Gina Carano returns to 'The Mandalorian' and Twitter has mixed feelings: 'I'm so mad'

Ethan Alter
·Senior Writer, Yahoo Entertainment
·5 min read

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.

Gina Carano returned as Cara Dune on the latest episode of 'The Mandalorian' (Photo: Disney+)
Gina Carano returned as Cara Dune on the latest episode of 'The Mandalorian' (Photo: Disney+)

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.”

A vocal segment of Star Wars fans followed Weathers’s lead, praising the actress for her screen presence and (mostly) leaving aside politics.

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.

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.

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.

The Mandalorian is currently streaming on Disney+.

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