The Independence Day: Resurgence trailer arrived yesterday, to surprise and acclaim, and it hints at a very different 2016 than the one we’ll experience. And there’s a reason for that: The movie works from an enormous backstory for the last 20 years — as detailed on ‘The War of 1996” website — laying out just how surviving a worldwide alien invasion made things extremely different.
The Aliens Survived
The opening of the trailer, featuring alien skulls on spikes, isn’t from the initial invasion. Some aliens survived the assault in the first movie and held ground in the Congo for a decade before being defeated in 2006. The website notes the Congo’s government refused any help from the rest of the world, which will surely not be any sort of plot point.
Aliens Built The iPhone
As you might have noticed, cannibalized and reverse-engineered alien technology is pretty much everywhere in this movie, from the military on down. According to the official history, alien tech–not Steve Jobs–inspired the iPhone, and also the bladeless fan and Predator drones. That seems kind of a diss to Apple considering everything they did to save humanity in the first one, but we guess that’s the way the product placement contract crumbles.
Las Vegas Is Gone
The world has rebuilt all its landmarks, but Las Vegas has been kept as a ruin to remember the dead of The War of 1996. Again, considering Las Vegas is fairly close to Area 51, we’re sure this won’t be a plot point either.
There’s Not A Worldwide Government, But There Is A Worldwide Army
Most of the jets and bases we see are part of the Earth Space Defense program, founded by the UN. The first director is none other than Jeff Goldblum’s character David Levinson. Interestingly, despite world governments retaining their autonomy, the presence of an alien invasion seems to have created a global peace of sorts. Humanity is now working together to not have the hell blown out of its landmarks again, which makes a certain sort of sense.
Col. Hiller Conveniently Dies In An Explosion
Will Smith’s character died nearly a decade ago in this timeline, due to a malfunction in an alien/human jet hybrid.
We Went Back To The Moon
In this movie’s timeline, we activated a fully functional moon base in 2009, which is essentially our pet Death Star in orbit around the planet. Apparently the threat of genocide can get governments to open their wallets. In fact, thanks to alien technology, it appears we’ve got bases on Mars and on Saturn’s moon, Rhea, in a blink-and-you’ll-miss-it gag featured in this promo video.
It’s an interesting addition to the Independence Day universe, not least because it’s a relatively thoughtful history for a movie about blowing up landmarks and dogfighting aliens. Somebody sat down and asked what would have changed in 20 years with millions dead and massive piles of absurdly advanced technology just sitting there, waiting to be stripped for parts. Of course, the trailer promises plenty of exploding landmarks and alien dogfights, but all this suggests they’re not just remaking the first one.