Independance day vs close encounters of the 3rd kind

Essay by shiba_seki February 2004

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The idea of science fiction has been around for a long time. Over the years, it has been combined with all sorts of other genres including comedy, horror, adventure, action, drama, and combinations of these. From giant serial killing plants to mole men from the center of the earth, science fiction has captured the imagination of almost everyone who has been introduced to it. Close Encounters of the 3rd kind (CE3) and Independence Day (ID) were both made after man's first trip to outer space and the moon, both reflecting the new idea of life off of the earth. Even though both films contain the same main idea of the existence of life in outer space, they have large philosophical differences on extraterrestrial life.

When looking at these two movies, besides the broad subject of alien contact, they are not all that alike. However, there are a few noticeable similarities.

The first most noticeable was that in both movies, there was some form of government cover-up. In CE3, when the government pinpointed the location of the aliens in Idaho, they had to scare away the citizens in the area. In that plot, Big Brother let out some "News" (never trust the media) that a train carrying canisters of anthrax crashed, releasing nerve gas on the countryside. This forced almost all the residents away, except a few people that made cross-country treks to the location. These driven individuals couldn't stop thinking about the area since they had their "encounters". The government tried to discourage them by using the same sleeping gas on them that they had used on the cattle in the area to simulate the spread of Anthrax. In ID, there was another cover-up, but of a different sort. This time, the general populace wasn't the only...