NSYNC Were Almost ‘Star Wars’ Characters in This Darth Vader Prequel

Playing Star Wars characters was all NSYNC ever wanted, maybe ever needed. And they got the opportunity. Some of the band members starred in one of the movies and filmed a few epic scenes. The only problem is, Lucasfilm cut them from the movie.

The “I Want You Back” pop stars are known for many things, but some Star Wars fans are shocked and, more so, envious. Which film was the band in?

Members of NSYNC pose for a portrait before they were asked to play Star Wars characters.
Members of NSYNC pose for a portrait | Bob Berg/Getty Images

What are the Darth Vader prequel movies?

The Darth Vader prequel trilogy consists of Episode I: The Phantom Menace, Episode II: Attack of the Clones, and Episode III: Revenge of the Sith. One of Hollywood’s most famous stars, Natalie Portman, portrayed Padme.

The trilogy reveals the preceding events to the original Star Wars films. Before Darth Vader became one of the most notorious villains in cinematic history, he was Anakin Skywalker. In Episode I, Anakin is a nine-year-old child. He meets the young Queen Padme Amidala.

Episode II takes place 10 years later, and Anakin forms a forbidden relationship with the now Senator Padme. Obi-Wan Kenobi investigates Padme’s attempted assassination. All three ultimately uncover the new threat to the Galaxy, which is the Clone Wars.

Episode III uncovers how Anakin crosses to the dark side under Palpatine’s manipulation. Padme is now pregnant with the franchise’s famous brother-sister duo, Luke and Leia Skywalker. Anakin turns on Obi-Wan, Padme dies, and Anakin assumes his new identity as Darth Vader.

Which film did NSYNC almost play ‘Star Wars’ characters?

NSYNC rose to fame by the early 2000s, releasing hits such as “Bye, Bye, Bye” and “This I Promise You.” Lucasfilm approached the band with an exciting proposition: to play Star Wars characters.

According to the Huffington Post, George Lucas and producer Rick McCallum asked NSYNC to star in Episode II. McCallum’s daughters prompted him to ask the band. While Justin Timberlake and Lance Bass declined the opportunity, Joey his brother and Steve Fatone jumped at the chance.

The NSYNC member and his brother shot two scenes in Attack of the Clones. One was a droid fight in the Geonosis battle, and one was a brief appearance alongside Obi-Wan. The Fatone brothers wore the Jedi robes and even rocked the Padawan braids.

Joey Fatone recalled their experience on the set. The crew didn’t provide them with many directions.

“They kind of paired us off; it was actually me and my brother that were kind of fighting back-to-back for the big arena scene,” Fatone described. “They basically said, ‘Pretend like you’re fighting droids.'”

So when NSYNC watched the movie, they were disappointed that the studio cut the scenes. Joey Fatone even playfully asked George Lucas, “What the hell happened?”

NSYNC were big fans of the ‘Star Wars’ movies

The entire band adored the Star Wars franchise. But Joey Fatone went above and beyond with his fan collections. His house had a whole section devoted to the epic space franchise.

Fatone collected memorabilia such as porcelain dolls and rings. He and his brother grew up playing with Star Wars toys. But his most memorable part of childhood was pretending to be a Jedi.

“The whole thing felt surreal for us,” Fatone explained about his Attack of the Clones experience. “Because of the fact that we were such huge Star Wars fans, to be able to do something like that was pretty amazing.”

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