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Cara Dune

Star Wars: The Mandalorian
by yo go re

Even when you can't catch bounties, you can still catch some hands.

A veteran of the Galactic Civil War who fought for the Rebellion, Cara Dune is a seasoned warrior who has put her days of military discipline behind her, and now has reinvented herself as a mercenary.

Damn, we've been waiting for this one since the first images were revealed! It took until episode 4 of The Mandalorian for Cara to show up, but the wait was worth it. She immediately proved to be an utter badass in every sense, and the fans just ate her up! (Well, the guys who get performatively mad about Star Wars having any female fingerprints on it did their usual song and dance, but screw 'em, they don't count for anything.) As a shock trooper, Cara Dune got the job of taking out ex-Imperial warlord-wannabes, and was very good at it; but when that was done, the Alliance wanted them to stop being soldiers and start being police, and she had no interest in that, so she lit out for the territories. Kinda forgot to ask permission first, though.

Cara Dune is played by Gina Carano, who's mainly been in the kind of movies you'd expect to see an ex-MMA fighter in: Deadpool, one of the Fast and Furiouses, and Haywire, an intricate Steven Soderbergh spy thriller where Michael Fassbender and Ewan McGregor were her supporting actors. You know, the usual. The figure's hair is a bit flatter and more combed than it was on the show, but we still get a good likeness.

Carano is a total cheesesteak, so Cara Dune is too. The toy does well duplicating her figure - that is to say, she looks like someone who could get in a brawl with Mando and win it, not some little waif. Broad shoulders, wide hips... this is a far cry from Star Wars' usual thing! Her armor is shaped to fit her (which, no, Kyle, doesn't mean boob-cups), even though it basically looks like football pads: Gina and director Bryce Dallas Howard worked together to get their ideal balance of tough and attractive. And it works!

Dune's colorscheme is blue and grey. Her yoke has a few silver apps to create dings in the metal, with matching imperfections on her kneepad and the plates of armor on her forearms. She's wearing a black shirt beneath the armor, and its short sleeves leave the vertical bars tattooed on her right bicep visible. The "dot" beneath her left eye is actually a Rebel Alliance logo, because who would want to be accidentally associated with the Empire? Well, other than the First Order, but in their case it's less "accidental" than "fetishistic."

Cara Dune is articulated as well as the other Black Series figures, flexing at the ankles, shins, knees, thighs, hips, torso, wrists, elbows, shoulders, neck, and head. Ready to mix it up with Mando! And kick his ass, since she's a professional fighter and he's buying his armor on the installment plan. [Together, they fight crime! --ed.] She has more accessories than you might expect, including her small Han Solo-ish blaster, a simple little knife, and a giant rifle that can sling over her shoulder. That one is showing its real-world influences, thanks to the two ammo drums mounted underneath and the carrying handle on top. The blaster can holster on her right hip, and the knife fits into an almost-invisible gap in her left boot.

Star Wars can always use more cool new female characters, especially ones that live up to their hype, cough cough cough. Cara Dune definitely does live up to it, being an awesome character who's got an awesome action figure.

-- 12/15/19

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