E.T. Almost Got A Second Star Wars Cameo In Revenge Of The Sith

It's a longstanding tradition for George Lucas to put Steven Spielberg's characters into his movies and for Spielberg to put Lucas characters in his movies. In the Well of Souls sequence in "Raiders of the Lost Ark," R2-D2 and C-3PO can be glimpsed carved into a pillar behind Indy, and the kids in both "Poltergeist" and "E.T." have "Star Wars" toys, posters, and bedsheets. 

So, it only made sense when Lucas decided to put a few aliens from E.T.'s planet in one of the senate scenes in "The Phantom Menace." Why not? Most "Star Wars" fans know that little easter egg, but what's not so common knowledge is that Lucas came very close to bringing more "E.T." aliens into the prequels, specifically for the opera scene in "Revenge of the Sith."

No, E.T. wasn't going to appear as Darth Plagueis the Wise in a flashback while Ian McDiarmid masterfully delivered probably the best monologue in all the prequels, but he would have appeared in that scene, which Lucas imagined as being kind of a high-end Las Vegas show featuring floating bubbles with Mon Calamari dancers inside them.

Lucas wanted this scene to show a variety of alien life, especially well-to-do alien life, which could explain why this is also where the "Star Wars" creator chose to have his own cameo, playing the unfortunately named Baron Papanoida. He wanted every single outfit we see during this sequence and the walk up to the entrance to be designed to the Nth degree and also demanded space limos be seen offloading the rich and powerful for this big scene.

Justice for Canto Bight

Funnily enough, his thought to include more "E.T." aliens in this scene was to undercut the glitz and glamor on display. He suggested showing "some E.T.s in the opera seats, throwing popcorn." 

This was all revealed in J.W. Rinzler's "The Making of Revenge of the Sith," published when the final prequel was released.

Now, E.T.s acting up sounds fun and all, but I almost wish Lucas would have thought to have gone the extra step and done another Amblin creature. If he wanted some rowdy creatures, why not go full-on Gremlins? Would that be a step too far? Maybe, especially for this scene, which I reiterate is probably the best-written and acted scene in the entire prequel trilogy, but I don't think it's any more ridiculous to throw the Gremlins a bone than it is to show a bunch of E.T.s. 

Also, for the record, I know many of you love "Revenge of the Sith" and consider it not only the best prequel, but even the best "Star Wars" movie. I'm happy that you're happy, but if you love this movie and this scene, but you crap on "The Last Jedi" because you think "Canto Bight is stupid," then I kindly refer you to this being Lucas's Las Vegas scene with space limos and blue-faced director cameos. It's just as ludicrous, so maybe cut Canto Bight a little slack, please and thank you.