I can still remember very vividly the first time that I saw E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial
in the theater in 1982. I was only five years old, but I was already obsessed with movies, particularly the swashbuckling adventure films of Steven Spielberg and George Lucas, films that had (and still have!) a permanent hold on my imagination and that of almost every child I encountered at the time. E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial
was an altogether different—but equally compelling— experience. It wasn’t loud and fast like many of the films my brother and I would re-create in our suburban backyard. Instead, the film seemed to inhabit a calmer, more emotional space that was just as enthralling and engrossing to my young mind. In fact, there were times when the images on-screen seemed to spill out and into the theater where my family and I sat captivated. The story captured the spirit of my own suburban upbringing so well that it was almost as if I couldn’t tell where the film stopped and real life began. I walked out of the theater that day a completely new person. Like so many others, I was transformed by this experience, inspired by the tale of intergalactic friendship and the pure power of cinematic magic that I had witnessed.
I have revisited E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial
almost every year since its release, and its magic, wonder, and thrills still have a powerful effect on me. Beyond that, I also recognize the ways in which the themes and messages in the film resonate with me and have informed my own values as an adult. The film’s emphasis on acceptance, empathy, and showing love to those in need, no matter how different from you they may be, still rings as true today as it ever did. The character of E.T. has been recognized around the globe as a symbol of peace and understanding. E.T. was even adopted as a mascot for the Special Olympics, whose values of friendship, hope, and possibility are reflected in the lessons found in the film.
This book captures the many life lessons found in E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial
. The film shows us that it is crucial, even as adults, to maintain a sense of wonder about the possibilities of life, love, and friendship.
Copyright © 2022 by NBC Universal Media. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.