the matter of law and order. Before Mothma could respond, one of the Chancellor's protocol droids R-K77 informed her of an urgent meeting request from Princess Leia. The droid added that the request was a Code K-one-zero request, which meant something of the utmost importance.
News from Jakku
- "Yes, but we have to do this right. We don't even know what this is yet. Why this planet? How much of a fight are we to expect? We want this to be be the Empire's last stand. Not ours."
- ―Mon Mothma responding to the news of the Empire's retreat to Jakku
Princess Leia had received news from Temmin Wexley and Sinjir Rath Velus that the Imperial remnants had relocated to the Inner Rim world of Jakku. Upon arriving at Leia's domicile, she asked Temmin to recount everything that he had told Leia. Temmin explained that the Empire was on Jakku and that a lot of ships were in orbit including at least one Super Star Destroyer. Sinjir then interjected that his friends Norra Wexley and Jas Emari were on Jakku. When Chancellor Mothma remarked that the situation was fraught, Sinjir appealed to her to send military forces to save his friends and Temmin's mother.
Chancellor Mothma pointed out that their mission to Jakku had been unauthorized. When Leia responded that she had authorized the mission, Mothma countered that she did not have the Senate's authority and that hunting Rae Sloane was the jurisdiction of the Senate. When Leia urged Chancellor Mothma to seize the opportunity to attack, the Chancellor responded that they had to be careful that they had all the facts before proceeding to Jakku. The Chancellor then explained that she was unable to authorize the deployment of military forces to Jakku without consulting the Senate. She also warned the others not to speak of their meeting.
Unknown to Chancellor Mothma and the others, their conversations were being tapped by Senator Tolwar Wartol, who had planted a listening device in Leia's nanny droid T-2LC. Wartol leaked the news of the Imperial presence on Jakku to HoloNet News and took the opportunity to attack Mothma for being secretive and indecisive. After watching the HoloNet news broadcast, Chancellor Mothma conferred with her adviser Auxi and Admiral Ackbar. Ackbar supported her by pointing out that she had been wise for not disclosing the information immediately since she it for less than a standard day.
Mon Mothma then realized that Senator Wartol had a leak or a spy. After reflecting on the situation, Mothma commented that her setback was one one the "necessary bumps and scratches of a growing democracy." In response to Wartol's leak, she instructed Auxi to contact HoloNet News to give her statement. Admiral Ackbar also agreed to send a probe droid and a scout ship to the Jakku system to gather intelligence on the Imperial presence. Leia urged her advisers to remain vigilant for traitors in their midst.
The derailed resolution
- "It's just—it must be hard, being you. Under siege from every direction."
"Yes. It is hard. But we persevere. Like the Rebel Alliance before us, like the New Republic now. We persevere."
- ―Tracene and Mon Mothma
Later, Chancellor Mothma met with the HoloNet News journalist Tracene Kane and the Sullustan cam-operator Birt to deliver her statement to the press. In her speech, Mothma reiterated that she had become aware of reports that the Empire had retreated to Jakku. She reassured the public that the military had sent a scout ship and a probe droid to confirm this information. While acknowledging rumors that the Imperial remnants had relocated to Jakku, she announced that she had convened an emergency session of the Senate in order to mobilize the armed services. After giving her press statement, Mon chatted with Tracene. When Tracene expressed sympathy for her predicament, Mon responded that the New Republic would persevere like the Rebel Alliance.
That night, Chancellor Mothma gave a speech to the Galactic Senate urging them to authorize military intervention on Jakku. She presented data from the probe droids and the scout ship Oculus as evidence that the bulk of Imperial forces had relocated to Jakku. Following the speech, Mothma retreated to her office to recuperate. While chatting with Auxi, Admiral Ackbar entered the office to inform her that the vote had failed. Unknown to Mothma and her advisers, the Black Sun and Red Key crime syndicates were plotting to prolong the fighting. They had coerced or bribed five senators into voting against Mothma's motion. At the request of Princess Leia, Sinjir contracted the services of his slicer friend Conder Kyl. Conder found Wartol's listening device in T-2LC. After learning about the listening device, Chancellor Mothma decided to pay Senator Wartol a visit.
Meeting a political rival
- "You did do it. You sabotaged the vote."
"I admit to nothing. I will not give life to your conspiratorial fancies."
- ―Mon Mothma confronting Senator Wartol
Making use of Chancellor Mothma visited Senator Wartol's Ganoidian tri-deck cruiser just as he was preparing to depart for Nakadia. When Wartol's Orishen guards tried to block her, Mothma warned them that turning her away with the threat of violence would not look good for the Senator. Chancellor Mothma managed to convince Senator Wartol to allow her to join him on his trip to Nakadia under the pretext of meeting with him. While the two shared a meal of roasted Nektods, Wartol asked about the purpose behind her visit since they were political opponents. Mothma replied they both had shared interests and wanted what was best for the galaxy.
In private, Chancellor Mothma asked Wartol about her failed resolution to attack the Empire's fleet on Jakku, which had failed by five votes. Wartol tried to deny his involvement but Chancellor Mothma pointed out that the five dissenting senators Ashmin Ek, Rethalow, Dor Wieedo, Grelka Sorka, and Nim Tar had voted with him in the past and worked with him in various councils and caucuses. While Wartol had voted in favor of military intervention, Mothma observed that the five senators had taken their cues from him in the past.
As the conversation dragged on, Mothma theorized that Wartol had convinced the five other senators to oppose the resolution while voting for it. When Mothma accused Wartol of sacrificing his principles, the Orishen responded that his people knew the meaning of sacrificing their world so that the Empire would not subjugate them. Despite Wartol's rhetoric about sacrifice, Mothma pointed out that he was sacrificing the New Republic's war efforts so that he could conquer the New Republic. She added that by manipulating the five senators, Wartol was sacrificing the safety of the galaxy.
When Wartol accused her of being a weak and indulgent leader, Mothma insinuated that he had sabotaged the vote. Wartol reiterated his denial and accused her of indulging in conspiracy theories. In response, Mothma presented the listening device that Conder had extracted from T-2LC. When Wartol denied planting the bug, Mothma countered that he knew that the Empire was on Jakku and that he had ordered the guards to stop Sinjir and Temmin from leaving on the Millennium Falcon. When Wartol reiterated his denial, Mothma vowed to fight him at the next election.
Intrigue on Nakadia
- "Those who vote no: Recognize that you are marked. You will be marked as cowards at best and traitors at worst."
- ―An excerpt from Chancellor Mothma's speech urging the Galactic Senate to send military forces to Jakku
Wartol retorted that her re-vote was scheduled to take place on Nakadia in less than twelve hours and that she had little time to scramble the votes that she needed. However, Mothma then revealed a card up her sleeve; she had smuggled in a small pta fruit. Since Nakadia was an agrarian world, it was classified as a Class A protected planet by the New Republic. Senator Wartol's yacht was prevented from landing by the Nakadian authorities since the pta fruit was considered a biosecurity hazard. Thus, Mothma succeeded in delaying the re-vote.
This gave her allies Han Solo, Sinjir, Temmin, Conder Kyl, and the former New Republic soldier Jom Barell enough time to track down the five senators. Despite Conder being kidnapped by the Red Key syndicate, Jom managed to capture Rethalow. Rethalow revealed that the Black Sun and Red Key syndicates had coerced and bribed the senators into opposing Mothma's resolution. Sinjir and his team managed to defeat the criminal syndicate's plot by rescuing Conder and Senator Nim Tar's child. Posing as the Chancellor's adviser, Sinjir managed to convince the five senators to change their votes by offering to pardon them.
Meanwhile, Chancellor Mothma and Senator Wartol finally cleared the Nakadian customs and addressed the press. To delay the proceedings, Mothma feigned a limp as they entered the Quarrow Senate house. During the session, Mothma gave a short but angry speech urging the senators to vote for intervention on Jakku. She urged them not to hesitate in ending the Empire. While Mothma feared that she sounded like Palpatine, Auxi reassured her that it was a great speech. Mothma was relieved when Auxi later informed her that her vote had passed.
A new adviser
- "Yes, your reputation in that regard precedes you, Sinjir. But another reputation is beginning to form and grow: You are even more incisive with your tongue than you are with your violence. You can be alarmingly convincing, as evidenced by what you said to Senator Rethalow. And further how you manipulated those senators into giving me their vote. I need someone like that. Auxi is a most excellent adviser in matters political, but I need a cynic. Someone who distrusts the system—who maybe even despises it. And I also need someone who can play the game and get me what I want. That someone is you."
- ―Chancellor Mothma recruits Sinjir as her new adviser
Following the Galactic Senate's decision to send military forces to Jakku, Chancellor Mothma returned to Chandrila. After learning of Sinjir's exploits, she secured a meeting with the former Imperial loyalty officer–turned New Republic operative. When Sinjir asked to go to Jakku, Mothma countered that he was not a soldier and that his talents were better applied elsewhere. Mothma offered to hire Sinjir as her new adviser to complement Auxi. She pointed out that she needed a cynic who distrusted the system. After some discussion, Sinjir accepted her job offer.
Chancellor Mothma then sent Sinjir on his first assignment to deliver a small basket of pta fruits to her political rival Senator Wartol. Sinjir and his partner Conder visited the Orishen senator and caught him red-handed trying to trigger a remote-controlled bomb. While they failed to stop Wartol from detonating the bomb, the two managed to overpower the rogue Senator, who readily admitted to plotting to kill the Chancellor. The bomb destroyed Chancellor Mothma's office on Chandrila. While her adviser Auxi was killed, Mothma survived because she was outside the building.
Despite the loss of her friend Auxi, Mothma refused to allow grief to cloud her judgment. With the Battle of Jakku ending in the New Republic's favor, Chancellor Mothma received word that Grand Vizier Mas Amedda had escaped Imperial captivity and was suing for peace. Chancellor Mothma accepted Amedda's offer and enlisted the help of her advisers Sinjir, Sondiv Sella, and Princess Leia. She arranged for the Imperial surrender to take place on Chandrila in the crystal cliffs north of Hanna City under an ancient tintolive tree.
- "Hope through agitation. The light glows stronger when we struggle."
- ―Mon Mothma following the signing of the Galactic Concordance
During the meeting, Mas Amedda signed both the Imperial Instruments of Surrender and the Galactic Concordance. Per the terms of the Instrument of Surrender, the surviving remnants of the Empire were ordered to cease fighting and the Imperial government was dissolved. Mon Mothma also issued a further declaration designating all surviving Imperial military officers as war criminals. Non-combatant functionaries within the Imperial government were given conditional pardons provided they complied with the articles of the Galactic Concordance. Grand Vizier Amedda was pardoned and tasked with leading the Coruscant provisional government. Following the surrender ceremony, Mothma gave Sinjir a bottle of expensive lachrymead wine to thank him for his services to the New Republic.
The Galactic Concordance formally ended hostilities between the New Republic and the defeated Galactic Empire. The treaty forced the Empire to remain inside predetermined territories within the Core Worlds and the Inner Rim. Mothma urged the Republic to remain vigilant in the event that the conflict returned, and temporarily kept the New Republic Starfleet on wartime funding and alert status. Once it became clear that the war was over, and the remnants of the Empire disappeared into the Unknown Regions, the Galactic Senate fulfilled Mothma's goal and passed the Military Disarmament Act. Some time during her tenure, Mothma further reformed the Senate by establishing that member worlds would act as the Senate's capital on a rotating basis. Rotating the capital, and in particular keeping it off of Coruscant, did much to convince member worlds that the New Republic would be different from its predecessor governments.
Sometime later, Mothma became ill and stepped down as Chancellor. However, her successors lacked Mothma's charisma, and failed to create that same political consensus as she did. In her absence, the New Republic fell into chaos and the Galactic Senate became divided into two factions: the Populists, who believed that individual member planets should retain their full sovereignty, and the Centrists, who favored a stronger galactic government and a larger military.
Mothma showed her personal support for Leia after it was publicly revealed that she was the daughter of Darth Vader. Her message to Leia indicated that she had suspected the truth for some time before the announcement.
In some ways, Mon Mothma's actions contributed to the New Republic's eventual undoing. Her drive for ensuring peace and demilitarization eventually left the New Republic in a weakened state of unpreparedness that lacked the strength to combat the rise of the First Order.
Personality and traits
- "You target civilians, kill those who surrender, break every rule of engagement! If we degrade ourselves to the Empire's level, what will we become?"
"There she is! That's the leader the Rebellion needs! Where is that fire, that passion, when your people need it most? I hope, Senator, after you've lost, and the Empire reigns over the galaxy unopposed, you will find some comfort in the knowledge that you fought according to the rules."
- ―Mon Mothma and Saw Gerrera
Mon Mothma was a human female with auburn hair, pale blue-green eyes, and light skin. She was a firm believer in democracy and opposed Chancellor Palpatine's amassing of executive power during the Clone Wars. She contrasted her beliefs with those of Separatists who wanted to leave the Republic, believing instead in loyalty to the Republic and the preservation of its democracy.[source?] It was this opposition to authoritarianism that led Mothma to help form the Rebel Alliance. She pursued peace during the Clone Wars, but she was willing to fight to restore democracy to the galaxy. Her ideals led her to become the first chancellor of the New Republic, where she pushed to avoid the mistakes that the Galactic Republic had made during the Clone Wars. Though strong executive powers were granted to her, she wanted nothing of the sort and believed them to be destructive to the democratic process.
Mothma was a courageous and outspoken Senator in the Imperial Senate who criticized the Empire's increasingly authoritarian and repressive policies. The final straw that broke the bantha's back came when Mothma denounced the Emperor in a live HoloNet speech for his role in the Ghorman Massacre. Despite becoming a fugitive, Mothma refused to hide herself but was determined to take dangerous risks in order to fulfill her goal of creating the Rebel Alliance. As a leader, Mothma preferred to lead by example in order to gain the respect of her underlings. Mothma also took the time to build friendships with other rebel fighters like Hera Syndulla and Garazeb Orrelios.
Mothma's devotion to her ideals did prove difficult at times. After the Empire's massacre on Kashyyyk, she thought diplomacy was dead and considered becoming a fighter pilot in the war against the Empire, but she learned that she provided more value to the Rebellion as its leader than as a soldier. Later, when she learned that the Emperor intended to destroy Chandrila with the Death Star II as a means of silencing her, Mon Mothma struggled with the fear that her actions would endanger her people. However, she refused to allow herself to be ruled by fear and regarded giving into her fear as tantamount to surrendering to the Empire.
Despite her position as Chancellor of the New Republic, Mothma was wary of abusing her powers due to Palpatine's legacy. She was prepared to reduce the powers of her own office and the New Republic military once the threat of the Empire had been ended. As the head of government, Mothma developed a sense of pragmatism since she had to manage a state that was also embroiled in a galactic war. Mothma was aware of the strains on the New Republic's resources and was reluctant to deploy military forces to Kashyyyk. Mothma's pragmatism contrasted with the idealism of Princess Leia, who was unwilling to let obstacles block her goal to liberate the Wookiee species. Believing that the Empire was facing defeat, Mothma agreed to peace talks with Rae Sloane. As a politician, Mothma sought to capitalize on the liberation of the Ashmead's Lock prisoners as an opportunity to win more worlds to the New Republic.
As Chancellor, Mon Mothma was skillful and savvy but strove to keep in touch with her constituents. Despite her powers and privileges, Mothma saw herself as serving the galaxy. She consciously struggled not to become an autocratic dictator like the late Palpatine. Mothma walked a fine balance between keeping the New Republic strong without turning it into a force for oppression. While Chancellor Mothma was sympathetic to the plight of Temmin and Sinjir who had loved ones and friends on Jakku, she was still determined to abide by the rules and norms of the New Republic. As a politician, Mothma preferred to use the system to achieve her goals.
Despite facing low popular ratings (39%) and having to contend with the hawkish Senator Tolwar Wartol, Mothma resolved to continue leading the New Republic. Mothma used her friendly connections and political savvy to outwit Wartol's plot to discredit her leadership. Chancellor Mothma was also a good talent spotter. She recruited the former Imperial loyalty officer Sinjir as one of her new advisers. She admired Sinjir's ingenious plan to convince five dissident senators to change their votes in favor of her resolution to intervene on Jakku. Though Mothma grieved the death of her friend Auxi during Senator Wartol's failed assassination attempt on her life, she remained resolute and led the New Republic's peace negotiations with Grand Vizier Mas Amedda. While presiding over the Empire's surrender, Mothma took care to co-opt non-combatant Imperial functionaries in order to ensure a smooth political transition.
Skills and abilities
In addition to being a keen diplomat, Mon Mothma trained as a fighter pilot, although she never actually saw battle. Mon Mothma was also a skilled speaker who appealed to her listener's hopes, dreams, and values. While Mothma was a politician, she also knew how to detach two docked starships. As a politician, Chancellor Mothma was able to switch from formal talk to plain speaking based on the situation. Despite being wounded in her left arm, Mothma insisted on keeping her arm and took exercises to strengthen it.
Behind the scenes
Development and portrayal
- "Certainly people are always very envious of me. When I join a new theater company, the other actors look down the program, see my Return of the Jedi credit and say, 'Oh, you were part of Star Wars.' I smile and say, 'Yes, but only for twenty-six and a half seconds.'"
- ―Caroline Blakiston
Mon Mothma was first introduced in the 1983 film Star Wars: Episode VI Return of the Jedi, directed by Richard Marquand from a script by George Lucas and Lawrence Kasdan. She was portrayed by Caroline Blakiston, who was cast while working in Manchester, England on a television series. Blakiston met with costume designers in a Manchester hotel room to fit her for a costume and discuss what kind of hairstyle her character would sport, but it was ultimately decided she would use her own red hair. Blakiston was provided with an initial script for her brief part in the film, but, upon arriving on set, she learned that her lines had been changed and she would have to learn an entirely new monologue. This proved somewhat stressful, particularly as a result of the dialogue containing Star Wars terminology like the word "Bothan." While in production, Blakiston came up with her own idea for the character's backstory, hoping to find inspiration in the Star Wars saga's classical underpinnings. She felt that the name "Mon Mothma" bore a similarity to the words "Moon Mother," and as a result she saw her character as someone who would be cool and collected.
A younger version of Mon Mothma appeared in the 2005 film Star Wars: Episode III Revenge of the Sith, written and directed by George Lucas. Genevieve O'Reilly was chosen to portray the role due to her resemblance to Blakiston, and she filmed a few scenes for the film that were meant to set up the eventual formation of the Rebel Alliance. Before filming, O'Reilly studied Blakiston's performance, hoping to capture the character's voice and mannerisms. The scenes in which O'Reilly had a speaking role were cut and later included on the film's DVD release though O'Reilly did appear in one scene in the final film in a non-speaking role. Blakiston hoped to have a part in the film, asking Lucas if she could appear as her character's grandmother, but she never received a response from the director. O'Reilly returned to the role for the film Rogue One: A Star Wars Story and would voice the character in the Star Wars Rebels animated television series.
The character later appeared in an expanded role in the animated television series Star Wars: The Clone Wars. In the three episodes in which the character had a speaking role, she was portrayed by actress Kath Soucie. Her role as leader of the Rebel Alliance and New Republic has also been expanded upon in several canonical Star Wars tales.
According to Alexander Freed, the author of the Rogue One: A Star Wars Story novelization, he would have loved to write more about Mon Mothma in the novel. He later had the opportunity to do so in the story "Contingency Plan" of the 2017 anthology From a Certain Point of View.
Discrepancy over election date
According to Star Wars: The Rebel Files, Mothma was elected senator in "8 BFE," i.e. 8 years before the proclamation of the Galactic Empire in 19 BBY, which would place her election in 27 BBY. However, in the novel Queen's Shadow, Mon Mothma says that she was "very new to the Senate when [Padmé Amidala] made [her] speech as Queen of Naboo," referring to a scene of the movie Star Wars: Episode I The Phantom Menace. According to Star Wars: Galactic Atlas, the events of the movie took place in 32 BBY, which would place Mothma's election that year or earlier.
Role in Star Wars Legends
- "This great struggle is a people's struggle: a struggle between the strong and the weak, the rich and the poor, the cruel and the gentle."
- ―Mon Mothma, describing the Rebellion in a quote from the The Rebel Alliance Sourcebook
Mon Mothma appeared in numerous stories in the Expanded Universe of books, comics, and games, which have since become non-canon and rebranded as Star Wars Legends. These stories saw her role in the Rebellion fleshed out, showing her as the leader of the Rebel Alliance. The 1991 novel Heir to the Empire, written by Timothy Zahn, showed her becoming Chief of State of the New Republic, setting the stage for her canonical counterpart to become the first chancellor of the New Republic. The 2005 reference book The New Essential Chronology established that the Legends version of Mon Mothma died in her sleep twenty years after the Battle of Endor. After the character continued appearing in Legends stories, Blakiston became aware of her character's prolific appearances. She was intrigued by this fact and credited it to what she saw as Mothma's strong personality. Blakiston stated that, despite the character's limited screentime in Return of the Jedi, she saw Mothma as an archetypal figure not unlike Darth Vader and Obi-Wan Kenobi.
- Rogue One: Recon A Star Wars 360 Experience (Mentioned only)
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- LEGO Star Wars: The Freemaker Adventures – "Return to the Wheel"
- LEGO Star Wars: The Freemaker Adventures – "Flight of the Arrowhead"
- LEGO Star Wars: The Freemaker Adventures – "A Perilous Rescue"
- LEGO Star Wars: The Freemaker Adventures – "Escape from Coruscant"
- LEGO Star Wars: Droid Tales – "Gambit on Geonosis"
- LEGO Star Wars: The Skywalker Saga