However, it is the cable technician and a lone previously un-promotable Air Force pilot, flying a recovered alien ship, and downloading a computer virus into the mother ship that spells the ultimate downfall of the aliens and saves mankind.
The War of the Worlds' Influence on Independence Day:
Anyone who has watched these two movies can draw immediate similarities. Both are built around the premise that aliens have come to invade Earth, yet, in the end, mankind survives. The most critical comparison of the two movies, faults Independence Day for figuratively stealing the ending from War of the Worlds. Of course in Independence Day the "virus" that kills of the aliens is electronic and not microbial, but the symbolism is simply too obvious.
Just as in War of the Worlds, Independence Day has the nations uniting under the common threat. No longer are national boundaries of relevance, when the fate of the world is at stake. All humankind forget their past differences and band together to fight the evil beings from space.
In addition, it appears that Independence Day echoes War of the Worlds participants' initial responses to the impending visitors. In both movies, at first there are people who are actually excited and happy at first. and, in both movies, this quickly changes as they begin to realize that the visitors are not s friendly (Hunt).
The last, less obvious, influence the movie War of the Worlds had on Independence Day was the sprinkling of religion in the film. Interestingly, H.G. Wells was an atheist and his original work contained quite a bit of satirical commentary, but no religious connotations. The movie, however, did have a religious theme ("The War"). Independence Day follows the lead, and also has a religious theme, with the band of survivors that have made it safely to Area 51 sitting together on the floor praying together despite the variety of religions present. Even the cable technician, a man of science who has turned away from his Jewish faith, finds the pull of God on his heart and partakes in the prayer.
In the end, the more one analyzes the two films, the clearer it becomes that Independence Day was not entirely original. One could argue, in fact, that it was merely a remake of the classic film, with a few minor technological changes to update the movie, but still the same basic plot line.
Hunt, KC. Plot Summary for War of the Worlds (1953). 2004. Internet Movie Database. http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0046534/plotsummary.
Molin, Gustaf. Plot Summary for Independence Day (1996). 2004. Internet Movie Database. November 9, 2004 http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0116629/plotsummary.
The War of the Worlds (1953 Movie). 24 Sept 2004. Wikipedia.org. November 9, 2004 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_War_of_the_Worlds_%281953_movie%29.