A Wretched Hive of Villainy: New Star Wars Film to Feature ‘Cantina’ Scene

Director J.J. Abrams reveals The Force Awakens will feature an episode that is reminiscent of where Skywalker first meets Han Solo in the 1977 saga opener.

The new Star Wars movie (The Force Awakens) will feature a “nostalgic” scene which pay tribute to the classic episode at the Mos Eisley cantina on Tatooine, according to Abrams.

Appearing on the US Tonight show, Abrams revealed that he wrote the music for the scene with Lin-Manuel Miranda (Broadway composer) after the regular composer John Williams (who is returning to score the force awakens) turned down the opportunity. This collaboration was sparked after Abrams went to see Miranda’s award-winning musical Hamilton in New York.

“I go to see it with our son, and at an intermission, Lin-Manuel Miranda – who wrote it, conceived it and normally stars in it – comes up to me”, said Abrams. “My mind is blown because he’s so brilliant, and he says, ‘Hey, if you need music for the cantina, I’ll write it’”.

Abrams said that he was amazed that Miranda had guessed at the scene being included, which had not been made public. He emailed the musician to take up his offer, and the began exchanging files. Miranda has confirmed his involvement on Twitter by tweeting: “We did. 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.”

The Mos Eisley scene is one of the most iconic episodes in 1977’s Star Wars. Within it, Luke Skywalker (Mark Hamill) and Obi-Wan Kenobi (Alec Guinness|) walk into a bar populated by assorted humans and aliens; Skywalker is threatened by a hideously featured humanoid, and the pair eventually meet Harrison Ford’s Han Solo, who takes them off the world.

A strong candidate for ‘The Force Awakens’ “cantina” scene is an episode expected to take place at a castle that is owned by Maz Kanata, a CGI alien pirate who is played by Oscar winning Lupita Nyong’o via motion capture. Rumour has it that Kanata’s home will be a Mos Eisley-style den of iniquity.

In other Star Wars news, Ford is the first member of Abrams’ team to suggest he has seen The Force Awakens, which is widely expected to be the highest grossing film of 2015. The 73 year old actor (who reprises his role as Han Solo) appeared on Good Morning America, he described The Force Awakens as “a wonderful movie”, then adding: “It’s got great production values. It’s a real big movie, and I was delighted to see it”.

Ford said that the older Han Solo had “a more complex story now, a little more of an emotional context than perhaps there was before”, but said that the sardonic space smuggler was “still the same guy”.

For those who are willing to travel for the ultimate space opera experience, the popular Alamo Drafthouse chain has opened a Star Wars-themed cinema in Nebraska just in time for the debut of The Force Awakens. Abrams’ film opens in the UK on 17th December.

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