The following contains spoilers from Episode 4 of Disney+’s Andor.
Andor this week got a blast from Star Wars‘ past (and future), when Senator Mon Mothma — who of course is destined to become the Rebel Alliance leader — turned up in a most dynamic manner.
Played again by Genevieve O’Reilly (of both Rogue One: A Star Wars Story and Episode III: Revenge of the Sith), Mon Mothma was not draped in the drab, utilitarian garb of a rebellion strategist but instead looked damn regal as she visited a high-end Coruscant gift shop curated by a “different” iteration of Stellan Skarsgård’s Luthen Rael.
Slipping away to a backroom with Mon Mothma’s driver little the wiser, Luthen returned to his gruff self and pressed the senator for more funding for their covert cause, but she reported back that while the money is there, it’s more difficult than ever to move. “There’s a new spy every day at the Senate,” she shared. “I feel under siege.”
Mon Mothma noted that she “found someone” she thinks can assist on her end, but Luthen — who had just foisted Cassian aka “Clem” upon a band of heist-planning rebels on the planet Aldhani — shot back, “We need funding, not more people to worry about!”
The two appeared to reach a certain peace as they slipped back into character (as “colorful proprietor” and “wife dutifully shopping for husband Perrin’s Day of Days”), though Luthen when handing her gift off to be wrapped said it was “a daring choice — but I trust you’ll have the courage to turn back if it should be a bit much.”
Reflecting on her Andor entrance, O’Reilly effused to TVLine, “Luthen is so theatrical and enigmatic, and quite mysterious and powerful as a character, so I love that that’s the space Mon Mothma enters. You gain another reference for him and for his agenda and his dynamic.”
Then assaying Mon Mothma at this stage in her life, O’Reilly said, “We meet a woman who looks different than we’ve seen her before, who feels different, who certainly dresses different. When she walks in, you can see the power that she wields. But within a couple of minutes within the scene, you go from the very public Mon Mothma, whom we’ve always seen — this statuesque, regal woman — and it shifts dramatically to reveal a private face that we’ve not encountered before. You see that she’s under threat. You see that she’s in danger. You see that she’s taking risks.”
All told, “I think it’s a wonderful introduction by [Andor creator] Tony Gilroy to recalibrate this woman, to reintroduce her to us in a way that we haven’t seen her before and to introduce her in the series in a way that allows for storytelling and narrative.” After all, the Irish-Australian actress notes, “We know it’s got somewhere to go, right?”
O’Reilly also was sure to give props to the gift shop that served as the stage for this fascinating meeting of minds. “That is an extraordinary set by our designer Luke Hull,” she pointed out. “Stellan and I had the best time in that set. We were like kids in a playground.”
Luthen transported Cassian to the planet Aldhani and “invited” him to join up with a small band of rebels who are planning to rob the Empire’s quarterly payroll for the entire sector. With his eye on a 200,000-credit payday, Andor accepted, and as “Clem” he joined up with team leader Vel (played by Game of Thrones‘ Faye Marsay) and her mostly suspicious/irked colleagues Skeen (The Bear‘s Ebon Moss-Bachrach), Taramyn (Britannia‘s Gershwyn Eustache Jr.), Nemik (The End of the F***ing World‘s Alex Lawther), Cinta (Strike Back‘s Varada Sethu) and mole Lt. Gorn (Manhunt‘s Sule Rimi).
After barely earning their acceptance, if not trust, Cass was read in on the ambitious, Top Gun: Maverick-impossible mission to storm a garrison guarded by 20 men… breach/rob a vault… and then make a getaway in a Rono (box) freighter piloted by “Clem.” With the Imperial airstrip but nine minutes away, Cass deems the getaway plan a “suicide mission,” until it is explained to him that a once-every-three-years celestial event akin to “50 meteor showers at once” will provide cover as they slip away just before it creates chaos in the skies. “Clem” is then tasked to bone up on the details overnight, because the job goes down in three days….