Warning: This post contains spoilers for the latest episode of The Mandalorian.
The Mandalorian’s date with Clone Wars fan favorite Ahsoka Tano is going to have to wait for another week... or two. En route to the Jedi-trained warrior’s current location on the forest moon of Corvus at the beginning of the latest episode, “The Seige,” Din Djarin (Pedro Pascal) and Baby Yoda were forced to make a pit stop on the Outer Rim planet Nevarro for necessary ship maintenance. On the plus side, that layover allowed them to reunite with some comrades-in-arms: Mando’s former boss, Greef Karga (Carl Weathers, who also directed the episode) and mercenary-turned-Marshal Cara Dune (Gina Carano), one of the breakout characters from the show’s first season.
While Din and his tiny green traveling companion were all smiles at seeing Cara Dune again, Carano’s return received a decidedly mixed response among Star Wars fandom. In recent months, the actress and former MMA star has used her Twitter feed to express increasingly divisive views about issues ranging from the recent presidential election and the use of trans pronouns, to COVID restrictions and cancel culture. This past week, Carano announced that she was joining the conservative social media platform Parler, following the lead of such right-wing commentators and politicians as Ted Cruz and Sean Hannity.
But Carano hasn’t entirely abandoned Twitter. When “The Seige” dropped on Disney+ overnight, she thanked Weathers for the “huge honor” of acting alongside him in an episode he directed. The Rocky star replied in kind, writing, “You know I think you’re the bomb.”
Acting next you was already a huge honor @TheCarlWeathers but being directed by you, instilled a calm confidence & fire. I loved seeing the sparkle in your eyes accompanied with that huge grin when you know we got it right. Thanks for being my coach.🔥 INCOMING!!!#TheMandalorian https://t.co/gcaJgIuIjt
— Gina Carano 🕯 (@ginacarano) November 20, 2020
— Carl Weathers (@TheCarlWeathers) November 20, 2020
A vocal segment of Star Wars fans followed Weathers’s lead, praising the actress for her screen presence and (mostly) leaving aside politics.
— BladeDJK (@DjkBlade) November 20, 2020
— Star Wars The Rise of Skywalker Archive (@sw_archive) November 20, 2020
— stu (@stu_watches) November 20, 2020
Who thinks @ginacarano and I need to hang out? Both of us are constantly getting “cancelled” and we are both strong Italian women. It needs to happen.
— Arielle Scarcella (@ArielleScarcell) November 18, 2020
But many others felt they couldn’t separate the art from the artist in this case. Carano’s comments about trans pronouns have been particularly controversial within the fan community, and that controversy is expected to continue when Rosario Dawson makes her first appearance as Ahsoka Tano. As Vanity Fair reports, Dawson was accused of anti-trans discrimination in a lawsuit filed last year, although the actress has strenuously denied those charges.
gina carano has absolutely ruined cara dune for me now like i really tried but i just cannot separate the character from the actress im so mad
— matsu (@lNCITECHAOS) November 20, 2020
It's funny to see Gina Carano on The Mandalorian fighting a fascist government that was removed, but is still clinging desperately to power, while she is on this here website doing the exact opposite.
— How Could Paul Be Any Worse? (@FatheroftheFear) November 20, 2020
Outside of what a shallow and mean person Gina Carano is in real life, Cara Dune is one of the dullest and most unnecessary characters Star Wars has ever produced.
— Jordan Wear-A-Damn-Mask Sowers (@jordanbsowers) November 20, 2020
Hell of a day to find out Gina Carano is an anti-masker. That's gonna sour my #Mandalorian experience.
— LordSMAF (@LordSMAF) November 20, 2020
i love cara dune but gina ruins the whole thing pic.twitter.com/yMEBIFGw5Y
— The Man Without Fear (@DevilOfHellsKit) November 20, 2020
gina carano and rosario dawson on the set of the mandalorian talking about how much they hate lgbtq+ people pic.twitter.com/9RJDxVZBFK
— delta (@jedilesbian) November 13, 2020
Had Carano not become such a divisive figure, it’s easy to see how “The Siege” might have opened the door for a Cara Dune spin-off series. During the course of the episode, Din, Cara and Greef attack a lone Imperial base on Nevarro where scientists have been performing experimental transfusions with Baby Yoda’s blood. A hologram recording of one of those scientists pointedly refers to “M-count” — a likely reference to those Force-enabling “Midi-chlorians” that Anakin Skywalker had coursing through his hemoglobin. The last shot of the episode suggests that Moff Gideon (Giancarlo Esposito) hopes to use the Child’s M-count rich blood to power a new group of super-soldiers.
— Your Everyday Buddy (@YourEverydayBud) November 20, 2020
As for Cara, she’s approached by X-wing pilot Carson Teva (played by Kim’s Convenience star Paul Sun-Hyung Lee, who made his Mandalorian debut in this season’s second episode), who offers her a role — and a badge — as part of the fledgling New Republic. That appears to set the stage for a Marshal Dune standalone show, but with the #FireGinaCarano hashtag already trending, Mandalorian showrunners Jon Favreau and Dave Filoni might have to find a new marshal. Twitter already has one replacement in mind who is already in the Disney family.
Brie Larson as Cara Dune she can pull it off and is the nicest person not to mention she wants to be in Star Wars pic.twitter.com/26nD8SsLWq
— TheDoctorX11 (@TheDoctorX11) November 19, 2020
The Mandalorian is currently streaming on Disney+.
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