The Mandalorian is growing up. The Disney+ series has been bringing minor Star Wars characters back onscreen for a year now, and in its second season has moved on to reprising Season 1 characters. Fan-favorite sassy mechanic Peli Motto, played by Amy Sedaris, appeared in two of the three episodes we've seen so far, and there's likely to be more in the upcoming episodes. A new leak suggests two familiar faces will return in Chapter 12, but it may not lead to more appearances in the future.
Two of Mando's closest allies are coming back to The Mandalorian. According to a leak from Twitter news account Culture Crave, Gina Carano and Carl Weathers will return to their roles as Cara Dune and Greef Karga. Weathers directed the episode, but attention has turned instead to Carano, who may have sealed her fate through a social media controversy.
Between posts promoting The Mandalorian, Carano also posts memes discouraging the use of masks to combat the spread of Covid-19 and questions the integrity of the recent presidential election. Star Wars actors are often under close scrutiny on social media, and her comments have sparked outcry. In response, she announced a move to the notoriously right-wing social media platform Parler, prompting many Mandalorian fans to raise concern, even getting #FireGinaCarano trending on Twitter.
This isn't the first time Carano has ruffled the feathers of the Mandalorian fanbase. In September, she changed her Twitter display name to read "Gina Carano boop/bop/beep," parodying the practice of informing Twitter of one's pronouns. She later explained her behavior had "zero to do with mocking trans people" and had more to do with "exposing the bullying mentality of the mob that has taken over the voices of many genuine causes." It's not an apology, but it is an explanation.
Her stance is diametrically opposed to that of the Mandalorian himself, Pedro Pascal, who includes "he/him" in his Twitter display name and is a vocal supporter of trans rights. His younger sister Lux Pascal is a trans actress. Many people who deny the common use of pronouns don't understand the struggle of having to constantly reassert themselves in order to have your identity respected. Making a joke of this often difficult process trivializes those who are misgendered constantly.
So is this the end of Cara Dune on The Mandalorian? We certainly won't get a firm answer this Friday. Production for Season 2 wrapped all the way back in February, before all this controversy kicked off. While Cara Dune may be coming back for this episode, it might not be as likely for her to return down the line. If her involvement sparks ire in the show's increasingly younger fanbase, Disney may think her a liability.
There's room for all sorts in the Star Wars galaxy. If Din Djarin can learn Tusken sign language, everyone can be considerate enough to respect people's pronouns.
Note: The above article was edited on February 10, 2021 to reflect Lux Pascal's transition.
The Mandalorian Season 2 is now streaming on Disney+.