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

Victoria Mahoney will be assisting JJ Abrams on the forthcoming film

Victoria Mahoney (Getty/FC)

May the force be with her.

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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.

Mahoney will be assisting The Force Awakens’ JJ Abrams in a galaxy far, far away, after the director took over from Colin Trevorrow, who was originally earmarked for the project.

Director Ava DuVernay, best known for her work on Selma and A Wrinkle in Time, announced the appointment on Twitter on Tuesday.

“Happy to share this historic news,” DuVernay wrote. “A black woman directing stories in a galaxy far, far away. First unit director JJ Abrams. Second unit director Victoria Mahoney.”

Mahoney later took to social media to thank DuVernay for helping her secure the role. “Thank you Ava for putting my name in the #StarWars #LucasFilm hat,” she wrote. “Thank you JJ Abrams for inviting me on your ferocious ride.”

As second unit director, Mahoney will be primarily responsible for supplementary footage, like establishing shots.

She already has a number of film credits under her belt, although not all in the sphere of directing. Notably she played a reporter in the 2001 comedy Legally Blonde, starring Reese Witherspoon.

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Mahoney’s debut feature film, Yelling to the Sky, premiered at the 2011 Berlin Film Festival, where it was nominated for the Golden Bear.