'Mandalorian' Season 3 could replace Cara Dune with this forgotten Star Wars princess
"I think you're just afraid of losing to a woman"
There's a buff-lady-shaped hole in The Mandalorian. After a long history of offensive posts on social media, Cara Dune actress Gina Carano was fired by Lucasfilm. This means there's room for another member of Din Djarin's posse, but Cara Dune's past as a survivor of Alderaan's destruction will go unexamined. However, there's one Star Wars character who could tick all of Cara Dune's boxes, and then some.
For fans of the Star Wars Legends novels, Heir to the Empire, Dark Force Rising, and The Last Command (aka, the Thrawn trilogy), hold a special place of honor. These books invented the model of creating new lore independent of the flagship movies and introduced plenty of fan-favorite characters from Grand Admiral Thrawn to Mara Jade.
Lurking amongst those characters is Winter Celchu, the Alderaanian sister of Leia Organa. Yes, that's right, sister. Orphaned soon after the rise of the Empire, she was adopted by the royal Organa family and raised as a princess alongside young Leia. Just like her sister, she fought for the Rebel Alliance, but her skills were much different than Leia's daredevil blasting ways.
Winter was a skilled slicer (Star Wars-speak for hacker) and possessed a holographic and audiographic memory, meaning her brain basically recorded everything she encountered. This was a blessing and a curse. While it meant she could go undercover on complex spy missions and collect Empire information without any paper trail, it also meant she vividly remembered every heartbreaking moment of the loss of her family.
If Winter shows up in The Mandalorian Season 3 it would double down on the mainstream Star Wars story introduced with Luke Skywalker's cameo in the Season 2 finale without having the narrative completely taken over by familiar movie characters. It's easy to imagine Mando teaming up with Winter on a secret spy mission as he works to take down the Empire and protect the Mandalorian people.
That's not the only thing Winter could tie together. She had a long romance with Rogue Squadron pilot Tycho Celchu, eventually marrying him. Seeing as there's a Rogue Squadron movie on the horizon, this romance would provide an opportunity to introduce one or more of those pilots, building interest in the Patty Jenkins film while creating a direct link between The Mandalorian Season 3 and the next Star Wars movie.
Winter may not have the muscles of Cara Dune, but her past and allegiances to the Republic are about the same. They're also both from Alderaan, and carry a similar grudge against the Empire.
Maybe what The Mandalorian really needs isn't just a Cara Dune clone, but a character who can grow with the series as it moves past its bounty hunter ways into something better. Who better to do that than a princess spy with connections to the Rebel Alliance.
The Mandalorian is now streaming on Disney+.