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Independence Day begins with massive hovering alien vessels lingering over the major cities of the world. The sight of the hovering mega-ships is one of the most memorable images from the 1996 film – along with that exploding White House. Director Roland Emmerich returns to the Independence Day universe with this summer’s sequel, Resurgence. Twenty years later, the nemesis has gotten stronger. “The Mothership comes to Earth,” the director explains, “And it spans the Atlantic Ocean.”

The prospect of a bigger-and-badder counterattack is something very much on the mind of the characters in Independence Day (including returning cast members Jeff Goldblum and Bill Pullman). Emmerich talked to EW about some of the concepts underpinning the sequel. “I always say, it’s a post-war world,” he says. “We call [the first movie] the War of ’96. Which we won! But it’s also kind of clear that they were going to come back. So we’ve stayed unified.”

Emmerich sees this as a mildly optimistic alternate vision of recent history. “In these days when our world is so not united, this is a very poignant thing to do in a movie. To show how much we can accomplish.”

What happens if the humans win the war of 2016? Sequel potential: The Atlantic Ocean is actually smaller than the Pacific Ocean. After the Mothership…the Grandmothership?

Independence Day 2
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