Study Guide

E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial Friendship

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At its glowing red heart, E.T. is a film about friendship. Elliott and E.T. are a tightknit pair from wildly different backgrounds, and their bond is grounded in love, loyalty, compassion, teamwork, and even a mysterious cosmic connection. But the camaraderie doesn't stop there.

The relationship between Elliott and Michael is also important: Michael starts the film as Elliott's principal persecutor, but by the end he's his primary protector. Even Michael's goofy friends step up and lend a hand when needed. When it comes to all things E.T., these kids exhibit a youthful, almost punk rock "us against the world" sensibility.

Questions About Friendship

  1. Keys tells Elliott that he's glad that E.T. came to him first. Why do you think he feels that way? Is he being honest?
  2. How does Elliott's friendship with E.T., his brother from another extra-terrestrial mother, strengthen his friendship with his own brother, Michael?
  3. Do you think E.T. specifically sought out Elliott, or is it just a coincidence?
  4. Here's a hypothetical for you, Shmooper: You're Elliott, and you're getting married. Who's your best man: Michael or E.T.?

Chew on This

The friendships in E.T. make the claim that, simply put, you can count on kids. (Adults? Not so much.)

If they were really such good friends, E.T. would have stayed on Earth with Elliott.

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