I'm confused over what happened when E.T. appeared to die, and it was revealed that... he didn't? It appears as if he's dead, and the flowers droop and appear to die as well. And then he suddenly perks up and all is fine - he's perfectly fine and won't stop saying 'E.T phone home'. So what actually happened here? Did he die and come back to life, or what?

  • Related - scifi.stackexchange.com/questions/7271/…
    – Paulie_D
    Jul 10, 2017 at 12:02
  • I recall this being dealt with explicitly in the novelization but I'm wary of sharing my recollection of it because I haven't read it in 35(?!) years and might get it wrong. Does anybody else have a copy lying around? Jul 18, 2017 at 15:13

1 Answer 1


In the novelization by Alan Dean Foster it says that ET's ship was returning at that point and they sent an energizing beam/pulse down to his "magic" finger which resulted in a sort of jump start of his system. The novel goes into much more detail about ET's powers / abilities and how he uses them.

Also interesting, in the movie they repeatedly reference the main scientist who is hunting ET by showing closeups of the key chain hooked to his belt. ET thought those where the teeth of other aliens he had hunted.

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