Twenty years ago, Independence Day invaded theaters, fetishized destruction like few movies before it, turned Will Smith into an action hero for the ages, and cemented Jeff Goldblum as an oddly sexy super nerd.
The latest trailer just dropped with a bunch of new footage, so naturally we had to take a deep dive and comb for Easter Eggs and insights. If you haven't seen it yet, check it out below:
So let's dive in.
Research Facilities Built Around The Wreckage Of The War?
One of the main points from both trailers is that the military has done its best to adapt the alien tech from Independence Day for use in its own weapons to make the Earth a safer place.
From this opening shot, in the distance we can see one of the downed alien spacecrafts from the War of 1996, perhaps one shown in the closing shots of the original film. If that's the case, it seems the research facilities where the weapon development was done were built around the downed ships.
Which makes sense, considering moving the massive city-sized wreckage would be far more difficult than building around them.
The 'ID4' Legacy
The War of 1996 clearly impacted all people around the globe: The loss of life, the destruction of homes, probable economic collapse. But the trailer places an important emphasis on the legacy of the primary Independence Day cast, with constant reinforcement about their importance in the victory 20 years ago.
Whitmore (Bill Pullman) is obviously older and maybe a little broken by his experiences, but his daughter proclaims: "We wouldn't be here if it wasn't for him."
The real emotional clincher is the appearance of Will Smith's Steven Hiller in an old photograph, along with his son Dylan (Ross Bagley) and wife Jasmine (Vivica A. Fox), as Goldblum's David Levinson tells an adult Dylan (Jessie Usher): "Your father was the bravest man I've ever seen."
The World Has Been Rebuilt
It's difficult to imagine the world bouncing back, architecturally, from the War of '96, given that nearly ever major American landmark was destroyed in Independence Day. Yet in this shot we see that Capitol Hill is back (with some adjustments) and later, landmarks are thrown on top of landmarks, so presumably the rest of the globe either rebuilt or just wasn't ravaged as hard as the U.S.
If it's the former, it makes me wonder if the new world was rebuilt in the image of the old one. For example, was the Empire State Building rebuilt, too? Or the White House? Here's hoping they dive into some of this in Resurgence (before blowing it all up again).
RIP Russel Casse
This is a fun little Easter Egg that I was happy to find in the trailer. Russel Casse, Randy Quaid's alcoholic crop duster/alien abductee who helps save the day in the original movie courtesy of a suicide run, is memorialized on the giant wall of names we see in Washington, D.C.
I did my best to look for other prominent characters we lost in the original — Harry Connick Jr.'s Jimmy Wilder or Mary McDonnell's Marilyn Whitmore — but couldn't pinpoint any in this particular shot.
Liam And Maika Are A Thing
This was probably obvious even before the trailer — given that they're two young, attractive stars on the rise — but Liam Hemsworth's Jake Morrison and Maika Monroe's Patricia Whitmore are clearly a couple.
And here they have their Armageddon moment:
The Ships Steven Hiller Died Testing
These new ships — shown flying in space — are clearly part of the new artillery that Whitmore is talking about in the trailer, using alien tech to make Earth weapons stronger.
Here we see the same ships in a dogfight with the familiar alien fighters:
But what's most interesting is how the designs of these ships match that of this other one that crashes and burns early in the trailer, after we see Dylan looking at the old photo of his father, and before it cuts to Vivica A. Fox's Jasmine looking thoroughly sad:
Knowing that Steven Hiller died in a test flight for a new aircraft sometime after the War of 1996, it looks like these new ships that are being used in the battle against the resurgent alien forces are what Hiller gave his life testing.
Gale Can't Escape District 12
This is a funny little Easter Egg — and honestly, probably just a coincidence — but we see Hemsworth walking out of a hangar with a big, fat 12 on top, possibly a reference to his character Gale Hawthorne's home, District 12, from The Hunger Games.
Dr. Brakish Okun's Alien Telepathy
Brent Spiner's presumed-dead Dr. Okun is back in Resurgence after being used as a vessel for one of the aliens in the original film.
Maybe as a result of his "possession," he can communicate with the alien species — or at least has some better insight to understanding their language. That would explain how he knows that the aliens are celebrating the imminent arrival of their allies rather than screaming.
New Weapons For Everyone
Even more so than the first trailer, this one gives a look at all the fresh new tech involved in Resurgence (including the ships mentioned above). There's some truly crazy-looking stuff, including laser guns for Earth's soldiers:
And then there are these insane walkers on the side of the bad guys; maybe the aliens are big fans of the Empire's AT-ATs.
Most significant is the new gravity weapon, where the alien ship basically sucks landmarks off the ground and tosses them on top of other landmarks. Talk about devastation.
But it's not all new methods of destruction — there's still this old chestnut:
Belly Of The Beast
Like Hiller and Levinson before them, it looks like the new heroes of Resurgence will be forced to go into the nest of the enemy. These shots definitely suggest a visit inside an alien ship:
Bill Pullman Being Awesome, Again
Even though he's no longer president or a fighter pilot, Whitmore is still showing his true bravery and leading by example. There are two shots that point to him meeting his demise for the greater good in Resurgence. There's this one scene that we saw in the first trailer as well, as Patricia appears to plead with her father to not go wherever he's going:
But later, there's a quick reverse of this angle where you can see Whitmore in the background of this alien's legs as a door separating them opens:
Is he going to meet his doom? Is he trying to negotiate with the leader? Probably both, I'm sad to say.
Was there anything we missed? Let us know below!
'Independence Day: Resurgence' arrives in theaters June 24.