EXCLUSIVE: With Season 3 of The Mandalorian dropping this Wednesday, and our hero Din Djarin (Pedro Pascal) headed to the Mandalorian home planet of Mandalore with dark saber in hand, how will the show deal with the departure of Gina Carano’s fan fave bounty hunter character Cara Dune?
In the wake of making controversial statements about Jews, Nazi Germany and the nation’s divided political climate back in February 2021, Carano was essentially dismissed from The Mandalorian. Lucasfilm released a statement at the time, saying, “Gina Carano is not currently employed by Lucasfilm and there are no plans for her to be in the future. Nevertheless, her social media posts denigrating people based on their cultural and religious identities are abhorrent and unacceptable.”
The actress was promptly fired by her agency UTA at the time, with Hasbro halting the manufacture of Cara Dune action figures.
The last time we saw Cara Dune on The Mandalorian, she was a marshal of the New Republic and in the final episode of Season 2 helped Din rescue Grogu (aka Baby Yoda) from Moff Gideon and the Imperials.
In a conversation with Deadline, EP Rick Famuyiwa told us that addressing the Cara Dune’s departure was on the minds of the writers’ room. Famuyiwa directs episode 1, 7 and 8 of Season 3 after previously helming three episodes for the Disney+ show.
“Cara was a big part and continues as a character to be part of the world. It had to be addressed in the creative and [Jon Favreau] took the time to think about that,” Famuyiwa said. “It was something that was discussed as we knew it was going to have impact on the show, but at the same time, what has been at the heart of the show are the two characters — Din Djarin and Grogu — so ultimately it felt like a servicing of that, and around the Mandalorians.”
So is Cara Done out there in the universe just bounty hunting?
Answered Filoni: “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.”
“Now Season 3 is mainly dealing with Mandalorians and the Mandalorian saga, the Mandalorian tale,” Filoni added. “(There’s) different characters he’s met since Bo-Katan (who) take a lot more prominence, which makes sense where his arc is going, the story of him and Grogu specifically.”
So, it sounds like no Cara Dune.
Did fans ever call for Carano’s Cara Dune to return? (This despite the fact that #FireGinaCarano trended after her 2021 statements.)
“It’s a great character,” answered Filoni.
“I get requests across the board for all types of characters,” he said. “I’ve been with Star Wars, it’s coming on 20 years. It’s a great galaxy. The hardest thing is finding time and space for everyone out there. George [Lucas] use to talk about when he was making the prequels, he had so many great characters and they all wanted screen time. How do you do it when your job is to tell the story of Anakin Skywalker? I relate to that.”
“The Mandalorian in the title is the story about the Mandalorian and his people,” said the EP.
Carano, in a sit-down on The Ben Shapiro Show in late February 2021, spoke about how Pascal wasn’t fired for posting a 2018 tweet where he compared undocumented children in cages in the U.S. to Jewish people in concentration camps. Shapiro observed that it seemed like a double standard that Disney and Lucasfilm didn’t take similar action with Pascal as they did with Carano. The actress said she was watched by Disney “like a hawk” after #FireGinaCarano trended. Referring to the double standard, she said that while all this was happening, she saw that people on the same production said anything they want. “I had a problem because I wasn’t going along with the narrative,” she told Shapiro.
Added the MMA fighter-turned-actress” “I’m not the only one that’s ever been bullied by this company, and I know that so deeply. I could share a story which would turn things around in the media but I can’t because it would sell out a friend … everyone is afraid of losing their job.”