It’s been a very informative week for Rogue One: A Star Wars Story. We’ve been introduced to new characters, we’ve learned how an old foe will be utilized, and we’ve addressed those reshoots rumors – but we’re not done yet, as producer and Lucasfilm president Kathleen Kennedy confirmed some additional details about another ally.
In the first Rogue One teaser trailer, fans noticed a familiar face: Rebel leader and former senator Mon Mothma, who appeared in Return of the Jedi to brief the attack squadron prior to their assault on the unfinished Death Star. “Many Bothans died to bring us this information” she said gravely, in a line that would be quoted for years to come.
Genevieve O’Reilly will step into the role originated by Caroline Blakiston, and the resemblence between the two actresses is startling. But oddly enough, this isn’t the first time O’Reilly has portrayed the character: she actually shot some material for Revenge of the Sith back in 2005, but her sequence was cut from the finished film (however, she still appears in deleted scenes on the home video release), and Rogue One director Gareth Edwards brought her back for the spinoff.
While fans assumed that Mon Mothma’s presence would most likely be relegated to a cameo, Kennedy tells Entertainment Weekly that she has a “significant” role in the film:
“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.”
After motivating the Rebel pilots in Return of the Jedi, it’s a nice bit of symmetry that Mon Mothma will also be involved – albeit tangentially – in the destruction of the original Death Star, too. Including her in the film, along with Darth Vader and Clone Wars freedom fighter Saw Gerrera, feels like a great way to connect Rogue One to the larger Star Wars universe, while still allowing the spinoff to have its own vision and tone.
Rogue One: A Star Wars Story opens in theaters on December 18.
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