I'm a Star Wars lifer and I'm not ashamed to admit it. Just to establish my bona fides, I saw the first one the summer it came out. I had the Darth Vader poster on the wall at the foot of my bed. Built a Millennium Falcon model. As an adult, I started dating a woman who owned the boxed set of the original trilogy before such things were common. Together we raised two sons on those, the prequels, the video games, the LEGOs, the animated series, and the Halloween costumes.
Obviously this is important. This stuff matters. Otherwise I'd just be a grown man with a family and a mortgage obsessing over a stupid kids' story about space wizards with magic powers and flashlight swords running around with robots and a giant ape.
And you can count me among the legion of fans whose loyalty has been tested to the breaking point by the lazy, amateurish, fan fiction dreck posing as Star Wars canon that Disney has been squeezing out since it paid a couple of billion dollars for the rights to make George Lucas go away so they could ruin his creation. Some of it has been so bad, some of us started looking back with grudging admiration to even Jar Jar Binks. He was insufferable and possibly even racist. But he never had to utter lines like "Palpatine returned … somehow" or "Chewie was on the other transport." Those were written by Jar Jar Abrams while Lucas stood back with his hands up to show his fingerprints aren't on that Bantha poodoo.
There have been rare exceptions, though. Rogue One was the best movie since the original trilogy. The limited series Andor might not have done record viewership, but it took the Rogue One plot and used it to expand the Star Wars universe and felt throughout like it was made by adults who understand storytelling. And the best content to appear on Disney+ was, without a doubt, Season 1 of The Mandalorian.
And one of the best aspects of that season of that show (besides Carl Weathers, who is now One with the Force), was Gina Carano's Cara Dune. To be fair, no one would ever mistake her for Dame Judi Dench. But in a world where every movie seems to feature a Strong Female Character [tm] with no obvious military background, martial arts training or superpower beating the bag out of henchmen who are all twice her size by the dozens, there's something to be said for an action scene starring a legitimate badass whose an actual expert at fighting:
That is, until she put out some Tweets that upset some people. Whether they were actually truly offensive, rising to the level of hate crimes is subjective. The fact is, Carano violated no laws. She didn't get deplatformed off of social media like a lot of people around that time were. They were Tweets. No one was harmed in the posting of them. If they had been, they could've easily done what the rest of us do a thousand times a day, which is see something we don't approve of, go past it, and just keep doomscrolling. No blood, no foul.
Instead, they started a campaign, reached out to Disney, and got Carano fired from a show where she was one of the main reasons to watch. Despite the fact that head of Lucasfilm Kathleen Kennedy is a big supporter of empowered, independent women:
But that support is only t-shirt slogan deep apparently, as Carano was summarily fired. Reportedly over the objections of Jon Favreau, the creator of The Mandalorian. And while it might just be a coincidence, Season's 2 and 3 of the show have been varying degrees of Death Star trash compactor garbage. Just one fetch quest after another with cutaway shots of Baby Yoda every 5.5 seconds at minimum. Which is obviously a business decision since he's the only character that's generated a hundred bucks in merchandise sales in 30 years.
The good news though is, as of today, Carano is done with taken this lying down. She has lawyered up thanks to a most unlikely source. And the legal Force is strong with this one:
Today is an important day for me--I am filing a lawsuit against @lucasfilm & @Disney
After my 20 years of building a career from scratch, and during the regime of former Disney CEO Bob Chapek, Lucasfilm made this statement on Twitter, terminating me from The Mandalorian: “Gina Carano is not currently employed by Lucasfilm & there are no plans for her to be in the future. Nevertheless, her social media posts denigrating people based on their cultural & religious identities are abhorrent & unacceptable.”
Nothing could be further from the truth. The truth is I was being hunted down from everything I posted to every post I liked because I was not in line with the acceptable narrative of the time. My words were consistently twisted to demonize & dehumanize me as an alt right wing extremist. It was a bullying smear campaign aimed at silencing, destroying & making an example out of me.
The thing is I never even used aggressive language. I shared thought provoking quotes, pictures, memes & occasionally I used my own words, not with aggression but with respect & the occasional comedy to keep the mood light in dark times.
Look with your own eyes at what I posted and ask yourself, for example, where did I compare Republicans to the Jewish people in the holocaust? I didn’t. Ask yourself why they were calling me a racist, was there any merit behind that or history of it whatsoever? No. Look at why I was called a transphobe--for making droid noises from Star Wars? “Beep, bop, boop” was obviously directed to the online bullies and did not in any way denigrate transgender people.
Were my questions about masks, lockdowns & forced vaccines ok to ask & push the subject into the light? Should we have been allowed to publicly discuss those topics at that time without being harassed or censored? Absolutely.
Hollywood says they support female representation & equal rights. Why then were my male co-stars permitted to speak without harassment & re-education courses or termination, but I was not afforded the same right to exercise my freedom of speech.
Artists do not sign away our rights as American citizens when we enter into employment. I have spoken to all my co-stars since I was fired & there is nothing but care and kind words between us. I respect their right to free speech & do not have to think the same on every issue to be their friends & work with them & I know they feel the same towards me.
A couple months ago @ElonMusk tweeted that if you had been fired from using the platform (X) for exercising your right to free speech, he would like to offer these people legal representation. Quite the noble offer, but never in my wildest dreams would I have thought anyone would take on my case against Lucasfilm/Disney. Still, I did respond back “I think I qualify” & thousands of people agreed--but I did not expect anything.
To my surprise, a few months ago I received an email from a lawyer who had been hired by X to look into my story & many others. Turns out after sending them as much information as I could gather these past few months, my now lawyers & X believe whole-heartedly in my case & are moving forward.
I would like to express my deepest gratitude & thank you to @ElonMusk & @X for giving me an opportunity to bring my case to light.
As for me, I would love to pick up where I left off & continue my journey of creating & participating in story-telling, which is my utmost passion & everything I worked so hard for. It has been difficult to move forward with the lies & labels stuck on me, backed & encouraged by the most powerful entertainment company in the world. I am grateful someone has come to my defense in such a powerful way & look forward to clearing my name.
Thank you to all the people who have supported me & made your voices heard. I pray God blesses each & every one of you. With love,
Gina Carano For inquiries contact: CaranoLawsuit@schaerrjaffe.com
No matter which side you're on, whether you think a giant entertainment conglomerate is justified in firing an employee who doesn't tow the company line, or you're more of a free speech absolutist, or you believe either standard is fine as long as you apply it evenly across all points of view, one thing's for sure.
This is going to be a fascinating test case. A female celebrity who made the jump from sports to show business, taking on the biggest media company in the English-speaking world, but backed by not only the richest person in the world, but a man who was willing to put up $44 billion of his own money in order to provide a place for free expression.
Your results may vary. But I'm doing what I've been doing since she was an MMA champion. I'm rooting for Gina Carano. I've just never seen her go up against an opponent I wanted to see her beat as badly as the woman who destroyed LucasFilm: