5 Things We Learned About ‘Independence Day’ Sequel From On-Set Q&A (Video)

Better weapons, a badass female president and Vivica A. Fox’s character is “no longer working the pole”

Last Updated: June 22, 2015 @ 11:29 PM

“Independence Day: Resurgence” is here. Well, at least a proper title and a slew of new details were made available from the film’s set on Monday — as director Roland Emmerich and his cast participated in a live-streamed Q&A ahead of the film’s 2016 release.

Jake Roper, of YouTube channel VSauce3, moderated a panel that included stars Liam Hemsworth, Jeff Goldblum, Bill Pullman, Judd Hirsch, Vivica A. Fox, Brent Spiner, Maika Monroe, Angelababy, Sela Ward and Jessie Usher.

Here are five things TheWrap gleaned from the conversation, including the fate of Will Smith‘s family from the original 1996 movie, how Earth recovered from that first attack and if Fox’s character is still an alien-swatting stripper.

1. Aliens Have United Earthlings

In 2016, humanity has united to protect the planet from another extraterrestrial invasion, according to Goldblum. “We’re all working in a beautiful way across borders,” he said, noting that the technology from the downed alien spacecrafts in the original film have helped in developing new weapons systems (this particular revelation did not please director Emmerich). “We’re ready with a bigger punch,” Goldblum said.

2. Sela Ward is A Badass

While Bill Pullman, the U.S. president in the first film, is still around (and rocking a grizzly beard), President Sela Ward is now calling the shots. “Thanks to forward-thinking, non-sexist, socially responsible Roland Emmerich!” Ward shouted to a responsive crowd. “She’s tougher, it’s a totally different political landscape and… she’s quick to use force,” she added.

moon tug

3. Liam Hemsworth Makes a Redemption Play

“The Hunger Games” star Liam Hemsworth has a lot to prove in this sequel. His character, according to the actor, was orphaned in the invasion from the first film. He eventually grows up to become a fighter pilot. After making a bad call during a military operation, he’s disciplined by being exiled to a space station on the moon. It’s there that he operates “the Moon Tug,” [pictured above], which Hemsworth said “is basically a forklift on the moon.”

We have a feeling he’ll get in on the action, whatever menacing force may be threatening the planet.

4. Will Smith Lives… Through His Son

Actor Jessie Usher plays Dylan Hiller, son and legacy of Will Smith‘s character, Steven Hiller, from the original. Usher said both he and his character are aware that they have big shoes to fill. “He grew up in the world that his Dad saved… it’s a lot of pressure,” Usher said of his character. “He’s under that shadow, but it’s not a negative thing at all.”

Smith reportedly turned down an offer to return to the franchise that will hit theaters almost 20 years to the day after the original rocked American audiences. It’s not all bad news for Usher, as his onscreen mom will be there to back him up…

5. Vivca A. Fox Is Back! And Her Character Has Retired From Stripping

Fox provided plenty of heat in the first film with Jasmine Dubrow, an exotic dancer and Smith’s onscreen love interest. Flash forward two decades, and Fox revealed, “My character is no longer working the pole — she was a stripper with a heart of gold.” This time around, she’s a top administrator at a hospital and “a rock solid” influence for her son, she said.

Watch the full live stream:

 “Independence Day: Resurgence” is scheduled to open June 24, 2016.