Star Wars: Episode IX welcomes first black female director in franchise history

Star Wars: Episode IX welcomes first black female director in franchise history

Carla Harmon
April 22, 2018

The filmmaker and producer (and, fun fact, bit actor in "Legally Blonde") will serve as the second unit director on Abrams' upcoming untitled "Episode IX", marking the first time an African-American woman has served in any directing capacity on a "Star Wars" film.

"Happy to share this historic news", she wrote. Their job is usually to film scenes like action sequences and "pick-ups" such as cutaways, establishing shots, and inserts simultaneously with the main shoot. DuVernay's enthusiasm is similar to when she praised Netflix's surprise Super Bowl release of The Cloverfield Paradox (produced by Abrams) for its diverse cast and crew. And Mahoney's friends were quick to come out to show their support for the new Star Wars director. No stranger to breaking barriers herself, Ava DuVernay took to Twitter to express her elation over the news. The company's president, Kathleen Kennedy previously told Variety that they want to "make sure that when we bring a female director in to do Star Wars they're set up for success". She'll be working alongside Episode 9 director J.J. He's producing a number of projects directed by women through his Bad Robot banner, and it's incredibly exciting to see him enlisting someone like Mahoney to join him for the trilogy-capping Star Wars sequel. She said: "Thank you Ava for putting my name in the #StarWars #LucasFilm hat". She seems to have built up a relationship with Disney, recently directing the pilot for Freeform's Misfits reboot. And in big productions like Star Wars, second unit directors will often helm entire shoots in different locations.

Abrams, on the other hand, has always been proactive when it comes to diversity.

Lucasfilm in particular has been scrutinized for its lack of diversity behind the camera.

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

Star Wars: Episode 9 is scheduled to hit theaters on December 20, 2019.

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