When The Mandalorian returns this week, one character who won’t be appearing is Cara Dune.
In the time since the last season of the show aired, Lucasfilm parted ways with actress Gina Carano after she couldn’t seem to help but share controversial political takes on social media – over and over again, even after confronted over it. In a recent interview with Deadline, two of the show’s executive producers, Dave Filoni and Rick Famuyiwa, were asked about dealing with the character’s absence.
“Cara was a big part and continues as a character to be part of the world,” Famuyiwa said. “It had to be addressed in the creative and [Jon Favreau] took the time to think about that. It was something that was discussed as we knew it was going to have impact on the show, but at the same time, what has been at the heart of the show are the two characters — Din Djarin and Grogu — so ultimately it felt like a servicing of that, and around the Mandalorians.”
From the sound of Famuyiwa’s answer, then, Cara Dune is still very much alive and off in the galaxy doing other things. And honestly, that’s the easiest way to do it. They don’t need to go out of their way to explain the character died, like how The Simpsons handled Pookie, but can just let the character go off quietly and do other things in a large galaxy. It works because Cara Dune was never really that pivotal of a figure in this story, appearing in a handful of episodes to help with the quest and the Child but not becoming an irreplaceable star. The story has always been about Din Djarin and Grogu, and that will continue.
Filoni got at that same point. “It’s a big galaxy and we have many characters in it — many characters are fighting for their screen time,” he explained. “We’ll just have to see as the season unfolds what the adventures are, but it’s a great character, someone who was vital to Din Djarin’s beginnings; we’ll see if he has evolved beyond that. Now Season 3 is mainly dealing with Mandalorians and the Mandalorian saga, the Mandalorian tale. (There’s) different characters he’s met since Bo-Katan (who) take a lot more prominence, which makes sense where his arc is going, the story of him and Grogu specifically.”
He’s exactly right, and his answer also hints at how this was the perfect time for the show to move away from Cara Dune. In many ways the first two seasons of the show were telling one overarching story about Mando’s relationship with the Child and seeking to return him to his people, but we’re going in a different direction in season 3. It will still center on Mando and Grogu, but this time they’re established together and it’ll dive much more into the Mandalorian ways and culture and history. It’s a logical time to move away from some of the previous characters.
Plus, it’s interesting how little talk there’s been in the leadup to the series about Cara Dune, which is further indication that the character didn’t really become beloved enough to be missed. If anything, I think Famuyiwa and Filoni give too much credit to the character. I really don’t think many fans will miss Cara Dune all that much.