New Orleans, LA

'Independence Day' Turns 25 Years Old

Nicole Sudjono

The time we saw Will Smith saved the world from the Aliens, and how he paid for the fireworks display at New Orleans on the 4th July in 2021.

As an Indonesian and living in Indonesia, I wasn’t following the trends of Independence day until memes about the movie I used to watch with my Dad appeared on social media. 

I was about 12 years old when Independence Day (1996) was played again on the local television channels, and that’s when my Dad introduced me to this movie that he watched before I was born. 

And I have to say, for an old movie made in 1996, this sci-fi movie was way out of its time! With a budget of about $80 million, they managed to hit the blockbuster of nearly $820 million! 

That pretty much explains the value of this movie. 

A Brief Recap

Just as most of the memes had told us, basically the movie is about Aliens trying to invade earth, and there’s this pilot, Captain Steven, played by Will Smith, who was at the front lines to stop them. 

Along with a crazed, and somewhat broadcaster science guy, David, who claimed he was once taken by the aliens, played by Jeff Goldblum, and the president of the USA, played by Bill Pullman, they all realized the threat the whole world was in when their spaceships began destroying buildings with ease, including the White House, which is a great indication to say that, no one is safe. 

Captain Steven then had him and his crews fight the strong UFO, that took down the other pilots. 

Legacy for the Newer Generations

Since I’m a Gen Z, I didn’t know how big of a deal this movie was until my father introduced it to me. 

As a child, I find the movie entertaining sci-fi movies I’ve ever seen. With Will Smith as the main guy, Captain Steven became quite the comic relief, which made me so engaged to watch this. 

The part where I still remember to this day was when he finally defeated his first Alien spaceship. His reaction is something I’d probably do when I get to finish a task, and that’s what makes him so relatable as a character. 

This also explains why this is also a family-friendly movie. 

As to how it’s remembered today, while it became a distant memory, the movie became quite a meme for the new generations to come.

And as for the main actor himself, Will Smith paid for the fireworks display while he was shooting a movie in New Orleans. 

A word from the Mayor of New Orleans herself.

With that said, and I know that there are many people posting about the celebration of Independence Day, I’d like the time to recommend everyone to wind down and watch some movies in the theaters again. The same way when you all watched the movie for the first time when it was first released. 

Some of the Cinemas in the USA have already opened, particularly AMC. This shows that, in the midst of this pandemic that everyone is facing, the fact that cinemas are reopening is a sign of a light at the end of the tunnel.

Once there were many businesses closed and cinemas are deemed to be a threat to everyone's health, now that cinemas are slowly beginning to open is truly a message that we can beat this pandemic. The same way Will Smith beat the aliens.

And also, the day when the Americans fought the World War.

Happy 4th July everyone!

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