Star Wars: The Last Jedi will, no doubt, have lots of callbacks to the first two Star Wars trilogies as it fills in the gaps of what happened between Episodes VI and VII. But, will it…. phone home?
The following speculates on what could happen in The Last Jedi, meaning, if any of this comes true, then everything below could be considered an intuitive spoiler. But, uh, maybe don’t bet it all on this one.
Easter egg culture has gotten out of hand, as it seems that fans freak out more about obscure little references and props setting up an extravagant cinematic universe than they do about actual plot developments in the movie they’re watching. Having said that, there’s one Easter egg from 1999’s Star Wars: The Phantom Menace that I’d really like to see come back: The aliens from E.T.
Three members of the same species as the alien who captured a nation’s heart in the ‘80s when E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial hit theaters made their way to the Star Wars universe when they appeared in the Galactic Senate in The Phantom Menace. Naked and unafraid, these three aliens took part in outer space governance in an extremely brief pan of the Senate.
(Just for kicks, check out how tall the chairs are in the Asogian’s senate pod. Like, with stumpy little legs, getting up into one of those chairs must be super hard.)
Wookiepedia states that the E.T. aliens are actually called, Asogians, and the paddle-footed species live on the planet Brodo Asogi, as first revealed in the 1985 E.T. spin-off novel E.T.: The Book of the Green Planet. A promotional, in-fiction news service leading up to the release of Attack of the Clones reveals that Asogian Senator Grebleips (Spielberg spelled backward) funded an expedition to another galaxy. Clearly, we’re meant to think this is the expedition we see in the E.T. movie.
The Asogians became part of Star Wars canon as part of George Lucas and Steven Spielberg’s sneaky little homages to the other’s work. In Raiders of the Lost Ark, Indiana Jones walks by hieroglyphics of C-3PO and R2-D2, and the first scene of Temple of Doom takes place at Club Obi Wan. In E.T., the visiting alien sees a trick-or-treater in a Yoda mask, and tries to follow it “home.” The Asogian cameo in the Galactic Senate returned the favor.
Trying to actually reconcile the plot of E.T. with what it means that these same aliens live “a long time ago in a galaxy far, far away” is folly. That’s why it would be a hoot to bring them back for The Last Jedi. The E.T. cameo in The Phantom Menace is a example of an increasingly rare breed of Easter egg — the kind that doesn’t really matter.
The Marvel Cinematic Universe has everyone prepped to look for Easter eggs and try to figure out what they mean for the next movie in the franchise, or how they hint that an obscure comic character made his way to the big screen. E.T.’s appearance in The Phantom Menace isn’t anything more than one filmmaker shouting out his friend and colleague’s work. It’s a nice little prize more than it is a puzzle box.
So, that’s why The Last Jedi should include a scene where an Asogian chills in the background of Canto Bight. You don’t need to do anything other than smile and nod if there’s an E.T. Easter egg. That’s far more preferable than some complex suggestion that Jar Jar Bink’s skull is mounted in Snoke’s throne room, or whatever.
Star Wars: The Last Jedi hits theaters on December 15. E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial premiered on June 11, 1982.