Fans Voice Massive Support For ‘Mandalorian’ Actress Amid Controversy

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women of the mandalorian

Credit: Lucasfilm

Recently, Mandalorian actress Mercedes Varnado came under fire for liking certain social media posts with anti-COVID-19 vaccine sentiments. Varnado (WWE Smackdown!, WWE NXT), who is better known by her pro wrestling ring name Sasha Banks, is a WWE Superstar who joined the Star Wars universe during The Mandalorian Season 2.

sasha banks as koska reeves
Credit: Lucasfilm

Related: Gina Carano Convinces Fans She’s Returning to ‘Star Wars’

Varnado played Koska Reeves, one of Bo-Katan Kryze’s (Katee Sackhoff) Nite Owl warriors, in two episodes — Episode 3 (“Chapter 11: The Heiress”) and Episode 8 (“Chapter 16: The Rescue”) — of the second season of showrunner Jon Favreau and executive producer Dave Filoni’s hit streaming series.

the mandalorian season 2 episode 3 bo-katan kryze, din djarin, nite owl warriors
Credit: Lucasfilm

Related: Grogu or Baby Yoda? Jon Favreau Speaks Out

Now, amid the ongoing controversy regarding the women’s WWE Champion’s online activity, Star Wars fans and wrestling aficionados are going to bat for her on social media.

Fernando wrote:

We still love Sasha Banks in this house

Related: Gina Carano Claps Back With ‘Princess Bride’ Quote

D-Day Jackson shared a GIF of Stone Cold Steve Austin with the caption:

Me On the way to defend Sasha Banks like

Related: ‘Mandalorian’ Star Pedro Pascal Supports Gina Carano

A Twitter user going by rarsaurusrex shared her opinion about the entire situation:

Ok people, stop it. This is going too far. She isn’t making any statements, she liked an IG post. Grow up.

Related: Disney Might Finally Be Turning Its Back on Kathleen Kennedy’s ‘Star Wars’

Lady_Cherston tagged Mandalorian creator Jon Favreau — who is not particularly active on social media — and wrote, in part:

There are calls to Cancel Mercedes Varnado as Koska on Mando. Please dont listen to the bullies. We want Koska Reeves and Cara Dune in Mando.

Related: ‘Mandalorian’ Star Unsure If Season 3 Return Will Happen

Clearly recalling the Gina Carano situation, Comedic Bricks wrote:

Here we go again with all this crap, just leave Sasha Banks alone, she can speak her opinion just like you can speak yours. #SashaBanks #KoskaReeves #TheMandalorian #StarWars

Related: ‘Mandalorian’ Star Opens up About Disney’s Stance on Supporting Free Speech

(l-r) katee sackhoff, sasha banks, gina carano, and ming-na wen in the mandalorian season 2 finale
Credit: Lucasfilm

Related: Pedro Pascal’s Mandalorian May Die Soon

The recent online controversy surrounding Varnado, of course, is reminiscent of what happened with another Mandalorian actress, Gina Carano (Cara Dune), while The Mandalorian Season 2 was airing last fall and winter. For months, Carano garnered backlash due to her controversial Tweets regarding a variety of social justice and political topics.

fennec shand cara dune mandalorian the believer
Credit: Lucasfilm

Related: Jon Favreau Receives First ‘Mandalorian’ Director Award Nomination

Ultimately, Las Vegas-raised Carano was fired from the Star Wars franchise in February 2021. The daughter of former NFL Dallas Cowboys quarterback Glenn Carano has since begun developing a new project that will “take down the Death Star” with The Daily Wire’s Ben Shapiro.

gina carano as cara dune
Credit: Lucasfilm/Disney

Related: #WeLoveCaraDune Explodes on Twitter Following ‘Mandalorian’ Finale

It is important to remember, though, that the controversy surrounding the Cara Dune actress went on for months before she was fired. It is also worth noting that Carano’s posts were shared to her own social media accounts, whereas, at least at this point, Banks has only liked potentially controversial posts on other profiles.

While it is unclear if Banks has already been asked back for The Mandalorian Season 3 or a spinoff series, such as The Book of Boba Fett or Rosario Dawson’s Ahsoka, it seems likely that she could appear again.

the mandalorian din djarin bo-katan kryze nite owls
Credit: Lucasfilm

Although Lucasfilm and Disney have not officially confirmed any Mandalorian Season 3 cast members except Pedro Pascal (Din Djarin), Katee Sackhoff has indicated that both she and Simon Kassianides (Nite Owl Axe Woves) will return, so it would serve to reason that Banks would also reprise her role as the Darksaber storyline continues.

What do you think about the Sasha Banks controversy?


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