In E.T.: the Extra-Terrestrial, the titular character acts pretty immaturely at times.

For example, he

  • follows a random, obviously planted candy trail, on a hostile planet,

    Elliot leaving a trail of Reese's Pieces

  • drinks alcohol without understanding the repercussions,

    E.T. drinking beer

  • and gets super-emotionally invested in a movie, to the point of subconsciously using a psychic link to get someone to recreate a scene from it.

    Elliot kissing his classmate

Canonically, was he young or immature, or was he just a member of a fairly naïve species?

  • 11
    1. Who doesn't eat trails of mysterious candy? 2. His planet probably doesn't have Coors, so he didn't know it was alcohol (because he clearly didn't know that Coors is terrible). 3. This site is full of people who are strangely emotionally invested in movies. Your name is "Rogue Jedi" for that very reason. I don't see the problem here. :P
    – Wad Cheber
    Commented May 22, 2016 at 1:03
  • 1
    These people do that without anyone psychically forcing them to do so.
    – Wad Cheber
    Commented May 22, 2016 at 1:06
  • 3
    None of this establishes that he was immature. He's clearly naive about Earth culture, just like you're (presumably) naive about what life is like on his planet. Unless you travel more than I suspect.
    – Molag Bal
    Commented May 22, 2016 at 1:11
  • 3
    <Stops eating trail of Reese's Pieces found on floor and looks up> Wha? I mean, yeah, of course people don't really eat obviously planted trails of candy. Why would anyone be that stu- <trap falls on head>
    – Wad Cheber
    Commented May 22, 2016 at 1:13
  • 3
    "follows a random candy trail, on a hostile planet," If he was psychic he probably judged danger according to sensing the mind of a predator (psychically). Since the kid meant him no harm, and was actually asleep if my recollection of the scene is correct (have not seen the entire movie), he would've sensed no danger - and been correct about that. ..just musing. Commented May 22, 2016 at 1:21

1 Answer 1


He's ten million years old.

From the novelisation by William Kotzwinkle (emphasis mine):

The planet was unspeakably strange. He was ten million years old and had been a great many places, but he'd never encountered anything as complicated as this. Overwhelmed, he crept away, needing to rest his brain in the vegetable patch. He slumped down next to a cabbage and lowered his head. It was all over.

I've also read that he's actually relatively young among members of his species, but can't find a canonical quote for this (I don't actually have the book to hand, although I read it several years ago).

  • 6
    Ten million years in his own reference frame, or in that of his home planet? You could live to ten million years old if you did laps around the solar system at nearly the speed of light.
    – Molag Bal
    Commented May 22, 2016 at 1:15
  • 12
    Guy who traveled thousands of light years in a spaceship and built an intergalactic telephone out of a Speak and Say, walkie talkie, umbrella, coffee can, and tin foil finds 1982 earth more complicated than anything he's ever seen. Got it.
    – Wad Cheber
    Commented May 22, 2016 at 1:20
  • 1
    @RogueJedi - You're thinking of Reese's Peanut Butter Cups. Reese's Pieces are basically M&Ms with peanut butter instead of chocolate. There ain't no chocolate in Reese's Pieces.
    – Wad Cheber
    Commented May 22, 2016 at 3:33
  • 1
    – Wad Cheber
    Commented May 22, 2016 at 3:34
  • 1
    I still have the book... leafing through it I can't really find where he's supposed to be young for his species. Only sentences like "He was old, but he moved well, faster than most ten-million-year botanists with feet like marsh ducks".
    – Mr Lister
    Commented May 22, 2016 at 8:54

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