Lin-Manuel Miranda Reveals His ‘Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker’ Role

Lin-Manuel Miranda has a lot going on in 2019. He stars on His Dark Materials on HBO. He’s writing music for the live-action Little Mermaid movie. The trailer for his musical In the Heights has dropped. And now he’s revealed he also worked on Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker.

Lin-Manuel Miranda
Lin-Manuel Miranda | Roy Rochlin/Getty Images)

The Rise of Skywalker had its premiere on Monday, December 16 and screened for press on Tuesday, December 17. Some viewers spotted Lin-Manuel Miranda’s name in the credits. The full credits are not available online yet, but some Twitter users asked Miranda about his role in the film and he confirmed it. Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker opens Friday, December 20 with Thursday night preview shows the 19th.

Lin-Manuel Miranda’s history with ‘Star Wars’

Back in 2015, Lin-Manuel Miranda wrote music for J.J. Abrams’ previous Star Wars movie, The Force Awakens. It was for a cantina scene. The Mos Eisley cantina in Episode IV: A New Hope set the scene for all the various creatures Luke Skywalker (Mark Hamill) would encounter in a galaxy far, far away. Miranda got to do his own take on a “wretched hive of scum and villainy.” And he did this while he was still performing in Hamilton.

“Worked on it between 6pm & 7:30 on 2 show days for the past 2 months,” Miranda tweeted in 2015. “JJ is the best. Can’t wait to see.”

It’s not an acting role

Speculation has abounded that Lin-Manuel Miranda would appear in Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker. Since Daniel Craig and Princes William and Harry played Storm Troopers, many suspected Miranda might have another such hidden cameo.

Miranda revealed that his role in Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker is not in front of the camera. It is behind the scenes, writing music again. 

Lin-Manuel Miranda wrote a different sort of music for ‘The Rise of Skywalker’

Lin-Manuel Miranda’s score for Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker wasn’t cantina music. He teased where you can hear his new music, and even he hasn’t seen the final film yet.

“NOW IT CAN BE TOLD??” Miranda tweeted. “@jjabrams & I wrote a lil music for a planet in #TheRiseofSkywalker. It’s got a nice beat & you can dance to it. Can’t wait to see it this weekend.”

Where to listen for music in ‘The Rise of Skywalker’

John Williams still composed the score for Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker as he has for all the previous live-action films except for Rogue One and Solo You’ll definitely recognize Williams’ sound. Many of the classic Star Wars themes appear in The Rise of Skywalker like the Empire theme, the opening crawl and of course the end titles. New music still sounds utterly John Williams.

Daisy Ridley in The Rise of Skywalker
Daisy Ridley in Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker | Disney/Lucasfilm Ltd.

So where could Lin-Manuel Miranda’s music be? One strong contender is a sequence called The Festival of Ancestors. Rey (Daisy Ridley), Finn (John Boyega) and Poe (Oscar Isaac) visit a massive street festival on one planet. There are so many intergalactic cultures in that, perhaps Miranda provided some of his musical background for some of those new sounds.

Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker
Finn (John Boyega) and Poe (Oscar Isaac) | Lucasfilm/Disney

The Rise of Skywalker also travels to new environments in the galaxy far, far away. As the trailer shows, Rey and Kylo Ren (Adam Driver) battle amidst giant waves. Another scene has the heroes sink in new terrain. They venture into dark places to obtain an important artifact before Kylo Ren can get his hands on it. Maybe after The Rise of Skywalker is in theaters, Lin-Manuel Miranda will reveal which scene features his music.