By now, pretty much everyone who has their finger on the pulse of Star Wars news knows that Lucasfilm and Disney are no longer moving forward with Gina Carano's portrayal of Cara Dune in The Mandalorian or any other Star Wars projects due to her posts on social media. As expected, there is a question of whether or not the character should be recast. While some may argue that the character has a lot of baggage due to Carano and how she's being perceived now, I actually think that recasting the character could work.
Fans are so used to the idea that, for the most part, only one actor should be allowed to play a main character in Star Wars. Obi-Wan Kenobi was an exception, given that his life was shown out of order. And with the evolution of Anakin Skywalker, we saw multiple actors. Fans are excited to see Ewan McGregor and Hayden Christensen reprise their iconic roles for the upcoming Obi-Wan Kenobi series. It is a last hoorah for them, after the mixed reception of the prequel trilogy.
The sequel trilogy also saw a last hoorah for the classic characters of the original trilogy. Theoretically, the characters could have been recast, but fans wanted to see these actors reprise their roles one last time as the older versions of the characters. It felt more believable to see them as these older versions than to see other people in the roles. In the case of Carrie Fisher, she never got to do everything that was planned for her, given her unfortunate death back in December 2016. Recasting the character altogether for Episode IX would have been a bad move. It would have been too soon. As flawed as the film was, the team behind The Rise of Skywalker managed to repurpose footage of Carrie Fisher's older Leia and use some tricks here and there to make her feel like she was still present. They managed with what they had, and it was a nice way to honor the late actress.
For The Mandalorian, however, I thought that having Mark Hamill come back as Luke, for the voice and via CGI, was a bridge too far. We already got the last hoorah of this iconic character. The characters can grow beyond the actors, and I would have been fine with Max Lloyd-Jones, the body double in the season finale, doing everything in the portrayal of Luke Skywalker, just as I bought into Alden Ehrenreich and Donald Glover's portrayals of the younger versions of Han Solo and Lando Calrissian. I'd even be fine with them playing older versions of the characters, because they are beyond the original actors now.
In the case of Cara Dune, I do not really perceive the character as being as iconic as the other aforementioned ones. Sure, the character added something to the show as she aided the titular Mandalorian, but she was never a main character in my eyes. Neither was Greef Carga or Kuiil. The central characters are Din Djarin and Grogu, and even they could be recast, come to think of it. But my point is that Cara Dune is not as iconic, and I do not think that there is as much nostalgia for the character to justify one "last hoorah" for Gina Carano. And of course, the bridges have been burned between her and Lucasfilm.
But anyway, if there were further plans for Cara Dune, to the point where she could have become a main character, I think it would be fine to recast. Since Dune was a side character, it is easier for that character to grow beyond the actress who previously established the role. Given the shift in the narrative for The Mandalorian, there probably were not many (if any) plans for Cara Dune in season 3. But perhaps she would have been a central character in Rangers of the New Republic. Just how soon a recast could potentially happen is up in the air. I could see Lucasfilm holding off on reintroducing the character and letting the dust of recent events settle for a while first. But whenever they feel ready, and I do think there could be a time when they do feel ready, they could bring in an actress who feels like the character, and it could feel very seamless. Perhaps it is not a decision to take lightly, but it can be done.
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Written By Steven Shinder
Syndicated From Culture Slate