Carano was officially let go by Disney and Lucasfilm in February 2021 following some controversial comments she made on social media. This came after Carano played Cara Dune in multiple episodes of the first two seasons of The Mandalorian.
Since Carano's departure, fans have wondered if Lucasfilm would recast the character or take her out of the universe completely.
The Mandalorian Reveals What Happened to Cara Dune
Warning - the rest of this article contains spoilers for Season 3, Episode 1 of The Mandalorian.
In the episode, Din and Grogu returned to the planet Nevarro where they met with Carl Weathers' Greef Karga. After Din and Greef spent some time catching up and defending the local school against a group of pirates, Greef stated that he "need(s) a marshal."
Cara Dune was last seen in The Mandalorian as a marshal of the New Republic, so Din asked Greef, "Why not Marshal Dune?"
Greef then revealed Dune's whereabouts in the galaxy far, far away, stating that she had been "recruited by special forces" following Moff Gideon's arrest.
The explanation for Carano's character was brief, but it did give the definitive answer that the character is at least absent for the time being, while still leaving the door open for a return.
If Dune does make an appearance at some point in the future, however, she will almost definitely be played by someone other than Carano.
Why Is Cara Dune Still in Star Wars?
The choice to explain why Cara Dune is out of the picture when it comes to the actual in-universe story leaves no loose ends and no plot holes. If she would have just disappeared with no explanation, it may have felt a little strange even though fans would have known the real reason.
However, executive producers Jon Favreau and Dave Filoni, who oversee the entire MandoVerse, have complete freedom when it comes to telling these stories. They could have easily included a few lines of dialogue explaining that Dune was killed in action, went missing, was kidnapped, etc.
Instead, they chose to keep her character in the picture, just not on screen. Perhaps they see a return in the works at some point for the character when the time feels right.
It is important to remember that Carano was set to lead Disney+'s Rangers of the New Republic series before she was fired. While it has been confirmed that the show is no longer in the works, there may have been some plot points from it that Favreau and Filoni still want to tell at some point.
Whatever the case may be, fans now have a definitive explanation for why Cara Dune is absent from The Mandalorian, and it is safe to say that she won't be showing up in the Disney+ series at least for the time being.
The Season 3 premiere of The Mandalorian is available to stream on Disney+.