Question: Would moving a character's introduction up to an earlier point in a work count? It's not so much a cameo, since they play a role, but the wording on the page is ambiguous (and actually seems like it would count).
I was earlier in favor of trying to clean this up, but now I think a merge would be a better way to remedy misuse. Only "Type 2" should be merged with Chekhov's Gunman, though; I would place "Type 1" examples under Continuity Cameo instead.
""However it is exactly what name suggests. It says nothing about adaptation, it says about cameo of an early bird. I think such counter-intuitive name should be changed."
What is this paragraph trying to say? It contradicts both itself and the article."
No, they were saying that the name "Early Bird Cameo" suggests nothing about adaptation and is counter-intuitive. "It" meant the sense in which it was being misused. The sense in which it's being misused is exactly what the name suggests.
If you broaden it, doesn't the distinction between it and Checkovs Gunman become rather difficult?
As it is, it seems to be somewhat restricted to visual media (comics/tv). My understanding would be this.
if Boba Fett appeared in the Tantooine cantina, it would be an Early-Bird Cameo
If say, the guy who got his arm cut off came back later, it would be Chekhov's Gunman.
The thing is, it seems like it would be almost impossible to have an early bird cameo in literature(expect maybe for writers given to really lavish scene description) because you don't normally mention the backgound other than as needed. So any character mentioned would pretty much become a gunman.
I think the line is still there and fairly solid, it's that a Chekhov's Gunman is a minor character introduced early and later goes on to have a more important role in the story. Early-Bird Cameo is a nameless, nondescript individual who "early bird cameo" only becomes notable retroactively when they have a more important role.
A good example is Ultra Magnus in Transformers Prime, who is seen in the Decepticon database as a false "Optimus Prime" and later shows up himself a season later. Because he was not named it was viewed as a Mythology Gag and many were not anticipating he would show up (the fact he had original toys was a bigger giveaway).
I disagree with broadening beyond adaptations. This seems to me like a clear-cut trope that needs maintenance and possibly a rename.
Should we consider broadening this to include stuff like tech rather than just characters? I ask because of 007: From Russia with Love the game of the movie which has several later Bond gadgets turn up.
The problem with that is adaptations can change many things, including the introduction of a character. Then we get works that have been adapted many times, many ways, like Dracula and Frankenstein. Which makes more sense, requiring the editor to be familiar with the work they're talking about, or with the entire history of the work?
Broaden the trope to cover not just adaptations; the new definition would be "An Early-Bird Cameo is when characters appear chronologically earlier than their introduction."
Split off a newly named trope for adaptations; the new definition would be "The adaptation introduces a story element earlier than original work did."
Cut the definition of "Characters who will appear in a soon-to-be-made future work make a cameo appearance in a currently-made one." and put any examples of that definition under Production Foreshadowing.