The trailer for Independence Day: Resurgence just dropped and…you know what? We’ll save the discussion for two and a half minutes while you just watch the thing.
If you’ve been following news on this for a while, you already knew that Will Smith wasn’t going to be in it. But if this trailer is the first you’ve ever heard of this movie, you might be a bit surprised not to see his face. As you may discover from the new “War of 1996” website created for the film’s release, the explanation is that Smith’s character perished while doing a test run on a new “hybrid” fighter jet made with alien technology.
“While test piloting the ESD’s first alien hyrid 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 [sic] directly to the enemy’s defeat. He is survived by his wife Jasmine and son Dylan.”
The ESD is the Earth Space Defense program, formed in 1998, two years after the first attack. Despite the fact that the mothership was brought down by an Apple PowerBook, they decided it might be a good idea to incorporate alien technology into their own weaponry. It should be pretty exciting to see what sort of weapons the humans now have in their arsenal. And while it won’t be the point of the movie, it might also be interesting to learn whether or not it’s changed the face of war on Earth. After all, despite the trailer’s claims that “we always knew they’d come back,” I doubt that these weapons were created solely to fight aliens. Even if that’s the main point of the ESD, it seems unlikely that no one else would have gotten their hands on pieces of technology scattered across the entire planet.
The full extent of our experiments with alien technology is not the only mystery in this trailer. As the trailer begins, an unidentified character claims to have found something. It appears to be some sort of tribal-looking alien grave, although this might be clever editing since the red marks on the skulls look almost like fresh blood. The scene then cuts to what is either a crashed remnant of an old ship or a new ship that has just landed. Given its size, this ship is probably not what we’ve just “discovered,” but it also seems unlikely that the old ships haven’t been cleared away after 19 years.
Either way, the discovery brings Jeff Goldblum’s character back into the mix. He appears to be the main character of this outing, closely followed by Bill Pullman. They’ll be joined in the film by former co-stars Judd Hirsch, Vivica A. Fox, and Brent Spiner. It isn’t clear what role any of their characters will be playing at this point, although Fox should be acting as our emotional tie to Jessie Usher’s character. Usher will be playing her son, and may fulfill a similar role to that of Will Smith in the first movie since we get a brief glimpse of him flying a fighter jet through an alien invasion.
Other newcomers will include Joey King, Maika Monroe, and Liam Hemsworth. The latter seems to be particularly important, since we get a couple of major shots of him in the trailer (including one on the moon with Jeff Goldblum).
Director Roland Emmerich knows what made the first movie popular, and he’ll be delivering more of the same while also giving us some new twists. We’ll get to leave Earth, fight a bigger mothership, and see some new weapons in action as we struggle to fight for our galactic independence once more. Will we get to see more landmarks destroyed? Will we get another scene of aliens telepathically speaking through humans? Will Goldblum hack the mothership using Windows 10 this time? Nobody knows.
For now, we get to relive Bill Pullman’s excellent speech from the first movie as we watch the exciting trailer for the sequel that nobody asked for. It may seem odd to be releasing a new movie nearly twenty years after the first one, but I have a feeling that Independence Day: Resurgence is going to feel justified in the end.
Independence Day: Resurgence releases June 24, 2016. Not really on Independence Day, but close enough.