The following contains spoilers for Andor Season 1, Episode 7, “Announcement,” now available on Disney+.
Weather Andor on Disney+ so far staying true to his implied promise not to use the Force, not only was Emperor Palpatine directly mentioned, but it was also revealed that he had a secret apprentice on Mon Mothma. As such, the Dark Lord of the Sith gave the Rebel Alliance its greatest weapon: its galactically respectable leader. As Cassian attempts to rescue his mother from Empire-controlled Ferrix and then flees himself, viewers are treated to another glimpse into Mon Mothma’s life.
Genevieve O’Reilly once again gives a truly amazing performance, effectively showing how Rogue One: A Star Wars Story wasted his talent. Viewers learn that she was unaware of Luthen’s plan and that the Aldhani who saw the celestial event were stopped and punished by the Empire. When they last saw each other, she refused her request to “bring someone new”. Now that she has acted unilaterally, Mon Mothma decides that the Chandrila senator does not need an antiquities dealer’s permission to lead the Rebellion her way. To survive Emperor Palpatine for the 15 years between Andor Y Star Wars: Episode III – Revenge of the SithMon Mothma has to beat him at her own game of politics and not as a Dark Lord of the Sith.
The emperor had an apprentice on Mon Mothma against his will.
The last thing galactic mastermind Sheev Palpatine would want to do is empower his enemies. However, after he executed Order 66 and killed Liberty to thunderous applause, Mon Mothma began taking some notes. He remembered the Palpatine that he was and the dictator that he became. As such, she knows more about her truly evil nature than even her aristocratic contemporaries, except perhaps for Bail Organa.
In episode 7, “Announcement”, Mon Mothma reveals part of her true nature to a childhood friend when she says, “I am a polite, sometimes indecisive senator who spends her days fighting and failing to protect the do-gooders and combatants. separatists.” overreach of the empire.” She then continues with “I have learned from Palpatine. I show you the stone in my hand, you miss the knife in your throat.” Mon Mothma could be said to be a phantom threat to the Empire: she appears typical and ineffectual in public, but in private she oversees the dismantling of the pillars of authoritarianism.
By copying Palpatine, Mon Mothma is able to secure an unassuming place in the Senate, while funding and directing the various rebel cells. In fact, his facade is reaching a tipping point, one where he may once again look to Emperor Palpatine for inspiration. Fans of the animated series know that roughly a year or so after the events in Andor, Mon Mothma publicly resigns from the Senate and declares the Rebel Alliance. This is similar to Palpatine crowning himself Emperor, in that it’s a surprising step and one that seemed inevitable. He learned from Palpatine, during his time in office beyond his term, how to recognize broken rules while he completely ignored them.
Mon Mothma, not Luthen, is the rebels’ greatest weapon
It would be fair to call Mon Mothma an incrementalist who uses the Rebels like Palpatine used the Separatists. Of course many Separatists became Rebels according to Mothma, so they are even the same individuals. Luthen is angry with her for her job of “irritating” her in the Senate instead of more direct military rebel action. However, Mon Mothma understands how political narratives take place. The Rebels could be painted as “terrorists” as the Separtists were.
Only after spending over a decade and a half as a member of the “Loyal Opposition” did Mon Mothma gain the credibility to become leader of the Rebel Alliance. Average citizens cannot deny that she at least tried to do things the right way. Again, this is a lesson he learned from Palpatine, who, even as he smothered him in the galaxy, became Emperor by saying that he “loves democracy.” Actions speak louder than words, but words and actions used correctly, even when they contradict each other, can make a difference.
Emperor Palpatine was a man who loved having an apprentice, but only when he could control their instruction. Mon Mothma becoming Palpatine’s student without his knowledge allowed her to become the only galactic political figure who could oppose him.
Andor premieres new episodes every Wednesday on Disney+.