Why Writing Out Cara Dune Is Better Than Recasting Her Character
Read On For The Reasoning
In the wake of Gina Carano’s firing from The Mandalorian on February 10th due to her anti-Semitic post on Instagram, which falsely equated modern day conservatives with the plight of the Jewish people during the Holocaust, there have been many theories as to how the creators will tackle the departure of the former Rebel Shock Trooper and New Republic Marshall, Cara Dune. Her character had proven to be very popular previously, and it was hoped that she would continue on with her efforts in the Star Wars franchise for many years to come, possibly having her backstory explored further in an upcoming series like Rangers of The New Republic. However, after being warned numerous times behind the scenes about her behavior on social media by Lucasfilm, amongst others, Carano finally crossed a line she couldn’t uncross through no one’s actions but her own. Now, it’s left to the dynamic duo of Jon Favreau and Dave Filoni to figure out how to leave the character behind, but still acknowledge her to some degree that would satisfy the audience. While many have suggested that recasting the part wouldn’t be a problem, the truth of the matter is, Carano is now synonymous with the character of Cara Dune. Therefore, Disney, the parent company of Lucasfilm, has been forced to take anything related to her character off the market indefinitely.
With regards to Disney and Lucasfilm, the latter has had too much bad press over the last few years due to how the sequel trilogy was executed, let alone having any hopes of cinematic spin-offs being dashed by the abysmal performance of Solo: A Star Wars Story. After the success and expectations set by The Force Awakens, people ended up feeling let down by all the wasted potential that came in the form of these follow-ups, aside from Rogue One: A Star Wars Story for many. Instead of doubling down on what worked, they broke away tonally and directly, which stoked flames of division in the fanbase that continue to rage to this day. With The Mandalorian uniting anyone and everyone in the Star Wars community with its phenomenal storytelling and respect for the source material, Lucasfilm cannot afford to have anyone rocking the proverbial boat, and lose what goodwill they’ve gained, no matter which side of the political spectrum one might lean. This puts the company in a difficult position with regards to Carano and her blatant disregard for her position in it, which is why they held off for months before they brought the hammer down, because they knew her character had a lot of potential for the future of the franchise. However, as we all know, this is very much no longer the case.
This isn’t the first time a show has had to deal with the sudden departure of an actor before their tenure is up, however. One calls to mind Christopher Meloni’s exit over contractual obligations from Law & Order: SVU, or how Clayne Crawford was accused of being aggressive and abusive towards people on the set of the Lethal Weapon television series. But for me, the whole instance more closely resembles the circumstances that led to the firing of Roseanne Barr from the revival of her eponymous show, Roseanne, back in 2018, after she posted a racist tweet framing famed former senior political advisor, Valerie Jarrett, in a deplorable, less than human light. Barr has been an outspoken conservative for most of her life, but her comments, not unlike Carano’s, were a bridge too far and then some. ABC, also owned by Disney, swiftly ended her contract. However, this left the studio in a precarious position. How do you continue a show without its title character and main star? The answer was to focus on the characters surrounding her, her family, The Conners. In the series premiere of the aforementioned spin-off, they immediately and unabashedly address Barr’s absence: by giving her a meaningful death via an accidental opiate overdose after getting knee surgery, something that has continued to be all too common in modern times. Though it was shocking to say the least, it ended up having an impact that honored the often serious subjects the show had tackled in the past, and catapulted the series to immediate success which it continues today, with its third season already well under way.
As it stands in relation to The Mandalorian, while Cara Dune was a focus at points, and important in her own right, she was not the main protagonist of the series in question, only a secondary supporting one. That honor would go to The Mandalorian himself, Din Djarin. And having completed the arc of the first two seasons, there’s no reason they couldn’t sideline the character Cara Dune entirely with a meaningful off-screen death of some kind, which might act as motivation for some of the other characters, including Mando himself. Though it’s a shame that her character likely won’t be explored anymore in live-action moving forward, she ultimately now has the potential to serve just as great a purpose to the story. Certainly, they could start the next season with an explanation of her departure with a throwaway line, and as an audience, we don’t necessarily need to see any action take place, much like in the case of Barr. All we need is acknowledgement, because that acknowledgement provides closure for the audience, and allows them to accept the truth of what is, so they can move on. And because of the nature of serialized property like Star Wars, the story never ends. There’s always a battle to fight, always a Hutt double-crossing someone, always a First Order rising to power, and always some Dark Lord of the Sith trying to conquer the galaxy. That much can always be promised.
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Written By Henry Abrams
Syndicated From Culture Slate