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As if having a smash-hit musical under his belt didn’t make Lin-Manuel Miranda’s year, the creator of Hamilton has another reason to enjoy 2015 — as J.J. Abrams revealed last week, Miranda also got to co-write the music for a scene in Star Wars: The Force Awakens. But how, exactly, did that none-more-zeitgeist pairing even happen?
“I was joking,” Miranda told Vulture. Abrams “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.”
He co-wrote the piece with Abrams, he said, sharing “one sort of music file that we shared back-and-forth,” without even seeing the scene he was helping to score. “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.”
The process was a “joyous collaboration,” according to Manuel. “I’d write stuff, and then he’d add stuff, and I’d take away some of his stuff and add some of mine,” he explained, saying that Abrams — who wrote the theme music for Alias, Fringe and Undercovers — is “a really wonderful musician, on top of the polymath we already know he is.”
Star Wars: The Force Awakens will be released Dec. 18. No matter how troublesome and long the lines will be for early showings, fans can rest assured that it will still be easier to see than Hamilton.