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The Star Wars movies are full of scenes that have become iconic and memorable in the 40 years since the series began. Near the top of any list, however, must be the cantina scene from the original film. Just mentioning it has already put the music in your head (you’re welcome). It turns out that the new film will have its own cantina scene, which may or may not actually take place in a cantina, but the music for it was not written by composer John Williams. Instead it comes from the hottest name on Broadway, the man behind Hamilton, Lin-Manuel Miranda.
The Broadway musical about the life of Alexander Hamilton has been the talk of Broadway for months. Director J.J.Abrams was able to see it recently with his son on one of his few breaks from the 900 pound gorilla that is The Force Awakens. The director recently told The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon that during the intermission, Miranda came up and introduced himself. He also made a joke that he’d be happy to write music for the cantina if it was needed. As it turned out, there was a cantina scene, (or whatever this movie’s equivalent is) that John Williams didn’t want to write so Abrams followed up with Miranda via email and offered to let him do it. What followed was a collaboration between the two that has resulted in the biggest name in music becoming part of the biggest franchise in film.
Miranda is a writer who has a tendency to break convention, as the man who brings hip-hop to a Broadway show about one of the founders of the country. Ultimately this means it is literally impossible to have any idea what kind of music we will be in for until we actually hear it. Will it actually be new music from Figrin D'an and the Modal Nodes (the band from the original Mos Eisley cantina scene)? It’s been almost 40 years but the band could still be around. They could be like the intergalactic Rolling Stones. Alternatively it could be something completely new and unique. They could be creating an entirely new genre of music within the Star Wars universe.
Abrams calls Miranda a genius so it’s obvious he was excited to be part of the collaboration. What do you think of the addition of Miranda to Star Wars musical legacy?