Black SplatIndependence Day (1996)

"Welcome to earth" [Bam!]

Independence Day - Captain Hiller greets an unfriendly alien

Description: Greeting given to the alien pilot of a downed spacecraft by US Air Force pilot Capt. Steven Hiller (Will Smith) in the motion picture Independence Day (1996).

Two days before July 4th, large objects are detected approaching earth. At first, scientists believed they are meteors, but it soon becomes apparent the objects are an armada of saucer-shaped spacecrafts from another galaxy bent on destroying the planet.

Within a short time, an giant alien mothership, over 340 miles in diameter sets up orbit over earth and directs dozens of 15 mile wide spacecrafts to positon themselves over the major cities of the world, including Los Angeles, New York City and the nation's capital. US President Thomas J. Whitmore (Bill Pullman), a former fighter pilot escapes the attack on the White House and begins to devise plans to thwart the invasion.

As the battle continues, Capt, Steven Hiller, a member of the Black Knights, a squadron of Marine Corps F/A-18 Hornets from El Toro Marine Corps Air Station takes to his fighter jet and battles one of many smaller alien fighter crafts that emerged from the 15 mile wide spacecrafts that hover in the skies over the United States.

Hiller seeks and disables one of the alien crafts over the Grand Canyon. His own jet disabled, he parachutes, lands and then inspects the wreckage of the alien spacecaft that he downed, checking for signs of life.

As he opens the hatch of the alien craft, he discovers an ugly, tentacled and still quite frisky alien that attacks him. Hiller retaliates and punches the alien’s lights out, saying, "Welcome to earth!"

Realizing, the alien is too valuable to leave behind, Hiller drags its body across the desert. As he does, the task of lugging the creature becomes tedious and Hiller complains:

“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 gotta come down here with an attitude, actin’ all big and bad...and what the hell is that smell? I could’ve been at a barbecue! But I ain’t mad.”

Back at President Whitmore's headquarters fertile minds formulate solutions for fighting the aliens. On hand is the David Levinson (Jeff Goldblum), an MIT-graduate now working for a cable company. He had detected the countdown signal amidst satellite transmissions that revealed the aliens intentions to attack after they had strategically postioned their spacecrafts around the globe.

Julius Levinson: Hey don't you tell him to shut up! You'd all be dead now if it weren't for my David! None of you did anything to prevent this!
Gen. Gray: There was nothing we could do!
Julius Levinson: Oh don't give me that! You knew about this for a long time! What with that spaceship you found in New Mexico! What was it called... Roswell, New Mexico! And that other place... uh... Area 51, Area 51! You knew then! And you did nothing!
Pres. Whitmore: Mr. Levinson, you're mistaken. There is no Area 51. There is no spaceship.
Albert Nimzicki: Uh... Mr. President. That's not entirely accurate.

Soon after, President Whitmore enters Area 51 and interacts with the downed alien retrieved by Captian Hiller. It psychically links with the body of scientist Dr. Brackish Okun (Brent Spiner) tells the President to die and telepathically attacks him. The link is broken when the alien is killed, but the encounter revealed vital information. "I saw...his thoughts," says Whitmore. "I saw what they’re planning to do. They’re like locusts. They travel from planet to planet, their whole civilization. After they’ve consumed every natural resource, they move on. And we’re next. Nuke ‘em. Nuke the bastards.”

Before the President nukes the aliens, he gets rid of another irritation in his life since the invasion when he uses his executive veto powers, and says, "The only mistake I ever made was to appoint a sniveling little weasel like you Secretary of Defense. However, that is a mistake, I am happy to say, that I don't have to live with. Mr. Nimzicki... you're fired."

Soon after, the President Whitmore orders the launch of a nuclear attack on one of the alien spacecrafts, but the strike fails when the alien's protective force fields repel the atomic explosion. So it is back to the drawing board to find another way to defeat this enemy from the stars.

Independence Day - Alien Space Craft at Area 51

That solution is found when the recovered alien craft at Area 51 activates after the arrival of the alien's mothership. With the help of Capt Steven Hiller who pilots the craft and David Levinson who devises a computer virus designed to disrupt the alien's protective force field, the two men fly into space, infiltrate the mothership orbiting above the planet and activate the computer virus that turns off the alien force field defenses, thus enabling earth's fighter crafts to attack the alien crafts that threaten their world. Before Hiller and Davidson exit the giant mothership, they leave behind a little present: a nucelar bomb. It blows the ship to smithereens.

"Good morning. In less than an hour, aircraft from here will join others from around the world. And you will be launching the largest aerial battle in the history of mankind. "Mankind." That word should have new meaning for all of us today. We can't be consumed by our petty differences anymore. We will be united in our common interests. Perhaps it's fate that today is the Fourth of July, and you will once again be fighting for our freedom... Not from tyranny, oppression, or persecution... but from annihilation. We are fighting for our right to live. To exist. And should we win the day, the Fourth of July will no longer be known as an American holiday, but as the day the world declared in one voice: "We will not go quietly into the night!" We will not vanish without a fight! We're going to live on! We're going to survive! Today we celebrate our Independence Day!" - President Thomas J. Whitmore

Of the many people who fought back, one such hero is Russell Casse (Randy Quaid), a simple cropduster from the Southwest who volunteered his services to the cause. It was Russell who gave Captain Hiller a ride to Area 51 so he could deliver the downed alien specimen.

As Russell flies a suicide mission to explode an alien craft hovering over the planet, he shouts defiantly, "All right, you alien assholes! In the words of my generation: Up Yours!" Russell's attack reveals the weak point in the underbelly of the alien ships that is used by the rest of the world to bring down the remainder of the invading spacecrafts.

In the end, earth wins the battle as the survivors of the conflagration look skyward to see the debris from the destroyed mothership burning brightly in the upper atmosphere.

Independence Day - Movie Poster

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