After 20 Years, NSYNC Reveals Why ‘Star Wars’ Cameo Was Scrapped

in Star Wars

battle of geonosis in star wars episode II attack of the clones

Credit: Lucasfilm

If you were a teen or tween girl growing up in the late 1990s and early 2000s, there was one major question you needed to answer in life — NSYNC or The Backstreet Boys? The battle of the boy bands was serious stuff and both of the “big guns” had their fair share of pop culture appearances.

nsync publicity shot
Credit: Jive Records

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Now, NSYNC’s Joey Fatone — who was in the “Bye Bye Bye” singing group with Justin Timberlake, JC Chasez, Lance Bass, and Chris Kirkpatrick — has shared details about why a Star Wars movie cameo was ultimately left on the cutting room floor.

mace windu and jango fett attack of the clones
Credit: Lucasfilm

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Members of NSYNC were supposed to appear in George Lucas’s second prequel trilogy film, Star Wars: Episode II – Attack of the Clones (2002). A recent article explained:

Joey Fatone, his brother Steve, and bandmates Chris Kirkpatrick and JC Chasez recorded two scenes as Jedi, including a lightsaber-wielding fight scene alongside hundreds of other Jedi extras during the Battle of Geonosis. (Lance Bass and Justin Timberlake were reportedly too weary from NSYNC’s PopOdyssey tour to film their Star Wars cameos.)

Anakin and Padme, Star Wars Episode II: Attack of the Clones
Credit: Lucasfilm

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Per Fatone’s comments during a panel at Fandemic Tour Atlanta, there were legal reasons NSYNC’s cameo was scrapped before Attack of the Clones hit theaters:

“I wasn’t in it. They cut us out. There was a whole big rumor about NSYNC being in Star Wars: Attack of the Clones. Some of us actually were, but then they cut it out because we were [SAG-AFTRA members]. Usually, they have to pay the SAG rights to it. We only signed a confidential thing — which we didn’t say anything — but they had to cut us out of it.”

You can watch the boy band superstar’s full commentary below:

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Although NSYNC never got a chance to be part of the Star Wars franchise, several prequel trilogy stars are set to return in Deborah Chow’s upcoming Obi-Wan Kenobi series, which is set to debut on May 25, 2022 on Disney+.

star wars attack of the clones obi-wan kenobi
Credit: Lucasfilm

The series is set to follow McGregor’s Jedi Master Obi-Wan Kenobi about eight years after the events of Star Wars: Episode III – Revenge of the Sith (2005), including the execution of Emperor Palpatine’s Order 66.

obi wan kenobi full casting
Credit: Lucasfilm

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In addition to Ewan McGregor (Obi-Wan Kenobi) and Hayden Christensen (Darth Vader/Anakin Skywalker), Bonnie Piesse and Joel Edgerton are set to reprise their roles as Luke’s Aunt Beru and Uncle Owen Lars, while newcomers like Moses Ingram, Kumail Nanjiani, Indira VarmaRupert Friend, O’Shea Jackson Jr., and Sung Kang will join the Star Wars story for the first time.

More on Star Wars: Episode II – Attack of the Clones

anakin skywalker (right) kissing padme amidala (right) on taboo in star wars attack of the clones
Credit: Lucasfilm

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The official description of Attack of the Clones reads:

Watch the seeds of Anakin Skywalker’s transformation take root in Star Wars: Episode II – Attack of the Clones. Ten years after the invasion of Naboo, the galaxy is on the brink of civil war. Under the leadership of a renegade Jedi named Count Dooku, thousands of solar systems threaten to break away from the Galactic Republic. 

When an assassination attempt is made on Senator Padme Amidala, the former Queen of Naboo, twenty-year-old Jedi apprentice Anakin Skywalker is assigned to protect her. In the course of his mission, Anakin discovers his love for Padme as well as his own darker side. 

Soon, Anakin, Padme, and Obi-Wan Kenobi are drawn into the heart of the Separatist movement and the beginning of the Clone Wars. 

What do you think about NSYNC’s scrapped Star Wars appearance?

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