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Recap / Film Reroll: E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial

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They've really gone off the road this time. note 

We’re back with more E.T. and his adventures on Earth! Pitr does an interpretive dance! Andy procures an orangutan! Joz learns what disarming means! Jon subjugates the mind of the leader of the free world!
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Episodes 24-25 and 28-29 of Film Reroll. Based on the 1982 movie.

Stranded on a foreign planet, the alien known only as E.T. makes contact with the local civilisations. Moving in with a trio of siblings — Elliot, Michael and Gertie — who hide him from their parents, E.T. and his newfound friends must figure out a way to get back to his planet and his people. But who is E.T. exactly? And should they really stop the goverment from getting their hands on him?

There was a ten week hiatus between episodes two and three, partially because the players started another campaign during that time. The players have said that this is a technique they will continue using for their longer campaigns.

At four episodes, it is one of the longest campaigns in the show, only beaten by Rogue One, (consisting of five episodes.)

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It is also the first campaign to feature a Bonus Scene, based on the Doctor Who episode "Day of the Moon", another story involving alien visitors and secret goverment agents.

Starring Jon Miller as E.T., Andy Hoover as Elliot, Dan Edwin and Barry, Pitr Strait as Michael, Ana Kopas and Bery, Jocelyn "Joz" Vammer as Gertie and Jake Rauhe, and Paulo Quiros as the Dungeon Master.

Intercepted by Alien.


Tropes:

  • Actionised Sequel: Sort of. It's not really a sequel as much as an adaptation which goes on longer than the movie did by adding new, more action-heavy plot threads.
  • Adaptation Expansion: Paulo created an elaborate backstory for E.T. describing who he is and what his ship was doing on Earth, which he initially shares with Jon but not the other players (or the audience). Part of it is revealed in the opening scene — E.T. was deliberately stranded on Earth, not left behind accidentally — and more starts coming out in the second and third episodes after E.T. learns enough English to explain himself.
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  • Adaptation Name Change: E.T.'s race, sort of. They were never named in the movie, but the sequel to its novelization referred to their home planet as Brodo Asogi, and later, half-serious attempts at introducing them to the Star Wars universe estblished their name as Asogians. Here they are called Baedelorians. Note however that Agogians was only one of many names other species referred to them as, all of which translated to "Children of the Green Planet", which could theoretically also be the case with "Baedelorians."
  • Alien Blood: The We'agos have purple blood.
  • Alien Invasion: E.T.'s people turn out to be at war with another alien race, who would likely destroy Earth if they ever got the opportunity. The remains of E.T.'s crew join forces with the American government in an attempt at preventing this from happening.
  • An Arm and a Leg: E.T.'s second in command gets his arm blown off during the battle in the final episode.
  • Apocalypse How: A Class 1 apocalypse. The Moon explodes. 2.3 billion people die, and the song "Blue Moon" has to be renamed "Blue goo".
  • Arbitrary Skepticism: Michael believes in the creatures from Dungeons & Dragons, and in the Hollow Earth theory, but refuses to believe in the existence of aliens. (Granted, his specific beliefs doesn't allow for their existence.)
  • Attending Your Own Funeral: E.T. actually assists in handing over "his" dead body to his enemies, who can't tell one Baedelorian from another.
  • Bait-and-Switch: When two government agents visit the school after Michael is sighted with E.T., one announces that they are Agents Smith and Wollensky, and the other immediately drops into an impersonation of Agent Smith from The Matrix. It is subsequently established that the second speaker is Agent Wollensky.
  • Big Red Button: The firing control for the Wave Motion Gun on the We'abo ship is a big red button.
  • Bowled Over: E.T. uses his telekinesis to do this on a group of attacking We'agos.
  • Call-Back: When Agent Smith's first name is revealed, the players express surprise that it isn't Jeff, like several law-and-order-related NPCs in earlier episodes. Also, when Dan Edwin's team are waiting for at the landing site for the return of E.T.'s ship with a large contingent of soldiers as backup, the players want to know if any of the soldiers is a Jeff. They ask the same question about Jake's team of agents. Turns out that they're actually all named Barry (and Bery).
  • Censorship by Spelling: Michael is concerned that the worst might have happened after their mother was taken into custody by the agents, but he doesn't want to set Gertie off, so he spells it out: What if she's D-E-D?
  • Closet Geek: Michael's biology teacher is implied to be one of these. He claims to be very familiar with Dungeons & Dragons due to having played it frequently during his childhood. Even though he's old enough to have been an adult when it first came out.
  • Cloudcuckoolander: Jake, who — among other things — swallowed a lightbulb at the age of 20! Weirdly enough, it never came out again...
  • Contest Winner Cameo: Obstructive Bureaucrat Steven Peckham is named after one of the team's Patreon supporters. They admit that it might be a bit thankless to have your name given to the antagonist.
  • Continuous Decompression: In the shuttle bay of the We'ago ship, after one of the Barrys inadvertantly blows a hole in the hull. Another Barry is sucked out into space, along with various other loose items, before eventually one of the shuttles is pulled into the hole and blocks it.
  • Cut the Juice: Barry and Bery decides to pull an unknown plug, which turns out to have been providing power to the computer E.T. hacked, which in turn makes the aiming cursor disappear from Jake's screen, causing him to accidentally blow up the Moon.
  • Death by Adaptation: A large chunk of Earth's population. Though none of them were named characters, as far as we know.
  • Decoy Getaway: Inverted. When the gang runs into the agents, Elliot manages to distract them by saying "That's not the real alien! That's a decoy!" It confuses them long enough for our protagonists to escape.
  • Decoy Protagonist: Michael, Elliot and Gertie end up becoming this. Part way through the second episode they are reunited with their mother and written out of the story. The players are instead given control of three members of the research team trying to help E.T. Even so, two of them are Demoted to Extra in the last episode. The only consistent main character through the entire story is actually... E.T. himself.
  • Defcon Five: When E.T. shares the news that his ship is heading back toward Earth, he suggests that they go to DEFCON 1. This is a correct usage of the low number as the high alert status, although something of an overreaction when it isn't known that the ship has hostile intent (as the other players point out, and in the end they go to DEFCON 3 instead).
  • Detonation Moon: The Moon gets destroyed by a shot from one of the hostile aliens' warships in the last episode.
  • Disposable Vagrant: After E.T. offers to help the researchers unlock the psychic potential of the human mind, Pitr suggests they try it out on a homeless person first before potentially risking the life of someone they care about. The suggestion is not acted on, however.
  • Eloquent in My Native Tongue: When E.T. is speaking to his fellow Baedelorians after they return to Earth, the other players notice that Jon isn't doing E.T.'s characteristic croaky voice and eccentric syntax, and Jon explains that E.T. only speaks like that when he's attempting English.
  • Entertainingly Wrong:
    • E.T. initially thinks that cars are living creatures, though he figures out that they are vehicles pretty quickly. (The players still joke that the car speak to each other in a honking language, and that the ones with sirens are party animals.)
    • E.T. also believes that the pictures in Michael's closet are "biological diagrams of human anatomy" depicting "A very, very focused review of one particular kind of behaviour."
    • Michael — who is a big fan of Tabletop RPGs — believes that E.T. is not an alien but rather some kind of creature from Dungeons & Dragons. When he sees E.T. blow a car apart, he becomes completely convinced that the alien is a "githyanki." (It doesn't help that he is high as a kite at that point.)
    • When several trucks full of goverment agents show up at Michael's house, he believes that they are there to confiscate his weed. Gertie, meanwhile, wonders if they are having a surprise party.
    • Michael plans to steal one of the agents' cars, but E.T. misunderstands him and and crushes its windows with his telekinesis instead. This actually ends up working out pretty well, since it distracts the agents even more.
    • When Jake manages to steer the space ship away from Earth, Bery thinks that it's the planet that's moving.
    Bery: Sir! Sir! I think the Earth is getting away!
  • Enlightenment Superpowers: E.T.'s telekinesis and mental-connection powers are explained as being the result of him having spent years as a monk in a contemplative order before being drawn into his people's struggle. It's later revealed that humans can unlock the same powers as well.
  • Epileptic Trees: In-Universe. The players take a moment to discuss the conspiracy theories about whether or not Smurfette is actually biologically a boy (and what this would mean for her gender identity), if the characters from Star Wars are actually bugs, and why there are taxi cabs in the Cars universe.
  • Evil All Along: Teased with E.T. throughout the campaign, but nothing ever really comes of it. Word of God is that E.T. is a nice enough guy, but also a Horrible Judge of Character who acted irrationally by overestimating the danger the We'Ago posed and, as a result, caused an unnesseray amount of bloodshed.
  • Fake Static: The "we're going through a tunnel" excuse is jokingly invoked at the end of the radio communication with the We'ago. For context, the characters are in space while making this claim.
  • Faking the Dead: Our heroes' plan to deal with the hostile aliens is to claim that E.T. is dead and send up one of his deceased crewmates in his stead... with a bomb hidden inside.
  • Fanon Discontinuity: In-Universe. Paulo Quiros makes it clear that the campaign is based on the original 1982 film version and that the 2002 special edition is non-canon.
  • Fan Sequel: A short story written by Spaceman 9800 on the official Film Reroll subreddit. Set ten years after the campaign, it reveals what happens to both the Kid Heroes and to Earth itself. Our planet has become a part of the Baedelorian Empire, with humanity at large getting access to their technology and powers. Gertie has become a Disaster Scavenger (apparently a common career on post-apocalypse Earth) while Elliot and Michael have joined the army to participate in the still ongoing war against the We'ago (with Michael having gone MIA.)
  • Fantasy World Map: Paluo Quiros drew one of "known space," which truly shows off just how expansive his worldbuilding really is.
  • Final Speech: E.T.'s second-in-command gets one during the battle on the We'ago warship. He starts something that sounds like it might be going to turn into a Dying Declaration of Love, then changes his mind and does a parody of the stock "Tell my wife I love her" speech instead.
  • Good All Along: While never outright revealed in the campaign, Paulo Quiros has confirmed this to be the case with the We'Ago.
    Paulo Quiros: Jon's assumption that the aliens wanted to kill him and glass the Earth was wrong. They wanted a royal family member to add legitimacy. E.T.'s shoot first ask questions later strategy was real cause of the moon's demise.
  • Hair-Trigger Temper: Jake, whose first thought when confronting a secret service agent is to attack and disarm him, rather than using his wits.
  • Halfway Plot Switch: Goes from being, well, E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial to a Government Conspiracy / Alien Invasion story more along the lines of Stargate or Independence Day.
  • Hero with Bad Publicity: E.T. himself, who is considered a threat by parts of the American goverment.
  • Historical-Domain Character: A meeting of top government officials convened to decide what to do with E.T. includes FBI Director William H. Webster and President Ronald Reagan.
  • Humans Through Alien Eyes: E.T. himself is treated like the primary protagonist, giving us a glimpse at how alien humans and their world appear to him.
  • Hypothetical Casting: The group discuss whether Jake should be played by Jeremy Renner, Chris Pratt or Val Kilmer.
  • Jurisdiction Friction: The initial conflict in the third episode is about the U.S. military wanting to take E.T. away from the scientists and exploit him as a military asset.
  • MacGyvering: When E.T. starts building a communicator to call his ship back, reference is made to how in the film he assembled one out of common household items, which he doesn't have to do in this version because he's fallen into the hands of government researchers who are happy to supply him with proper materials.
  • Misspelling Out Loud: Michael is concerned that the worst might have happened after their mother was taken into custody by the agents, but he doesn't want to set Gertie off, so he spells it out: What if she's D-E-D?
  • Mysterious Past: Ana has lock picking skills on her character sheet, and isn't telling where she got them.
  • Namedar: During a conversation between E.T. and one of his alien colleagues in the opening scene, it's revealed that according to the backstory Paulo has created for him, E.T.'s name actually is (or at least is pronounced very much like) "Eetee". This gets an incredulous reaction from the players. Averted in-story, however, as the children in this version aren't able to agree on their mysterious visitor being an extraterrestrial, so decide instead to call him "George".
  • Named by the Adaptation:
    • The man in charge of the search for E.T., who is never named in the film, gets the name "Dan Edwin" here.
    • E.T.'s species turn out to be named "Baedelorians".
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero!: While the Barrys are rampaging around the We'ago warship blowing stuff up and being a distraction from E.T.'s and Jake's more serious attempts to take over the ship, they destroy a computer connection that breaks the control panel E.T. was using to hack into the ship's systems. Worse, this happens just as E.T. is helping Jake line up the ship's cannon to take out the other warship, so the shot goes wide, misses the other warship, and destroys the Moon instead.
  • '90s Anti-Hero: Parodied with the Barrys, an small army of very hammy gun-crazy secret service agents.
  • No Endor Holocaust: Downplayed. The destruction of the Moon causes massive damage on Earth, but maybe still not as much as it should have caused.
  • No Social Skills: Pitr plays Ana like this.
  • Not-So-Omniscient Council of Bickering: The top secret goverment meeting soon derails into this.
  • One-Gender Race: E.T. tells the scientists that the Baedelorians only have one biological sex.
  • Product Placement: The product placement in the original movie is referenced when the subject of E.T.'s favorite Earth food arises, and the players ask Paulo to rule on whether this version of the story is set in a continuity where it's Reece's Pieces (as in the film) or M&M's (as in the novelization).
  • Red Shirt: Two of Jake's agents die during their takeover of the We'ago ship. Pitr even name-drops the trope.
  • Rightful King Returns: E.T. turns out to be the heir to the throne of his people — the Baedelorians — marooned on Earth. His ultimate plan is to invoke this trope.
  • Running Gag:
  • Shoot Everything That Moves: The marines sent to infiltrate the We'ago warship are instructed that to be on the safe side they should shoot anyone they see who isn't a human or a Baedelorian. The roleplayers gleefully seize hold of this instruction, resulting in the Barry rampage that ends with a Nice Job Breaking It, Hero! moment.
  • Shout-Out:
    • The players compare the description of Michael from the original screenplay note  with Leonardo DiCaprio's character in The Wolf of Wall Street.
    • Possibly a coincidence, but the kids decide to call E.T. "George".
    • One of the agents interrogating Michael's biology teacher is named "Smith." This is immediately lampshaded. Another reference to The Matrix is made when E.T. uses his telekinesis to knock over several agents.
    • The other agent is named Wollensky, making them Smith & Wollensky.
    • After getting sidetracked into talking about an Imagine Spot, one of the players drops an appropriate quote from The Simpsons ("We were talking about chocolate?" "That was ten minutes ago.")
    • When E.T. takes Michael's hand and flies away with him, Pitr Strait asks if they can have a "Christopher Reeve / Margot Kidder-moment" and starts singing "Can You Read My Mind?".
    • When E.T says that he wants something to read, the players suggest the next book in the A Song of Ice and Fire series.
    • While flying through the air on their bikes, Jon Miller's accent starts slipping towards the UK. The other players then wonder if Doctor Who just showed up.
    • After Gertie tries and fails to imitate E.T.'s telekinesis, Paulo mentions that he'd considered giving her the psychic powers Drew Barrymore's character had in Firestarter but decided against it.
    • When Gertie starts nagging her brothers about being hungry, they say that they have to feed her before midnight or she'll turn evil.
    • While discussing what they can get to eat for the money they have, the players note that at least it's 1982, so the money will have more buying power, and reference the Ridiculous Future Inflation in Back to the Future Part II.
    • When given new characters, the players suggest that Joz should still play a four-year-old and be "the Doogie Howser of the FBI."
    • Ana Kopas compares E.T.'s powers with the Force from Star Wars, which she is a big fan of. She also quotes one of Han Solo's lines from A New Hope when her Baedelorian colleague tries — rather poorly (but hey, it works) — tricking the enemy into letting them aboard their mothership.
      Ana Kopas: We're fine here. How are you?
    • Ana also claims to having been a big fan of "Lithuanian Daria," which — In-Universe — actually came out before the American show.
    • The government scientists watch a movie in which someone's head goes back, and to the left. Back, and to the left.
    • Paulo's announcement that there's something significant about Saturn's rings incites a cascade of references to other works with significant rings, such as The Lord of the Rings.
    • Joz refers to the hostile aliens that will likely attempt to devastate the planet as "Vogons". Said aliens are also said to resemble Stitch, only with six legs and fingers.
    • When E.T. decides to join the fake funeral delegation in disguise as his second-in-command's second-in-command, one of the players compares his situation to Padme in The Phantom Menace.
    • While Jake is trying to figure out a cryptic control panel on the alien ship, one of the players recalls the even more cryptic control panel on the alien ship in the short film "Lifted".
    • E.T. accidentally quotes Steve Urkel when noticing that the ship has started to move.
      E.T.: Did I do that?
    • "You adopted the goo. I was molded by it."
    • The final episode, which revolves around a scrappy force fighting off hostile invading aliens, includes several shout-outs to Independence Day.
    • When coming across the lone We'Ago gunner, (who DM Paulo Quiros accideantally refers to as "a man") Joz / Jake asks "Does he look like a Jeff?" This is a paraphrase (and a slight Bowdlerisation) of a line from Pulp Fiction.
  • Smarter Than You Look: It turns out that E.T. — a character some viewers have interpreted as mentally deficient — actually is an Omniglot with a very high IQ.
  • Technology Uplift: At the end, E.T. promises to share his people's knowledge and technology with humanity to help them recover after the invasion.
  • That's No Moon!: The rings of Saturn turn out to be the remains of a planet destroyed in an interplanetary war several millenia ago.
  • Tomato in the Mirror: E.T. suspects that humanity are a cross between Baedelorians and some other type of creature, but realises after a while that it's his own species who are a mix between humans and another, unknown alien race. What's more, while the Baedelorian Telepathy comes from the unknown species, their Telekinesis comes from humanity.
  • Unexpected Character: President Ronald Reagan appears for a few scenes, and is even bonded with E.T.
  • Wave Motion Gun: Each of the We'ago warships is fitted with a main energy cannon that takes a minute or so to charge up and is capable of blowing up the Moon in a single shot.
  • We Need a Distraction: Ana and Jake distract a secret service agent by gossiping and — in Ana's case, doing an interpretive dance number — so that E.T. can sneak into the meeting room.
  • What Does This Button Do?: When Jake arrives to the We'ago control room, his plan is simply to randomly press every button he can find and hope for the best.
  • Whale Egg: Baedelorians are oviparous.

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