Independence Day Wiki

The Grand Canyon is a rock formation carved by the Colorado River in the state of Arizona, United States.


During the War of 1996, U.S. Marine fighter pilot Steven Hiller was pursued and led an alien attacker to the Grand Canyon following the former's disastrous battle in Los Angeles. Hiller managed to wove his way through the canyon in which he use this to his advantage to cause his alien pursuer to crash its spacecraft while destroying his F/A-18 Hornet in the process.[1]

The Grand Canyon was recreated as a training ground for ESD pilots, including Steven Hiller's son Dylan Hiller and Jake Morrison. On one such training, Morrison almost accidentally killed Dylan while attempting to race against him and causing his aircraft to crash.[2][3]


Independence Day[]

Independence Day: Resurgence[]

Behind the scenes[]

  • The canyon chase is achieved primarily by combining motion control F-18 and alien attacker models with live action footage shot from a modified WWII vintage T-6 Texan trainer plane in the desert and in Little Colorado River.[4] In addition, large-scale miniature canyon sections with fifteen-foot tall rock formations were used for shots involving crashes, falling rocks and interactive explosions.
  • The attacker crash was shot on a large-scale miniature setpiece in a parking lot, with the set and camera tilted upward at an angle to get clear sky on the "horizon", with forced-perspective mountain models in the background.[5]
  • The shot of Hiller climbing up the crashed attacker was done in-camera using forced perspective, with a miniature attacker and desert in the foreground and an actor in the far distance to create the scale.


  1. Independence Day
  2. Independence Day: Crucible
  3. Independence Day: Resurgence
  4. The Making of Independence Day by Rachel Aberly & Volker Engel Aug. 1996, p. 112.
  5. Aberly & Engel Aug. 1996, p. 116.

External links[]