Amidst months of controversy, Star Wars actress Gina Carano was fired from her role as Cara Dune in Jon Favreau’s Disney+ series, The Mandalorian. Due to her social media activity, namely her controversial tweets, the former women’s Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) fighter turned actress, parted ways with Lucasfilm and her agency in February last year. She also claimed that she found out about her firing via social media.
Carano hasn’t been seen on the small screen since the highly publicized events of last year…until last night.
Appearing in National Geographic’s Running Wild with Bear Grylls — which sees celebrities take part in a series of survival skills with the British adventurer — Carano returned to television after starring in the seventh episode of the current series. Running Wild with Bear Grylls has featured actors like The Falcon and the Winter Soldier star Anthony Mackie, and Disney Channel favorite turned blockbuster leading man, Zac Efron.
Gina Carano, the actress who played Cara Dune on the hits Disney+ series, The Mandalorian, which is part of the greater Star Wars universe, appeared on the National Geographic special.
This special which is operated in part by The Walt Disney Company — seemingly came as a shock to viewers on both sides of the Carano argument. Her ousting from the Disney-owned Lucasfilm would suggest that any ties with the Mouse House had been cut, and some reports suggested that Carano’s episode listing had been removed from the Running Wild series overview. Carano herself seemed to suggest there had been talks to remove it from the schedule.
Want to hear something cool? Just so happens you WILL be able to see my @beargrylls episode on @natgeo after all!! Bear is a real one. I’m so glad you’re going to get to see it. My heart is so full. Airs on @natgeo May 10th at 9pm! #nevergiveup
Want to hear something cool? Just so happens you WILL be able to see my @beargrylls episode on @natgeo after all!! Bear is a real one. ? I’m so glad you’re going to get to see it. My heart is so full.
Airs on @natgeo May 10th at 9pm! ❤️ #nevergiveup pic.twitter.com/N7loK4Yjv8
— Gina Carano ? (@ginacarano) April 25, 2021
Her return to television after over a year, and following her firing from one of the biggest franchises in the world, caused the hashtag #GinaGoneWild to trend online.
What did people say?
The Carano controversy last year saw many opposing views trend on social media, namely — #FireGinaCarano, #WeLoveCaraDune, and #IStandWithGinaCarano. As a tie-in with the theme of the show, Running Wild, Twitter users saw #GinaGoneWild trend in multiple countries.
Twitter user, Christa G. (@christagia1) commented on her thoughts of the Bear Grylls special.
“I’ve just been learning out loud in front of the world.” – Gina Carano. i love this episode sm [so much]… #GinaGoneWild #WeLoveGinaCarano #RunningWildWithBearGrylls
— christa g (@christagia1) May 11, 2021
Wearing clothes in support of The Mandalorian actress, David N. (@DavidLNeil1) said:
#ginagonewild been looking forward to this since I heard it was back on.
— David L Neil (@DavidLNeil1) May 11, 2021
Another tweet from Jennifer (@jennifer7408) shared their excitement for the special.
Don’t think I’ve ever been so ready to watch an episode of @RunningWildwBG than I am today. Cannot wait to watch @ginacarano going wild!! #GinaGoneWild #WeLoveGinaCarano #WeLoveCaraDune #IStandWithGinaCarano
Don't think I've ever been so ready to watch an episode of @RunningWildwBG than I am today. Cannot wait to watch @ginacarano going wild!! ???❤#GinaGoneWild#WeLoveGinaCarano#WeLoveCaraDune#IStandWithGinaCarano pic.twitter.com/pOIAuuRdgm
— Jennifer ?? (@jennifer7408) May 10, 2021
Joining in on the hashtag, Madison T. (@Madison_Thames) commented on Carano’s episode.
Whoop whoop, go @ginacarano!! That was inspiring to watch (and nerve wracking, not gonna lie) as someone who’s also TERRIFIED of heights #GinaGoneWild
— Madison Thames (@Madison_Thames) May 11, 2021
Carano’s appearance has come with a lot of support. It also comes on the same day that The Walt Disney Company and Lucasfilm included her in their “For Your Consideration” Emmy awards push — putting Carano up for Best Supporting Actress. Just a few days ago, a rumor swirled that Carano might be headed back to Lucasfilm and the Star Wars franchise — although neither Disney nor Lucasfilm President Kathleen Kennedy has commented on the matter.
The question remains — is it looking likely that Carano’s cancellation is starting to unravel? The ex-MMA star has built a huge following, with almost a million followers on Twitter, and many Star Wars fans still firmly defending her actions. While others remain with Lucasfilm in their decision to fire Gina Carano.
Her MMA career saw her fight against Cris Cyborg — who rose to prominence after defeating Carano for the Strikeforce title. WWE wrestler, Sasha Banks, also starred alongside Carano in The Mandalorian Season 2, as Koshka Reeves — a Mandalorian warrior serving under Bo-Katan Kryze (Katee Sackhoff).
Carano was expected to star in the upcoming Rangers of the New Republic spin-off, and possibly The Mandalorian Season 3 alongside Din Djarin actor, Pedro Pascal — both shows take place within the same timeline alongside The Book of Boba Fett. The backlash towards Carano even caused fans to call for her replacement.
Due to her firing though, she is no longer connected to any Star Wars projects, and only time will tell if Carano will continue her television comeback.
Do you think support is coming back for Gina Carano?