ByTommy DePaoli, writer at
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Tommy DePaoli

After the release of that incredible trailer for Independence Day: Resurgence, most of us are still reeling from sheer excitement and anticipation. Even though this is indisputable proof that this sequel is actually happening and coming to theaters in June, I'm still watching and re-watching in complete disbelief.

Despite my expanding love for this upcoming movie, it's hard not to notice that one key person is missing, already making the sequel pretty distinct from the original.

I'm talking, of course, about Captain Steven Hiller who was brought to life by Will Smith in Independence Day. In terms of iconic scenes, Hiller's constant one-liners could only be rivaled by President Whitmore's rousing speech, and even then they still arguably come out on top. For Independence Day: Resurgence, we may not be seeing any more Hiller, but now his legacy is getting a real explanation.

As Hiller, Will Smith made this movie unforgettable

Look no further than this one scene to really cement why this indomitable character continues to be a favorite.

So, as someone so beloved and the best equipped to tackle a new extraterrestrial threat, why won't Hiller be back (aside from the fact that Will Smith didn't want to come back for another go).

Turns out, alien technology got the better of him

20th Century Fox
20th Century Fox

He may have come out on top against the aliens themselves, but Hiller's downfall turned out to be testing their technology to improve the United States military. According to the awesomely interactive website The War of 1996, which gives background on the timeline between the first movie and now, Hiller dies in 2007.

"While test piloting the ESD’s first alien hybrid fighter, an unknown malfunction causes the untimely death of Col. Hiller. Hiller’s valor in the War of ‘96 made him a beloved global icon whose selfless assault against the alien mothership lead directly to the enemy’s defeat. He is survived by his wife Jasmine and son Dylan.”

Well, that's a huge freakin' bummer.

Now it's up to the next generation to take up the alien-destroying mantle

Along with Jasmine (Vivica A. Fox) returning, Hiller's adorable little son is now all grown up and ready to make his dad proud. It's pretty hard to believe that this cute little kid is now buff and potentially the world's only hope against annihilation.

In the end, it's a shame we won't be getting more of that signature snark from the good ol' Captain, but at least we're still keeping it in the Hiller family, right?

(Source: The War of 1996)


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