50 Star Wars secrets that will blow your mind

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27. E.T. Was In The Phantom Menace

When Steven Spielberg was coming into his own in the 1970s, he was riding a wave of young filmmakers that included contemporaries like Francis Ford Coppola, Brian De Palma and George Lucas. They were the rat pack of directors, and they routinely helped each other out, or gave each other nods to their work.

Spielberg did this in his 1982 film E.T., by having Star Wars featured prominently in the film. This wasn’t just to create a real world scenario that gave us a grounded look at being a child in the late 70s and early 80s, it was also a nod to Lucas and his successful franchise.

In 1999, Lucas repaid the favor by including E.T. in The Phantom Menace. In a scene at the Republic Senate, some of the alien lifeforms represented are a bunch of E.T’s. It’s a quick callback and a deep reference, but one that Lucas included as a nod back to his filmmaking pal.

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