Gina Carano says that the late Carl Weathers “was gentle and encouraging” and “didn’t want me to give up” after she was fired from the Star Wars series The Mandalorian nearly three years ago.
Weathers, a star of Disney+’s flagship Star Wars series and of course the Rocky films, died peacefully in his sleep on Feb. 1; he was 76.
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Lucasfilm severed ties with Carano back in February 2021 after the former mixed martial artist drew fire for a spate of problematic social media posts, including one in which she stated that Jews in World War II were not beaten by German soldiers but “by their neighbors.” Though some argued that Carano’s post was not absolving Nazis of wrongdoing, a #FireGinaCarano hashtag got trending, with many asking Lucasfilm and Mandalorian EP Jon Favreau to oust the actress.
Eventually, a Lucasfilm representative said in a statement that Carano “is not currently employed by Lucasfilm and there are no plans for her to be in the future,” adding: “[H]er social media posts denigrating people based on their cultural and religious identities are abhorrent and unacceptable.”
The Mandalorian Season 3 premiere was quick to account for the Rebel shock trooper-turned-Nevarro marshal’s absence. When Mando (played by Pedro Pascal) and Grogu paid Nevarro a visit, High Magistrate Greef Karga (Weathers) explained that because of her role in helping capture Moff Gideon (in the Season 2 finale), the New Republic had recruited Cara for its Special Forces team.
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In social media posts on Friday evening, Carano said, “Hearing the news of Carl Weathers passing today is shocking…. I was so looking forward to giving Carl the biggest hug at one of these fan expos I heard we were both going to be at this year.”
“[Series EP] Jon Favreau felt [Carl] would be a good mentor for me because we shared the athlete-turned-actor bond, so Jon had him direct my first episode in season 2 of Mando,” she recalled. “I believe had we gotten to [the since-cancelled spinoff series] Rangers of the New Republic, Carl would’ve directed me in much more. Jon F was right, we were a great fit.”
Carano wrote that Weathers reached out “after I was fired” from The Mandalorian, and once she was in an emotional state where she could discuss the matter, “He was gentle and encouraging and didn’t want me to give up, he was letting me know that he wasn’t throwing me away, he was trying to keep my hope alive in what seemed like quite hopeless scenario, he showed me he cared. That is who he was.”
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