Worlds: Stupid Sci-Fi Film Tricks, The Nuclear Option.

independence day

Poster from the 1996 film “Independence Day”

Periodically, I read fictional stories depicting the aftermath of a nuclear war as having devastating effects 500, 800, 1000 years or more afterward. But when I consult a credible source on the topic, recovery from such an event is considered relatively swift (months and years, not centuries). It is true that in the case of a “modest” nuclear war such as between India and Pakistan, nuclear winter (or significant cooling at any rate) would last years/decades, but afterward there would still be recovery.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying nuclear war is a good thing or that it shouldn’t be avoided, but it seems when a lot of folks consider the “unthinkable,” whether it’s nations using nuclear weapons or a person using a firearm in the commission of a crime, there’s a tendency to jump from zero to panic.

Huggins’ blog post reminded me of this, so I thought I’d do a reblog.

Oh, “Independence Day” is my favorite “Fourth of July” movie. Really, you can’t take it seriously. It’s just for fun.

G. Scott Huggins

A version of this post appeared earlier on my Patreon site, but I thought it was worth exploring here.

Let me introduce you to one of my pet peeves about SF movies in general, through that awesomely terrible film, Independence Day, a film that apparently existed for the sole purpose of trying to make Will Smith and Bill Pullman as President Lone Starr into badasses, if you kinda squint. Hard.

What was the funniest moment in Independence Day? Was it Will Smith’s “Welcome to Earth,” line? Brent Spiner’s performance as the clueless Area 51 boss? No, I suggest that it was the parts where humanity attempts to fight 15-mile diameter floating city-battleships with air-to-air missiles. It’s kind of a credit to the movie that when the shields go down and the missiles hit the targets that the response form the audience is a cheer rather than, “Wow, the humans scratched…

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4 thoughts on “Worlds: Stupid Sci-Fi Film Tricks, The Nuclear Option.

    • I think if you remember his role as “Lone Star” in the film “Spaceballs” and let it influence you too much, it can be hard to take Pullman seriously, but yes, the speech was meant to be rousing.

      Oh, my pet peeve with the movie is that the President decides to lead a very dangerous mission against the aliens right after his wife dies. If he died too, that would leave their only daughter an orphan. He was only in that cockpit because he was the star of the movie, not because it made any sense.

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