1. The White House exploding again.
I guess they rebuilt it between films. Look, give the fans what they want.
2. Not everything else, though.
Listen, as fun as it is to watch cities crumble, there’s been an awful lot of destruction porn in theaters recently. (Remember when Metropolis was decimated and millions of people died? Spoilers.) The humans should be savvier in an Independence Day sequel. Maybe they strike first.
3. President Thomas Whitmore making a killing on the lecture circuit.
No speech has ever made any of us feel more patriotic. Give this man a lot of money and let him inspire tomorrow’s leaders. This will be especially useful when they have to take up arms against the next alien invasion.
4. A happy ending for this family.
I feel like they’ve suffered enough. Besides, Will Smith is apparently too expensive to bring back, so any reference to how much they’re loving life offscreen would be greatly appreciated.
5. Some explanation as to how this plan worked.
It made so much sense at the time, but we’re all a lot more computer savvy these days. A virus that affected alien technology far, far superior to our own? DOES NOT COMPUTE.
6. More dogs not dying.
This is a wonderful thing every time it happens. As much as it saddens me to accept that the dog from the original Independence Day is long dead, I take comfort in knowing the sequel can offer several more miraculous canine escapes.
7. A monument dedicated to Russell.
Because he deserves it, that’s why. Russell died to save us all: the least we can do is honor him with something befitting a man of his stature. BUT GOD HELP THE ALIENS IF THEY TRY TO DESTROY IT.
8. The redemption of James Rebhorn.
Do you even remember that his character’s name was Albert Nimziki? No, you just remember that he was a dick. Anyway, he already got fired. Let’s have him do some actual good in the sequel to atone for his past transgressions. Alternately, he could keep being a dick and die horribly.
9. Mae Whitman has a major role.
Yeah, she voiced Katara. She also stars on Parenthood and was Ann (her?) in Arrested Development. The offspring of Thomas Whitmore has to turn into a badass, and adult Mae Whitman is up to the task. Also, she’s probably dating Dylan.
10. No Judd Hirsch.
Ultimately, he brings people together in a time of crisis, and that’s admirable. But for most of the movie, he just walks around as an offensive nebbishy stereotype that would make Jackie Mason say, “Hey, that’s a bit much.” So let’s say he died between movies. Sorry, Julius.
11. Cheekier aliens.
The aliens in the original Independence Day offered brief glimpses of personality. Let’s give these guys some attitude and maybe a slight sense of humor.
12. Another Star Trek alum getting offed.
Trekkies love this.
13. Harvey Fierstein.
I know he died in the first one, but what if he didn’t? WHAT IF.
14. More absurd product placement.
It was a classic scene, and I’m still drinking Coca-Cola. No need to mess with perfection here. Maybe this time he shoots a Pibb Xtra?
15. An anti-smoking message.
Perhaps Will Smith returns for a cameo in which he’s recovering from throat cancer. Anything to combat the gross cigar fetishization of the original Independence Day.
16. Promotional tie-in floppy disc games.
Does anyone else remember these? They were basically the best thing about Independence Day. And while I currently have no idea what to do with a floppy disc, I demand that the sequel brings these back.
17. Jeff Goldblum looking hot.
The circumstances are frankly irrelevant.