I actually really liked the character of Cara Dune. When The Mandalorian first premiered, the gift for going to the panel with the cast was a Cara Dune Funko, and the minute I got her and saw her rebel tattoo, I was in love. And seeing her on-screen, representing what I loved about the rebel alliance, was an uplifting and moving experience for me.
Cut to season 2 and all of Gina Carano’s dirty laundry and abhorrent behavior was out for fans to see. A character I had thoroughly liked in season 1 now was being viewed in a different light thanks to the actress’s social media antics. This was unfortunate, because where I thought I had another badass lady to look up to in Star Wars, my love for Cara Dune became increasingly poisoned by Carano’s association. I still had fantastic female characters in Fennec Shand and Bo-Katan and Koska Reeves, but Cara Dune felt sullied.
Now that Carano is officially out, Disney has a unique opportunity to continue to tell Cara’s story without completely giving up on the character. Recasting happens. It happened in the Marvel Cinematic Universe with Fandral when it went from Josh Dallas to Zachary Levi and it happened in Game of Thrones when Daario was recast without even a word. It happens all the time in television and films, for characters both minor and major.
The show Rangers of the New Republic is still rumored to be happening. Announced at the Disney Investor Day special, they did not include Carano in the announcement even though it was, originally, rumored to be a Cara Dune spin-off. And I’d like for that to still happen with someone else playing Cara Dune.
We haven’t really gotten to see someone who fought with the Rebel Alliance and represented what the Rebels believed on screen outside of the original trio and, later, in characters like Poe Dameron and Finn. I want to know what it was like to fear the Empire and its hold on the galaxy—and get to watch how these people continued to boldly fight anyway, because it as the right thing to do. These are the kind of stories we need right now.
While Gina Carano might have not understood what being a Rebel meant, Cara Dune does, and I think there’s an excellent opportunity to give another actor a chance at the role and bring new life to her. Cara wasn’t created by Carano and she can have a second life without Carano.
I adored Cara Dune because she didn’t have to justify her place in this world over and over again. She was strong and brave. She takes on Din Djarin as soon as the two meet and is willing to help him and Grogu throughout so much of their journey. There’s a character there that is worthwhile outside of Carano and her harmful tweets, and I think keeping her around with a different actor is something that Disney and Lucasfilm should at least consider.
If we never see Cara Dune again, I can live with that, but I do hope that they try and rework her in some way. The character deserves more than Gina Carano as her legacy.
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