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Editorials

1997-1998 - 1999 - 2000 - 2001 - 2002+



Move Over Jar Jar


Today, interesting rumors about Episode II were confirmed. After almost 3 weeks of speculation that was easily dismissed as totally impossible, the original rumors about a new cameo were confirmed. N'Sync will appear in Episode II.

As of this writing, Lucasfilm has indeed confirmed that the boy band singers appear in the film in a big extra scene, and that it will last a fleeting moment. There is no official word on them being killed in the film. There is no mention of really much more. Fans have posted a myriad of thoughts and reaction to the confirmation today in the spoiler forum for Lucasfilm to read and it has quickly grown to almost 25 pages. We've even started a new FAN SPEAK which will undoubted grow to be the largest ever.

We quickly polled some of the staff for reaction. Here's their thoughts:

Sebastian: I don't think it's that big a deal if it's not being used as a marketing tool. And even if it is, it's not going to ruin the movie, there's plenty of great stuff to see. It's not worth going and burning collections, as some people have threatened to do. They probably won't be noticible unless you know exactly what to look for. It's not like they're singing.

They're fans getting to live out every fan's dream. That being said, if LFL are allowing NSync in for the sole reason that they're fans, how about holding some sort of competition to let other fans in. There are thousands of fans out there who spend hours creating fan art, writing fan fiction, hunting down merchandise, and discussing every little piece of Star Wars lore. Even if only one of those fans got to be in a background shot of Episode III for half a second, it'd be a memory they'd cherish forever. A competition which didn't have any sort of entry requirements; just a love of Star Wars. Maybe fans could send in ticket stubs from AOTC screenings as entries. Just a thought...

Chris: For the most part, I'm glad to see them given this opportunity. They're living out just about every guy's dream of being in a Star Wars movie, for however briefly. I wish them all the best! Hey, the Beatles made it into an episode of "Doctor Who", so why not N'Sync in Episode II? My only real beef is that the Beatles were a group so magnificent, they're beyond classical. No matter how many times can the same Beatles music be packaged, it still sells! And truthfully, it's hard to see N'Sync arriving at that kind of cultural impact. The group is riding the crest now... but will we ever catch ourselves singing their tunes 10 or 20 years from now? As a consequence, this does open up Star Wars to criticism that it's no longer striving for timelessness. I sincerely wish N'Sync good luck in Episode II, but in some ways this is tantamount to digitally inserting New Kids On The Block into "The Wizard Of Oz".

Scott: I, like many of you, was disturbed to hear that 'NSYNC was going to appear in Episode II. I don't have anything against the group, but I don't like the cameos in general. I find them really distracting. In Episode I, we saw Warwick Davis, Ben Burtt, Rick McCallum, Dan Madsen, and even E.T.. Every time one of them appeared in a cameo, it totally pulled me out of the Star Wars Universe. I found myself watching them rather than following what was happening in the scene. Now, every time I watch Episode II, I'm going to know 'NSYNC is lurking in the backround. Also, the fact that they're appearing in the film makes it look like Lucas is selling out (whether he is or he isn't). He alienated (no pun intended) a lot of fans with Jar Jar. He can't afford to alienate more with something like this. On the other hand, they probably won't be visible at all. I wouldn't know those guys on the street if I saw them. I certainly won't recognize them in a battle scene during the film. And if they're Star Wars fans as I've heard they are, it is a cool opportunity for them. I can't begrudge a fan for getting a chance to appear in a Star Wars film even if they are an annoying boy band. If their addition is the biggest complaint about the film, then I can live with that. What does baffle me is why Lucasfilm wouldn't let Decipher have a contest to let a fan be an extra in the film, but they're lining up 'NSYNC without a second thought.

Jeff: If I could call Rick McCallum or George Lucas up on the phone, I would ask to be in Episode II too. If he said yes, I would take anything they gave me, even a Jedi Knight used for target practice. I don't have a problem with anyone getting a small role in the film through contacts if they fit the script. Congrats to NSync for scoring a very cool role.

Joshua: Star Wars loses a lot of credibility with this move. I still am kind of in shock, so my reaction may be in part due to that. Simply put, I do think this is a terrible idea. Oddly enough, despite chronicling the Hidden Images and Cameos of Episode I for TheForce.Net (click here for it) and actively pursuing insiders to confirm this original bizarre N'Sync story (which is why we posted it back in December), I really totally dislike cameos as a general rule. The problem is, they take me out of the universe. Leave me there, let my mind go, I want to be there, not here. Cast unknowns so I don't have much previous baggage. Oh, some of the cameos are very clever and even funny. Jar Jar getting kicked in the nads in Watto's shop is hilarious, and most people don't even know that Rick, Ben and John amongst scores of other familiar faces are in Menace. But I do, and it takes away some of the magic. If I had any say I would remove all cameos, even killing the ETs in the Senate scene of TPM. I would remove N*Sync from Episode II without question, if only to further the myth that is Star Wars. Not because they are a boy band, no, because they take me back to the reality that I have departed from when I see the words "a long time ago, in a galaxy far, far, away." In fact, despite the fact that Mace Windu is an excellent character, I would rather have an angry unknown come fill the role rather than see Shaft/Unbreakable/KangarooHat when I see him. I'm sorry, but this is tacky. It feels wrong. Terribly wrong. Horrible images of New Kids on the Block and Vanilla Ice run through my mind carrying lightsabers. Overreaction? Absolutely, but Episode II has the chance to really take Star Wars forward, and I hate to see it take one back, which I feel this is. Many are already critical and even cynical enough of the franchise, why give them ammunition? Why alienate and abandon the fans of the films?

TheForce.net Editorial Staff
January 3rd, 2002

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