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Dr. Brackish Okun was the director of research at Area 51.



Okun was graduated from the California Institute of Technology with a Ph.D. in astrophysics. In 1972, following his graduation, Okun was immediately recruited by the military, and due to the top-secret nature of his work, has been isolated at Area 51 since. However, Okun was devoted in learning about the alien technology from the captured spacecraft from the Roswell incident. Okun also strikes up a relationship with his colleague and later life partner Dr. Milton Isaacs.

War of 1996

During the War of 1996, Okun was surprised and excited that the spacecraft reactivated due to the arrival of the aliens. He later greeted the arrival of President Thomas Whitmore and his entourage, and became their guide through Area 51, explaining to them of what he basically knows about the aliens. Whitmore then assigned David Levinson to help Okun and his research team.

When an alien was captured and brought to Area 51, Okun volunteered to lead the autopsy on the alien. However, the alien regained consciousness and controlled Okun's mind before attacking the physicians. The alien used Okun as its mouthpiece to communicate his human handlers including Whitmore until it was killed by the President's security detail. Because of the alien's mind control, Okun was rendered into a catatonic state.[1] Okun would remain in a coma for twenty years following the incident.

War of 2016

In July 2016, Okun suddenly and inexplicably awakened from his coma. He later discovered that, having been telepathically linked to the aliens, he has now become part of the hive mind, and begins having visions of a second strike by the aliens. Much like how the spacecraft was reactivated upon the aliens' re-approach, the aliens' return has caused him to wake up from his coma with no apparent brain damage. He starts drawing out the visions he sees until his entire hospital room is covered in drawings. Thomas Whitmore, who also suffered a telepathic attack from the aliens, also has these visions due to the hive mind. 

A spherical ship emerges from a wormhole near the ESD's Moon defense headquarters. Levinson was convinced that it belongs to a different extraterrestrial race that is benevolent and urges the world's governments not to attack, but they vote to shoot it down regardless. The container from the ship is analyzed and brought to Area 51. Okun uses some of his old experimental plasma technology to open the container and releases a giant white sphere of artificial intelligence, with which he is able to successfully communicate. The orb explains its mission: to evacuate survivors from worlds targeted by the aliens, dubbed the "harvesters," and build a resistance force, one already greatly feared by the aliens.

Upon learning this information, Okun and David Levinson realized a plan to kill the Harvester Queen and ending the invasion by luring her into a trap by using the Sphere's frequency as a decoy. He and along with Dr. Isaacs stayed with guarding the sphere. While the operation was underway, Okun continued his discussion with sphere. The operation turned awry as the alien Queen survived the trap and directly attacked Area 51. Harvester soldiers broke into the Sphere's isolation chamber and killed Dr. Isaacs. Enraged by the loss of his lover, Okun fought alongside Dikembe Umbutu and Floyd Rosenberg in defending the Sphere until the Harvester Queen is successfully killed.

Later, after the remaining alien forces retreat from Earth, Okun reveals to the ESD that the Sphere has asked humanity to lead its resistance, and offered them new technology in preparation for an assault on the Harvesters' home world.



Independence Day

Independence Day: Resurgence


We are gonna kick some serious alien ass.

Behind the Scenes

  • Okun, portrayed by Brent Spiner, is based on Jeffrey A. Okun, digital effects supervisor on Roland Emmerich's and Dean Devlin's Stargate (1994).
  • The Art and Making of Independence Day: Resurgence, Brent Spiner described Okun: "I just like the fact that he was kind of completely out there. I mean, I had this sort of concept of him being like a Berkley grad back in the late '60s who took one too many tabs of acid. But he was actually a genius and so he's very effective at what he does... he;s kind of a wild character and that's really fun to play."

Independence Day

  • Brent Spiner was nominated for a Saturn Award for Best Supporting Actor in Independence Day.
  • Despite Okun's apparent death in Independence Day, Dean Devlin and Brent Spiner have since gone on record to say that his character is really in a coma when he appears to be dead after the film crew and audiences liked Okun so much. This was eventually confirmed in the sequel Independence Day: Resurgence.

Independence Day: Resurgence

  • Okun said to the gravely wounded Dr. Milton Isaacs "I'll get you to sickbay" is a nod to his iconic role as Lt. Commander Data from Star Trek: The Next Generation.