During the War of 1996, Jimmy was stationed at El Toro. He unwittingly found a wedding ring that Steven planned to propose to his girlfriend Jasmine Dubrow; incidentally, Jimmy was on his knee and holding the ring as if he was proposing to Steven when a marine noticed them and left without incident. Jimmy was surprised by Hiller's decision and remarked that if Steven married Jasmine, a stripper, he would most likely not be accepted into the NASA program.
After the aliens began their attack, Jimmy participated in the assault on the City Destroyer over Los Angeles. Prior to the battle, he tries to alleviate Steven's concerns for Jasmine and her son Dylan, who were in the city, and humoring his fellow pilots' apprehensions by assuring that "the Black Knights will emerge victorious, once again."
Once into contact with the Destroyer, the Black Knights were unable to penetrate the force fields of the vessel and its attackers. The squadron were wiped out, forcing Jimmy and Steven to flee the battle but were chased by attackers. Jimmy's F/A-18 was flying at Mach 2, causing him to be strained by that speed and was subsequently shot down.
- "You know I really like Jasmine, you know that, right? But you're never gonna get to fly the space shuttle if you marry a stripper."
- ―Jimmy to Steve, referring to the latter's proposal to Jasmine.
- Jimmmy: "You scared man?"
- David: "No. You?"
- Jimmmy: "No. [momentarily pause] Hold me!"
- — Jimmy pretending to be scared by putting his head on Steve's shoulder.
- "Let's kick the tyres and light the fires big daddy."
- ―Jimmy preparing to take flight.
- "Or, as the Good Reverend would say: Why we are on this particular mission, we'll never know. But I do know, here today, that the Black Knights will emerge victorious once again."
- ―Jimmy to his fellow fighter pilots, prior to battle.
Behind the scenes
- Matthew Perry was originally cast in Jimmy Wilder's role. His father John Bennett Perry plays a Secret Service agent protecting Marilyn Whitmore in the movie.
- Harry Connick, Jr. was allowed by Dean Devlin to improvise several takes while doing impressions of various celebrities. His impression of Rev. Jesse Jackson is included in the film.
- In the film's novelization, Jimmy Wilder was named Jimmy Franklin.
- "Independence Day: 14 Cool Behind-The-Scenes Facts You May Not Know" by Mike Reyes, CinemaBlend.