J.J. Abrams, Lin-Manuel Miranda Worked on 'Star Wars' Cantina Music - Rolling Stone
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J.J. Abrams, Lin-Manuel Miranda Collaborated on ‘Star Wars’ Cantina Music

Director recruits ‘Hamilton’ mastermind after John Williams passes on composing music for cantina sequence

As the Star Wars: The Force AwakensDecember 18th release date approaches, more details about the much anticipated film come to light. Director J.J. Abrams appeared on The Tonight Show Monday and revealed Episode VII will include a cantina scene – much like the beloved A New Hope sequence – that features music he co-wrote with Lin-Manuel Miranda, the mastermind behind Broadway’s hottest show Hamilton.

As Abrams told Jimmy Fallon, the director and Miranda had a chance meeting at a Hamilton matinee, where the latter jokingly offered his services on the cantina scene’s music. Unbeknownst to Miranda, Star Wars‘ legendary composer John Williams requested to not create the music for that scene in the new film.

“I end up emailing Lin Miranda and I say ‘I know you were kidding but if you actually want to write this music, I’m actually working on something…’ He’s like, ‘I’ll drop everything.’ By the way, I saw him on your show, and it was probably the best television I’ve seen in 10 years,” Abrams said. “Anyway, he and I were sending back and forth music files, he’s singing and playing instruments, and now in the movie, in this one sequence, is music that me and Lin-Manuel Miranda wrote.”

Miranda confirmed the collaboration in a tweet, “Worked on it between 6pm & 7:30 on 2 show days for the past 2 months. JJ is the best. Can’t wait to see.”

During his Tonight Show appearance, Abrams also told Fallon that he literally broke his back in an effort to prevent Harrison Ford from breaking his leg in an on-set accident:


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