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Which Alien Makes A Subtle Cross-Movie Cameo Appearance In Star Wars: The Phantom Menance?
Predator
Alf
Lieutenant Worf
E.T.

Answer: E.T.

Star Wars fans with extremely sharp eyes might have noticed a fun little Easter Egg tucked into Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace. During the scene in the film where Queen Amidala is addressing the Galactic Senate, the camera pans across the enormous senate chambers where hundreds of different alien races are assembled. During that pan shot, a small delegation of aliens that all look just like the alien from the Steven Spielberg movie E.T., the Extra Terrestrial appear in one of the delegate pods.

They don’t just look like the lovable E.T. from the 1980s film though, they actually are. Steven Spielberg included a scene in E.T. wherein E.T. meets a child dressed up for Halloween as Yoda from Star Wars; during that scene E.T. started whispering “home… home…” when he saw Yoda. Years later during the filming of The Phantom Menace, Lucas kept a promise to Spielberg by including an Easter Egg homage to that moment in E.T. in return for Yoda’s cameo appearance in E.T. After all, if Yoda made E.T. think of home, that strongly indicated that E.T. was familiar with Yoda (and/or Yoda’s species).

Although the aliens in question received very little screen time in the movie, they did get a name (courtesy of Star Wars novel Cloak of Deception author James Luceno): Grebleips, or, Spielberg spells backward.

Image courtesy of Lucas Films.