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The cantina music in Star Wars: A New Hope is iconic. Because it sounds unlike anything else, the minute that you hear it, you know exactly where it’s from. You can picture the aliens playing their funny instruments, and you can visualize the alien creatures who had bellied up to the bar. I’m not quite sure that the “Jabba Flow” from Star Wars: The Force Awakens holds that power yet, but maybe that’s because we haven’t been exposed to it quite as much as we were to A New Hope. This might remedy that:
YouTube user UltraDangerLord uploaded the full version of “Jabba Flow,” which was written by Broadway sensation Lin-Manuel Miranda and performed by Miranda and The Force Awakens director J.J. Abrams. This comes a day after we saw the duo rap a version of the track for a Hamilton event. Well, now the duo released a full copy of the song on Star Wars Day, May 4, and now it’s available to listen to any time that you want.
It’s certainly strange. This is the music that played when Han Solo (Harrison Ford), Rey (Daisy Ridley) and Finn (John Boyega) entered Maz Kanata’s bar. Maz (Lupita Nyong’o) only wanted to know where her boyfriend, Chewbacca (Peter Mayhew), was. But before we settled on Maz, Abrams scanned the crowd and showed off a new generation of space oddities. StarWars.com shared the song, as well, but not the actual scene. For that, you have to go to your DVD or digital download. For the time being, we have J.J. Abrams explaining the collaboration on Jimmy Fallon’s talk show.
Will “Jabba Flow” ever reach the popularity of the Cantina Song from A New Hope? Unlikely. That song became an anthem for a specific generation. You can’t separate the music from the images of the aliens in the bar. In fact, here it is for 10 hours straight, on a loop!
Now the ball is back in Lin-Manuel Miranda’s court. Does he want to try and top John Williams, and pen an even-more memorable track for Star Wars: Episode VIII? “Jabba Flow” was a good start, but if we go back to Maz’s drinking establishment in Rian Johnson’s movie, we could use one more memorable tune to tap our toes to.