I loved the movie Super 8 but there is one thing I've always kind of wondered about and never really come up with a good answer to. When the space ship is gathering all the metal so it can restructure itself, it starts to pull Joe's necklace from his mom up and he holds onto it for a while but in the end lets it go. I could be mistaken, but I always had the impression that this last piece is what finally allows the ship to take off.

Was the necklace literally needed for the ship to be complete? And if so why? And if not, then it must've had some symbolic meaning.

  • 1
    Well, as to the symbolic meaning, it could simply be Joe letting go of late mother, I guess. But I'd agree that there needs to be some plot-related reason for it, too.
    – Napoleon Wilson
    Commented Dec 16, 2015 at 18:20
  • Yeah I can agree with that, it just seems like its too simple and feel like there's more to it. But maybe I'm over thinking.
    – sanpaco
    Commented Dec 16, 2015 at 18:32
  • I put it down to being a required specific type of metal as lots of other metallic items are unaffected int he scene, buttons, belts, pipes etc
    – rob
    Commented Oct 1, 2019 at 12:03

3 Answers 3


The locket wasn't needed to complete the ship, but it's symbolic in that it shows Joe is finally willing to let the past go and embrace his future without his mom.

  • I'm starting to believe it probably is just that simple. Give me a chance to re-watch the movie before I decide for sure.
    – sanpaco
    Commented Dec 17, 2015 at 0:12
  • 2
    Super 8 isn't a terribly deep movie.
    – MattD
    Commented Dec 17, 2015 at 3:39

If I remember correctly, when the alien had Joe in his arms, he told it something to the effect of that he knew a lot of bad things happened to it, but that it needed to let it go or something to that effect. So when the alien was drawing metal to the ship, it specifically chose the necklace as a way of saying the same thing to Joe.

  • I think symbolically that makes sense but not literally. The ship was attracting anything metal to it so saying it specifically chose the necklace doesn't mesh.
    – sanpaco
    Commented Feb 3, 2016 at 17:39

I suspect that the Alien, who had telepathically bonded with Joe, took that at locket as remembrance. He knew that Joe had innocent intentions. The Alien also knew of Joe's pain, and may have taken it to help him let go.

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