The Woman Making 'Star Wars' History

Lula Sharp
April 19, 2018

Star Wars: Episode IX will see the first black female director to join the film franchise, as Victoria Mahoney is announced as the second unit director on the final instalment of the current trilogy.

"Happy to share this historic news", DuVernay wrote. A milestone has been created and it's not in a galaxy far, far away, but very much on Earth.

Mahoney, who is African American, is the first black woman to direct a Star Wars film, sources said.

Alongside that caption, DuVernay posted a photo of Abrams and Mahoney standing together.

As second unit director, Mahoney is expected to be in charge of the movie's supplementary footage like establishing shots, stunts, and cutaways. Mahoney has historically championed more women and persons of color represented in front of and behind the Star Wars lens, once even suggesting people call Kathleen Kennedy to tell her to get Gina Prince-Bythewood a job directing one of the episodes. However, after coming under a great deal of fire for their lack of diversity in their director's pool, it looks like Star Wars is slowly trying to make amends. While everyone at Lucasfilm has maintained that both female and POC directors would be hired eventually, this is a major step forward, making the idea a reality.

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Victoria Mahoney is another name you should know.

Mahoney then added: "Catt's outta the bag".

The news was first announced by fellow Disney filmmaker, Ava DuVernay, who shared a picture of Mahoney and Abrams hanging out at a recent open house at her own production and distribution company, ARRAY. Thank you #JJAbrams for inviting me on your ferocious ride. Second unit director VictoriaMahoney.

Star Wars Episode IX is now slated for a December 2019 release.

Mahoney's previous directing credits include extensive work in television, including the pilot of Freeform's Misfits, as well as an episode of DuVernay's series Queen Sugar. In the meantime, check out our 2018 release list to plan your next trip to the movies.

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