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How the Guy Who Wrote ‘Hamilton’ Got His Music in 'Star Wars: The Force Awakens’

Though it might seem like it most of the time, Star Wars: The Force Awakens is far from the only pop culture phenomenon engulfing the Internet. There’s also Hamilton, the musical from writer and star Lin-Manuel Miranda that’s become the hottest ticket on Broadway and the hottest soundtrack album on the planet over the last few months. The play is so huge that it earned Miranda a MacArthur “Genius Grant” a few months ago, as well as a spot on The Tonight Show in which he captivated America with his freestyling skills.

But even Miranda, a pop culture sensation in his own right, cannot escape the Force. During his own appearance on The Tonight Show last night, Force Awakens director J.J. Abrams revealed that, when he went to see Hamilton on Broadway, Miranda approached him at intermission and made what he thought was an amusing little joke.

“[Miranda] says, ‘Hey, if you need music for the Cantina, I’ll write it,’” Abrams said.

What Miranda didn’t know was that Abrams and company shot their own version of the unforgettable Cantina sequence from the original Star Wars, but original composer John Williams wasn’t too keen to provide incidental music for the scene. So Abrams shot Miranda an email.

“I know you were kidding, but if you actually want to write this music…,” Abrams said.

“I’ll drop everything!” Miranda replied.

A collaboration was born. Miranda’s music is in The Force Awakens and Hamilton fans are, predictably, freaking out a bit, using the hashtag #Force4Ham to combine lyrics from the musical with images from Star Wars.

Sometimes, when two fandoms collided, it’s a beautiful thing. Even Miranda still can’t believe it.

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