Black producers, directors, and writers are continuing to make strides behind the scenes of major films. Filmmaker Victoria Mahoney recently made history by becoming the first Black woman director for the Star Wars franchise, E News reported.
Mahoney—who is known for directing episodes for television shows that include Grey’s Anatomy, Queen Sugar, and American Crime—was chosen to serve as the second unit director for the upcoming Star Wars: Episode IX, the news outlet writes. In her role, she’ll oversee the supplementary footage for the film. This is the first time in the franchise’s history that a Black woman has held a directorial position. Fellow director Ava DuVernay took to Twitter to share the historic news. “Happy to share this historic news,” she posted. “A black woman directing stories in a galaxy far, far away. First unit director #JJAbrams. Second unit director @VictoriaMahoney. #StarWarsE9 #StarWars.”
Mahoney later thanked DuVernay for aligning her with the role. “Catt’s outta the bag. Thank you @ava for putting my name in the #StarWars #LucasFilm hat,” she tweeted. “Thank you #JJAbrams for inviting me on your ferocious ride. *This one’s for the outliers, dreaming big–in small corners of the Earth.” According to E News, Mahoney and DuVernay recently collaborated on a CBS pilot dubbed Red Line.
Mahoney’s accomplishment is a major step towards diversifying the franchise’s production team. According to A Plus, 96 percent of the Star Wars writers and directors are white and male. Star Wars Episode IX is slated to be released in December 2019.