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Actors Who Got Fired From The Star Wars Universe

Even though the Star Wars universe is one of the most beloved in pop culture history, its actors are not immune to behind-the-scenes politics and controversies. A healthy résumé and a ton of skill might land you a part, but keeping it is another matter entirely. One false move, and there will be a legion of actors champing at the bit to take your place. After all, many actors try out for roles, and when an opening appears, who wouldn't jump at the opportunity to put their stamp on a franchise like Star Wars?

While most actors who landed the role of a lifetime in a Star Wars movie (or any piece of Star Wars media for that matter) have kept their heads down and their noses clean, some have not. It's an exceedingly rare occurrence, but several Star Wars actors have done or said something that raised enough ire to get them fired. Some of these actors you might recognize, while others will probably surprise you.

Here are the top Star Wars actors to get the boot before their character passed out of the franchise of natural causes.

Gina Carano

Currently, Gina Carano is the most high-profile name in Star Wars, mostly because she was fired from The Mandalorian, the most high-profile project in Star Wars. The former mixed martial artist, who served as Din Djarin's (Pedro Pascal) ally Cara Dune, was dropped from the show for repeated impolitic statements on social media.

In the past, she posted statements that have been viewed as anti-mask and transphobic, but the Tweet that broke the internet's back compared the current American political climate to Nazi Germany (via The New York Post). It's a good rule of thumb to avoid comparing anything to Nazi Germany, and Carano violated that maxim in a major way. She posed the rhetorical question: "Jews were beaten in the streets, not by Nazi soldiers but by their neighbors ... even by children. Because history is edited, most people today don't realize that to get to the point where Nazi soldiers could easily round up thousands of Jews, the government first made their own neighbors hate them simply for being Jews. How is that any different from hating someone for their political views?"

Many readers understandably took offense at the comment and demanded she be fired from her job, and Disney obliged.

Rachel Butera

Even though the Star Wars franchise started on the big screen, it has found surprising success on the small screen, as well. Before The Mandalorian was even a glint in Jon Favreau's eye, shows like The Clone Wars and Rebels, a.k.a. the best Star Wars series (fight us), demonstrated the viability of the franchise in TV form. However, these shows weren't without their own controversies — especially the latest animated Star Wars series, Resistance.

Star Wars Resistance takes place before and during The Force Awakens, and it includes a few familiar characters, including General Leia Organa. Originally, Rachel Butera (Judy Garland in Lovecraft Country, Kraang Prime in Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles) was supposed to voice this cel-shaded incarnation — not surprising since Butera previously voiced Leia in Star Wars: Battlefront 2. But at the last minute, Butera was scuttled and replaced by Carolyn Hennesy (Demine Lithe in Star Wars: Episode IX, General Leia Organa in Lego Star Wars: All-Stars).

While Disney never made an official statement, the running theory is that Rachel Butera was fired for posting a video that mocked Dr. Christine Blasey Ford, the sexual assault victim who testified against then-Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh (via SYFY Wire). Butera's Twitter account has since been deleted, increasing the intrigue surrounding this one (via Variety).

Tim Rose

Some of Star Wars' most important roles have gone to puppeteers. Everyone knows about Mark Hamill, but without people like the late Kenny Baker, non-human characters such as R2-D2 would have never been possible. One of those talented puppeteers was almost lost thanks to Harrison Ford. Well, officially anyway.

Tim Rose brought numerous characters such as Salacious B. Crumb and Admiral Ackbar to life throughout the original Star Wars trilogy. Not surprising, since Rose studied under the great Jim Henson. But that didn't mean bupkis to Ford, especially after Rose and the other puppeteers laughed during the famous scene where Han Solo is unfrozen from carbonite. After Ford complained, Rose ribbed Ford's complaint, which everyone found funny except for Ford. He overheard the ribbing and said he wouldn't step on stage until the guy who made fun of him was fired. So, an assistant director told Rose that he was fired. Except it was all for show (via The Geeknd).

In truth, Rose was allowed to keep working on the movies, but whenever anyone asked him, he had to say he was "the new guy" to satisfy Harrison Ford. For the rest of his Star Wars career, Rose wanted to apologize, but he only got to see Ford while in full Ackbar costume, and it's difficult to talk when you're trapped in a heavy alien squid puppet.

Colin Higgins

Since Star Wars is a sci-fi epic, spaceship dogfights come with the territory. As with dogfights on Earth, the best pilots tend to emerge victorious. While Luke Skywalker is a skilled pilot thanks to his connection with the Force, you can't find a better non-Jedi pilot than Wedge Antilles. Despite the character's legacy, his beginnings were a little rocky in the casting department.

Initially, Antilles was portrayed by Colin Higgins. He's the Antilles audiences see in the Rebel briefing during Star Wars: Episode IV — A New Hope. While Higgins had previous acting experience, it was all on TV where the cast gets to rehearse. According to Gerald Home (Tessek from Return of the Jedi), the film didn't have rehearsals, so Higgins struggled with his dialogue — which consisted of one sentence. Eventually, Higgins spoke a line that was shorter than intended. After only one day of struggling, Higgins was let go and replaced by Denis Lawson.

Ironically, when Lawson originally auditioned for the role of Wedge Antilles, he lost it to Colin Higgins (via Nerdist). Still, this firing and recasting earned Higgins the moniker of "Fake Wedge," and eventually the anthology book From a Certain Point of View retconned Higgins as Col Takbright.