Star Wars: The Mandalorian star Giancarlo Esposito refers to fired co-star Gina Carano as his "favorite" among the cast members. While doing Q&A for a panel at FAN EXPO Denver, Esposito was asked who he liked working with the most on The Mandalorian; after hesitating for a moment, Esposito let it be known that Carano was his favorite player to act with. At the same time, Esposito was fully aware of how his comment might resonate, making sure to note that his statement has nothing to do with Carano's personal or political beliefs, and is simply talking about what she brought to each scene they worked on.
"I have to say, and this may be... Okay, I'll say it without hesitation: Gina Carano," Giancarlo Esposito told the FAN EXPO Denver crowd. "I'm not gonna weigh in on any of that in particular other than, any of her political beliefs or what she said, whether I think it's inappropriate or appropriate or not. We as actors probably sometimes - I know for me - I should just shut my mouth. But sometimes I can't. I gotta say what I believe because it has to go on record.
I loved working with her. She's warm and beautiful and wonderful, and you know, I don't care what her politics are. I love the fact that she came to acting late and that she was so raw and original and beautiful, and I just think she's a lovely person. So I shout her out and say she's one of my favorites."
"She was an absolute sweetheart. Super nice fucking person," Mandalorian actor Bill Burr said on his "The Bill Bert Podcast" back in March. "I don't know... I'm on that f**king show [The Mandalorian]. Now, I gotta watch what the f**k I say... someone will take this video and they'll make me say something else and try to get rid of my bald action figure…It's how it is out there... It's f**king crazy times. People just waiting, laying in the weeds... Now it's becoming like, 'Hey you made an ignorant comparison. (flushing sound) There goes your dream, right? I look at that and it's like, 'Who the f**k stands up to that?'"
Carano's character on The Mandalorian - ex-New Republic shock trooper Cara Dune - was a breakout fan-favorite, arguably the franchise's biggest heroine since Daisy Ridley's Rey. Dune was poised for her own spinoff series, before Carano's personal and political views (expressed in interviews and tweets) stoked the wrath of fans and led to major calls for the actress to be "cancelled" from the Star Wars Universe. Disney eventually buckled to public pressure and terminated Carano's contract.
In the time since Gina Carano left The Mandalorian Lucasfilm has still included her for Emmy considerations for the show, and she's found major backing in Hollywood (particularly from those against Cancel Culture), even landing her own starring role in a potential action-thriller franchise-starter based on the novel White Knuckle by Eric Red.
No word yet on how the Star Wars franchise will handle the Cara Dune character. The Mandalorian Season 3 will arrive in 2022.