Breaking down “E.T.”

A quick exercise where I attempt to break down one of my favourite films of all time – Spielberg’s E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial (1982) – using a Story Map.

Beginning – Aliens forage through the woods outside of a town in America, collecting plant samples. Government agents / scientists are on their trail. The agents scare away the aliens, who leave the planet. But they have to leave one of their own behind.

Inciting Incident – Elliott discovers E.T., lures him in to their house.

Second Thoughts – Elliott has to try and hide E.T. from his mother, Mary, for the time being, which is easier said than done.

Climax of Act One – Elliott tells Michael and Gertie that he’s keeping E.T.

Obstacle – The government / scientists, led by ‘Keys’ are searching for E.T.

Obstacle – Elliott and E.T. share a telekinetic link which causes Elliott trouble at school.

Midpoint – E.T. tells Elliott that he needs to ‘phone home’.

Obstacle – Government agents track down E.T., bugging Elliott’s house.

Disaster – Having taken Elliott to the woods to put the communication device in position, Elliott falls asleep, but wakes up with E.T. gone.

Crisis – E.T. is discovered. Both he and Elliott and hugely unwell. The government storm in to the house and take the two of them away.

Climax of Act Two – E.T. dies.

Climax of Act Three – E.T. is resurrected, and the boys hatch a plan to help him get home.

Wrapup – The boys are joined by Mary, Gertie and Keys at E.T.’s spaceship and there’s an emotional farewell.

End – E.T. flies home.

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