Independence Day is one of those movies that you just have to watch. We’ve seen movies about alien invasion done over and over again, and trust me, they’re getting old. But Independence Day did it right. Taking all the good from the most popular of sci-fi flicks while injecting their own new formula, this is one movie that was made to last, and one of my favorites at that.
I (among many other fans) was ecstatic when I heard that they announced a sequel titled Independence Day: Resurgence, and was even more stoked when I saw the first trailer. The original cast is back (those that survived the first film anyways with the exception of Will Smith) and it looks to faithfully build upon the groundwork of the first film.
With just one trailer though, there were plenty of easter eggs to be found (as is common in today’s era). This inspired me to look back at the original ID to scour some interesting nods and references that you may or not have missed. Some of them you probably won’t catch unless you understand the reference.
They weren’t nearly as well-hidden as in Cloverfield, but here are 10 patriotic easter eggs found throughout the Independence Day franchise.
10. Alien Graveyard
The first eater egg comes from the trailer for Independence Day: Resurgence. We see a brief shot of some very peculiar looking skeletons of what look to be the terrifying aliens from the first movie. This is probably some sort of alien graveyard where either the bodies were dumped or where the climactic battle happened just outside of Area 51. I don’t think the returning extraterrestrials will be too happy to figure out that their buddies have been reduced to bones on poles, but I’d bet that was Will Smith‘s idea, more on him later, though.
9. Jurassic Park Reference
Every time those three words are uttered, we all harken back to that beautiful scene in Jurassic Park where 3 individuals are escaping a T-Rex with a Jeep. While in that Jeep, Dr. Ian Malcolm, seeing the dinosaur approaching, says “Must go faster”. Ian Malcolm is played by actor Jeff Goldblum who also has a pivotal role in Independence Day. He and Will Smith’s character sneak onto the alien mothership and when they try to escape it, their opening begins to close. Scared they’ll be trapped forever, Goldblum’s character utters, “Must go faster, must go faster” much to Will Smith’s annoyance. It’s a nice little callback to another classic sci-fi flick.
8. The Day the Earth Stood Still
This one was pretty easy to catch. During the most iconic scene in the entire movie where the White House is blown to bits, we got a shot of some little kids watching television in an RV. On the television is a familiar scene from 1950s The Day the Earth Stood Still. This little easter egg provides us with some information as to what inspired the original premise for Independence Day as well as some beats that helped influence the end result. Both films portray the aliens as murderous terrorists who want to destroy the entire planet.
7. A Whole New Military
Another moment from the Resurgence trailer that was worth taking note of. Throughout the original film, the scientists experiment on one of the aliens for years in Area 51 hoping to harness its advanced technology so that the military would be prepared for an invasion. That obviously goes awry, but it looks like in the decades following the events of the first movie, the military has made good on their promise. High tech ships, armor, and weaponry are all present, and the aliens are going to have to up their ante if they want to take down the humans this time around.
6. Poem By Wordsworth
In Independence Day, we spend a significant amount of time in Area 51. During that time, we get a glimpse at a green screen showcasing where the military has tried to nuke the aliens and how effective that ended up being. Just below the green background is a collection of words that reads,
“The purpose of these green lines is to lead you to believe that these words mean something…”
This phrase is a small segment of a poem by the famous William Wordsworth. It just goes to show how little people pay attention to the text in the scenery.
5. Good Morning, Dave
Anybody who knows their stuff when it comes to movies likely caught this one. When Goldblum’s character (named David) is on the alien mothership, he has to upload a virus that will destroy the fleet and save the human race. Once he opens his laptop to access said virus, it flashes up with a red camera interface and chimes a pleasant “Good morning, Dave”. This is a respectful and obvious nod to 2001: A Space Odyssey which is heralded as one of the best sci-fi films of all time. If you haven’t seen it, you seriously need to.
4. Death Star Cameo
Independence Day takes a lot of inspiration from popular sci-fi films, so naturally you would expect it to pay some homage to Star Wars. During a serious discussion in the SETI office, there is a screen in the background with details on certain projects. If you look just hard enough, you will see something called the Deep Space Satellite Devlin. The schematics of the satellite look exactly like a familiar planet-destroying machine. Perhaps the aliens live on Alderaan and the humans are ready to blow it to bits?
3. It’s Godzilla!
The director of Independence Day, Roland Emmerich, was also at the time negotiating to work on the 1998 Godzilla film. Because he was slated to make the movie, he had to sneak in a reference of the popular kaiju in there somewhere. During the film, Will Smith’s son finds a toy and plays with it, and the toy happens to be none other than the King of the Monsters himself. Yes the 1998 Godzilla came out after Independence Day, but Emmerich had to have known he was already locked down for the project.
2. Jeff Goldblum Sickness
For some peculiar reason, every character Jeff Goldblum plays is always linked with some kind of sickness. In Jurassic Park he was all around sick, and was seasick in The Right Stuff. I don’t know if all the people that direct a movie he is in get together for coffee and decide which sickness he’ll have next, but whatever happens, Emmerich definitely got the memo. Throughout many times in Independence Day he laments about having “air” sickness which obviously leads to some laugh-worthy gags when he has to sit tight in an alien spaceship while trying to upload a debilitating virus.
1. Death of Will Smith
It seems as if Independence Day: Resurgence will have all the right characters in play to create an awesome film and pay proper respect to the original. However, the only actor absent from the roster is Will Smith, who played Steven Hillier. Thankfully, there is a canonical answer as to why Hillier will not be appearing for the sequel thanks to Warof1996.com, a website dedicated to the attack that happened in the first film. While amping up their tech, Will Smith was test piloting an alien/man-made aircraft hybrid. During the test, there was an unknown malfunction and it claimed his life. Looks like his son will have to carry on the legacy, yes he will be in the film, but much older.