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The Easter Egg That Proves Star Wars And E.T. Take Place In The Same Universe

The beloved classic E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial never let us in on exactly what part of the universe its titular lovable, home-phoning alien hailed from — but we're pretty sure we've narrowed it down to one specific galaxy far, far away.

A seemingly throwaway gag in the 1982 film strongly implies that E.T. is familiar with the unnamed species of Force-sensitive beings to which Jedi Master Yoda belongs — and a blink-and-you'll-miss-it scene from Star Wars: The Phantom Menace, released 17 years later, confirms that E.T.'s home planet must reside in that same galaxy which is home to the Skywalker family, the Galactic Empire, and the ages-old conflict between the Jedi and Sith.

It's fairly common knowledge that Star Wars creator George Lucas and E.T. director Steven Spielberg are buddies and sometime collaborators. Together, they shepherded the Indiana Jones film series to the screen, and each has been known to sneak sly references to the work of the other in their respective films. The E.T.-Star Wars crossover, though, is the only instance we know of in which one of them dropped an Easter egg which was later acknowledged by the other.

Yoda reminds E.T. of home in E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial

Midway through E.T., Elliott (Henry Thomas) and his brother Michael (Robert MacNaughton) have to think of a plan to sneak the friendly alien out of their house and into the forest, so that the little guy can attempt to make his long-distance call. Fortunately, it happens to be Halloween — and, dressing him up in a simple, Charlie Brown-like sheet with eyeholes, the brothers guide E.T. through a gauntlet of trick-or-treaters en route to their destination.

One of these kids is wearing a lifelike rubber Yoda mask, which in and of itself was a pretty neat trick — remember, the character had only been introduced two years earlier, in Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back. When E.T. catches sight of this kid, though, he reacts... strongly. He attempts to engage the faux-Yoda over the protests of Elliott and Michael, all the while excitedly repeating one of the only words he knows: "Home!"

It's a pretty inspired gag, but it's easy to chalk E.T.'s excitement up to confusion; after all, Yoda is green and weird-looking, the little guy is super homesick, and perhaps this kid in his mask just vaguely resembles another alien species with which E.T. is familiar. At least, that's how we would have read the whole thing if George Lucas hadn't later made it explicit that not only is E.T.'s species native to the Star Wars galaxy, but they're even active in its political workings.

The crossover was confirmed by Star Wars: The Phantom Menace

1999's Star Wars: The Phantom Menace might not exactly be everybody's favorite installment in the franchise, but it had its share of memorable moments — none of which had to do with trade embargoes and debates taking place on the floor of the Senate. During one of those debates, though, sharp-eyed viewers could make out a trio of very interesting delegates: three members of E.T.'s species, capering about and waving their arms as the Senate erupts into chaos over Queen Amidala's suggestion of holding a vote to appoint a new Chancellor.

Obviously, this seems to confirm beyond a doubt that E.T.'s species calls the Star Wars galaxy home — but some fans have gone so far as to suggest that it also implies something else. You'll remember that in E.T., the little alien demonstrated a number of seemingly paranormal abilities, including telekinesis. Heck, remember when he made all of those bikes fly so that Elliott and his friends could escape the pursuing authorities? Sure you do, it's an iconic scene — but what if E.T. wasn't using any garden-variety telekinesis, but something else? Could he have been... using the Force? Is E.T. a freaking Jedi?

Well, Lucas isn't in the Star Wars business anymore, and Spielberg seems unlikely to give us one of those super-belated sequels to address the question, so we'll probably never know for sure — which is a shame. We can picture E.T. Part II now: the little dude returns to Earth to complete his botanical research, only to once again be hassled and pursued by clueless authority figures. This time, though, he doesn't make the mistake of forgetting his lightsaber on the mother ship. Now, that's the kind of crossover we could really get behind.