Ava DuVernay made a mark on Star Wars forever when she gave J.J. Abrams advice about filming the climactic lightsaber battle of The Force Awakens. Although DuVernay isn’t attached to direct any of Lucasfilm’s forthcoming Star Wars projects (instead she has DC’s New Gods movie on the horizon), she did praise Abrams this week for hiring Victoria Mahoney to be his second unit director on Star Wars: Episode XI.
“Happy to share this historic news. A black woman directing stories in a galaxy far, far away,” DuVernay wrote on Instagram. “First unit director J.J. Abrams. Second unit director Victoria Mahoney.”
Alongside that caption, DuVernay posted a photo of Abrams and Mahoney standing together. 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.
Jurassic World director Colin Trevorrow was originally attached to helm Episode XI, but has since been replaced by Abrams, who will continue the story he began with The Force Awakens.