Rarely do blockbuster movies get direct sequels two decades after their release, but Independence Day can count itself among the few that accomplished that. 20 years after humanity banded together to defeat malevolent aliens in the War of 1996, Independence Day: Resurgence will see another group of aliens coming to Earth to pull off the same job its predecessors were tasked with: killing everything on our planet. The sequel's cast is a mix of established characters and new faces, but they all are fighting to keep Earth safe, just like last time.
So far, Independence Day: Resurgence's trailers and viral videos have done a good job of establishing what that version of 2016 is like, from the establishment of Earth Space Defense to the improved technology at humanity's disposal. However, there are still a number of questions on our mind concerning both the original movie and the yet-to-be-seen events of the sequel. When moviegoers sit in their seats to watch Independence Day: Resurgence, ideally all of the questions on this list will be answered for them during the story.
How Is Dr. Okun Still Alive?
When Steven Hiller brought one of the aliens back to Area 51 in Independence Day, the monstrosity later attacked Dr. Brackish Okun and took over his mind. It then launched a psychic attack against President Whitmore, but was killed before it could finish the job. Okun was presumed dead afterwards, so when Brent Spiner was announced to reprise the role, needless to say, many people were surprised. Still, it begs the question of how he's still alive. That alien seemed to have a good grip on his mental faculties, so right now, we're assuming he was knocked into a coma. If that's the case, was the coma temporary or has he been like that for 20 years and only just now woke up? Dialogue from the previews and clips hints towards the latter, but nothing is certain yet. Whatever the explanation is, it seems like Okun has picked up knowledge about the aliens left over from his mind control experience, so that should come in handy with defeating them again.
Have All The Cities Been Rebuilt?
Humanity may have defeated the aliens in 1996, but it came at a severe cost. Obviously the casualties were the biggest loss, but a number of cities were wiped off the face of the map, too, like New York City. It's been 20 years since the invasion, and while Independence Day: Resurgence trailers showed that Washington D.C. (namely the White House) has been repaired, is that the case of each metropolis that suffered an attack? Two decades is a long time to rebuild, but without the proper resources, both material and financial, it's an impossible task. So while some of the cities were rebuilt as well as possible, maybe others were simply left alone, subsequently serving as a chilling reminder of those who were lost all those years ago. Unfortunately, in Independence Day: Resurgence, London and a few other major cities will be devastated by the new invading force, including the landmarks, as Jeff Goldblum's David Levinson notes.
What Will Thomas Whitmore's Contribution Be In The Sequel?
There were many individuals who played important parts in defeating the aliens in 1996, but then-President Thomas Whitmore played an especially crucial role, both by being a pilot and through his rallying leadership. (I challenge any person who watched Independence Day multiple times as a kid/teen not to have at least some part of his inspiring speech memorized.) 20 years later, it looks like he's seen better days. Although he remains an important figure around the world in his post-presidency life, Independence Day: Resurgence information released before the movie's release shows that his mental health has declined due to his experience with the aliens. Now we're wondering what's in store for him in the sequel. It looks like he'll be piloting an aircraft again, but there's obviously more to his participation than just that. Has the alien presence changed his perspective on life? Even with his issues, why did he completely isolate himself? Could his head hold the key to defeating the aliens not just this time, but also prevent them from ever coming back? We'll get back to that aspect later.
What Were The Aliens Doing On Earth Before 1996?
In Independence Day, it was revealed that the government had known about the existence of aliens for decades, hence the establishment of Area 51. What wasn't made entirely clear is what exactly they've been doing on Earth. Oh sure, we could believe that one or two ships had crashed accidentally over the years, but is there more to it then that? What if these visits were actually scouting missions to study humanity and learn its weaknesses. That's why they were so successful in delivering a beating the first time around...you know, aside from their overpowering technology. One of the clips for Independence Day: Resurgence showed that the aliens have been drawing a symbol at various locations across the world that instills fear into the humans who see it. That may also hold a clue about their plans. Delving into their past might also finally give a definitive answer to whether Randy Quaid's character, Russell Casse, from the first movie was actually abducted by aliens or he just imagined it.
What Were The Exact Circumstances Of Steven Hiller's Death?
If you've been paying attention to the Independence Day: Resurgence news, you know that Will Smith isn't reprising the role of Steven Hiller, one of the lead heroes in the first movie. Subsequent information and trailers showed that Hiller died in 2007 when the experimental aircraft he was test-piloting malfunctioned and crashed. However, is there more to it than that? Was this a simple accident, or did someone sabotage the aircraft so that Hiller would be killed. This might sound extremely paranoid, but in a world where aliens nearly killed everybody, it's not unreasonable to offer malicious intent as an in-continuity explanation for his demise. Either way, hopefully the movie spends a few minutes going into detail about the circumstances of his death. It will make up a little bit for his absence.
How Will Humanity Defeat The Aliens This Time?
The reason the aliens were defeated in Independence Day was because Steven Hiller and David Levinson sneaked aboard one of their ships, downloaded a computer virus into the mothership and then set off a nuke within it before escaping. With the mother ship blown up, the other ships' force fields were disabled and able to be destroyed. It was an interesting plan, but it's doubtful those exact methods will work in Independence Day: Resurgence. Even with 2016's advanced computer technology (especially in this universe), the new invading force has probably taken precautions to make sure the humans can't take them out the same way. So what will be the key this time? Will there be another vulnerability accessible via computers or will a more old-school approach need to be taken? Will multiple ships/bases need to be eliminated ahead of time rather than just one? We'll have to wait and see, but that won't be too much longer, as Independence Day: Resurgence finally comes out on June 24.
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Connoisseur of Marvel, DC, Star Wars, John Wick, MonsterVerse and Doctor Who lore, Adam is a Senior Content Producer at CinemaBlend. He started working for the site back in late 2014 writing exclusively comic book movie and TV-related articles, and along with branching out into other genres, he also made the jump to editing. Along with his writing and editing duties, as well as interviewing creative talent from time to time, he also oversees the assignment of movie-related features. He graduated from the University of Oregon with a degree in Journalism, and he’s been sourced numerous times on Wikipedia. He's aware he looks like Harry Potter and Clark Kent.