- "She's a beaut, ain't she?"
- ―Dr. Brackish Okun
In 1947, an alien attacker crashed landed in New Mexico and was taken to Area 51. Decades later, it was rebuilt and later used by Steven Hiller and David Levinson to destroy the alien mothership in the War of 1996.
Arrival on Earth
In 1947, a Harvester scout ship crash landed in the outskirts of Roswell, New Mexico. The ship and its occupants were recovered by the United States military and taken to a secure facility later known as Area 51. Two of the aliens died in the crash, while the third expired a few weeks later. Area 51's scientists had tried to repair the ship since the late 1960's while learning much from its technology. However, they were unable to duplicate the power source for the ship until its systems were reactivated by the arrival of the mothership on July 2, 1996.
During the War of 1996, the refurbished ship was pressed into service by the Americans to be use in infiltrating the alien mothership as part of humanity's counteroffensive against the invaders. The ship was piloted by Captain Steven Hiller and David Levinson, and they were successful in entering the mothership and allowing the latter to upload a coded virus into the ship's mainframe and shutting down the aliens' shields.
However, the virus also prevented their ship from leaving as it jammed the ship's docking mechanism, and the aliens override the craft's control. Hiller and Levinson eventually resorted to firing a tactical nuclear warhead, which was equipped to fire on the mothership after the virus is uploaded, that inadvertently released the docking mechanism, and allowing the ship make a frantic escape from the ensuing explosion. The pilots safely crash landed the ship in the outskirts of Area 51.
Spaceship in Area 51
Inside the vessel
Spaceship taking off
Entering the mothership
Escaping the mothership
SFX and Concept Art
Behind the Scenes
- The ship was a full-scale model measuring about 65 ft. (20 m) wide that took four months to build.
- The ship was designed by production designer Oliver Scholl. In The Art and Making of Independence Day: Resurgence, Scholl says "We built the interior and exterior of the attacker in one set. Meaning the attacker that was actually siting on the stage had a full interior that you needed to shoot. So you could take the whole front third of the attacker off and stick a camera in the back. It sounds really easy but it was really impractical, so that was a real torture job for [director of photography] Karl Walter Lindenlaub and for the shooting crew afterwards. But the cool thing was you had a full interior you only had to build it once, so you saved some money. That's what I remember, shooting those sets were like my babies."