Ava Duvernay Needs To Direct A 'Star Wars' Film

by Courtney Lindley

Let's revisit December of 2015, when J.J. Abrams told Nerdist that Ava DuVernay "would just kill it" if she directed any of the upcoming Star Wars flicks. Sadly, it hasn't happened as of yet — Colin Trevorrow and Rian Johnson are signed on to direct Episodes VIII and IX, respectively — but, that doesn't mean DuVernay won't be lending a helping hand to the franchise at all. In fact, Abrams recently told Yahoo! that DuVernay was responsible for one crucial moment in Star Wars: Episode VII — The Force Awakens — and it just proves that if she's not going to direct the films, her keen insights could still be a powerful addition to the franchise.

DuVernay's a busy woman, and is currently working on adapting a sci-fi classic of her own: A Wrinkle in Time. However, this anecdote from Abrams shows the importance of her viewpoint, and makes the case that pretty much all big-budget films should seek notes from an intuitive director like her. The shot she requested Abrams add in The Force Awakens was crucial for Rey's character development and her story arc, and therefore, the film as a whole. In the clip below, Abrams tells Yahoo! how the fight scene between Rey and Kylo Ren was reshot multiple times, and how one minor addition in particular (suggested by DuVernay) made a major impact.

The director said, “I showed an early cut to my friend Ava DuVernay, and she had a bunch of great suggestions. One of them was she really wanted to see Daisy, in her attack on Ren, have one really cool moment."

Abrams also told Yahoo! that DuVernay suggested the inclusion of a moment where Rey feels the Force. He says that the the original Force Awakens cut didn’t include this shot of Rey's introspection. He explained, "this moment of [Rey] hearing the Force and thinking about what Maz had told her about closing her eyes and letting it in. And so she has this incredibly internal moment that is extended in movie time where she basically feels it, accepts it, and is now ready to kick his ass.”

Not that we needed more proof, but clearly, DuVernay understands what a female character needs to become fully realized on screen. For this crucial moment of Rey's development, and for adding to the character's complexity, it seems we can all thank her. There's no word on what's happening with Star Wars: Episode X right now, but I say we circle back around to DuVernay when the time comes.

Images: Disney; Orlok425/YouTube