Independence Day

Corrected entry: When Cpt Hiller (Smith) gets in the F18 for the first attack, just under the canopy it reads "CPT Jimmy Wilder" with "Raven" below that. But Smith's character is "Steven Hiller." Connick's character is "Jimmy Wilder." Hiller is flying the wrong plane.

Correction: Watch the scene again. Will Smith gets in the plane with 'Cpt Steven Hiller' below the canopy. Connick gets in the one marked 'Cpt Jimmy Wilder "Raven"'

Corrected entry: In the scene where Will Smith's character has approached Area 51 with the alien, he identifies himself as an officer of the Marine Corps; yet he is a fighter pilot.

Correction: The Marine Corps has a large air support force, and the pilots are commisioned officers.


Corrected entry: At the end Steven and David are flying out of the mothership and they barely make it out. Hence the spaceships that are following them blow up because they hit the wall. Thats the problem, it's in space. In order to have fire you must have oxygen. In space there is no oxygen. Therefore there could not have been a fire when the ships crashed. (02:20:10)

Correction: The ships themselves have enough oxygen to sustain a fire.


Corrected entry: When Jasmine arrives at his destroyed airbase she stands at a fence outside the military area. She is filmed from inside but you can read a sign "Restricted Area" fixed to the fence. So the restricted area must be the whole world for the soldiers inside the airbase. (01:17:50)

Correction: From looking at the state of the sign and the fence to which it was attached, it had clearly been displaced by the alien attack.

Correction: The flight line inside of the base is restricted. At my Base they had B-52 aircraft. A sign on the that fenced area read restricted area. Use of deadly force authorized.

Corrected entry: The scene when the kids are in the trailer watching TV and the ship is approaching, everything in the trailer is shaking intensely. 3 seconds later, they come out to see what's going on and you can see the ropes that are tied to the awning are not moving at all. (00:21:40)

Correction: That is because they are tied down tight with no slack. They are still vibrating slightly.

Corrected entry: When the spaceships are destroyed at the end and everyone is cheering, one of the ships in seen crashed behind the pyramids. If the spaceship had crashed in that spot it would have flattened Cairo. (It's easy to tell this looking at the configuration of the pyramids).

Correction: Who's to say it didn't? Not every spacecraft would have crashed away from a city it was over. Plus the cities would be evacuated and probably destroyed anyway.


Corrected entry: In the scene where the Air Force One being chased by the fireballs - do you notice how comfortable the passengers look in all that heat? That must be some air-condition system.

Correction: Nobody looks comfortable at all- they all think they're about to die. If they aren't fanning themselves with their hands or asking for drinks of water it's probably because they're just a bit terrified.


Corrected entry: Jeff Goldblum tells Harvey Fierstein that there will be six hours until the countdown ends. There is no way that he could have left his office, gone on bicycle to his father's house and driven as slowly as they were from New York to DC with time to spare before the countdown ended. The drive alone is a minimum of 4.5 hours with no congestion, averaging 70mph. They were going considerably more slowly. (00:26:55 - 00:37:00)

Correction: Jeff Goldblum says "approximately 6 hours", which means it can mean up to 6 hours and 30 minutes. But even if it does mean 6 hours exactly, they might make it. When they arrive at the white house there's less than 30 minutes left. That gives them a 330 minute window to make a trip that takes circa 270 minutes. When they're not in the cities they might be going a whole lot faster than 70mph. It's perhaps cutting it a bit close, but it's possible for them to make the drive within that time frame.

Corrected entry: In Jeff Goldblum's New York office, one of the televisions is on some news channel. The anchorman mentions that there are ships over the capitals of England, India, and Germany. You then see a map of where the ships are, and the one over the Indian capital is labeled "Bombay." The capital of India is New Delhi. (00:26:00 - 00:26:50)

Correction: This is a news broadcast/character mistake, which is perfectly realistic, not a film mistake.

Corrected entry: When Will Smith pulls the ring out of his locker, he drops it and it falls to the right of him. When Harry Connick Jr. picks up the ring, he picks it up to the left of Will. (00:35:15)


Correction: It could have bounced.

Corrected entry: In the shot after the President penetrates the ship's shield, we see about 20 missiles fired at the front ship and all of the missiles make huge fiery holes causing quite a bit of damage. But in the shot where the small alien fighters start to attack the civilians at area 51, the ship (in the background) has no damage to it whatsoever.

Correction: These ships were about 14 miles in diameter (as indicated earlier in the film.) It's quite possible that the scene in question was from a different angle. Not necessarily where the missiles had hit.

Corrected entry: In the introduction, the satellite collides with the alien mothership and explodes on impact. Satellites don't contain anything explosive and there's no oxygen inside them.

Correction: The craft destroyed at the very beginning was the space station Mir (or some other station - it's awfully large for a satellite.) Its destruction represents one of mankind's greatest achievements in space eradicated by the mere arrival of the aliens. A space station would have a good supply of oxygen and flammable material on board.

Corrected entry: In the opening scene from the surface of the moon, dust can clearly be seen swirling around the plaque. Since the moon has absolutely no atmosphere, what is this dust swirling on? (00:01:10)

Correction: It is not swirling. It is being vibrated across the plaque. Some might argue that is impossible as the sound from the ship has no medium to travel to make the vibration. Also, the moon does have an atmosphere (which is almost a vacuum though, I am just picking holes).

Corrected entry: In the cable office where Jeff Goldblum works, there is a wall of TV screens, presumably to show all the channels that the company broadcasts. After the alien ships appear, the president comes on to address the nation, and we see him gradually appear on all of the screens. However, at the center of this wall, he is shown in a large image, with nine or so televisions combining to make one huge jumbo-tron type image. As this appears, you can see the individual channels changing to pieces of his picture one by one. It is unlikely that each channel was only broadcasting a piece of this image, so someone at the office must have changed the sets so they would all display the same image in this manner. As only Jeff Goldblum and Harvey Fierstein have not evacuated the office, who could have made this change?

Correction: It could be automated. A switch that tells the monitors when the same program is being played on all stations, to broadcast as one large image in the office. Where I work, we have screens like that, but in the case of an asychrynous broadcast, it changes to Jumbo-tron automatically.


Corrected entry: Late in the movie, there's a remark about the Belgian Airforce having been destroyed in the Sinai. The Sinai Desert is next door to Egypt - what was the Belgian Airforce doing there? They're supposed to defend European airspace, not African.

Correction: After the aliens began their destructive campaign, it quickly became clear that military forces would have to be moved away from population centers to protect them. It's not surprising that some European forces evacuated to northern Africa, where there are fewer targets.


Corrected entry: When the Morse code signal is received in the Iraqi Desert, the man standing in the background is playing with his pistol the entire time. First he points it at the man across from him, then he holds down the paper with it, then in the next shot he's playing with it again.

Correction: There's nothing wrong here. The man is holding the pistol, then sets it on the table to weigh down some papers, then the scene changes to another area. Here, there is only one shot, and the man is holding the gun the entire time.


Corrected entry: When the aliens arrive for the first time and move over Washington, the shadow of the spacecraft goes over the Washington monument, but the shadow of the Washington monument is never seen, even though the sunlight is directed at an angle where it would be very large.

Correction: The shadow is running off into the lower right corner.


Correction: No, he doesn't. Goldblum hands Pullman the paper exactly once, and even then it's offscreen and could merely be an illustrative gesture.


Corrected entry: When the fleet of alien vessels is wiping out the army base, they fire hundreds of shots, yet we never see any of them hit the ground, except to blow up a few planes.

Correction: The aliens have poor aim against moving targets, but are quite skilled against stationary targets such as installations (possibly a result of lack of combat experience due to the length of their voyage). Most of the vessels are aiming at the actual buildings and hangars offscreen in the foreground, with a few aiming at planes on the ground. No alien fire aims for the ground and disappears before it hits it.


Correction: Neither of them is really bundled up for winter. Goldblum is wearing a short-sleeved collared shirt with the top button unbuttoned and khakis, not unusual for someone as straitlaced as his character in summer. Though Hirsch is wearing a sweater over his shirt, it's a low V-neck that still allows for ventilation. Judging from his character's fairly conservative nature, this isn't surprising either.


Factual error: There is a shot of the Imperial Valley at night with the edges of the Los Angeles destroyer spinning over the mountains. The center of the destroyer is hovering over downtown LA. Imperial Valley is over 200 miles away from downtown LA, and the destroyer is no more than 20 miles in diameter. There would be no way the edges of the destroyer would extend far enough to be seen from Imperial Valley as shown unless it was over 100 miles in radius. The ship does not even hover over Steven Hiller's house which is in LA, it can nearly be seen whole from there. The destroyer would be obscured by the mountains and from 200 miles it would appear much smaller.

More mistakes in Independence Day

President Thomas Whitmore: I don't understand, where does all this come from? How do you get funding for something like this?
Julius Levinson: You don't actually think they spend $20,000 on a hammer, $30,000 on a toilet seat do you?

More quotes from Independence Day

Trivia: In Area 51 there is a large screen displaying the results of the nuclear strikes against the alien ships. Look under the screen and there is some text in green. Pause it to read the following: "The purpose of these green lines is to lead you to believe that these words mean something", and "And can I see with eye serene the very pulse of the machine Wordsworth".

More trivia for Independence Day

Question: It's been shown in the film the the aliens are technologically more advanced than us. Then, how come, with all their technology, they were unable to defend themselves from something as simple as a computer virus?


Answer: Remember that the aliens had to interface with our satellite computer code first...David simply "reverse engineered" the code to create the virus. When it was uploaded, they didn't have enough time to combat it.

Answer: It was also a bit of a tribute to "War of the Worlds", in which the alien invaders with much more advanced technology ultimately succumbed to ordinary terrestrial pathogens in the original novel by H. G. Wells as well as its many screen adaptations.


Chosen answer: Its supposed to be an exercise in demonstrating how the aliens underestimated their opponent, but in reality it's merely a convenient plot device.


Answer: I was wondering the same thing. Since the Harvesters had our satellites meant they could eavesdrop on every single conversation. David and other people in the facility probably put up a firewall on the computers and cameras, so that the aliens couldn't see or hear what they were planning on doing.

Answer: Maybe there were no viruses in the planet where these aliens came from so they didn't have any countermeasures against them.

Answer: They could defend against it, hence why they bring the nuke. The virus drops the shields, and the nuke destroys The Mother Ship. David even says that the shields will be down for a few minutes.

More questions & answers from Independence Day

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