As you've likely heard, the new Independence Day: Resurgence trailer has just dramatically broken through the atmosphere and is now ominously hovering over the Internet like one of the giant alien motherships it hastens to remind us of.
Although the trailer clearly harks back to the events, visuals, and in some cases, action set pieces of the original, it also does a great job of showing what has happened since humanity last united against the alien invaders. Furthermore, the recently launched viral marketing website warof1996.com also provides some more background information to some of the trailer's more enigmatic moments. More on them later, but for now, check out the trailer once again.
The Alien's Last Stand
As the trailer opens, we see a column of UN vehicles arriving at an unknown, but admittedly quite creepy, location.
Why is it so creepy? Well, that might have something to do with the fact the place is decorated with alien skulls. Indeed, the newly reintroduced David Levinson certainly looks perturbed.
But that's not all, it also looks like the location is home to a very large alien ship/structure.
So what's going on here? Well, according to the War of 1996 website, there was also a conflict known as the Congo Ground War, in which a small group of aliens -- who survived the crash of a City Destroyer -- held out in a remote part of Congo for around a decade after the initial attack. Despite international offers of help, the Congolese refused to allow external assistance.
Have they been keeping this alien artifact secret, or has it just arrived? From the looks of the scaffolding and shanty-town built around it, it might have been there for some time. Although its faint glow suggests it might still be 'on.' Whatever 'it' is...
A United Planet?
The trailer, and viral site, also suggests a lot has happened in the last 20 years. For one thing, we've been reverse engineering the alien technology we gathered after kicking their asses in 1996.
This has led us to a few major leaps, including:
- New hybrid aircrafts and some rather futuristic looking artillery pieces. The viral website explains that the alien craft's technology was married to the F-22 Raptor, kicking off the next generation of military aircraft.
- The formation of the ESD -- or Earth Space Defense program. According to warof1996.com, the ESD was created in the wake of global unity to better defend against future alien onslaughts. David Levinson was appointed as its director, and it seems they've also had some equipment upgrades.
- Moonbases. The trailer also shows some kind of human base that appears to be on the Moon. The marketing website goes into more detail, explaining how humanity has now built several bases in our solar system, including a base on Mars, and another one on one of Saturn's moons. According to the site, the moonbase is operated from Beijing, China, while the other two appear to be controlled from France and Russia. The bases are apparently armed with defensive weaponry and detection equipment, although from the looks of things, this isn't enough to stop the aliens in their tracks...
New and Old Faces
The trailer also helped to introduce, and reintroduce, some of the plucky humans who will once again do battle with our unfriendly visitors. Of course, headlining the bill is David Levinson (Jeff Goldblum), the director of the recently created, but still untested, ESD.
We also get several glimpses of the former president, and inspirational orator/war hero, Thomas Whitmore (Bill Pullman). However, it looks like things have changed a bit for Whitmore. He now sports a massive beard, and a slightly jaded temperament.
It looks like David's father, Julius Levinson (Judd Hirsch), will also get wrapped up in the action once more, despite the fact he now seems to want a quiet life on the sea.
While apparently Jasmine (Vivica A. Fox) has had a bit of a career change in the intervening 20 years, turning from an exotic dancer into some kind of doctor or scientist.
However, there are also some new faces, including, among others, Maika Monroe as President Whitmore's daughter, Patricia.
Liam Hemsworth as Jake Morrison, an apparent pilot with a badass stride and a relationship with Patricia.
Jessie Usher as Dylan Hiller, the son of Independence Day hero Steven Miller and another apparent ESD pilot.
Sela Ward, as the new leader of the US, President Lanford.
William Fichtner as General Adams, someone we can assume is responsible for Earth's defense.
And Joey King, as Sam, a girl who also gets wrapped up in the new invasion.
By this point, you're probably thinking, "Hang on?! Where is Will Smith?" Well, it seems Mr. Smith won't be along for the sequel. As we heard during Independence Day: Resurgence's pre-production, Smith was apparently tired of sequels and demanded a major pay-packet to return. Instead, Fox decided to write him out of the story.
But don't expect him to make some kind of surprise return or cameo, he is very definitely 'out.' According to warof1996.com, Steven Hiller died while test flying a new fighter in 2007.
Set Pieces To Rival The Original
Independence Day was famous for its action-packed and revolutionary action set pieces – in particular, scenes of massive aerial battles. It seems Resurgence will also tick this box with various action moments that both nod to the original and go to new places – literally.
For example, it seems dog-fighting is still the order of the day as Earth's new generation of fighters go back up against the aliens – but this time in SPACE!
In fact, it looks like quite a bit of action will take place 'offworld,' with David once again being sent up to space to save the day.
However, whatever plan they have to stall the aliens before they reach Earth, it clearly doesn't succeed as we once again see the aliens' new, bigger, ships breaking through the atmosphere and causing some serious havoc.
And when they do eventually arrive, it looks like some major Starship Troopers-esque action breaks out.
The above GIF also (possibly) shows Games of Thrones's Deobia Oparei in the role of Dikembe. Considering his red beret (which we saw being worn by Congolese soldiers), his name and the ornate looking swords on his back, I'm going to go out on a limb and suggest he's going to be some kind of alien-killing badass from the Congo Ground War. Furthermore, according to The AV Club, Dikembe is an Oxford-educated son of an African warlord, which adds some more credence to the theory.
Independence Day: Resurgence releases on June 24, 2016. Just in time for the real Independence Day.