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In 1938, the Mercury Theatre on the Air broadcasted about alien invasion by Martians. At that time, many people believed in UFOs (Unidentified Flying Object), and they panicked, but actually it was just a reading of The War of the Worlds. Many movie directors and authors make movies or books about alien encounters. One of the most popular movies about it in the world is E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial. It is an American science fiction movie by Steven Spielberg directed in 1982. This story shows an extraterrestrial being, which left its spaceship of aliens.
Elliott, who is a 10 years old boy, meets E.T. (an alien), and he tries to help E.T. contact its spaceship. Another story that is a famous alien story is “August 2002: Night Meeting.” It is an American science fiction short story by Ray Bradbury. The main character from Mars is Muhe Ca, and the character from Earth is Tomas Gomez. The setting is on Mars, where humans are invading.
Tomas thinks that there is no one on Mars, but he meets the Martians.
Both E.T. and “August 2002: Night Meeting” show friendly relationships between humans and aliens in contrast to other science fiction stories. Although the aliens’ appearance and situations are very different, both of the alien characters behave similarly. One difference between E.T. and “August 2002” is the appearance of the aliens. In the movie, E.T., E.T. was named by Elliot. It is shorter than Elliot, and it has a delicate and long neck. It also has brown skin and big eyes.
Its hands are long, but its feet are short. It does not look like a human. It looks more like a usual alien similar to aliens shown in other alien encounter movies, such as Aliens and Men in Black. In contrast to E.T., “August 2002” depicts an extraterrestrial with a more human like figure. Even though Muhe Ca has melted gold eyes, it has similar hands, height, and body shapes to humans. It is rare in science fiction to show an extraterrestrial with a human appearance. For these reasons, although they are the similar kind of genres, describing aliens are completely different between two stories.
Not only are their appearances different, but these two movies also differ in their relationships. In E.T., the main setting is on Earth. E.T. comes to Earth, and E.T.’s family leaves E.T., so E.T. and Elliot try to contact E.T.’s family. While staying on Earth, it learns a lot about earth things, such as language and how to mimic humans. Even though E.T. misses its family, it enjoys E.T.’s life on Earth. As a result, E.T. and Elliot’s family create a family-love relationship. On the other hand, “August 2002” takes a place on Mars. Tomas thinks that there are no Martians at a dead Martian town, but surprisingly, he meets Muhe Ca. He is not really afraid of this alien, but he is not able to touch the Martian, so he thinks that Muhe Ca is a ghost. However, Muhe Ca also thinks the same thing as Tomas thought. Therefore, readers do not know whether Tomas or Muhe Ca is a ghost. Consequently, Tomas and Muhe Ca are not able to make friendly relationship. It is more like stranger. Therefore, two stories show completely different relationships.
Even though appearances and relationships between humans and aliens are unlike, they show a lot of similarities from characters’ inner hearts. One of the similarities between E.T. and “August 2002” is friendliness. In the movie, E.T., although E.T. is very scared when he meets Elliot, E.T. becomes friendly soon after meeting. For instance, the day after meeting each other, they eat food, take a bath, and talk about toys. At that time, E.T. does not look scary to Elliot. In addition, when Elliot injures his forefinger and says “Ouch”, E.T. then copies him “Ouch!” and cures his injury with its mysterious lightened forefinger. They spend a good time together and trust each other until the end. Compared to E.T., “August 2002” also describes a Martian as a friendly character. When Tomas and Muhe Ca meet each other, they say “Hello!” with their own languages (Bradbury 115). They were not suspicious of each other during their conversation. They try to shake hands even though their hands are transparent. F
or these reasons, both E.T. and “August 2002” show amicable relationships between humans and extraterrestrials. Another aspect that shows similarities between E.T. and “August 2002” is the alien’s adjustment. Both of the stories’ aliens try to adjust to human life. For example, E.T. does not speak English at first, but he tries to learn English from Elliot. As aforementioned in the last paragraph, E.T. says “Ouch!” At the end of the movie, E.T. finally says one complete sentence “I’ll be right here.” E.T. consequently understands what the sentence means. Compared to E.T., Muhe Ca also learns Tomas’s language. When Tomas feels his head touched, Muhe Ca suddenly says, “There!” in English (Bradbury 115). At first, it speaks its own language, but it learns English very quickly. These two stories show aliens as knowledgeable extraterrestrials.
In conclusion, E.T. and “August 2002: Night Meeting” look completely different, but if focused on inside of characters’ heart, the two aliens are more human-minded. These stories are very different from other alien encounter stories because their themes are more about friendship and human love, instead of being about invasion or war. Many people think that aliens are very evil monsters, but E.T. and “August 2002″ are in opposition with these their stereotypes of aliens. Therefore, after reading or watching these stories, many people might have a dream of meeting aliens with friendly and knowledgeable.
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