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Independance Day takes place in the Endersvers
Independance Day is actually the First Formic War referred to in Ender's Game, but from the American perspective; or possibly a pro-America historical rewrite created as Hegemon propaganda. Resurgence is the Second Formic War, and the conclusion of the trilogy is Ender's Game itself.

The destruction of New York led to the development of the Manhattan Prison in Escape from New York
Think about it. With all of the chaos that occurred, the government decides "Screw repairing Manhattan!" and throws the worst offenders in it. After Snake Plissken's little adventure, they finally start fixing things again. (Alan Moore, if you're reading this, feel free to use it in a League of Extraordinary Gentlemen segment).
  • Jossed. The Novelization of Escape from New York actually provided an explanation, and it had absolutely nothing to do with aliens. The United States was hit with a massive nerve gas attack by the Soviet Union, and New York was hit especially hard. As a result, it was subsequently declared uninhabitable, and the government decided to turn it into a prison. Interesting thought, though.

The aliens are the ones from Watchmen.
Veidt made his creations too well, and they punched a hole in space time and came to an Earth without superheroes (save a few with Charles Atlas Superpowers).

Lucky for us, he was right about humanity uniting in the face of an incomprehensible evil, and the day was saved, mostly. (The fallout from the nukes — it is likely that other countries used their arsenal on daughterships — the giant UFOs raining from the sky, and the major political and economic centers of each country destroyed, means that we're going right back to Humans Are Bastards a few years down the road.)

The "peace" created by this event didn't last.
See the above WMG. Humanity is going to take a long time to recover. We see looting that happened in New York and Los Angeles moments before the UFOs toasted them. A lot of people won't want to wait for civilization to come back.

Alternatively, the peace created by this event is what's necessary to create the first steps towards the United Federation Of Planets.
These events aren't mentioned in the archives because it's been a few hundred years and the stories got a little...distorted.
  • This would suggest that contrary to the relatively 'Next Sunday A.D.' feel of the movie, the events actually happened in the late 2050s/very early 2060s (which we know — due to First Contact showing us the direct aftermath, if in a relatively untouched location — saw a devastating conflict). Alternatively, the above WMG was also accurate: the peace didn't last, and there was a World War III between humans leading to a Post-atomic Horror a couple of decades after the movie is set.

The peace lasted because everybody died right after the credits
The situation we leave our heroes in as the movie fades to black is even more doomtastic than the Endor Holocaust. A spacecraft "one fourth the size of the Moon" has just blown itself to smithereens; at the altitude we saw it hovering when Goldblum and Smith went to meet it, the debris is pretty much all coming down on us. Even if it was mostly hollow, there will be enough wreckage to bury the surface of Earth several kilometers deep after first incinerating it from the heat of all that junk reentering. Rocks fall, everyone dies.
  • Everyone on the surface dies. Those fortunate enough to reside in the vault-like extraterrestrial technology enhanced Area 51 will survive. Their descendants emerge centuries later to form a post-apocalyptic technocracy.
  • Nope. Almost all the pieces miss the Earth, and those which do hit do only limited damage. Because THAT'S THE WAY HARUHI SUZUMIYA IMAGINED IT WOULD HAPPEN. (This is an AU Suzumiya, who is very into SF but doesn't assume aliens are going to be friendly...)
  • Jossed by Independence Day: Resurgence, which indicates that there are survivors from the first movie some 20 years later.

The city-killer saucers were hydrogen-filled dirigibles
Why did the aliens use such unreasonably gigantic spacecraft to cart around wimpy beam weapons that packed about as much punch as a pile of nuclear bombs that could fit in a modest-sized human aircraft? Why did the city killers burn so readily when shot with tiny little anti-aircraft missiles once their invulnerable energy shields were down? Why did the wrecked city killer hovering over Area 51 drift gently away to crash far off in the distance? How could they hover without Newton's third law crushing everything on the ground beneath them?

Simple — they were almost entirely filled with lighter-than-air hydrogen bladders.


  • Newton's third law: the ships were supporting themselves with some sort of technobabble graviton beam system that interacted with the earth itself, spreading out the forces through the rock underneath, rather than propelling material downwards. (Which still relies on technobabble and impossible as far as we know technology, but a lot of the physics issues people spot in the movie may work like this.)

  • Tiny little anti-aircraft missiles? That one tribe was able to take one down with spears!

    • Not necessarily, the tribe was only celebrating the defeat, there was no implication of them being the ones behind its destruction. They were just there to show how the virus and the coordinated airstrikes saved all of humanity, make the faceless benefactors visible, and overcome A Million Is a Statistic.

The ships are huge cause the aliens never invented the transistor
The ships are full of giant vacuum tubes.

The Aliens were taken down by the virus because the tech guy had Vulcan help
Think about it. How does a human computer virus, from 1996, take down a space fairing space ship? Easily, he had help from the Vulcans from Star Trek.

The Alien Superweapons were dismantled and reverse-engineered by the army to become Hammerdown.
See Cloverfield for more details.

The film takes place during the distant past of the Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann universe
The reason the aliens strategy involves sucking a planet dry and moving on? They're either running away from the Anti-Spirals, or working to keep the level of Spiral energy in the universe to a minimum so they don't have to worry about their own Spiral energy levels. Their technology would later be used to make the Gunmen.

President Whitman is a Republican.

  • First, Jasmine says she "voted for the other guy" and as an African-American woman (and stripper) she belongs to traditionally Democratic party-affiliated demographics. Second, Whitman is a military veteran, traditionally seen as a Republican trait.
    • On the other hand, I seem to recall, around the time the movie was released, Hal Emmerich said that the character of Whitman was inspired by Bill Clinton. Of course, that would mean that one of the only survivors of the LA attack was perhaps the only Republican African-American single mother and stripper in the US.
    • Maybe she voted for the other guy in the primaries, although in that case it's weird that she would word it that way.
    • It's worth remembering that Bill Clinton wasn't a far-left Democrat, but more of a moderate, pragmatic centrist. It's possible that Whitman was meant to be the Republican equivalent of that.
    • According to the novelization, Whitmore is a Democrat. It's established during Nimzicki's intro, which establishes that Whitmore is the fourth president he's served and the second Democrat.

The Mac Virus worked because...
  • The scientists at Area 51 had been tinkering with the ship for 50 years.
  • Human computer technology is secretly based on the computers in the alien spaceship discovered in Roswell in 1947, which were reverse-engineered by human scientists.
  • The Horde of Alien Locusts were in a technological plateau, so the starfighter wasn't so obsolete as to raise immediate red flags.
  • The scientists had at least a few days to figure out how to interface their computers with the alien hardware, possibly more (note they can manually raise and lower the shields from outside the ship even before the virus is written).
  • The Horde of Alien Locusts are a hivemind, and thus all their technology is fully-integrated.
  • They have no concept of lesser races being able to breach their security, so they have no firewall technology.
  • They were downloading survey data from the advanced scout starfighter, and it was this data that the virus was uploaded into.
  • Mac paid for product placement. Macs were built with alien technology.
  • Much like Macs, the software of the invaders was designed to be incredibly simple to operate and virtually idiot-proof. The simple programming made it easy to design a virus to shut the system down.
  • The aliens programmed their computers to be compatible with human technology so they could hijack our satellite network for communications.

The alien weapon used to destroy cities is an antimatter containment and delivery system

The green beams are an antimatter containment system that delivers a small amount of antimatter onto the target. When the antimatter is in place outside the ship's shield, the containment is switched off and a huge explosion occurs. This explains- why the beam is on for some time before the explosion occurs.- how a laser-like beam can transfer enough energy to destroy a city.- why firing into the beams works at the end of the film - this shut down the containment system while the antimatter was too close to the ship and so the ship got blown up instead.

  • If ya wanna hold onto a bit of realism, it's pretty much the only way the destruction could happen in the scale it did. But maybe....just maybe...Rule of Cool is meta...Hrm...

After the end of the movie the remains of the city ships become prime thrill-seeker territory.
  • The 15 mile wide spacecraft leave ruins which judging by the movie are at least 2-4 miles tall. Tell some mountain climbers they're not going to go tackle that. Go on.

Secretary of State Nimzicky was on the alien's side, feeding them information.
  • He is nothing but disruptive to the President and withholding vital classified information, even when it wouldn't be much of a secret anymore. He is very quick to suggest nuking the city ships - maybe even hoping it will work and thus getting out of the fear of being implicated by either side.

The alien mothership runs on the Infinite Improbability Drive.
  • The improbability field generated by the drive is what generates the improbable coincidences throughout the movie, such as all the characters just happening to meet up, the cable guy just happening to decode the aliens' timing signal, their computer system just happening to be compatible with Mac OS, and, of course, their invasion just happening to take place on Independence Day weekend. Truly, their technology was their downfall.

The Aliens' ships are actually unmanned suicide weapons
  • The alien's strategy is this: make a fleet of cool starships which are incredibly big and dense. Then, make the ships' engines or cores explode as soon as it is hit with an anti-aircraft missile. Spend decades stealing cable to make the computer interface compatible with their computers and use as little memory as possible. Add a laser and invincibility to make the ship fearsome. Maybe some fighters or some cyborgs to convince the targets that these are real aliens. Then, send the ships to the target planet, let them get blown up and fall to the ground, the targets thinking they had won. 50 years later, the real ships should arrive. The nuclear winter caused by untold billions of tons of burnt ship floating in the atmosphere should have left a completely barren planet, free of trigger happy sapient creatures and pesky biological deterrents. The aliens in the real ships clean up the debris, xenoform the planet and colonize it. This explains why a computer completely obsolete even by today's standards 'beat' the aliens, while making the extraterrestrials infinitely more powerful.
    • Punch: "Welcome to Earth." Yeah, the fighters totally were uncrewed, and if they had pilots...Also the alien who sees the laughing skull when the virus is uploaded.

The movie is actually intended as delivering a Green Aesop.

It is a vicious circle.
  • Step 1: Ca. 50 years after the arrival of the first scouts, a gigantic interstellar alien space ship comes to a planet with nice living conditions, in order to destroy or enslave all native sentient life and to colonize the planet.
  • Step 2: The natives defeat the aliens and destroy the mother ship.
  • Step 3a: No Endor Holocaust does not apply. The remnants of the huge mother ship cause devastating environmental problems. The living conditions on the planet get significantly worse.
  • Step 3b: At the same time, the native sentients experience an enormous technological leap forwards, due to all the alien stuff, free to loot and reverse-engineer for everyone.
  • Step 4: The living conditions on the planet will soon become unbearable. The natives decide to construct a gigantic interstellar space ship, one where their whole population will fit in, and to leave the planet.
  • Step 5: Even with advanced alien manufacturing technologies, the construction of the ship will last ca. 50 years. In the meantime, the natives send out smaller scout ships to seek out and explore potential candidates for planetary colonization.
  • Step 6: See Step 1.

Or they took over another star system and thus began Firefly
Jayne is obviously Major Michell's descendant!

Humans must always fight

  • While the movie seems to be making the point that it is possible for humans of all countries to unite, what it is actually saying is far more depressing: Humans always need an enemy, and the only time they will stop fighting each other is when aliens come and they can have someone else to fight with.
    • So humans are Orks?

Major Mitchell is actually Knowle Rohrer under an alias, or vice versa.
Why not? They're both played by Adam Baldwin and it would make some kind of sense given their jobs.Also, when the guy on the phone at the cable-TV-place says "I love The X-Files too", he wasn't referring to the TV show; the guy on the other end of the line was Mulder, whose viewing of some documentary on the paranormal had been interrupted so he was complaining that this would hurt his work on the X-Files. The guy on the phone was just agreeing with him to get him off the line. SO THERE, they can too take place in the same universe.

The list of targeted cities
  • The American ships:
    • In the novelization, San Francisco buys it in the first wave (four ships attacking the USA instead of the three in the movie). I would figure that the LA ship would then head to San Diego before heading towards Nevada and Arizona while the San Francisco ship heads north towards Portland, the Seattle/Tacoma urban area and into Canada (with Vancouver).]
    • The novelization also mentions the loss of Pittsburgh.
    • The DC ship razed Atlanta but somehow chose to head towards Houston while somehow ignoring Jacksonville and New Orleans.
      • NASA is in Houston, and Houston is the fourth largest city in the US.
      • The DC ship probably also razed Baltimore, given its proximity. Baltimore could have even received some damage from the first wave DC attack.
    • The NYC ship hit Philadelphia then Chicago. Why Chicago instead of the much closer Boston and Toronto? No idea.
      • You may want to consider what tactical value those cities have and their population density. This is bordering on not showing work, but I thought inland Chicago was more densely populated than coastal Boston at the time of filming, and you may want to consider any major military installments in the area (remember the SAC-NORAD HQ that was shot up by their fighters and the AFB where the Los Angeles F-18 group came from?). Plus, I guess the aliens were going to hit most capital cities and the most densely populated, then work their way down.
      • Boston was lost in Wave 3. There was also a ship that destroyed Toronto, so that was probably the one that took out Chicago.
    • The DFW Metroplex may have been taken out all at once by the Houston ship.
    • Las Vegas may have been a target, but it survived after its ship shifted to Area 51 and was shot down.
  • The European ships:
    • One ship hit Paris then is mentioned as having hit Brussels next. In the novelization, the Dutch destroy a ship in the final battle, so it might be the same one.
    • I haven't heard Independence Day UK, but I should assume one single ship hit the major British cities one after the other.
    • Italy lost Rome and then Milan. Perhaps it hit Naples too, depending on how long it needed to do the trip.
    • Germany lost Berlin, Hamburg, and Frankfurt. The War of 1996 website shows that the destroyer was intercepted before it could take out Munich, which probably became the capital during reconstruction (unless Bremen took the job).
  • The rest of the world:
    • The ships sent to New Delhi, Beijing and Tokyo had a field day with a huge selection of ripe targets all around.
    • Looks like Cairo wasn't in the list of first targets despite its large population. The novelization mentions a ship in Tel Aviv. If that one ship then hit Alexandria, the timing could fit with its being destroyed while on its way to Cairo afterwards.
      • They probably decided attacking a country that might have nukes was for the best. Just because their ships have shields, doesn't mean they could protect their ground forces from being nuked off the face of the planet.
    • Sydney wasn't on the first hit list either. Maybe they hit Canberra and/or Melbourne first?
      • Or they just attacked the much larger and denser population centres in Asia first before moving to Australia and didn't have enough ships to waste on Australia in the first strike. Jakarta on it's own has half the population the entire country of Australia has. Then there's Beijing, Karachi, Delhi, Shanghai, Mumbai, Tianjin, Guangzhou, Seoul, Shenzhen, Tokyo, Dongguan, Bangkok, Wuhan, Lahore, Bangalore, Singapore, Surat, Chennai, Chongqing, Kolkata, Yangon, Shenyang, Hyderbad to destroy before you get down to cities the size of Sydney and if you are already in the process of exterminating the 1.3 billion people in China and the 1.2 billion in India, or the 270 million in Indonesia or 120 million in Japan you might want to finish the job there properly before moving down to Australia with 20 million people spread out over the entire continent.

The ship that attacked Australia was taken down by the wildlife.

The military is okay with the President fighting in the counterattack because it's an election year.
First, they need every pilot they can get. Second, if the President dies in the battle but humanity wins, it won't be too much of a problem that there's no President (since the last surviving successor was the Secretary of Defense, who was fired before the battle began, vacating the entire chain of succession), because that condition will only last about six months. They could even have the newly elected Congress pass a law for an emergency transition to have the new President-elect assume office immediately, rather than waiting until January 20. In the meantime, the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs will assume command of the military while the executive powers of the Federal government will devolve on the Governors of the 50 states acting in concert. In fact, due to the crisis, it's likely that special elections to refill the House of Representatives will be scheduled for within a month, at which time they will elect a new Speaker of the House, who would then resign to assume the Presidency. There is a succession plan available, and nobody is going to be starting a war in the aftermath right away, either.
  • Alternately, General Grey succeeds President Whitman on the grounds that he is also the acting Secretary of Defense due to the previous SecDef's removal... a state of affairs which requires only President Whitman saying one sentence to make happen.

General Grey will be Whitmore's immediate successor as the next President; Capt. Hiller will be the President a few terms later

General Grey was the only person in the government who managed to keep a cool head besides Whitmore himself. He also provided Whitmore with trustworthy advice, in contrast to the sniveling Secretary Nimzicki. By the end of the movie, Grey and Whitmore were basically like Bash Brothers and one can easily imagine that once the 2000 election arrived in-universe, Whitmore would absolutely vouch for Grey and endorse him should he choose to run.

Just as importantly, in the aftermath of the crisis, Grey would likely have an Eisenhower-like reputation, and would almost definitely win the 2000 election.

Really the only way Grey wouldn't be elected is if he chose not to run, but in the likelihood that America would be faced with many years of rebuilding after the events of the movie, Whitmore would probably urge him to do so, knowing that he's a competent leader who'd command enough popularity and respect to hold the country together during the years of reconstruction that lay ahead.

As for the part about Will Smith's Capt. Hiller being President a few terms later, it's basically been confirmed that if Roland Emmerich and Dean Devlin get the go-ahead to make a sequel, this will be the case as long as they can get Will Smith to return.

  • The Hiller part is Jossed, but mostly because Roland Emmerich and Dean Devlin didn't get Will Smith to return (Hiller died in a flight-test accident in 2007).
  • Confirmed with Grey. The War of 1996 website shows that Grey was president from 2001 to 2005.
The alien ships are powered by broadcast power.

That's why all the ships stop working when the mothership goes down, and why they had the one ship for 50 years and couldn't do anything with it. There was no power source on board it for them to reverse engineer. When the fleet showed up, the broadcast power was returned and the captured ship started working again.

Once Earth recovers a bit, the alien ships will eventually be reverse-engineered into our invasion fleet.

Then, we set off for some Revenge by Proxy. Alien bastards invaded us without warning? Well, we'll do the same to the first alien scum we find.

  • Of if the planned sequels do happen, we'll use them to defend ourselves against the aliens on more equal terms.
  • Humanity wages a war against a telepathic alien race, wins by destroying their mothership, builds a space fleet and launches a retaliatory fleet to attack their homeworld? Ender's Game, anyone?

The aliens are actually the Precursors from Pacific Rim.

Their M.O. is the same: go from planet to planet wiping out the natives and milking it dry of natural resources. Since the conventional flying saucer invasion didn't work, they waited 17 years and tried a different approach: opening a wormhole at the bottom of the ocean and sending bio-engineered monsters through to wreak havoc on humanity.

  • The Precursors even look like an evolutionary step up from the Independence Day aliens.

The aliens intentionally leaked their technology

Considering how the aliens are quick to use our satellites as a relay for their invasion, perhaps the crashing landing was a gambit to trick us into building the infrastructure to support their attack.

In Independence Day 2 we'll see a great statue of Rusell, and he'll be hailed the greatest hero of humanity
  • Bonus Point if they make a reference to the novelization: "That guy strapped a machine gun and a bomb to his old duster cropper, downed two UFOs with that rusted piece of metal, and won the war for us"
    • Chuck Norris will have a cameo and will say "Rusell tears could cure cancer. But he only would shed tears for his children"

Which landmarks were attacked

We saw the White House, Empire State Building, and whatever the building was in Los Angeles. Unseen in other cities:

  • Moscow: Some part of the Kremlin for sure (I do not know the full geography, so could not say which part)
    • Depends on if they did their research. St. Basil's Cathedral is not very tall, though it is taller than the much-larger Grand Kremlin Palace. The aliens seem to gravitate towards tall buildings in general (the White House in Washington being a notable exception, but D.C. deliberately lacks skyscrapers, True Lies not withstanding, keeping it in the running). If they are looking for a tall building, Moscow's Mercury City Tower (the tallest building in Europe) wouldn't be completed for more than a decade, the same is true for the next several tallest skyscrapers in Moscow. That leaves the Triumph Palace, the mega-residential complex, as a possible target (which looks like something they would target too). The Moscow White House, which currently houses parliament, wasn't in use during that time, due the 1993 Constitutional Crisis.
  • Chicago: Definitely the Sears Tower (middle of the city, tallest around) assuming the Aliens cared to target landmarks at that point.
  • London: Big Ben/Palace of Westminster
  • Beijing (if it got attacked): Whichever one of the older palaces is closer to the middle of the city
    • Novelization says they went for the Forbidden City.
  • Paris: Something other than the Eiffel tower (Since a thin metal structure isn't much to blow up.)
    • Though in actuality, if left to the film producers, it's overwhelmingly like that the Eiffel Tower (and St. Basil's Cathedral above) would be targeted, even if they weren't ideal for the aliens.
    • The news footage showed it was not directly above the Eiffel Tower. Notre Dame, maybe?
      • The novelization mentions that the Paris ship parked its main weapon above Notre-Dame.
  • Berlin: The Reichstag.
  • Hamburg: Either the Rathaus (center of the city) or the Heinrich-Hertz-Turm (tallest building).
  • Rome: St. Peter's Basilia, maybe? It is to the west of the center, though.
  • San Francisco: The Transamerica Pyramid.
  • Jerusalem: Dome on the Rock.
  • Tehran: Azadi Tower.

North Korea claimed the alien ships were their doing
Humans reacted like in a certain film about Moon Nazi... Until the aliens took offence and decided to prove they weren't North Koreans (and now you know why they attacked Pyongyang).

Switzerland was a Big Damn Hero.
The War of 1996 website shows that Geneva and Zurich survived the attack. Seeing that this was a global alien invasion, Switzerland decided "Screw neutrality!" and declared that they would help in the European front. However, once it became clear that the aliens had deflector shields, they held back their forces until a way could be found to get through them. As the remnants of the German Luftwaffe fought over Munich, the Swiss Air Force arrived at the last minute and allowed the destruction of the Berlin ship.

One or more of the European ships were taken down by American nukes used by other countries
There's an awful lot of American nuclear weapons in Europe for use of the European members of NATO. And once the shields are dropped...
  • While there are already two nuclear states in Europe (Britain and France), Europe is densely populated. They probably avoided nukes to avoid contaiminating areas with refugees. Russia, on the other hand, might have been less stringent with their nukes.


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