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Star Wars has a new 2nd unit director and she's a big change

Director Ava DuVernay uses Twitter to announce that Victoria Mahoney will be the first black woman to take the second unit director role on a Star Wars film.

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Bonnie Burton
Journalist Bonnie Burton writes about movies, TV shows, comics, science and robots. She is the author of the books Live or Die: Survival Hacks, Wizarding World: Movie Magic Amazing Artifacts, The Star Wars Craft Book, Girls Against Girls, Draw Star Wars, Planets in Peril and more! E-mail Bonnie.
Bonnie Burton

The next Star Wars movie, Star Wars: Episode IX (the official title hasn't been announced yet), will have a woman of color behind the lens.

A Wrinkle in Time director Ava DuVernay dropped the news on Twitter Tuesday that Victoria Mahoney will serve as the second unit director on the upcoming Star Wars film. J.J. Abrams is at the helm as the first unit director.

"Happy to share this historic news," Ava DuVernay tweeted. "A black woman directing stories in a galaxy far, far away. First unit director #JJAbrams. Second unit director @VictoriaMahoney."

Mahoney is best known for her work on Queen Sugar, Grey's Anatomy, and American Crime.

"Catt's outta the bag. Thank you @ava for putting my name in the #StarWars #LucasFilm hat," Mahoney tweeted in response on Tuesday. "Thank you #JJAbrams for inviting me on your ferocious ride. *This one's for the outliers, dreaming big--in small corners of the Earth. #MaytheForceBeWithYou

The second unit director is responsible for shooting additional footage that often includes establishing shots, stunts, cutaways and inserts. The first unit director principally shoots scenes with the main cast. 

Previous second unit directors for Star Wars films have all been men, though many of the third assistant directors, for Rogue One for example, have been women.

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