Though The Mandalorian viewers might not have been able to recognize it purely from watching, star Pedro Pascal didn't spend all that much time actually wearing Mando's signature costume in the first season, with his stuntman getting much of the on-camera duties. That changed for Season 2, with Pascal supplying both Mando's vocal and physical performance, and because multiple episodes featured the bounty hunter going against The Way and removing his helmet, some fans speculated that he would largely ditch the helmet in Season 3. However, those theories and more might have been vacuumed into space thanks to Pascal joining HBO's The Last of Us adaptation.
In fact, the announcement surrounding Pedro Pascal's newest high-level TV casting makes it fairly easy to believe that the actor's role within the Star Wars universe is coming to an end sooner rather than later. Note that he is still confirmed to be involved with The Mandalorian's third season, so I'm not trying to sound any panic alarms, but as far as contracts go, the Disney+ series is no longer his biggest priority.
Pedro Pascal is reportedly in "first position" with The Last of Us, meaning the high-profile video game adaptation will be his main concern going forward, rather than the Star Wars streaming series. So if he would be in the middle of filming a fist fight between Mando and Giancarlo Esposito's Moff Gideon, and The Last of Us producers called him up to do a reshoot, he would need to pack up and ship out, hypothetically speaking. Considering the name of the show is intrinsically tied to his character, it definitely seems like Jon Favreau, Dave Filoni and other Star Wars execs have a contingency plan or twelve.
As well, Deadline's report also notes that Pascal "recently became available for a new series," and had fielded offers from several in-the-works projects. Is it just because Mandalorian's Season 3 production isn't immediate? Or is it indicative of something bigger?
Fans were already theorizing that The Mandalorian could shift gears in order to focus on different Mandalore-based characters without the need to keep Mando at the forefront. Those theories multiplied after Katee Sackhoff joined the show as Bo-Katan in Season 2, and the finale set things up to give her a clearer future narrative than Pedro Pascal's Grogu-less Mando has. So it's feasible that the Disney+ series will find a way to give her the darksaber, and Mando can also pass the storytelling baton along in the same breath.
Of course, Pedro Pascal's commitment to The Last of Us doesn't necessarily mean his Star Wars future is doomed. The Mandalorian Season 3 is meant to begin production following the filming of the spinoff The Book of Boba Fett, and likely isn't set to premiere until Fall 2022. The Last of Us' filming schedule is unclear at this time, but it's certainly possible that Pascal will be able to split his time accordingly depending on how it all shakes out. Plus, if Jon Favreau & Co. decide to just keep Mando's helmet on for the entire season, Pascal technically won't need to do much outside the recording booth.
If The Mandalorian does lose Pedro Pascal before or during Season 3, he won't be the only one missing out. Gina Carano's Cara Dune will definitely be missing, as the actress and athlete was confirmed to no longer be part of the Star Wars universe following a recent social media post that drew a widespread backlash, similar to the reactions that many of her previous posts have received. It's unclear at this point if the show will recast Cara Dune or if the character just won't return.
The joy of being a Star Wars fan is knowing that potentially none of our questions will be answered for the next year or so. Oh wait, did I say joy? I meant something else.