The news of Lucasfilm parting ways with actor Gina Carano has been a topic of hot contention across social media platforms. On 10th February, it was confirmed that Gina Carano won’t be returning in capacity to the Star Wars universe. The former MMA athlete had risen to prominence as Mallory Kane in Steven Soderbergh’s Haywire, following which she starred in Fast & Furious 6 and Deadpool. Previously known for being the face of women’s MMA, Gina Carano became widely popular for the role of Cara Dunes in The Mandalorian. Having played the role of an ex-Rebel Shock Trooper in the series, Carano had become quite popular for her strong screen presence, seamless action sequences, and on-screen partnership with Pedro Pascal’s Din Djarin. But with her absence, what lies ahead for The Mandalorian and Rangers of the New Republic?
Though it is still unclear if Carano was actually fired or her contract was simply terminated, the actor was definitely set to return in the future. Throughout The Mandalorian, Carano’s Cara Dunes proved to be a formidably and reliable ally to Din Djarin. As a strong female role model, Cara Dunes was a unique take for her imposing build and fighting prowess, in contrast to previous female characters who were usually found helming strategic positions. Since the series had upgraded Dunes to become a Marshal of the New Republic, the character was highly anticipated to return for the third season of The Mandalorian and potentially, Rangers of the New Republic. However, Carano was never officially confirmed for the spin-off, which gives Lucasfilms the option to simply write her off instead of going through the painstaking process of recasting the character.
Coming to the third season of The Mandalorian, the actor doesn’t seem to play an integral part in the storyline, considering how things were left in the second season finale. With Grogu headed off to train as a Jedi under the tutelage of Luke Skywalker, the third season is expected to take place in Mandalore with Katee Sackhoff’s Bo-Katan Kryze in a power struggle with Din Djarin for the ownership of the Darksaber, and subsequently, the throne of Mandalore. Though Cara Dunes have been at Din’s side for most of the time, the showrunners will make her sit this out with a few logical conclusions in hand. As a Marshal of the New Republic, Dunes is better suited to weed out the last remnants of the Galactic Empire instead of being stuck in a Mandalorian power struggle. Similarly, the second season of The Mandalorian teased Grand Admiral Thrawn, who is expected to be the primary antagonist of the upcoming Ahsoka series. As the show(s) will soon have much larger threats than Moff Gideon, it wouldn’t be surprising to see Cara Dunes being written off entirely from the Star Wars universe. Though Gina Carano’s appearance in Rangers of the New Republic was highly anticipated by fans, Timothy Olyphant can easily fill the absence with Cobb Vanth, the Marshal of Mos Pelgo.
After becoming instantly popular among the fans following the first season of The Mandalorian, Gina Carano came under fire for her anti-mask stance on Twitter. It was soon followed by ridiculing pronouns used by the trans community. However, the actor has apologized for the incident, stating that her co-star Pedro Pascal made her understand the significance of the pronouns. Incidentally, Pascal’s sister Lux has recently come out as a trans woman. Despite being criticized for her stance, Gina Carano once again became the center of controversy when she declined to support #BlackLivesMatter protest. It was also reported that she had liked a few comments which downplayed the entire movement. Carano, who supports the Republican party, also supported the baseless voter fraud propaganda started by Donald Trump, which was also noticed by fans. However, her recent Instagram post where she compared the persecution of Jews in Nazi Germany with present-day Republican supporters was the last straw as Lucasfilm promptly announced that Carano would not be returning to the franchise in any capacity while condemning her inflammatory posts as “abhorrent and unacceptable”. Despite the actor’s massive popularity, it now seems her absence will not accept the future of Star Wars, at least for now.