Independence Day

Movie released: 1996 | Set in: 1996

Summary Table
Event Likelihood Time frame
Invasion by aliens extremely low at any time

Approach to the future

Scenario as special effect excuse


Futurism: 4

Entertainment: 7
The plot is silly, but the movie has some great scenes.

Plausibility: 3

Interesting depictions


Other technologies/topics depicted

The motives of these aliens are hard to fathom. They can propel giant ships across interstellar space, but for some reason still need Earth resources.

Ruthlessness is more plausible: many humans still feel no obligation to treat each other well, and aliens could arrive with no interest in or respect for humanity. Their concepts of morality, and more basic things like sense of self, might be utterly different from ours.

Aliens who bothered to come this far might more likely be looking for knowledge than raw materials, however, since there is nothing particularly special about the resources of our solar system.

Aliens with a mother ship a quarter of the mass of the Moon could also probably come up with a better way to destroy humanity than their slow, city-by-city method. Even the imbecilic aliens of Battlefield Earth used gas drones.

Their most interesting technology is the biomechanical suits they use for protection and enhanced strength. The aliens have used biotechnology to grow something with the same purposes as the armor of Star Wars‘ stormtroopers or the power loader that Ripley uses in Aliens.

Nonvocal communication between aliens is plausible enough, but they are unlikely to be able to convey ideas to humans. See “aliens/ telepathy” in Star Trek.

As everyone has pointed out, the chance of our computer systems communicating with theirs is about the same as our speaking the same language.

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The futures depicted in the movies