Mon Mothma is such a revered character in the Star Wars universe, played by Caroline Blakiston in Return of the Jedi. Now that you’ve had the chance to play her quite a few times, do you feel like you can take on the role properly? Or do you feel it’s a shared responsibility between you and Caroline?
I will always respect the work of Caroline Blakiston and George Lucas for bringing it about. They created her in 1983’s Return of the Jedi. You wrote it and created it as the female leader of a rebel alliance – I think that’s to be respected. I’m always grateful for the opportunity to explore them further. I feel like I know her now, and I’m grateful to flesh her out in a way that makes her feel like the character deserves it. I’m thrilled to have the opportunity to do this.
With Andor, Mon Mothma is a more prominent character in the Star Wars universe than ever before. As the character’s story expands on the show, has your approach to playing her changed from how you portrayed her in the films until now?
What “Andor” offers us is the opportunity to see her in a completely different moment of her life than we have ever experienced before. We’ve seen Mon Mothma surrounded by rebels before, often in a bunker to send someone on a mission. In “Rogue One” the rebel fleet is behind them, so there is an organized rebellion.
At the moment we meet Mon Mothma, she’s up to her neck in the Empire. She works as a senator in the Imperial Senate. She is still trying to be a voice for democracy working within the system of government. When we meet her in Andor, she’s at wit’s end of hope for change. She stands before the wall of Palpatine’s autocracy and realizes that she is a lone voice of opposition, and therefore she must step out of it. She has to risk everything she has worked her life, her career for, to stand up for what she truly believes in.