Twenty years have passed and Jeff Goldblum and Bill Pullman are back, staving off another alien invasion in Independence Day: Resurgence which just hit — and bounced off — theaters. Will Smith may be absent from the new film, replaced by the handsome feat of whittling that is Liam Hemsworth, but people will get what they want regardless because what they want is destruction. Roland Emmerich, who directed both ID films and penned the latest screenplay, knows this and he wants you to know he knows it, which is why Goldblum keeps talking even as he flies through the destruction of London.
“They like to get the landmarks,” he remarks as the Petronas Towers crash into the Thames.
One of the stranger things about the movie, which is strange in many ways, is that Emmerich has included and destroyed a number of structures that did not exist in 1996, meaning that the Independence Day: Resurgence alternative history — mankind harnesses alien tech to build space infrastructure — makes an exception for architectural excellence. These movies will always go out of their way to destroy the buildings that make humanity proud. It’s a very specific sort of sadism.
And it’s also hard to predict what the films will tear apart next. The 20-year gap between the original and the sequel gave Emmerich a lot to work with. And if there is another 20 year gap, well, there will be that many more landmarks to snap in half. But which ones will get the ID treatment? Here are our guesses.
The New York City Skyline
New York City’s gorgeous skyline offers the perfect opportunity for aliens to destroy something we all appreciate. Several megatall and exorbitantly priced apartment complexes are slated to go up in New York in the next ten or so years, some of which will be so tall that they’ll alter the skyline as we know it now. That is until the aliens blow them up in the next Independence Day movie.
Harry Potter World
A century from now, the Harry Potter franchise will probably be even more sacred than it is now as people scramble to preserve our collective cultural memory of the wizarding world. Harry Potter World in Orlando and Los Angeles, then, attempts to extend the legacy of the franchise, but the invading aliens will probably understand how much we all love Harry Potter and go straight for the heartstrings when they invade again.
Alpha Centauri Probes
A group of scientists from Silicon Valley recently announced Breakthrough Starshot, an ambitious plan to send a fleet of iPhone-sized robot spacecrafts to Alpha Centauri, the closest star system, 4.37 light years away. It will probably be decades before this mission is realized as it will require incredibly advanced technology and a lot of funding, but our extraterrestrial enemies who are hell-bent on destroying our world will probably knock them down on their way into the atmosphere.
Dubailand, a $65 billion theme park and entertainment center currently under construction in Dubai, could very well bear the brunt of future Middle Eastern destruction. Dubailand will be divided into six worlds: Attractions and Experience World, Sports and Outdoor World, Eco-Tourism World, Themed Leisure and Vacation World, Retail and Entertainment World, and Downtown, all of which will probably go up in flames should the aliens invade in another 100 years.
Moscow International Business Center
With a new massive business center under construction, Russia is definitely a potential target for a future alien invasion. Also referred to as Moscow City, the 60-hectare International Business Center will surely be an iconic cluster of megatall skyscrapers just asking to be eviscerated by extraterrestrial life.
Gensler’s Gateway Tower
Architecture firm Gensler recently announced a conceptual plan for a megatall skyscraper to go up where the Chicago Spire was once slated to stand. While the building known as Gateway Tower is merely a concept, whatever does end up being built at the former Chicago Spire site will bear the burden of expectation as Chicagoans are currently eager to fill in the gaping hole that reminds them of the spire’s failure. The aliens will probably do their research before they get here and learn that whatever stands there is important to us and promptly obliterate it.
The Remaining Glaciers
As our world nears the brink of extinction due to climate change, the waning glaciers remain an apt gauge of climate change’s unsparing agenda. In 100 years from now, there probably won’t be much of our glaciers left, but the aliens, having done their research, of course, will probably destroy what’s left of them as the cherry on top of a big “Fuck You.”