Saturday, September 17, 2005


Is ET... Jesus?

By 1982, much was already being written about the secular religion (of The Force and The Darkside) that was growing with fans of the Star Wars films and the mythology into which those films tapped. But the world was not prepared for what was going to hit them in the summer of 1982 when a new film by Steven Spielberg (who had, by this time, thrilled and fascinated audiences with Jaws, Close Encounters of the Third Kind and Raiders of the Lost Ark) opened. E.T.,The Extraterrestrial tapped into even deeper archetypes, and before the year was out, it would become the most popular film of all time. On the surface, E.T. tells the simple story of a young alien mistakenly left behind on Earth, and the subsequent relationship he develops with a boy named Elliott, who shelters him, and tries to help him get back home. But, on a closer look, the film has all the markings of a retelling the central story of Christian faith. Namely, the story of Jesus. Sound crazy? Let's quickly examine the two stories side-by-side: ET arrives on Earth from the heavens and is taken in by a foster family (Elliott and his siblings). Jesus arrives on Earth from Heaven and is raised by a foster family (Mary and Joseph). While here, ET performs "miracles," he heals people; brings dead flowers back to life, with the touch of his finger, which glows bright. While here, Jesus performs miracles. He heals people with the touch of his finger and brings dead people back to life. ET's powers are hidden from the rest of the community; but his close circle of friends knows what he can do. Jesus often asks his close circle of friends to keep his identity, as the Christ, a secret. ET is helped by children. Jesus preached that "unless a person can accept the kingdom of God as a little child, he won't enter into it." ET "phones home" to contact his counterparts in the heavens. Jesus prays to contact his heavenly counterpart. When the authorities catch ET, he dies. When the authorities catch Jesus, he is put to death. ET rises from the dead and is seen for the first time, in his risen state, by the children who believe in him. As the doors to the truck, where his body was, are opened, he is seen with white flowing garments around him. Jesus rises from the dead and is seen for the first time, in his risen state, by people who believed in him. When the stone to his tomb is moved aside, in his risen state, Jesus is said to be in white garments. ET meets his mother ship (which looks a lot like a Christmas tree ornament), and ascends into the heavens. Jesus says he is going to the Father, and ascends into Heaven. Before ET leaves, he tells his closest friends to "Be Good," points to their hearts and says, "I'll be right here." Before Jesus leaves, he tells his friends, "Do unto others as you would have them do unto you," and also, "I am with you everyday, even until the end of the world." Is all this coincidence? And for that matter, was the poster for the film, which mimics the Michelangelo painting of the creation of man (replacing a close-up of God's finger and Adam's finger with those of ET's and Elliott's) also a coincidence? What do you think? Let me know.

Did Spielberg write E.T.?

I don't want to rush to conclusions...
I did a quick check...Steven Spielberg did not write the screenplay for E.T. Regardless, I think suggesting E.T. was symbolizing Jesus is a stretch.
I may be the only person on the planet who has not seen ET, so I really can't comment on the connection to Jesus. However, I do think most art (and film is art)is drawn from some deeper spiritual level. Now, whether Spielberg wrote the script or not, he still is telling a story and one that by many accounts has a deeply spiritual message of love and forgiveness. That sounds a lot like the message of Christ.
It's right there in the Gospels:

"Whosever doth not phone home shall be no disciple of mine."

"...and I shall turn the loaves into yummie candy coated peanut butter treats..."
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