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E.T. - Phone Home


This LEGO project consists of E.T. and his communicator that he used to phone home.

E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial - The Movie

E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial is a movie from 1982 directed by Steven Spielberg. It is about Elliot, a 10-year old boy, who becomes friends with an alien that he names E.T. He was accidentely left behind by his alien friends and needs to get back to the spaceship again. He then builds, with the help of Elliot, a communicator so that he can contact his friends so they can come back to Earth and pick him up. 

The Communicator 

Watching the movie E.T. as a kid I was fascinated with how E.T. could build a communicator device out of normal household items he found around him.

When E.T. is home alone he reads a comic strip about a spaceship crash landing on a planet. The pilot then uses parts of the ship to build a communicator to "phone home". This inspires E.T. to build one himself so that he can contact his friends. In the liviningroom he sees a fork, a walkie talkie, a spell and speak toy, a coffee can among others things, and he and Elliot then successfully manage to build a communicator that he can use to call the spaceship.

The communicator did of course not work in reality to contact an alien spaceship with, but it was plausible enough and it had some technology that did work. The designer of the communicator, Henri Fleiberg at Bell Labs, says in an article that he wanted through the movie to make people understand how a communicator like this might work. I think the same can be applied to this proposed LEGO set. For each part of the communicator that you build there would be a description of what the part in reality was used for and how it technically works.

The E.T. LEGO model

The model of E.T. when the neck is stretched out is 27,5 cm tall and it has several built in functions.

  • His neck can become longer by turning on a wheel at the back of him. 
  • By pushing a button on the side his chest lights up! In the movie this is called "the heart light" and is kind of a symbol of connection and empathy between individuals. 
  • The arms, hands, fingers, feet and head can be moved.

The communicator LEGO model

The communicator is a so called makeshift device and consists of several household items which I have tried to rebuild in LEGO.  For example

  • Speak & Spell toy (for sending the signals)
  • Umbrella (to create a parabolic reflector)  
  • Walkie-talkie (to send radio waves)
  • Saw blade (where the message was programmed)
  • Rope (attached to a tree branch which created wind power for the saw blade)

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