Starship Troopers (1997) Poster

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  • Zander went to a different school, earlier as Johnny is leaving class with Carmen to see their math scores, a friend says to him, "Hey, Rico we gonna take Tesla" (referring to the Jumpball game) to which Rico replies " we're gonna kill 'em." Edit

  • Rasczak kills the comm trooper because retrieving him would put too many in danger of the same fate, and one lost trooper is better than several. It was also a mercy killing, as the bug was in the process of filleting him alive. Also he's a good enough shot that his hand must be a fairly decent model, and you'll notice that artificial limbs are a common sight in the military. They have very little regard for human life. As for his behavior, again, the military has little regard for human life. He gets the job done, which is presumably why he has his post. The specific shootings mentioned do have some extenuating circumstances. The flier bug dragged that dude way up the cliff and had torn him up pretty bad. That guy was a goner. No one ever bothers to grab tags; if you don't come back, you're dead. They don't need his tags to report him as such. Rico had the good sense to stop him the second time. It's clear at that point that Radscak is just pragmatic to the point of stupidity. Edit

  • Firstly his leg was pinned down by an Arachnid, so he probably wouldn't get really far and end up getting killed. Secondly, he didn't know if the Brain Bug would go up to him first so he wanted to give her a combative edge. Thirdly, his main goal was just to keep her safe and he was suicidal when he provoked it by spitting at it. Edit

  • Several possibilities:

    1.) Maybe the casket was recovered after the ceremony for proper disposal.

    2.) The casket is a single-use cremation oven that burns itself up after it is launched.

    3.) Most of the casualties didn't actually get funerals, because their bodies were left behind. Dizzy only got a space-burial because they got her back onto the transport; for the rest of the dead, assuming their remains are recovered, the Federation will probably set up a military cemetery on Planet P after it's re-taken.

    4.) It's not to hard to calculate where that coffin would go. It's probable that the coffin's trajectory would take it into a planet's atmosphere where it would burn up or out into extrasolar space where it would hardly be a bother to anyone. Edit

  • They probably do, but this was something taken from the book. In the book, the recruiter is similarly crippled and takes applications exactly like that. Immediately after he clocks out for the day, he puts on prosthetics that work perfectly and explains to Rico that he goes without them while on the job so that potential recruits know exactly what they're getting themselves into, as a way to weed out the squeamish. Edit

  • Because winning the war as quickly and bloodlessly as possible isn't actually the goal. The society runs on perpetual warfare. In the book, this question is asked and the answer is a combination of a couple things. One is that what they're really fighting over is real estate - the Federation doesn't really want to kill the bugs, per se, it's just that both sides want the same real estate and they are unable to peacefully coexist since their societies are so completely different. The other is that the MI's purpose is described as, essentially, kicking down the enemy's door, punching them in the face, and sitting there declaring, "This is mine now and there's nothing you can do about it." It's about sending the message that the MI is strong enough and tough enough that you shouldn't bother attacking them. Edit

  • Rico was the one in charge. He is responsible for his squad's safety. He is the one who told Breckenridge to remove his protective helmet during an exercise where live ammunition is being used, which is stupid and negligent. It's like a coach ordering his quarterback to take his helmet off in the middle of a play. Djana who fired the shot fell over and fired by accident. She clearly didn't do it on purpose, while Rico's actions were deliberate. As for it being unsafe, the entire exercise was ludicrously and completely unsafe to anyone with even a basic knowledge of the four safety rules for guns. If anything, the trooper getting shot is the inevitable consequence of the complete incompetence of everyone who designed that exercise. Djana seems to have been immediately kicked out, she might also have quit in shame and guilt, Rico probably was lined up for the same. He was in charge, and confessed to ordering the removal of the helmet. He only got whipped because Zim said he might be redeemable.

    This was one of the scenes that they tried to shoehorn in from the book. In the book, Rico was whipped for "in simulated combat, gross negligence which would in action have caused the death of a teammate." In simpler terms, he didn't do an adequate check to ensure that the big explosion he was about to cause wasn't going to kill any of his men before setting off the weapon. In the book, he acknowledges that he knew it wasn't textbook, but he was in a rush to fire the shot. Edit

  • There are two songs, both performed by Zoe Poledouris (daughter of the film score's composer, Basil Poledouris). First, "Into It" was composed by Poledouris herself, and is available on the Starship Troopers soundtrack CD. The second song is a cover version of David Bowie's "I have not been to Oxford Town", with the word "paradise" instead of "Oxford Town". Zoe's version is unavailable; Bowie's original version is on his album "Outside". Edit

  • The Workprint is a pretty final cut of the movie. Some scenes, which focus on Carmen's love life have been removed for the Theatrical Release. In the Workprint it is clear that she sleeps with Rico, but after his supposed death shares some intimate time with Zander and finally gets back to Rico at the end. These scenes were removed because they caused a lot of animosity towards Carmen during test screenings(according to Paul Verhoeven, some viewers even asked him to "kill the slut"). Otherwise there are minor extensions/alternate scenes. Edit

  • Yes, Rasczak's provocative dialogue about Hiroshima has been cut out. Edit

  • Yes, and Paul Verhoeven proudly confirms this fact on the commentary track of the dvd, saying that "everything you've heard about this scene is true".

    Verhoeven wanted to show that equality between men and woman in the military had come to the point where they even shower together. For realism, he therefore demanded that the actors leave their modesty behind, and do the scene together and completely naked. However, the actors kept stalling and when Verhoeven kept insisting, they dared him to do the same. Without hesitation, Verhoeven and director of photography Jost Vacano undressed and the scene was filmed. Edit

  • Yes and no. It is true that Paul Verhoeven was interested in doing a sequel, so leaving the movie open-ended was partially intentional. However, Verhoeven intended the sequel to be a big-budget movie comparable to the original. Due to the somewhat disappointing box office result of Starship Troopers (1997), this idea was scrapped; the two sequels that have since been released were produced for the direct-to-dvd market on a significantly lower budget.

    But more importantly, on the dvd commentary, Verhoeven explains that the final scene was primarily intended as a very cynical coda: it shows that Johnny Rico has become a full-blown mindless war machine just like Lt. Rasczak (he has even copied his war cry "Come on, you apes, you wanna live forever?") and that mankind still thinks they can win this war through superior firepower. In this context, the final tag line 'They'll keep on fighting' can be read as 'They still haven't learned anything'. Verhoeven admits that many viewers and critics entirely missed this subtext of the movie, and misinterpreted the final scene as a statement of militarism, or a simple allusion to a sequel. Edit

    • The novel features an all-male Mobile Infantry and very little actual combat is described, while the film focuses on heavy action scenes and the love triangle between Johnny, Dizzy and Carmen. The romantic subplot does not appear in the novel; The Mobile Infantry is an all-male unit and the character of Dizzy Flores is a male trooper who dies in the first chapter.


    • The novel is told exclusively from Johnny's point of view, describing his hero's journey from indifferent high school student (Appreciation of Television is listed on his transcript) to elite cap trooper, and details the maturation process that entails. The film changes point-of-view focus between Johnny and Carmen (who in the novel never had any relationship beyond friendship).


    • The absence in the film of the power armor that was a central plot device in the novel, and had an entire chapter devoted to its description and use (the power armor was eventually used in Starship Troopers 3: Marauder (2008)).


    • While the original novel has been accused of promoting militarism, fascism and military rule, the film satirizes these concepts by featuring news reports that are intensely fascist, xenophobic and propagandistic. Verhoeven stated in 1997 that the first scene of the film (a conscription advert for the mobile infantry) was adapted shot-for-shot from a scene from Leni Riefenstahl's "Triumph of the Will" (an outdoor rally for the Reichsarbeitsdienst). Other references to Nazism in the movie include the Gestapo-like uniforms of commanding officers, Albert Speer-style architecture and the propagandistic dialogue. (Violence is the supreme authority!)


    • The Bugs in the film are portrayed as generally mindless insectoid beings, ruled and organized by an extremely intelligent overmind. However, at the beginning of the film, when Rico and Carmen dissect Arkellian sand beetles, the biology teacher states that the Bugs have millions of years of evolution behind them and are, in the case of survival capability, the perfect species. They have the ability to colonize planets "by hurling their spore into space" and possess a social structure which fits their mental capabilities. In the novel, it is established that the Bugs have spacecraft, beam weapons and other advanced technology, far from the mindless insects of the movie. The book also describes them as looking like "a madman's conception of a giant, intelligent spider." Interestingly, the book also reveals that the Bugs "see by infrared:" though pitch dark to human eyes, the underground corridors of a Bug colony are well lit when viewed by the infrared "snoopers" used by the Mobile Infantry. Bug society is based on a caste system in both the films and the book. In the book, the "Worker Caste" and the "Warrior Caste" are both mentally controlled by the "Brain Caste", which works on behalf of the "Queen" of each Bug colony.


    • Johnny Rico (Juan) is Filipino in the book, although this isn't clarified until the final chapter. He specifies his native language is Tagalog and he suggests that there should be a starship named after Raymond Magsaysay (former President of the Philippines) due to his actions clearing Japanese soldiers from the Philippines in WWII.


    • The characters of Mr. Dubois (one of his high school teachers) and Lieutenant Rasczak are separate individuals in the book (Mr. Dubois was a former MI Colonel before becoming a schoolteacher and at some point lost one of his arms; Lt. Rasczak is an able-bodied commander that leads Rasczak's Roughnecks before being killed in action).


    • Many elements from the book were used in the film, sometimes in a different context or way. These include: the book also opens in the middle of the story, and then makes a flashback to the beginning; Johnny's father disowns him after Johnny enlists in the army; school teachers trying to discourage students from enlisting in the army (a tactic to scare off applicants without sufficient conviction; Johnny Rico getting flogged as punishment for making a tactical mistake; Buenos Aires getting destroyed in a bug attack (which is a culmination of a string of earlier incidents with the bugs); Johnny's mother dying in the attack (but not his father, as is implied in the movie - in the book it turns out later his father also joined the MI following the destruction of Buenos Aires); the defeat at the battle of Klendathu.
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  • Its revealed later when Johnny, Dizzy and Ace are in the Roughnecks that Lieutenant Rasczak, who was Johnny's high school teacher, saved him, as Corporal Birdie says to Rico: "Who do you think saved your ass"? he was mistakenly listed as KIA (Killed in Action) as he didn't return with his unit during the general retreat. Edit

  • The card face up is the one Johnny is trying to guess. The card that flips over is his guess (you can see him hit a pad when he says "Ace of Spades"). Rico is trying to use mental powers to guess the card that is face up (which he can't see as he has his back to it) and (presumably so the computer can track his results better) he makes his choice on a keypad. Edit

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