J.J. Abrams, the director of the year’s most anticipated film Star Wars: The Force Awakens, recently revealed that he collaborated with Lin-Manuel Miranda, creator of the year’s hottest Broadway show Hamilton, on the cantina scene’s music in the upcoming blockbuster. In a new interview, Miranda shared some more details about the sequence, which is a callback to the original Star Wars film in 1977.
“The way J.J. told it on The Tonight Show is how it happened,” Miranda told Vulture, confirming that he met Abrams randomly during a matinee of his Broadway show. “I was joking. He said he loved Hamilton and its music. And I said, ‘Well, if you need a cantina scene, some cantina music, let me know.’ And he took me up on it. We wrote the song together. We had one sort of music file that we shared back-and-forth. I’d write stuff, and then he’d add stuff, and I’d take away some of his stuff and add some of mine. It was a joyous collaboration.”
However, given the secretive nature of The Force Awakens, Miranda wasn’t even allowed to see the scene that he was composing. Instead, he used the sequence’s temporary music as a basis without a visual aid. “I haven’t even seen the scene I scored,” Miranda said. “J.J. just sent me the temp music they scored to, I started with that beats per minute, that tempo, and then we just started writing from there.” As Abrams told The Tonight Show, composer John Williams opted not to create the cantina music, opening the door for Miranda to assist.
With just 11 days until The Force Awakens arrives in theaters, Miranda said he still hasn’t seen the film or the finished product of his scene, but promises he’ll be among the masses in attendance when the film opens December 18th following a performance of Hamilton, whose cast recording landed on Rolling Stone‘s list of the 50 Best Albums of 2015.