first posted June 28, 2016 - estimated read time: 4 minutes and 6 seconds
I’m a huge fan of the original Independence Day (1996), so needless to say, I was super excited when Independence Day: Resurgence (2016) was first announced. Even though Will Smith would not be in the film (Goldblum is more than enough to keep me happy) I had high hopes for this film. However, after seeing it opening day, I was devastated. That may be a little hyperbolic, but Independence Day: Resurgence just felt like one of those hilariously bad Syfy original monster/space movies, but with an absurdly large budget.
After seeing the movie, I got to talking about the film with my buddy and all of its flaws. This is when he came up with the brutally simple theory that patched so many of the numerous nonsensical plot holes. Thanks, Kyle!
If you have not seen the movie yet or do not want any spoilers, DO NOT READ THIS ARTICLE.
First of all, this theory fixes a lot of the plot holes in relation to motivation in Independence Day: Resurgence, but it does not, however, fix some of the other terrible plot devices such as how the mothership is so damned large this time that it has its own gravity. Seriously, when it enters our atmosphere it sucks up entire skyscrapers, but when it leaves it apparently magically no longer has any gravity.
This theory also does not explain why Julius Levinson (Jeff Goldblum’s father from the original) was on a boat, survives the tsunami/waves of death (caused by aforementioned giant gravity-wielding super ship), gets saved by children who have no real purpose in the movie, then manages drives all the way to Area 51 in only like 4 or 5 hours. This ship sucked up skyscrapers, but apparently not only left roads intact but also cleared all debris from them as well. It landed over all of the Atlantic ocean, but apparently the gravity only affected large cities instead of small towns that border the actual ocean.
So what does this theory fix? Motivation
Why the aliens attack Earth
The stated reason Earth was attacked is so that the aliens can harvest Earth’s super awesome core.
They even previously brought a ship whose sole purpose was to “mine” down to our core last time they invaded in 1996, but this time, they are mining directly into the Atlantic ocean in order to get to our core. So why is this so absurd? Because Earth is far from the only planet with a molten core in the solar system, but we are the only one with life, Randy Quaid, and a history of kicking alien ass. If all they wanted was some sweet juicy core to power their ships, why choose the one planet in the Solar System that can fight back?
In Independence Day: Resurgence we get direct contact with a second alien race, as well as learn of the existence of numerous other species. However, the new alien species we meet is really more of a sentient robot than a life form. Apparently, this round sphere thingy belonged to an ancient race who upgraded to a “virtual existence”, but who were annihilated by the aliens attacking us now. As the last of its kind, it dedicated its existence to warning other species targeted by the invader aliens and transporting as many as it could to a top secret “refugee planet” where it trains them how to fight the bad aliens.
According to this thing’s own admission, the bad aliens want to capture it so that they can learn where the secret refugee planet is and destroy it. So, the bad aliens cannot risk destroying this thing; they need to capture it so they can gain the information it holds.
So what if the entire point of attacking Earth was NOT to get our core!I mean, maybe since they were already here they figured they might as well, but was actually to draw this robot alien thing out of hiding. Attack Earth to get the sphere robot here, and then capture it. Every stupid decision these super advanced, evil, hive-minded aliens make isn’t so stupid when you view it through the lens that they actually didn’t care about Earth at all and their only priority was to capture the super robot thingy instead.
This explains why when the gravity alone of their mothership is enough to wipe out cities, they instead land over the Atlantic. This explains why they did not use their national-monument-destroying-lasers this time around. This explains why they did not immediately wipe out all life on the planet so they could mine our core in peace. This explains why when mere minutes from accomplishing their “goal” of reaching our vulnerable core, they send the queen to attack Area 51 directly even though she is one of the most valuable assets to their entire species.
It’s almost like they didn’t want to destroy Earth and risk destroying the robot alien sphere as well. Or it was terrible writing, fuck it.