Cassian Andor was built for our current Star Wars era where “less important” characters step up to fill in the blanks of the mainline movies. Rogue One was created to show what happens before the original trilogy, and Andor depicts what happens before that — with Diego Luna’s spy (the kind of character who might get one line in a movie starring someone with the last name Skywalker) taking center stage.
But he’s not the only one.
Andor also gave new dimension to one of the Rebel Alliance’s most enigmatic figures: Mon Mothma. With Genevieve O'Reilly breathing new life into the role originally portrayed by Caroline Blakiston in Return of the Jedi, we’re bound to see Mothma again in a future Star Wars show or movie. But where? As is often the case, the answer may lie in a piece of forgotten Lucasfilm lore.
Lost Legends is an Inverse series about the forgotten lore of our favorite stories.
Mon Mothma and the (Original) Thrawn Trilogy
The original follow-up to Return of the Jedi was the Thrawn trilogy, written by Timothy Zahn (who later got a chance to rewrite the story for the current Disney-era canon). Amidst the plot involving Grand Admiral Thrawn, Mara Jade, and cloned Force wizards, in the second novel Dark Force Rising, trouble is brewing much closer to home.
In the non-canon “Legends” timeline, Mon Mothma becomes chief of state after the Battle of Endor. But despite her famously saying “Many Bothans died to bring us this information,” she soon finds herself at ends with those very same Bothans.
Their leader is Borsk Fey’lya, who previously served as Mothma’s second-in-command (though in tight competition with Admiral Ackbar). Fey’lya was already massively suspicious of the New Republic because of his own racist prejudices against humans, but his feud with Ackbar runs deep and he takes every opportunity to undermine the Mon Calamari’s position. Fey’lya’s goals are two-fold: gain more power for himself; but also for the Bothan people, who he sees as the maligned martyrs of the Rebellion.
Fey’lya scores a major political win when Ackbar is accused of treason after some New Republic funds are found in his personl bank account. Ackbar is placed under house arrest, allowing Fey’lya to take over his duties. However, it turns out the money was placed there by Grand Admiral Thrawn in order to sow disorder within the Republic.
When Han Solo approaches Fey’lya and explains that Thrawn is to blame, Fey’lya refuses to believe him. Worse, Fey’lya denies the existence of Thrawn’s growing fleet, forcing the Rogue Squadron to defy his orders to defend the Republic. This drives the wedge between Fey’lya and the New Republic even further.
The entire story comes to a head when Fey’lya goes so far as to hold a pregnant Leia Organa Solo at gunpoint. Leia, being whip-smart (and, crucially, Force-sensitive) turned on the communications of the ship they’re both on. When Fey’lya admitted his true intentions, the entire New Republic leadership hears it. His political aspirations are ruined.
Like other aspects of the Thrawn trilogy that are ripe for adaptation, there will have to be some substitutions made. Instead of Leia, Fey’lya could hold another powerful New Republic leader hostage instead: Mon Mothma, the leader who he sees as the root of all his problems. She may not be Force-sensitive, but Mothma could still find her own way to expose his ill will.
However, with Andor guaranteed to end long before any of this ever transpired and no suggestion that Lucasfilm is even considering a Mon Mothma spinoff, the question remains: Where could we see this play out? The answer may surprise you.
Mon Mothma in The Mandalorian Season 4?
In Season 3, The Mandalorian expanded its scope to include not just Mando and Baby Yoda but the fate of all Mandalorians and their home planet Mandalore. Beyond that, we also got an entire episode devoted to life on Coruscant during the era of the New Republic with a focus on two allegedly reformed ex-Imperials enrolled in an amnesty program.
Assuming that The Mandalorian Season 4 continues this plotline, it’s only a matter of time before the show introduces the current leader of the galaxy: Mon Mothma. And by adapting her political conflict with Borysk Fey’lya, the show can add a dose of political intrigue.
This could also resolve a potential plot hole. The Mandalorians just reestablished their home planet. Will the New Republic show up to acknowledge it and offer them a seat at the table?
It’s clear the original Thrawn trilogy has become an influence for the Mando-verse (even the Ahsoka trailer refers to Thrawn as “Heir to the Empire,” the title of the first book in the trilogy). But while most of that trilogy follows Thrawn (who seems to be isolated to Ahsoka for now) and the adventures of Han, Leia, and Luke (who can’t appear without some expensive CGI), this storyline just requires new characters like Fey’lya and Mon Mothma — who may be looking for work after Andor Season 2 wraps filming.
The Mandalorian universe can’t expand much further without finally giving us a glimpse of the actual power behind the New Republic. We’ve seen the low-level space cops and we’ve seen bureaucrats who look like Tim Meadows. In Season 4, fans deserve to see Mon Mothma defending the role we saw her earn in everything leading up to this.