Star Wars: Return of the Jedi's Secret ET Connection Explained
The Star Wars universe has created plenty of memorable creatures of its own, but Return of the Jedi created a link between the franchise and one of the most famous alien movies of all time: E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial. Return of the Jedi capped off George Lucas's massively successful original Star Wars trilogy, which follows Luke Skywalker, Leia Organa, and Han Solo as they lead the Rebel Alliance against Darth Vader and the Galactic Empire. Working on a smaller scale, Steven Spielberg's E.T. depicts the friendship that develops between a young boy and the alien that he discovers in his family's shed. While its story stakes may be humbler than those of Star Wars, E.T. was just as high-profile, coming on the heels of some of the most successful movies of Spielberg's career, including Jaws, Close Encounters of the Third Kind, and Raiders of the Lost Ark.
Both E.T. and Return of the Jedi built off of the established science fiction blockbuster trend of the 1980s and have gone on to be extremely influential in the years since, especially on the genre of family-friendly sci-fi. Another feather in the cap of Star Wars is that, being a long-running and ongoing series, it has a larger collection of lore than almost any other franchise. This has resulted in many cheeky references and obscure facts being hidden among its minor background characters.
Related: Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker - Every Easter Egg & Reference
In Return of the Jedi, when Princess Leia adopts the persona of Boushh to gain entrance to Jabba the Hutt's palace, her modulated speech is provided by actress Pat Welsh, who also voiced the titular alien in the previous year's E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial. A heavy chain smoker, Welsh brought an otherworldly androgyny to both performances: in E.T. to emphasize the character's literal otherworldliness against a prosaic suburban backdrop; and in Return of the Jedi to ...
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