The final film in the latest Star Wars trilogy, Star Wars IX, will be a light year away from the world the far, far away galaxy was first created: Victoria Mahoney will be the series’ first-ever director who is a woman of colour.
If you’re a little confused: J.J. Abrams has not been fired from the film. Mahoney will be the second unit director, while Abrams is the first. Second unit directors have their own separate film crew, and are in charge of secondary shots: the likes of stunts, cutaways, scenery and establishing shots.
Mahoney’s new job is worth celebrating, given that 96% of the film series’ directors and writers have been white men, according to an extensive Variety report published earlier this year.
The landmark made public by a tweet from Ava DuVernay, the director of Disney‘s current release A Wrinkle In Time, which made DuVernay the first woman of colour to direct a live-action film with a nine-digit budget.
“Happy to share this historic news. A black woman directing stories in a galaxy far, far away,” she wrote, sharing a picture of Abrams & Mahoney.
Happy to share this historic news. A black woman directing stories in a galaxy far, far away. First unit director #JJAbrams. Second unit director @VictoriaMahoney. #StarWarsE9 #StarWars pic.twitter.com/s689jv9I4u
— Ava DuVernay (@ava) April 17, 2018
Responding, Mahoney thanked DuVernay for putting her name forward for the role, and Abrams “for inviting me on your ferocious ride.”
“This one’s for the outliers, dreaming big– in small corners of the Earth,” Mahoney also wrote.
Catt’s outta the bag. Thank you @ava for putting my name in the #StarWars #LucasFilm hat. Thank you #JJAbrams for inviting me on your ferocious ride. *This one’s for the outliers, dreaming big–in small corners of the Earth.
— Crown Vic (@VictoriaMahoney) April 17, 2018
You might know Mahoney’s work if you’re a film buff. Her feature length directorial debut Yelling To The Sky, which she also wrote, competed for the coveted Gold Bear at the 61st Berlin International Film Festival in 2011.
Other notable directing credits also include a few episodes of the upcoming US reboot of Misfits, and two back-to-back eps of Gypsy, Netflix‘s psychological thriller with Naomi Watts & Miley Cyrus.
We’ll be watching her work in 2019, when the film’s slated for release. In the meantime, the Han Solo origin-story film Solo: A Star Wars Story will be out next month.