In the classic SciFi movie Close Encounters of the Third Kind (1977) the aliens picked an everyman Roy Neary over all the government hand picked individuals.
Has it ever been revealed why they picked him?

Obsessing over Devil's Tower shape in this scene

Any source from production, direction etc. will suffice.
Aside: If his wife looks familiar she is Roberta Lincoln.

  • It wasn't just Roy that they picked, there were a lot of other people also seeing that image. However most of them either did not connect the image to the location or were intercepted by the military before they could reach there.
    – Dijkgraaf
    Jan 4, 2016 at 22:17

1 Answer 1


Production answer:

Close Encounters of the Third Kind was made when Spielberg was a young man. At the time, he did not have a family like Roy Neery does. The story was a kind of escapist adventure that he thought a downtrodden, trapped, middle age guy might want to experience. He has since said that he could not make Close Encounters at this point in his life because he would never make the choices that "he" (as Roy) did in the film.

In a 2005 interview, Spielberg stated that he made Close Encounters when he did not have children, and if he were making it today, he would never have had Neary leave his family and go on the mother ship.[24]

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Close_Encounters_of_the_Third_Kind https://web.archive.org/web/20080206185633/http://www.cinecon.com:80/news.php?id=0506281

Roy follow[s] his otherworldly dreams and leave his family behind without seemingly giving them a second thought. Now a parent, Spielberg has since said he wouldn’t have made the same choice later in his career.



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