Close Encounters Ending - discuss - SPOILERS


Distinguished Member
Just watched the Blu Ray ultimate edition of this great film not having seen it for about 20 years!

The Blu Ray disc had three versions on it - original theatrical version, special edition and directors cut - and I watched with interest when it came to the end.


When Neary (Richard Dreyfuss) goes into the mothership at the end, when he is "picked", he disappears from sight. In the special edition we see inside the ship and then in all editions an "alien" emerges and does the hand signal to the French chap and then smiles .....

After the film, my wife and I were discussing it and I thought that this "alien" was Neary as if he had been changed into an alien from human form. My wife disagreed and a lively debate ensued ...... she ended up going to bed :rolleyes:

Anyway, wondered what everyone's views on this ending are. I know this is an old film but still relevant today. I have searched on this forum and via google but couldn't find a discussion about this and wondered how everyone else thought the ending was meant to mean.



Distinguished Member
I'll have to agree with your wife on this. I think that ...
the alien you see waving after Neary enters the ship is the same alien that gives the hand signs before he goes in
. Anyway make up your own minds by checking out this clip (fast forward to 05:00 in to see the relevent section):



Active Member
Though I can see the "fun and metaphysical" side of that interpretation, there isn't really any logic to it, particularly in terms of how it would throw away everything that had gone previously.

Remember, Neary isn't the only one to go into the mothership. The whole setup is to send an encounter / investigation team with the aliens. Neary is the "everyman" representative. All of the previous "abductees" have been studied and brought back. The implication is that the aliens have decided that it is the right time for meaningful contact.

I think that we are supposed to leave the film believing that this is only the start and that there will inevitably be further contact. They have studied us, now it's time to study them.

The special edition extra inside the ship spoils it somewhat, we don't really need to see it. It's better to believe, as Neary does by this time, that it is a wonderful and life changing experience and to take a leap of faith.

I must admit though, I had never thought of your interpretation before. But then, seeing it firstly as a 12 year old boy all those years ago, you don't think about things like that and maybe that's the best way.

Just remember the wonder you felt when you first saw it. Meanings aren't important.:smashin:


Active Member
I've never heard such a ridiculous theory !
I'm surprised your wife didn't slap your face before she went to bed. :devil:

one thing I must say though is that this blu ray disc has the best packaging I've seen so far with that nice little book and poster. :thumbsup:
He just went in the ship, that's all.

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