Roland Emmerich seems intent on ensuring that humanity pays for its technological advances on film, whether it involves Godzilla wrecking New York City, or extraterrestrials destroying New York City—and Los Angeles, and Washington, D.C., etc. The director saw to the latter in 1996’s Independence Day, which also revealed that all of our advancements and gadgets had been reverse-engineered from the technology found in an alien spacecraft. Of course, when the extraterrestrial invaders showed up, they turned all of that against us. But thanks to some can-do spirit and Morse code, President Whitmore (Bill Pullman) led a successful counterattack, and everything looked like it would be okay (once the smoldering ruins stopped smoldering).
But it looks like humanity’s hubris has landed it in trouble again, as the new Independence Day: Resurgence trailer amply demonstrates. Twenty years later, alien technology has continued to shape our destiny: Remember the time an alien used Brent Spiner as a ventriloquist dummy? That’s how we ended up with Dubsmash. It also looks like the Air Force’s fighter jets are now equipped with laser rounds, and our Jumbotrons have become even more jumbo. Which is all fine and good except that, as David Levinson (Jeff Goldblum) notes, it hasn’t really prepared us another invasion—and certainly not one from a much more massive force. One fireworks joke later, Liam Hemsworth’s making a crash landing, but Whitmore doesn’t seem too fazed. Maybe it’s because he’s unaware of this.
Independence Day: Resurgence hits theaters June 24, a date that was perhaps selected to commemorate the onset of the Great Siege of Gibraltar. That, or this is going to be the longest opening weekend ever.