Victoria Mahoney has been selected as the second unit director for Star Wars: Episode IX, directed by J.J. Abrams.
After Mahoney teased the news last week, Ava DuVernay announced her position on social media Tuesday.
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
Mahoney is thought to be the first woman to hold a position like this for a Star Wars film.
What exactly is a second unit director? There are two units for many films, with a director for each one. Abrams of course has the first unit as the lead, and Mahoney will be second. As second unit director she will direct some scene and sequences for the film, and for big studio films like these with lots of characters, sets and set-pieces, a second unit director’s job can be significant. All in all, it is a great opportunity for Mahoney, because she’ll get to work side-by-side with Abrams. Essentially, as second unit director, she will direct some scenes and sequences in the film.
It could open up a load of opportunities for her. This could mean she could helm future Star Wars films or television series — don’t forget Disney is planning one for their upcoming streaming service.
The film, which will see John Boyega, Daisy Ridley and Adam Driver reprise their roles, will be released in December 2019.
Mahoney, who first began as an actress, has directed episodes of Power, Survivor’s Remorse, Queen Sugar, Claws and more. Her feature directorial debut was the indie film, Yelling to the Sky, starring Zoe Kravitz and Gabourey Sidibe.