Lucasfilm Breaks Silence on Gina Carano’s Cara Dune Replacement In ‘The Mandalorian’

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Gina Carano as Cara Dune

Credit: Gina Carano Instagram

The Mandalorian‘s Cara Dune was a standout character of the first and second seasons of the hit Disney+ TV show. The former MMA fighter turned actress Gina Carano brought the mercenary to life in the Star Wars franchise but only lasted in the galaxy far, far away for just over a year.

Carano was famously fired at the start of 2021, and now Lucasfilm executives have spoken out on how they intend to navigate the Star Wars universe without Cara Dune.

'The Madalorian's Cara Dune played by Gina Carano
Credit: Lucasfilm

Related: ‘The Mandalorian’ Season 3 to Be More Like Season 1, Says Series Actor

The Mandalorian, the flagship show for The Walt Disney Company’s streaming service Disney+, is a beloved fan-favorite. Led by Pedro Pascal (Din Djarin) and featuring a slew of new and returning characters, The Mandalorian Season 1 and The Mandalorian Season 2 brought audiences back into a post-original trilogy faraway galaxy.

Set around five years after the events of Star Wars: Episode VI — Return of the Jedi (1983) and the fall of the Galactic Empire, and many years before the rise of the First Order and the world of Daisy Ridley’s Rey Skywalker, Jon Favreau’s Star Wars series reignited the divided fandom, bringing the franchise back to its neo-Western roots.

The Mandalorian (Pedro Pascal) and the Child in THE MANDALORIAN, season two, exclusively on Disney+. Credit: Lucasfilm
Credit: Lucasfilm

Pascal’s Din Djarin and his ward, the Child Grogu (AKA “Baby Yoda”), have become household names since their first appearance in 2019 and have now transcended the screen, appearing in real life in theme park locations, like Disneyland Resort (Anaheim, Southern California), worldwide. A character that won’t be anywhere other than the first two seasons of The Mandalorian, though, is Gina Carano’s Cara Dune.

The Mandalorian‘s Cara Dune

The actress first appeared as the former Rebel Alliance shock trooper in Bryce Dallas Howard’s “Chapter 4: Sanctuary”, before making recurring appearances across the first and second seasons, eventually becoming a Marshal of the New Republic on the planet Nevarro. It all looked set for Carano; a new leading lady in the Star Wars franchise backed by a hugely-popular, record-breaking TV show, merchandise, and another Mando spinoff lined up in the form of Rangers of the New Republic, but it would never take off for the fledgling Star Wars star.

Din Djarin (Pedro Pascal) and Cara Dune (Gine Carano) in 'The Mandalorian'
Credit: Lucasfilm

Carano was fired in February 2021 after a slew of controversial social media posts. Throughout the backlash, opposing trends like #FireGinaCarano, #IStandWithGinaCarano, and #WeLoveCaraDune often made waves online. Carano’s comments regarding Jewish people and Nazi Germany, as well as allegations of transphobia saw the actress let go from her role in the Star Wars universe and her talent agency, UTA. Carano’s last appearance in Star Wars was in the The Mandalorian Season 2 finale, “Chapter 16: The Rescue” from director Peyton Reed and writer Jon Favreau. It was this episode that also saw the historic return of Mark Hamill, albeit via CGI, as Jedi Master Luke Skywalker.

Gina Carano as Cara Dune in 'The Mandalorian'
Credit: Lucasfilm

So as The Mandalorian readies its return to the small screen on March 1 for its third season, Lucasfilm executives are discussing how they will replace Carano’s Marshal of the New Republic now that the actress is fired.

In an exclusive with Deadline, Executive Producer, writer, and director Rick Famuyiwa, and Lucasfilm’s Executive Creative Director Dave Filoni have broken their silence on how the series plans to handle the absence of Cara Dune.

Dave Filoni talking to Rosario Dawson's Ahsoka
Credit: Lucasfilm

Famuyiwa said that Cara Dune was “a big part,” confirming the character continues to be a part of the world. The Mando helmer went on to add that showrunner Jon Favreau took the time to discuss and explore how to manage Cara Dune’s absence and confirming that, while Cara was a large part of the Mandalorian story, the Star Wars series has always been about Din Djarin and Grogu, “so ultimately it felt like a servicing of that, and around the Mandalorians.”

Filoni contributed by saying:

“It’s a big galaxy and we have many characters in it — many characters are fighting for their screen time. We’ll just have to see as the season unfolds what the adventures are, but it’s a great character, someone who was vital to Din Djarin’s beginnings; we’ll see if he has evolved beyond that.”

Dave Filoni talking about Star Wars
Credit: Lucasfilm

The Lucasfilm “god” noted that the direction of The Mandalorian Season 3 sees Din Djarin facing the devastating past of Mandalore alongside characters like Katee Sackhoff’s Bo-Katan Kryze, and a bunch of other Mandalorians. When asked about whether fans called for Gina Carano to come back, Filoni said: “It’s a great character.”

Thus, while there will be no Cara Dune, The Mandalorian will replace her by focusing on the heavy slate of other characters all “fighting for screen time” and by broadening Din Djarin’s story beyond the worlds fans have already seen.

As for Gina Carano, the actress is connected with conservative outlet The Daily Wire and its creator Ben Shapiro; she has been involved with  projects like Terror on the Prairie (2022) from The Daily Wire, and Briebart News’s My Son Hunter (2022).

the mandalorian season 2 mission to morak (l-r) bill burr as migs mayfeld, gina carano as cara dune, ming-na wen as fennec shand, pedro pascal as din djarin, and temuera morrison as boba fett
Credit: Lucasfilm

Related: ‘The Mandalorian’ Season 3 Premiere Receives Disappointing Update

The Mandalorian Season 3 commences on March 1, 2023 where it will air on Disney+ alongside Filoni’s animated series Star Wars: The Bad Batch. It stars Pedro Pascal as Din Djarin, Giancarlo Esposito as Moff Gideon, Carl Weathers as Greef Karga, Katee Sackhoff as Bo-Katan Kryze, Emily Swallow as The Armorer, Omid Abtahi as Dr. Pershing, and Amy Sedaris as Peli Motto. Back to the Future franchise alum Christopher Lloyd will also appear, as will Tim Meadows, both in undisclosed roles. After Din Djarin’s appearance in last year’s The Book of Boba Fett, fans are expecting Temuera Morrison’s popular bounty hunter to also appear in the third season of The Mandalorian.

Next will be Ahsoka, the Ahsoka Tano series starring Rosario Dawson and Jude Law’s Skeleton Crew.

Do you hope that The Mandalorian‘s Cara Dune will make her Star Wars return sometime in the future? Let Inside the Magic know in the comments down below!

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