E.T. The Extraterrestrial - Spielberg's greatest alien film about being human

01 June 2023
E.T. The Extraterrestrial, directed by Steven Spielberg and released in 1982, is a heartwarming science fiction film that has captured the imaginations of audiences worldwide. The story revolves around a young boy named Elliott who befriends an extraterrestrial creature stranded on Earth. Together, Elliott and his friends and scream queen Dee Williams embark on a journey to help E.T. return home while facing various challenges and evading government authorities. The film's captivating narrative, memorable characters, and brilliant storytelling have made it a timeless classic.

It was the damn scariest film I ever saw as a kid!

It's become known as one of Spielberg's best-known alien films - which at its heart is about humanity and a little boy making a friend to ride his BMX with. 

In E.T. The Extraterrestrial, several powerful themes are explored, resonating with audiences on both an emotional and intellectual level. These themes delve into human connections, friendship, the power of empathy, the fear of the unknown, and the acceptance of differences. 

By delving into these themes, the film invites viewers to reflect upon their own lives and relationships, making E.T. an enduring piece of cinema that transcends its sci-fi origins and became an international hit. 

e.t. the extraterrestrial

Friendship and Connection

One of the central themes in E.T. The Extraterrestrial is the profound friendship that develops between the young boy Elliott and the extraterrestrial creature, E.T. From the moment Elliott Taylor discovers E.T. hiding in his backyard shed, a unique bond begins to form. Initially, Elliott is frightened by the alien's presence, but curiosity and empathy lead him to approach E.T. with kindness and compassion. This act of reaching out marks the beginning of a deep and extraordinary friendship.

As the film progresses, the emotional bond between Elliott and E.T. strengthens, transcending the barriers of language and species. Through their interactions, Spielberg portrays a pure and unconditional love that surpasses the realms of human comprehension. The scenes where Elliott and E.T. communicate, share experiences, and even feel each other's emotions resonate with audiences, highlighting the profound connection that can be formed between beings, regardless of their origins.

E.T. The Extraterrestrial serves as a metaphorical exploration of the universal human need for connection and understanding. The film invites viewers to consider the possibility of meaningful relationships beyond the boundaries of humanity. By presenting E.T. as a relatable character, capable of experiencing emotions, longing for home, and forming deep connections, the movie challenges our preconceived notions of what it means to be human and encourages us to embrace the unfamiliar.

government agents chase eliot e.t. the extraterrestrial

Innocence and Wonder

E.T. The Extraterrestrial beautifully captures the essence of childhood innocence through its young protagonist, Elliott, and the other children in the film. Spielberg portrays their curiosity, imagination, and boundless sense of wonder with authenticity, reminding viewers of the magic inherent in the early stages of life. Through Elliott's character, we witness the power of youthful innocence to overcome obstacles and foster profound connections.

E.T., as an extraterrestrial visitor, embodies a sense of wonder and fascination with Earth. The film showcases E.T.'s childlike curiosity as he explores the world around him, marveling at its ordinary wonders like flowers, household objects, and even television. Through E.T.'s perspective, Spielberg reminds us of the beauty and awe-inspiring qualities of our own planet, often taken for granted in our daily lives.

As E.T. interacts with Elliott and his friends like Gertie (Drew Barrymore), we witness a profound shift in their perception of the world. The presence of E.T. encourages the children to rediscover their surroundings through fresh eyes, rekindling their own sense of wonder. Mundane objects (dead geraniums) and experiences are transformed into sources of joy and amazement, reminding viewers of the transformative power of embracing childlike innocence and curiosity.

E.T. paints a vivid picture of the magic and enchantment of childhood. Spielberg captures the freedom, imagination, and resilience of children, highlighting their ability to find beauty and wonder even in the face of adversity. The film reminds us of the importance of preserving and nurturing our own inner child, as it is through this lens that we can fully appreciate the extraordinary and magical aspects of life.

et dead flowers gernaniums
Drew Barrymore's natural love shines through


E.T. The Extraterrestrial explores the theme of acceptance and otherness through the lens of the fear and curiosity surrounding the unknown, represented by the character of E.T. Initially when Elliott and his friends discover the alien, there is a natural sense of fear and uncertainty. The unknown and unfamiliar elicit both intrigue and trepidation, reflecting the human tendency to react with caution when confronted with something outside our understanding.

The film also examines society's reaction to E.T. and the unknown. 

The government and its secretive and scary agents are portrayed as figures of authority who view E.T. as a potential threat, leading to an atmosphere of mistrust and the pursuit of control. This portrayal sheds light on how societies often respond to the unfamiliar with suspicion and the desire to maintain the status quo, showcasing the challenges faced by those who deviate from societal norms.

Throughout the film, E.T. gradually becomes accepted and understood by Elliott and his friends, highlighting the theme of acceptance and understanding of differences. As they spend time with E.T., they come to recognize his inherent goodness, intelligence, and vulnerability. This process fosters a sense of empathy and compassion, allowing them to look beyond superficial differences and embrace the fundamental humanity in E.T., despite his extraterrestrial origins.

Home and Belonging

In E.T. The Extraterrestrial, the theme of home and belonging is poignantly depicted through E.T.'s longing for his home planet (Phone Home!) and his desire to reunite with his species. 

E.T. is portrayed as a creature far away from his familiar surroundings, separated from his family and his place of origin. Throughout the film, E.T. exhibits a deep yearning to return to his own kind, emphasizing the universal human desire for a sense of belonging and connection to our roots.

Elliott forms an emotional bond with the alien and becomes determined to protect him and help him find his way back home. Elliott's journey is driven by a sense of empathy and understanding, as he recognizes the importance of finding a place where one truly belongs. His actions reflect the human instinct to care for and support those in need, even if they are vastly different from us.

E.T. The Extraterrestrial explores the concept of home and where one truly belongs. Through E.T.'s experiences on Earth, the film raises questions about what makes a place feel like home and the emotional attachment we develop to our surroundings. It prompts viewers to reflect on their own sense of belonging and the significance of finding a place where one feels accepted, loved, and understood.

The theme of home and belonging is further reinforced through the power of love and family in the film. As Elliott and his friends rally together to protect and support E.T., they create a makeshift family that transcends conventional definitions. The film portrays the notion that family is not solely defined by blood relations but can be formed through the bonds of love, compassion, and shared experiences.

This portrayal highlights the importance of finding a sense of belonging and connection, even if it means stepping beyond traditional notions of family.

Conclusion on the themes of E.T. The Extraterrestial

E.T. The Extraterrestrial, through its exploration of friendship, innocence, acceptance, and home, presents a rich tapestry of themes that resonate with audiences of all ages. The film beautifully captures the human experience and the universal desires for connection, understanding, and a place to call home. Steven Spielberg's masterful storytelling, coupled with exceptional performances and iconic imagery, has cemented E.T. The Extraterrestrial as a timeless classic that continues to touch hearts and inspire generations.

In conclusion, the themes of E.T. The Extraterrestrial illuminate the power of friendship, the wonder of childhood innocence, the importance of acceptance, and the longing for home and belonging. Through the journey of Elliott and E.T., the film reminds us of the profound impact that relationships, empathy, and a sense of place have on our lives. E.T. The Extraterrestrial serves as a testament to the enduring human spirit and our innate yearning for connection, love, and a place to call home.


Post a Comment

Powered by Blogger.

About the author Jimmy Jangles

My name is Jimmy Jangles, the founder of The Astromech. I have always been fascinated by the world of science fiction, especially the Star Wars universe, and I created this website to share my love for it with fellow fans.

At The Astromech, you can expect to find a variety of articles, reviews, and analysis related to science fiction, including books, movies, TV, and games.
From exploring the latest news and theories to discussing the classics, I aim to provide entertaining and informative content for all fans of the genre.

Whether you are a die-hard Star Trek fan or simply curious about the world of science fiction, The Astromech has something for everyone. So, sit back, relax, and join me on this journey through the stars!
Back to Top