E.T. The Extra Terrestrial Wiki

E.T.'s communicator is a makeshift device created by E.T. to 'phone home' after he is accidently left behind on Earth by his botanist colleagues. The communicator was inspired by a "Buck Rogers" comic strip E.T. had read while under the care of Elliot and his siblings, Michael and Gertie.

ET's Communicator


While living under refuge at the home of his new friends, E.T. reads a comic strip in a newspaper about the fictional character of "Buck Rogers". After crash-landing on a strange alien world, Rogers salvages what's left of the ship in order to make a communicator to call for help. E.T is inspired to try this himself in order to return home. He begins to go around the house looking for tools he can use to create his own communicator. With the help of Elliot and his siblings, E.T. successfully builds a communicator and uses it to call his ship back to Earth. The ship picks up the distress signal and returns to Earth the next day to pick up E.T. and return home.


The communicator is compomsed of many household objects and applicances.

  • A record player
  • Buzzsaw blade
  • A fork
  • A knife
  • A coat hanger
  • An umbrella (with aluminum foil to create a satellite dish)
  • Speak & Spell toy (for sending signals)
  • Lantern battery and jumper wires (to power Speak & Spell)
  • A coffee can (attached to umbrella handle and filled with electrical wires inside to provide power)
  • A UHF Tuner is attached to the coffee can
  • A metal funnel and circuit boards from a fuzzbuster and transistor radio are mounted inside the coffee can and wired to UHF Tuner
  • A walkie talkie (to send radio waves to through the satellite. The walkie talkie is connected to the speak and spell and UHF Tuner)
  • Rope