Fact: George Lucas paid homage to his long time friend, Steven Spielberg, by placing E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial on the Galactic Senate scene.
The year 1999 marked a significant milestone for Star Wars fans worldwide when the long-awaited prequel trilogy began with “Episode I – The Phantom Menace.” Directed by George Lucas, this film not only brought back the beloved saga but also included an unexpected surprise: a cameo appearance of E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial in the Galactic Senate scene. Steven Spielberg’s iconic character, E.T., made a delightful and heartwarming appearance that sent fans into a frenzy of excitement and nostalgia.
In “The Phantom Menace,” the ET Galactic Senate scene serves as the central governing body of the galaxy, with representatives from countless planets and species convening to discuss matters that affect the entire universe. During one of the scenes set in the Senate, as the camera pans through the gathering of alien races, an unmistakable delegation of E.T.’s species can be spotted, evoking a sense of wonder and amusement among observant viewers.
The inclusion of E.T.’s species in the Senate scene was not merely a random choice; it was a heartfelt tribute from George Lucas to his dear friend and fellow filmmaker, Steven Spielberg. The two legendary directors have been close friends for decades and have greatly influenced each other’s work throughout their careers.
In 1982, Spielberg’s science fiction masterpiece, “E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial,” touched the hearts of millions around the world. The story of a young boy named Elliott befriending a gentle extraterrestrial, E.T., captivated audiences with its emotional depth, sense of wonder, and themes of friendship, loyalty, and family. The film became a cultural phenomenon and is still celebrated as one of the greatest films in cinema history.
Lucas and Spielberg have shared a unique friendship, stemming from their days as young and ambitious filmmakers. Their bond was solidified when Spielberg directed “Raiders of the Lost Ark,” produced by Lucas, which marked the beginning of the beloved Indiana Jones franchise. Their collaborations continued over the years, and Spielberg’s influence can be seen in certain aspects of the Star Wars saga.
When crafting “The Phantom Menace,” George Lucas took the opportunity to pay homage to his dear friend and the impact of “E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial” on popular culture. The cameo appearance was an affectionate nod to Spielberg’s groundbreaking work and the enduring legacy of E.T., further solidifying the unique bond between the two renowned filmmakers.
Upon the release of “The Phantom Menace,” fans were delighted to spot E.T.’s species in the Galactic Senate. The cameo not only brought back cherished memories of E.T.’s adventures but also served as a reminder of the camaraderie shared between George Lucas and Steven Spielberg. The inclusion of this beloved character added an extra layer of magic to the already highly anticipated film.
“Star Wars: Episode I – The Phantom Menace” not only introduced a new chapter in the Star Wars saga but also celebrated the enduring friendship and influence between two of Hollywood’s most visionary filmmakers, George Lucas and Steven Spielberg. The delightful cameo appearance of ET the Phantom Menace in the Galactic Senate scene remains a heartwarming testament to the lasting impact of “E.T.” on popular culture and the enduring bond between two cinematic legends. It stands as a reminder that great movies not only entertain but also foster connections that span galaxies and generations
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Remembering that time E.T. served in Star Wars’ Galactic Senate. (2022, June 13). Yahoo Sports. https://sports.yahoo.com/remembering-time-e-t-served-143451263.html#:~:text=E.T.%20%E2%80%94%20or%20more%20accurately%2C%20members
Why Does E.T. Make A Cameo In Star Wars: Episode I – The Phantom Menace? (n.d.). Ranker. Retrieved July 21, 2023, from https://www.ranker.com/list/explanation-for-et-cameo-in-the-phantom-menace/zack-howe