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Dick Miller's character had similar adventures.
Throughout the movie there was small mention to Miller's character who spotted the spaceship during it's first test flight. During which he calls someone and tells them that the experience reminded him of "Dreams" he was having. Odds are he and others went on a similar adventure before Ben, Wolfgang and Darren did.
  • Though Wak and Neek are only kids by their lifespan, they're relatively old by human standards, so they've probably been sending for a while. The aliens may have sent the signal to Charlie when he was a kid, but he would have been limited by the technology of his time (kids in The ’50s did not have access to computers). Even Ben needed Wolfgang and his computer to make sense of everything.
  • In a blink-and-you'll miss it during Darren's trance scene, Miller's character, Charlie, is briefly seen at what appears to be some future point, friendly and approaching someone. During that scene where he talks to Gordon, there's a few intersting items in the background; including a scale model of a space ship that Ben also has. It's possible that Charlie is working along the same track as the three and they'll eventually meet up and he'd be given a chance to tell his story.
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Wolfgang's flying behind Lori at the end was intentional.
He's obviously been sexually awakened in meeting Neek. Lori is flying in her nightgown and Wolfgang flies right behind her.

The Circuit Board is not a Generator, it's a Transceiver
It's rather unlikely that a relatively simple circuit can generate a forcefield with such low energy usage. It's more likely that the field itself is generated by something much more powerful and (possibly) stationary while the board itself is a transceiver and the Apple computer is the interface. There is dialog from the film and a deleted scene that support it:
  • In a deleted scene, Ben and Wolfgang are walking to school when Ben gives his friend the drawing that he made the night before. Wolfgang mentions that the circuit looks like some kind of antenna.
  • When the computer is programming itself, it's actually receiving information. Like a new wireless network device that connects to a network for the first time, the base station queries the device, and sends it the information it needs for it to operate on the network. Instead of an IP address, the "base" station queries the computer connected to the transceiver, figures out the system's specifications and uploads the software it needs for it to act as a user interface.
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  • During another scene where they lose control of their ship, Wolfgang mentions that the instructions flashing across the screen had to be received from somewhere else.
  • In a later scene, Wolfgang mentions that the energy field is extradordinary, but still needs a lot of work; "talk about bumming rides". In other words, the circuit board is sending position data to a base station, the base station in turn generates the field at the location relative to the transceiver at the size specified.
  • Following that line of thinking, the oxygen generator may actually be some kind of teleportation or wormhole with the oxygen being generated from some remote source and "sent" to the "receiver" that attaches to the circuit board.
    • Fridge Horror sets in when you consider that when the computer on their ship suddenly cuts out, it wasn't because their main battery died, but because someone cut off their access to the "network". Maybe the alien kids had hacked into the infrastructure, the "admin" caught it and blocked any hardware associated with it.
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The Aliens We and the Protagonists See Aren't Their True Form
The alien's apearance is a result of the boy's perception of what the aliens might look like (bear in mind, they are 12 years old). On their way there, the three were speculating about what they might look like to them. A case of A Form You Are Comfortable With.
  • If you take a close look, you see that the alien's design borrows a lot of elements from films that Ben has seen.
    • Their tentacles are very reminiscent of the Martians from "War of the Worlds" that was playing on Ben's tv in the opening scene. Also, their ship seems a bit oddly designed; almost like something that a 12-year-old kid who watches a lot of science fiction would think about.
    • Some elements of the "Starkiller" movie-within-a-movie are present in the ship, such as the sound effects and some visual elements.
    • It may be that the only "real" part of the ship (that doesn't have any odd design) is the room where Darren gets his weird vision; that room may possibly be where all the equipment that was used to transmit all the dreams is housed. It might even be where the force field is generated from (you can see transparent bubbles floating around).
  • Also, there's some rather coincidental dialog in the film suggesting that this exchange of information isn't strictly one-way.
    Ben: [just before landing] We are going where no man has gone before, to unlock the secrets of the universe.
    Wak: [just as they have to leave] We didn't even get to tell you the secrets of the universe.

Darren is much smarter than even he gives himself credit for
Consider that he's the only one of three to calmly assess the situation and was the first one to suggest using the field to power a ship. He also shown to be incredibly resourceful in sourcing the shell and the parts for their ship.
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