Lucasfilm has announced that Gina Carano will not be part of any upcoming Star Wars projects, including The Mandalorian season 3 and its planned spinoffs, but what sort of impact will the absence of Cara Dune have? Although both Gina Carano and Cara Dune were initially well received after The Mandalorian debuted on Disney+ in 2019, the actress has since been at the center of multiple controversies on social media.
These have included making transphobic jokes, sharing anti-mask COVID-19 memes, and supporting voter fraud conspiracy theories after the 2020 U.S. Presidential Election.
Despite a backlash to these comments, Carano was undeterred. On February 9, 2021, she made more inflammatory posts on social media, including tweets stating that Jeffrey Epstein didn’t kill himself and comparing the persecution of Jews in Nazi Germany to the treatment of Republicans in the United States.
While the controversy surrounding Carano’s many disturbing posts went uncommented on by Lucasfilm during the airing of The Mandalorian season 2 – in which Carano’s Cara Dune was recurring player – it finally seems as though enough was enough.
On February 10, 2021, Lucasfilm released a statement saying Gina Carano was not part of future plans for The Mandalorian or any other upcoming Star Wars project. While the statement did not say Carano had been fired, but rather suggested she was simply not contracted for anything, Lucasfilm did condemn her posts as “abhorrent and unacceptable.”
It’s unclear whether or not Carano really was fired or if it’s true that she simply wasn’t contracted to return, but Cara Dune was expected to play some part in Star Wars’ future on Disney+.
The character has been one of the biggest supporting characters in The Mandalorian, and was still with Din Djarin at the end of season 2. Further, it was anticipated that Carano would appear as Cara Dune in The Rangers of the New Republic, one of the Mandalorian spinoffs currently in-development, since Cara herself is a Marshal of the New Republic.
That, however, was unconfirmed, meaning it should be relatively straightforward for Star Wars to write the character out, rather than needing to recast the role or offer an overelaborate explanation.
Indeed, The Mandalorian season 3’s story would likely be moving further away from Cara Dune anyway. With Grogu headed off to train with Luke Skywalker, then the next run of episodes will presumably focus on Din Djarin, Bo-Katan Kryze, the Darksaber, and the right to be the Mandalorian ruler.
That’s not a storyline Cara Dune has any natural place in, so although she and Din do have a bond, it would be quite simple to have a line noting – or just leaving fans to assume – that she has gone back to Nevarro, and he’d have no real reason to return there.
More likely is that Cara would have figured into the ongoing story with Moff Gideon, which is expected to continue not only in The Mandalorian season 3, but also its two spinoffs, Ahsoka and The Rangers of the New Republic.
With the first of those expected to introduce Thrawn, and the latter likely further exploring the threat posed by the Imperial Remnant in the Outer Rim, then Cara Dune could have been a part of things, but she isn’t an integral one because there are so many characters more important to the plot, such as Mando and Ahsoka themselves.
The Mandalorian has already introduced characters who work for the New Republic, such as the X-wing pilots played by Paul Sun-Hyung Lee and Dave Filoni. The former, at least, could well return in The Rangers of the New Republic, and there are plenty of other characters who can easily replace a potential role Cara Dune might have played.
Lucasfilm parting ways with Gina Carano was the right decision and an important one, but because they hadn’t announced any firm plans for her character in Star Wars, then it makes it much easier to simply move on with minimal impact.