Independence Day

Question: In the scene where the pilots are receiving their initial briefing, the officer in charge is a Lt Colonel, but in a later scene where the alien ship is approaching area 51, he is a captain. Is this the same officer or is this a mistake?

7

Question: Several times near the end of the movie, there is a biker type man. He is wearing some Harley Davidson clothing and a black leather cap. He is one of the pilots. He stands out if he is just an extra. Is he anyone famous?

11

Answer: In the book of the same name, this man is called "Pig". He was a test pilot during the Vietnam War. He played a crucial role in training the new pilots.

3

Answer: He is just an extra, who just happens to be in more shots then the other extras. He is not more famous than the other extras.

lionhead
1

Question: In the special edition there's a lot of mentioning of Randy Quaid's younger son being ill and having to take his medication. It's implied that the mother died of the same illness. What is he ill with?

3

Answer: The reference to the boy's adrenal cortex, and the few symptoms that appear, sound like Addison's Disease.

scwilliam
5

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?

Socks1000
3

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.

GalahadFairlight
7

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.

5

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.

zendaddy621
2

Question: My mistake was corrected by "BocaDavie", but I would appreciate it if someone can clarify the correction on the following points:
1. The alienship is standing still over Area 51. How can it drift several miles away when it's going down?
2. Assuming that the main weapon is in the middle of the alienship, located over Area 51 and the ship is 15 miles in diameter you have about 7.5 miles to each side. Again: how far can the ship drift away?
3. Even if the alienship is half a mile above Area 51 (in the movie seems to be less), when it's going down it should maximally crash at the front of the mountains, but not in the middle of it. Please try to think of an airplane, or better a helicopter, when it's standing still in the air. The downcurve would never reach this far.
I hope I explained my points and they are valid, so a possible recorrection may follow for my mistake to be put back to the mistakes page. Thank you.

blackcab666
2

Chosen answer: Your mistake was corrected because you assume the alien ship would crash vertically (straight down) after the attack. Just because it's severely damaged, doesn't mean that the ship didn't still have some of its capabilities (propulsion, navigation). The ship may have attempted to go back into orbit or even *land*. Going to your helicopter example... wouldn't the pilot of a damaged or otherwise malfunctioning helicopter try to land the craft safely? Or the ship's propulsion systems were damaged and the aliens had no control of the craft. We simply don't know. Because of all the unknowns, there are too many other equally likely possibilities for the scenario to qualify your entry as a mistake.

JC Fernandez
7

Question: Surely a mothership as huge as the one depicted in the movie would have some sort of gravitational effect on Earth?

MovieBuff09
2

Chosen answer: While that is a possibility, the fact that they don't mention it should not necessarily be interpreted to mean that there wasn't one. They had bigger things to talk about at the time. Of course the power of the effect would also depend on the distance from the earth as gravity is defined as proportional to the product of the masses and inversely proportional to the square of the distance between the centers of their masses.

Garlonuss Premium member
2

Question: This question was asked and answered but the answer was unsatisfactory so I am asking the question again. It was asked if it was common for the President and General Grey not to know about area 51 and the answer was given that because of plausible deniability, the President would not need to know about area 51 until the aliens arrive. This answers the question for in the movie but what about in real life? Wouldn't the 2 most powerful people in charge of the military (The President and The General) in real life be made aware of area 51? I can understand if the president is not made aware but I find it hard to believe the General wouldn't know about it.

SAZOO1975
2

Chosen answer: General Grey is listed as being Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, which does not make him the second-in-command of the military - that position rests with the Secretary of Defense, who, as we see in the film, does know about Area 51. Grey, as Whitmore's primary advisor on all matters (not to be confused with the President's Security Advisor, who, in all likelihood, would be aware of the installation's existence as it would fall directly under his area of concern), would need to be covered by plausible deniability just as much as his boss would. As such, Grey holds what is very much a need-to-know position - with regard to Area 51, he doesn't need to know.

Tailkinker Premium member
2

Question: How come with computers and electronic gadgets everywhere they have to use a telegraph to let the world know how to destroy the aliens?

1

Answer: The aliens had destroyed the satellites orbiting Earth. This meant that the usual hi-tec methods of communication could not be used (as most use satellites now), and a low-tec method had to implemented.

Tanith
3

Question: In the scene where Steve & Jimmy are being chased by the 2 alien fighters, Jimmy says "I'm gonna try something" and his plane rises up. Steve shouts "Jimmy, you cant fake at that speed". Jimmy's plane begins to turn to the left and drift sideways before he eventually gets shot down. What maneuver was Jimmy trying to do & why did he start to have trouble breathing when he attempted this?

1

Answer: He doesn't say you can't "fake" at that speed. He says you can't "bank" at that speed. Steve and Jimmy are flying at close to the speed of sound. At that speed, banking an F/A-18 would cause very bad things to happen to the pilot and airplane, including incredibly high g-forces which would make it difficult for Jimmy to breathe.

Guy
4

Question: On IMDb, the cast list includes Kimberly Beck, from Friday the 13th: The Final Chapter as playing the character listed as 'housewife'. Where exactly can I find her character in the movie?

SAZOO1975
1

Chosen answer: Most of the civilians from outside have been brought into the safety of the underground Area 51 facility. Just as the alien destroyer settles over Area 51, at timecode 02:10:10, when Connie, Major Mitchell and some others are the last to run in, they are joined by a blonde woman and her daughter, who scream, and they are the last ones to make it to the elevator. That woman is, I believe, Kimberly Beck.

Super Grover Premium member
3

Question: What's with the President when he meets Dr. Okun, he acts like the doctor smells a lot or something?

1

Answer: What President Whitmore is reacting to is Dr. Okun's rather eccentric look, to put it mildly - his long hair, out-of-style pants and eyeglasses, etc... Even Dr. Okun comments that they don't get out much.

Super Grover Premium member
3

Question: The Welcome Wagon helicopter brings a message in lights. Exactly how would that work, how do different light patterns communicate any message and who decided what patterns there would be?

1

Answer: The pattern of lights shows that we are an intelligent race. The lights would show a pattern and then become random. There isn't a message to speak of, but a demonstration of our intellect. Scientist would normally use the lights to represent a scientific equation or something of that nature. The aliens would respond by either mimicing the patterns, or producing a variation of the pattern we showed them.

Timothy Cheseborough
3

Answer: This is also a homage to Close Encounters of the Third Kind where they communicate with the aliens via lights and sound.

Question: Since I have never been in the military this is confusing. Does it make any sense that The President, a former fighter pilot, as well as General Grey would not know about Area 51? I find it hard to believe that Captain Steven Hiller would know about Area 51 but the 2 most powerful men in the U.S. would not.

SAZOO1975
1

Chosen answer: Hiller didn't know what Area 51 was, he just knew there was a base nearby, because he flew over it in battle. Recall his exchange with Russell Casse in the desert when they were picking him & the alien up; Casse said there's no base on the map, Hiller said it's there, he just flew over it. The base isn't named at that point by either Casse or Hiller.

2

Question: What books do Julius and David share?

1

Answer: Julius doesn't give David a book. He gives him an air sickness bag. David gives him a Tanakh, the Hebrew Bible, and a kippah (yarmulke).

Greg Dwyer
2

Question: When Will Smith is going to the bathroom and says "Jasmine, I think the neighbors are leaving" the vehicle I believe has Wyoming plates on it. Am I correct?

Lucy Shupe
1

Chosen answer: I believe you are correct. It is a hard to make out, because it goes by so quickly. But it does look like a Wyoming plate. We see a dark design mass in the area where the letters and numbers also appear that looks the cowboy/bucking bronco which distinguishes the Wyoming plate from those of other states.

Michael Albert
2

Question: When Hiller is leading his squadron for the first air battle against the aliens Jimmy makes a short speech as the "Reverand" - putting on an accent - and talking about how he's sure they'll be successful. Can someone tell me is doing an impersonation of a real life person or is it something unique to the movie and his fellow pilots?

1

Answer: He seems to be doing an impersonation of Jesse Jackson.

swamphawk
2

Question: How did the virus that was uploaded into the mother ship affect all the other ships millions of miles down on earth? also, David said that the virus would last a matter of minutes, yet we see it last considerably longer that a matter of minutes. How can this be?

Socks1000
1

Chosen answer: The ships are in constant communication, exchanging data, power and so forth, so the virus simply filtered its way along the alien communications network. As for "a matter of minutes", (a) David is estimating and (b) define "a matter of minutes"? Two? Five? Ten? Twenty? No clear figure is given at any point, and the finale sequence of the film takes relatively little time. His statement doesn't seem unreasonable.

Tailkinker Premium member
2

Question: What was the motivation behind the alien's genocidal nature and attack on earth?

Socks1000
1

Chosen answer: They intend to plunder Earth's resources. That's easier to do if they eliminate the population first.

Tailkinker Premium member
2

Question: Was Russell Casse really abducted by the aliens at some point in his life?

Socks1000
1

Chosen answer: There's never any confirmation one way or another in the film. It's established that alien craft have been in the vicinity of Earth since the late forties, presumably scout ships investigating resources, likely level of opposition and so forth, which would quite likely have included a few abductions to establish human physical capabilities. Best we can really say is that it's possible that he was.

Tailkinker Premium member
2

Question: At the beginning of the movie at S.E.T.I. ,while the Asian guy is hitting the golf ball, what is the name of the song playing and who is the band?

SAZOO1975
1

Chosen answer: "It's the End of the World As We Know It" by R.E.M.

Stephen Edmonds 1
2
Independence Day mistake picture

Continuity mistake: David calls Connie at the White House and she walks toward the divided pane windows, then pulls the curtain to the side. In the exterior shots facing her the pane's white grille is between her hand and face, but in the next interior shot looking out, there is only clear glass, though we should see the grille just as we see both sides of the curtain with her hand holding the right side. (00:38:25)

Super Grover Premium member
More mistakes in Independence Day

Captain Steven Hiller: Y'know, this was supposed to be my weekend off, but noooo...you got me out here draggin' your heavy ass through the burnin' desert with your dreadlocks stickin' out the back of my parachute. You've gotta come down here with an attitude, actin' all big and bad...and what the hell is that smell?!

More quotes from Independence Day

Trivia: According to the Director's commentary, Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation did not want the film to be released under the title "Independence Day" to avoid legal complications (specifics weren't disclosed as to what the problems might be, but it's also why the abbreviation "ID4" was used). Roland Emmerich (director/writer) and Dean Devlin (writer) needed to justify the title, so they added the rousing bit right at the end of President Whitmore's speech at the hangar when he ends with, "The 4th of July will no longer be known as an American holiday...today we celebrate our Independence Day!"

Super Grover Premium member
More trivia for Independence Day

Join the mailing list

Separate from membership, this is to get updates about mistakes in recent releases. Addresses are not passed on to any third party, and are used solely for direct communication from this site. You can unsubscribe at any time.

Check out the mistake & trivia books, on Kindle and in paperback.