In Defense of: ET Being a Forgotten Film

This is the 4rd installment of a 5,257 part series on the Spew: ‘In Defense of:’. This series is meant to defend the helpless, the meek, and the bullied in our pop culture.

ET, everyone’s favorite little grey guy from the stars. Who doesn’t love ET, he is healer, a lover of candy, and just wants to go home, but not before he captures our hearts. Right?


First off, when was the last time you have seen ET? I mean the movie made a bazillion dollars, when was the last time you have seen it? On TV? In a theatrical re-release in 2002? On Blu-Ray? Exactly. It is like the movie disappeared from pop culture after 1983.

Secondly, if an alien comes down from another planet and lands here……well shit….that’s like the biggest thing that has every happened in the history of mankind. Not only should we study this creature from head to toe, we should come together as a species and help in this remarkable find. But instead, Elliot goes out of his way to deceive the good people of the US government and hides ET. Hides ET!!! The most important development in the history of mankind is being hidden away by a child. And I am supposed to be rotting for this kid? This insubordinate child who is selfishly stowing away this miracle from the human race just because he is ‘friends’ with ET? No. No way. We don’t know what this ET fella is all about? Maybe he is on a recon mission to destroy Earth and enslave us. Maybe he is poisonous and may infect every living being he gets in contact with. Maybe he is on a mission of peace and wants humans to join the intergalactic alliance and help uncover mysteries of the universe? But we will never know any of this now because of a 4th grader’s decision to keep ET away from the proper authorities. Side note: where was SETI or NORAD in all of this? Damn government waste.

Finally, and most importantly, why in the world does ET have magical powers? Oh, Elliot is hurt, well no problem, ET has a glowing finger that can heal human flesh. Huh? So now ET, some stranded pre-adult alien can control DNA to help heal scars faster? Where did that come from? Oh yeah, don’t forget when the kids were being chased around by the authorities. Uh oh, they are gaining on them, what to do? Well shit, no need to worry, let’s just start flying around on our bikes. Yeah, why not? Now ET can bend gravity and defy basic physical principles. Apparently ET is a wizard. Yes, a wizard. Merlin, Gandalf, Dumbledore, and now fuckin’ ET. At what point was it established in the narrative that ET is some magical being that can pretty much do anything he wants? And if he could do all of these things, why in the world did he need the help of those pre-pubescent kids to escape any trouble? Why not just fly around, shoot laser beams out of your eyes, flip the bird to the CIA, and return to the mother ship whenever? Is that too much? Well, so are flying bikes!!!

Anyway, ET is not an awful movie, or even a bad movie, and has maybe the greatest theme song of all time (I love you John Williams!!). But there is a reason why it has not lasted in pop culture as long as Raiders of the Lost Ark, Jurassic Park, Back to the Future, and Star Wars. It is children’s buddy movie and that’s about it. It is not deep at all and rather silly in retrospect. Don’t believe me? Watch it again. You probably haven’t seen in 20+ years.