cara dune in the mandalorian

As the actress behind one of the most controversial TV firings in recent years, former Mandalorian star Gina Carano is obviously no stranger to inciting strong internet reactions with her social media posts. Such was the case again very recently, with Carano sharing a mysterious and context-free image that stoked fans' hopes that she may have been welcomed back into the Star Wars universe. But what's the real deal here?

While several of Gina Carano's other recent Twitter posts were tied to the world of Mixed Martial Arts, not to mention the most classic of Risky Business clips, the former brawler raised more than a few Star Wars fans' eyebrows by sharing the sci-fi-leaning picture below.

While there's nothing there that directly indicates anything involving Star Wars, the comment section below Gina Carano's tweet quickly began filling up with fans making assumptions that Disney reversed course on firing her and is bringing her back into the Mandalorian's fold in one way or another. Not everyone was so optimistic, mind you, as there are definitely more than a few commenters still virulently ruing the day that Disney decided to fire Carano for various problematic posts. But by and large, Star Wars speculation ran amok.

I mean, it's hard not to automatically jump into a Star Wars train of thought after seeing that picture. The general image of "main character approaching the horizon of a unique landscape" is basically a poster trope now for science fiction projects, with The Mandalorian and other franchise releases utilizing it in one form or another. (It would have been more convincing had the figure in Carano's image been holding a weapon, but still.) Plus, the visual of a planet with multiple suns immediately brings Tatooine's dual stars to mind, even if it kinda seems scientifically impossible for this planet in question to exist.

Alas, while it's hard to know what Gina Carano's motivations were in sharing the pic, it's 99.99% not a legitimate indication that she'll be returning to the Star Wars universe. The design is actually a piece of artwork from a digital artist who goes by the name Stuz0r, who specializes in eye-catching sci-fi-heavy imagery of this sort. And while many fans would probably love it if the artist was tapped to lead the visual FX team for The Mandalorian Season 3, with Carano tapped to return as Cara Dune, it's probably best to keep those hopes safely stored away for the time being.

Star Wars' next move on Disney+, once The Bad Batch has wrapped up, will be to bring back everybody's other favorite bounty hunter with The Book of Boba Fett, which reportedly finished filming recently with stars Ming Na-Wen and Temuera Morrison. The Mandalorian isn't set to start filming until later this year, meaning viewers won't get to see Pedro Pascal's return until some point in 2022. And let's not forget that the biggest blow to the possibility of Gina Carano's return came with the reveal that Disney+ is no longer developing the spinoff Rangers of the Republic, which was rumored to be a starring vehicle for Carano's Cara Dune.

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