|War of the Worlds|
|New Jersey – Athens – Valley Offensive – Boston|
In Steven Spielberg's adaptation, the September 11, 2001 attacks do occur, which is noticeable by the American flags hung outside civilian houses and the characters Robbie and Rachel Ferrier's first impression of the invaders were "terrorists".
The tripods were buried deep underground, undetected by humans for however long they had been there. Prior to the invasion, a strange wall cloud arrived, unleashing EMP lightning repeatedly on several spots all over New Jersey. These lightnings were a disguise to bring down capsules carrying the aliens into their hidden tripods underground.
All working electrics in the area were disabled, consequently leaving all the residents of the city stranded and confused, with many rushing toward any nearby holes caused by the lightning.
The tripods soon emerged from these locations and began firing Heat-Ray on the population, vaporizing anything within its range. National Guard units in New Jersey were probably the first to see action, the most notable being the 83rd Mechanized encountering a tripod in the Pine Barrens, firing at it only for their shells to detonate on its deflector shield before they could even hit its armor.