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The Deleted Independence Day Scene That Would Have Changed Everything

"Independence Day" helped to reimagine the modern blockbuster, combining the twin genres of sci-fi and disaster films to make a bonafide hit. Released in 1996, Roland Emmerich's action-packed film imagines extraterrestrials as a source of total annihilation, just in time for Fourth of July weekend. To save the world from complete destruction, an unlikely group, ranging from the Commander in Chief to a boozing Vietnam veteran, unites in the Nevada desert to devise a counterattack. Much of the film's success — not to mention its long lasting appeal — stems from the magnetic, ensemble cast. "Independence Day" culls together the talents of Bill Pullman, Jeff Goldblum, Mary McDonnell, Judd Hirsch, Margaret Colin, Randy Quaid, Vivica A. Fox, James Rebhorn, and Harvey Fierstein. At the center of the film is charismatic leading man Will Smith as Captain Steven Hiller, a wisecracking fighter pilot.

Like his co-star, the '90s also launched Jeff Goldblum into superstardom. Fresh off of the success of 1993's "Jurassic Park," Goldblum joined the "Independence Day" cast as another gifted thinker, David Levinson. David is an MIT-educated satellite engineer who, inspired by his father Julius (Hirsch), codes a computer virus to disrupt the aliens' communications system. As a result, David and Steven are able to disarm the ship's shields and launch an attack. But how was David able to devise a virus in the first place?

A deleted scene shows Jeff Goldbum theorizing his killer computer virus

"Independence Day" doesn't spend much time showing David theorizing and coding a complex virus. Roland Emmerich opts out of a montage of Goldblum staring at a computer screen, focusing, for all our sakes, on other pressing matters. Still, the omission begs the question, how did a laptop from 1996 circumvent advanced alien technology? In a deleted scene from the 20th Anniversary Edition of "Independence Day," we finally see David explore a refurbished UFO at Area 51.

Levinson's tour guide is none other than Dr. Brackish Okun (Brent Spiner), whose excitable mind has yet to be invaded by aliens. "To be honest," he tells David as he yanks off pieces of the dilapidated ship, "we don't know what the hell this crap is." The shrewd David, however, has a theory: "These patterns are repeating sequentially, just like their countdown signal. They're using that frequency for computer communications...It's how they're coordinating the ships." As he notes the shifting patterns on his own computer, Dr. Okun replies "You're really starting to make us look bad."

The scene, however brief, provides a glimpse at just how Goldblum's character was able to infiltrate the aliens' systems. For seasoned coders, this might not be adequate reasoning, though it's in tune with other far-fetched scientific reasoning in "Independence Day." In deleting the scene, Emmerich had faith that his audience wouldn't mind a bit of a plot hole. If the $817 million box office (via Box Office Mojo) is any indication, they didn't seem to mind at all.