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Literature / Independence Day

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Various novels have been written about the Independence Day universe. (None of them have any connection with Pulitzer Prize-winning 1995 novel Independence Day.

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     Independence Day: The Official Novelization 
Written by Dean Devlin, Roland Emmerich and Stephen Molstad

The Novelization for the movie. Most of the tropes of the movie also apply to the novel, seeing as Devlin and Emmerich were involved in its writing. Many of the film's deleted scenes also appear, as does the original ending where Russell Casse flies his biplane into the alien destroyer (the novel being written before the change was made).

Contains examples of:

  • Adaptation Name Change: Jimmy Wilder in the movie is Jimmy Franklin in the novel.
  • Age Lift: Nimziki. He is mentioned as being 60 in the novel (James Rebhorn was 47 when the movie was being filmed in 1995).
  • Alien Abduction: Whereas the film leaves it ambiguous as to whether Russell Casse was abducted by aliens, in the novel Russell sees the alien downed by Steve Hiller, and thinks that it's not the same as the ones who abducted him. Then he starts to wonder whether other aliens are visiting Earth, or if it even really happened. The novel strongly implies that it did happen: inside their bio-suits, the invading aliens look exactly like the ones in Russell's memories.
  • All There in the Manual: The characters and their backstories are expanded upon, for example we find out President Whitmore is a Democrat, and that Jasmine and Dylan originally came from Alabama. It also identifies some of the other landmarks that were targeted, such as the Reichstag in Berlin and the Notre Dame cathedral in Paris (which explains why the ship's weapon wasn't above the Eiffel Tower in the news footage). However, it also identifies the Washington monument and Central Park as the targets of the DC and New York ships, where as it targeted the Empire State Building and the White House in the film.
  • Area 51: Unlike the film, Whitmore assures Julius that Area 51 is a real place but has no flying saucers or alien bodies.
  • Artistic License – Geography: When Steve is picked up by the refugees, one of them says that they're going to Vegas to resupply before heading into the desert. Assuming they found him a few hours after crashing in the Grand Canyon, they already would have been east of Vegas.
  • Artistic License – Military:
    • General Grey is stated to be a five-star general, a rank that only exists in wartime.
    • The pilot of Air Force One is identified as Captain Birnham, even though the rank of the president's pilot is a colonel. In addition, Nimzicki refers to one of the Joint Chiefs as Commander, which is not an American flag rank.
  • Big, Screwed-Up Family: The Casses. The novel reveals that Russell is actually the stepfather to Miguel and Alica, making Troy their half-brother.
  • Bizarre Alien Biology: The "freak show" scene is extended, with Okun giving more info about the aliens' physiology. For instance, they don't have a central circulatory organ and they have to ability to 'hear' scents.
  • Deadline News: During the destruction of LA, Jasmine listens to a reporter on the radio describing the fireball until the broadcast cuts out.
  • Deadpan Snarker: General Grey's first thought upon seeing the images of the mothership? "Looks like a giant turd."
  • Death of a Child: As the DC City Destroyer arrives, the novel mentions a stampede of people clearing out of the Washington Monument that tramples a young African girl.
  • Evil Chancellor: Nimziki actively tries to portray Whitmore as weak and indecisive during a crisis.
  • Gender Flip: Remember the male supervisor at SETI, who has the very first line of the movie ("If this isn't an insanely beautiful woman, I'm hanging up!"). In the novel, he is now a she, named Beulah Shore.
  • Lowered Recruiting Standards: Grey tells the president that if they want quality pilots with fully-functional planes and ammunition, they can put thirty planes into the air. But, by lowering their standards for anyone with flight experience and any plane that can merely fly, they can get just over a hundred. This means that the majority of pilots will serve as meat shield decoys, a decision that Whitmore isn't happy about.
  • Named by the Adaptation: Among others, we find out the names of the Asian SETI technicial who first notices the signal (Richard Yamuro), the Chief of Staff (Glenn Parness), the commander at the Pentagon (Ray Castillo), and the Iranian who first spots the fireball in the sky (Idn Assad Jamal).
  • Narm: In-Universe. Nimziki tries to point out the flaws in David's plan by making a joke. "It's not like they have a webpage on the Internet!" He then looks around waiting for someone to laugh, but they don't. They're much more interested in David's plan.
  • No Endor Holocaust: The novelization mitigates this a bit by putting the Moon between the Earth and the mothership. This makes sense if you consider that something that big would have to have a huge angular velocity to maintain Low Earth Orbit. However, the movie shows an enormous amount of debris racing the delivery fighter back into the atmosphere, and later burning as "fireworks" overhead. If it was actually out beyond the moon when it detonated, the number, implied velocity (a good chunk of the speed of light) and size of those fragments would have been a rather incredible bombardment all on their own.
  • Organic Technology: While the film has a very organic aesthetic for the aliens' technology, here it's explained that the ships, or at the very least their armor plates, are grown rather than forged. In addition, the biomechanical suits are theorized to be an entirely separate animal that the aliens breed, then slaughter, and hollow out to use as armor.
  • Precision F-Strike: Several mentions of the "F-word" appear in the novel, compared to the very mild swearing in the film.
  • Really 700 Years Old: After explaining that the ships are grown rather than built, Okun says that if their carbon dating method is accurate, the Roswell ship is between three and nine thousand years old.
  • Rousing Speech: Whitmore's speech, which has several more lines than in the film. It still includes "Today, we celebrate our Independence Day!"
  • Skewed Priorities: Secretary of Defense Nimziki is made even more despicable. He's more concerned with his political career and legacy rather than saving humanity from extinction.
  • Spared by the Adaptation: A possible case for Marty Gilbert. Whereas he is one of the casualties of the New York fireball in the movie, he does not appear in the novel again after David leaves on his mission to get to Connie, leaving his fate unknown.
  • Shout-Out: To Stargate, the earlier film by Emmerich and Devlin. Dr Okun has apparently tried to get "one of the world's leading cryptographers, Dr D Jackson" to analyze the markings on the alien ship before he was "called away to another government project".
  • To Serve Man: During the "freak show" scene, President Whitmore asks Okun what the aliens eat, which causes everyone to immediately begin picturing humans being fed into slaughterhouses. Okun then clarifies that they didn't find anything in the aliens' stomachs, so what they eat is unknown.
  • We Come In Peace: Dr. Isaacs explains that the alien survivor communicated with the head scientist at Area 51 and showed images suggesting that they were peaceful.
  • We Need a Distraction: They have more than enough pilots and fighter planes, but are short on usable missiles. So they send up the less experienced pilot without missiles for the sole purpose of drawing off some of the alien fighters.

     Independence Day: Silent Zone 
Written by Stephen Molstad

A Tie-In Novel detailing the events surrounding the Roswell Crash in 1947, and how Dr Brackish Okun came to work at Area 51 during the 1970s.

Contains examples of:

  • Government Conspiracy: Of the cover-up surrounding the Roswell Incident. Okun, to his unease, finds himself becoming part of it.
  • Plausible Deniability: The staff at Area 51 recommend that the President be told of the existence of aliens. CIA boss Albert Nimziki, the future Secretary of Defense, disagrees.
  • Prequel: The novel is set some 20 years before the alien invasion.
  • Retcon: In the novelization of the film, Dr. Isaacs says that Dr. Wells, who performed the original autopsy of the aliens, believed they were peaceful from his conversation with the survivor. Here, it's established that Wells was left paralyzed after the incident and rabidly believed the aliens were hostile.

     Independence Day: War in the Desert 
Written by Stephen Molstad

A Tie-In Novel. Reeling from the enemy onslaught, a few surviving pilots gather in the Saudi Arabian desert. Two of the best fliers, Major Reginald Cummins of the RAF and Ghalil Faisal of the Saudi Air Force, discover that their victory over the downed alien destroyer was an illusion - part of a secret ambush that will open Earth to unimaginable horror unless the pilots of several Middle Eastern nations can put their differences aside and work together to defeat the aliens in ground combat.

Contains examples of:

  • Arranged Marriage: Fadeela Yamani nearly ends up in one of these with Faisal.
  • Artistic License – Military: In the original novel, the ranks of Major and Colonel were used for the RAF pilots, rather than Squadron Leader and Group Captain. This was partly corrected in the omnibus version, which still contains some references to "Major Cummins".
  • Curb-Stomp Battle: The first chapter has the Middle East fighters attacking the city destroyer right after Jerusalem is vaporized. It goes as well as the Black Knights' battle over Los Angeles.
  • Dehumanizing Insult: There are several of these aimed at Israeli Captain Miriyam Marx.
  • Elsewhere Fic: What happened outside America.
  • Heat Wave: The British pilots struggle to adapt to the scorching temperatures in Saudi Arabia.
  • Heel–Race Turn: Saudi Captain Ali Hassan, originally an onbstruction, changes sides to join Reg and his mixed-nationality team.
  • Hero of Another Story: Reg and Thomson appear briefly in the movie. This novel details what happened to them.
  • Interquel: The first third of the novel is set during the time frame of the movie, and events such as the attack on Houston are referred to.
  • Miles Gloriosus: Faisal, who tries to save his own skin while sacrificing his pilots in order to claim all the glory.
  • No Name Given: The first names of Lt Sutton or Colonel Thomson, and the last names of Edward and Yossi, are never revealed.
  • Ray Gun: Reg and his group find a large amount of alien energy rifles in the wrecked destroyer.
  • Reasonable Authority Figure: The Saudi King is willing to show hospitality to the heroes, despite them not being Muslim.
  • Rousing Speech: Reg gives one to the coalition right before they fly off to save Mecca from the incoming city destroyer.
  • Translation by Volume: Airman Michael Tye uses this to try to find out what happened to London after the attack.
  • Vasquez Always Dies: Marx, the female Badass Israeli pilot, is killed during a land battle with the aliens.

     Independence Day: Crucible 
Written by Greg Keyes

A prequel novel to Independence Day: Resurgence, that mostly fills in the blanks about events between the two films.

Contains examples of:

  • All There in the Manual: Explains many details about the sequel.
  • Call-Back:
    • David makes sure that Steve doesn't fly the prototype without a victory dance. "Not until the fat lady sings." Sadly, Steve doesn't get to smoke it.
    • Patricia suggests to her father that they can stay up and watch Letterman. Tom smiles, recalling that they watched him right before the aliens arrived. Fortunately, he was on vacation in Montana at the time.
  • Continuity Nod: A reference is made to "that mess in the Middle East", the events of ''War in the Desert". It is implied that it is Reginald Cummins, the protagonist of that story, who has been having visions since his encounter with the aliens.
  • Dropped a Bridge on Him: As well as detailing the death of Steve Hiller in 2007, it also explains that Connie Spano was killed in a road accident in 2009.
  • Famed In-Story: David Levinson, former President Whitmore, and Steve Hiller (before his death) are famous all over the world for their parts in defeating the aliens. Julius Levinson has written a book about how he and his son saved the world and is going on tour to promote it.
  • Flawed Prototype: The ESD tries to get their prototype hybrid fighter launched as quickly as possible, despite David's repeat warnings that it's not ready. It ends up exploding and Steve is killed.
  • Ironic Echo: Julius says that David still mourning Connie's death after 4 years is "not healthy", just as he says the same thing about David still wearing his wedding ring after Connie left him in the original movie.
  • Lampshade Hanging:
    • Dylan is amused that he, the son of a stripper, is close friends with a former President of the United States and his daughter.
    • When Jake watches the attack on the ship over Los Angeles in 1996, he notes that "if this were in a movie, there would be music".
  • Mood Whiplash: Humanity's euphoria over beating the aliens subsides rather quickly once they realize all they've lost.
  • My Greatest Failure: David takes Steve's death very personally, believing that if he became director of the ESD when they offered him the job in 1998, it may not have happened.
  • New Neo City: There is a reference to "New Beijing".
  • Prequel: To Independence Day: Resurgence since it tells events that take place before it.
  • Sequel: To Independence Day since it tells of the events after the film's ending.
  • She Is Not My Girlfriend: A few examples of this involving Dylan Hiller and Patricia Whitmore.

     Independence Day: Resurgence 
Written by Alex Irvine

The Novelization for the movie. Most of the tropes of the movie also apply to the novel.

Contains examples of:

  • All There in the Manual: Clears up many plot points about the film, some of which were touched upon in Crucible.
  • Artistic License – Religion: The aliens are referred to by the Sphere as "Armageddon, the end of all things." However, "Armageddon" is actually the location where the final battle will be fought.
  • Death by Adaptation:
    • In the film, the fate of the Mars base is not mentioned. Here, it's destroyed by the aliens as they approach Earth.
    • The White House also gets flattened again, whereas it survived in the film outside of a Deleted Scene.
  • Named by the Adaptation: Dr Isaacs finally gets a first name - Milton. Secretary of Defense Tanner is also named - Reese.
  • Retcon: Of the original novelization. The novel references the first film's theatrical ending, where Russell was allowed to fly with the Area 51 assault force.
  • Series Continuity Error: According to the novel, Dr. Isaacs was in the containment lab when Okun attempted to remove the alien from its exoskeleton and survived its attack. In the first film and its novelization, Isaacs was treating Troy Casse during those events.
  • Space Base: Besides the Moon Base seen in the film, scenes are set at bases on the Saturnian moon of Rhea, and Mars.
  • Space Is Noisy: Subverted. When the moon base's laser is fired, Jake notes that there's no sound in space, but mentally adds the sound the weapon made when it was used against human cities.
  • What Happened to the Mouse?: General Adams is on a weekend away with his wife when he gets called to Area 51. She is never mentioned again for the rest of the novel.