The Unz Review: An Alternative Media Selection
A Collection of Interesting, Important, and Controversial Perspectives Largely Excluded from the American Mainstream Media
 BlogviewTrevor Lynch Archive
Starship Troopers
🔊 Listen RSS
Email This Page to Someone

 Remember My Information



=>

Bookmark Toggle AllToCAdd to LibraryRemove from Library • BShow CommentNext New CommentNext New ReplyRead More
ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
AgreeDisagreeLOLTroll
These buttons register your public Agreement, Disagreement, Troll, or LOL with the selected comment. They are ONLY available to recent, frequent commenters who have saved their Name+Email using the 'Remember My Information' checkbox, and may also ONLY be used once per hour.
Ignore Commenter Follow Commenter
Search Text Case Sensitive  Exact Words  Include Comments
List of Bookmarks

Robert A. Heinlein’s Starship Troopers (1959) marked his transition from writing juvenile pulp science fiction to serious novels of ideas, in this case setting forth a highly reactionary and militarist political philosophy. Paul Verhoven’s 1997 film of Starship Troopers takes quite a few liberties with Heinlein’s plot but manages to capture its spirit and communicate its key ideas. Although Verhoven’s film was enormously expensive and received mostly negative reviews, it was a box office success and since then has established itself as a classic military, science fiction, and coming-of-age film.

Of course Verhoven could not film a straightforward adaptation of a novel that glorifies war and denigrates democracy in favor of something that sounds like fascism. So he claimed his movie was satire. But that’s not how the fans see it. Like Stanley Kubrick’s Full Metal Jacket, Starship Troopers contains over-the-top depictions of brutal military training and combat that actually function as recruiting propaganda. Moreover, many viewers find Verhoven’s depiction of a fascistic military meritocracy highly appealing on both aesthetic and philosophical grounds.

Starship Troopers is the story of how Johnny Rico (played by Casper Van Dien) becomes a man and a citizen of the global state known as the Federation. Starship Troopers is set around 300 years in the future. Some time right about now, civilization broke down due to democracy and the social sciences (read: Leftism). However, as in the aftermath of the First World War, military veterans put an end to the chaos and established a new order, in which the vote is restricted to citizens.

Citizenship is awarded to those who volunteer to do federal service, placing their lives at risk for the body politic. Those who do not volunteer are called “civilians,” which implies that national service simply is military service. Civilians enjoy the protection of their basic human rights, but they do not have “civil rights” to participate in government.

ORDER IT NOW

Heinlein’s system is appealing, because it recognizes that there are two basic types of human beings: collectivists, who are willing to sacrifice their lives for the common good, and individualists who prize their own lives over the common good. One can also draw the same distinction in terms of the importance of honor. When forced to choose, the warrior prefers death to dishonor, honor being understood in terms of his role as protector. Those who prefer dishonor to death can be called bourgeois. In the novel, Heinlein also distinguishes between “men”—who choose lives of honor—and mere “producing-consuming economic animal[s],” who choose lives of ease.

What sort of society is likely to be better governed: a society that reserves political power to an honorable minority proven to have the courage and responsibility to risk their lives for the common good—or a society that gives equal power to everyone, allowing the selfish, cowardly, and irresponsible majority to outvote their betters? The answer is obvious.

Heinlein’s proposal is appealing because it combines the best features of aristocracy and democracy. Aristocracies were, of course, based on risking one’s life for the common good. But heredity is a bad way to perpetuate such a system, because people don’t always breed true. Noble ancestors beget unworthy heirs, and every noble line has common ancestors when one goes back far enough. Democracy recognizes that leadership virtues can be found in all social classes, but it fails by politically empowering everyone indiscriminately, simply by virtue of being born.

Whether one is born a son of a prince or a son of the people, both aristocracy and democracy inevitably assign political power to inferior people through the principle of heredity. The best system, however, assigns political power only to the most responsible. The best way to recruit such people is to discard hereditary status and allow each individual, in each new generation, to determine his own status—by choosing to be a citizen or a civilian—and then giving those who choose citizenship the appropriate training.

The extreme brutality of the military training depicted in Starship Troopers seems excessive from the point of view of simple military necessity. But making citizenship dangerous discourages fundamentally bourgeois types from volunteering. When Johnny Rico (“rico” is Spanish for “rich”) tells his very rich, very bourgeois parents that he wants to volunteer for federal service, his mother’s immediate objection is that “People get killed in federal service.” (Of course, she later learns that people get killed by opting out as well, when she and her husband are obliterated by the hostile alien species known as arachnids or bugs.) Then Johnny’s parents try to wheedle him out of his choice by offering him an expensive vacation. (In truth, though, Johnny does not reject his parents’ offer out of a desire for a harder and more heroic life. He’s just infatuated with a girl. But this is a coming-of-age story, which means that at the start, Johnny has to be immature.)

Although the world of Starship Troopers is militaristic and meritocratic, it is quite pointedly not racist or sexist. All races are represented, and women can aspire to any position, including combat roles. Men and women even bunk and shower together in the military. This is absurd, of course, given the importance the regime places on both military efficiency and simple biology. There are, for instance, federal studies to find psychics, who might be the next step of human evolution. Also, one needs a license to have children, which implies some sort of eugenic measures. Such a society would not put women in combat, especially in a genocidal war of survival. Women can produce far fewer children than men, which makes women precious and men expendable in warfare. Therefore, they cannot have equal rights to choose combat. Moreover, such a society would not conclude that the races are basically the same, so that a stable and functional multiracial society is possible.

Despite the explicit multiracialism of Heinlein’s novel, Verhoven massively Aryanizes his cast and setting. Heinlein’s Johnny Rico is a Pilipino who lives in Buenos Aires. Verhoven’s Rico is a squared-jawed Nordic archetype, and his Buenos Aires looks like a rich, heavily Nordic North-American suburb where everyone speaks English. All the main characters have blue eyes: Carmen Ibanez is played by Denise Richards; Dina Meyer plays Isabelle “Dizzy” Flores; Michael Ironside plays the teacher/lieutenant Jean Rasczak; Neil Patrick Harris plays Carl Jenkins; Patrick Muldoon plays Zander Barcalow; Jake Busey plays Ace Levy; Clancy Brown plays Zim; Brenda Strong plays Captain Deladier; and so forth.

It seems odd that Verhoven reduced the diversity of Heinlein’s cast. No filmmaker would ever do that today. I would like to think that he was simply guided by strong aesthetic considerations. I’d also like to think that he wanted heroes with whom his majority North-American white audience could better identify. But perhaps he simply thought a more Nordic cast made for a better “parody” of fascism. If so, we have to thank him for making the right choice for the wrong reasons.

The basic story of Starship Troopers is rather simple. High-school senior Johnny Rico is in love with Carmen Ibanez, who has much shallower feelings for him. Carmen is planning to sign up for federal service. Johnny decides to join as well, hoping to impress Carmen. His parents oppose his decision, Johnny rebels, and his father cuts him off. Johnny goes off to boot camp. Dizzy Flores, who is in unrequited love with Johnny, follows him. Johnny begins to excel at training. Carmen dumps him. When one of Johnny’s comrades dies due to his negligence, Johnny decides to quit and go home. But then Buenos Aires is destroyed by the arachnids, and Johnny rushes back to join the fight.

The war with the arachnids is utterly brutal. Due to his competence and the high casualty rates on his missions, Johnny is promoted from private to corporal to sergeant to lieutenant. He sees many friends and comrades die. He becomes detached from his pain over the breakup with Carmen. He comes to feel compassion for Dizzy.

At the beginning of the film, Mr. Rasczak chides Johnny for repeating the words of the textbook on citizenship without really knowing their meaning. When Dizzy dies, Johnny fully understands what it means to give one’s life for the common good.

But Johnny also repeats other lines from Rasczak, who is later his lieutenant: “I only have one rule. Everyone fights. No one quits. If you don’t do your job, I’ll shoot you.” You have a rank “Until you’re dead or I find someone better.” “Come on you apes! Do you want to live forever?”

Perhaps we are supposed to sneer at Johnny for being unoriginal, inauthentic, or high on the f-scale. But Johnny Rico has transcended all such concerns because he has transcended his ego by doing his duty. He has followed the path of the Karma Yogi. He has also become a bit like the arachnids: lacking ego, he is a perfect member of society. But they are born that way, whereas he had to attain detachment through suffering and effort.

Many critics have sneered at Verhoven’s central cast—Van Dien, Richards, Meyer, and Muldoon—because they are perfect looking but “wooden.” One of the extras on my disc is a screen test with Van Dien and Richards in which they generate real heat. Verhoven dampened that for the final film, again, perhaps to suggest that the characters are shallow fascist Barbie and Ken dolls. Or maybe Verhoven wanted the characters to deepen emotionally as they experience suffering and compassion, which is exactly what happens with all of them as the story unfolds. In any case, Starship Troopers can be deeply moving, especially the deaths of Dizzy and Rasczak.

From a technical point of view, Starship Troopers is a brilliant achievement. I recently rewatched it on Blu-ray on a large-screen OLED TV, and I found the special effects to be stunningly realistic. The arachnids are genuinely terrifying. Basil Poledouris’ score is also highly effective.

Two scenes, though, are particularly powerful to me. When Johnny Rico has dropped out of federal service and is leaving base, we see hundreds of soldiers going about their business. Then, suddenly, some of them break ranks and start running. Others follow. And Johnny, not knowing what is happening, joins in. News of the destruction of Buenos Aires has hit. “War! We’re going to war!” one of his friends shouts. This scene wonderfully communicates the sense of being swept up in historical events that are larger than oneself.

At the end of the film, as Johnny emerges from the darkness of the bug city, he again sees large crowds of soldiers running. But this time, the meaning is reversed. Johnny has flushed the brain bug into the arms of his comrades, who have captured it, and this is not the beginning of the war, but the beginning of its end. Johnny Rico is no longer just a passive speck buffeted around by history. He has become an agent of history.

How was it even possible that such an appealing anti-liberal movie was ever made?

We are all supposed to have cold shudders when private Johnny Rico screams, “Kill them! Kill them all!” as he and his fellow soldiers are swarmed by terrifying arachnid warriors—or when lieutenant Zander Barcalow spits out the words, “One day, someone like me is going to kill you and your whole fucking race” to an arachnid brain bug—or when colonel Carl Jenkins psychically probes the brain bug then exultantly proclaims, “Its afraid, its afraid!” After all, surely not all arachnids are like that. Surely things can’t be that black and white. But while shitlibs soil themselves, healthy people cheer such sentiments and work them into countless edgy Right-wing memes.

I have two hypotheses that might explain this film.

The first is that Paul Verhoven did a good job because he fundamentally liked the story. Then, when the predictable oy veying about fascism started up, he claimed that he was parodying the whole thing. There are some definitely parodistic elements in the film clips of the republic’s propaganda. But the main story is quite “real” and played pretty much straight.

The second hypothesis is that Verhoven delivered a good film essentially by accident. The smugness and psychological shallowness of Leftists often causes them to defeat themselves. They assume that simply restating Rightist ideas is enough to refute them, so they sometimes accurately communicate them to receptive audiences.

Whatever the explanation, Starship Troopers is an anti-liberal classic which has done far more to promote than to undermine Heinlein’s vision of military meritocracy.

 
Hide 274 CommentsLeave a Comment
274 Comments to "Starship Troopers"
Commenters to Ignore...to FollowEndorsed Only
Trim Comments?
    []
  1. cthulhu says:

    There has never been a movie made of Heinlein’s Starship Troopers. Never.

    • Agree: Tom Welsh
    • Replies: @Anon
  2. mijj says:

    heinlein’s ideal society requires an eternal state of war.

    • Replies: @ExpertApeHunter
    , @Fun
    , @Anon
    , @Anon
  3. Anon[170] • Disclaimer says: • Website

    Greg Johnson should do a run-down of his 100 top Rock Albums.

    That ought to be interesting.

  4. Anon[170] • Disclaimer says: • Website
    @cthulhu

    I think GUNBUSTER: AIM FOR THE TOP came closest. A real mixed bag.

  5. Anon[170] • Disclaimer says: • Website

    Although Verhoven’s film was enormously expensive and received mostly negative reviews, it was a box office success

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Starship_Troopers_(film)

    Budget $105 million[1]
    Box office $121.2 million[1]

    A movie’s box office has to double the budget for it to break even. STARSHIP seems to have been a money-loser… unless it recouped its costs on video and dvd.

    • Replies: @threestars
  6. Dutch Boy says:

    As I recall, there are no women in the infantry in Heinlein’s novel (unlike the movie). They do serve as navy (space ship) crew. Heinlein was too sharp to ever believe that females would ever make good infantry (too bad our leaders aren’t as sharp).

    • Replies: @anon
    , @Alfa158
    , @Kurt
  7. Although there was some interesting philosophy in Troopers, it seemed silly that humans would be foolish enough to battle the bugs on the surface instead of nuking them from orbit.
    I loved the shower scene, of course. Which begs the question: what genius decided to waste all those intelligent, motivated, attractive, fertile females in the infantry?

    • Replies: @anon
    , @Z-man
    , @Anon
  8. anon[642] • Disclaimer says:
    @Dutch Boy

    Heinlein was too sharp to ever believe that females would ever make good infantry (too bad our leaders aren’t as sharp).

    your leaders don’t care if they make good infantry

  9. Kirt says:

    It’s accurate to call the movie a parody of the book – an entertaining parody, but parody nonetheless. I’d still like to see a movie which more closely follows the book. I’d also like to see a movie made of Glory Road, my favorite Heinlein novel.

    • Agree: atlantis_dweller
    • Replies: @Tom Welsh
    , @Tom Welsh
    , @Wrench
  10. Alfa158 says:
    @Dutch Boy

    That’s correct. Heinlein created the concept that for unstated reasons women adapted better to zero gravity so the ship crews were women. Of course like Navy sailors they could die in combat just like soldiers.
    It’s a tribute to Heinlein’s versatility that he produced this novel and Stranger in a Strange Land consecutively.

    Now here’s a Heinlein sci-fi novel that will never be dramatized: Farnham’s Freehold. Ooosh, now that would get an er, energetic reception to put it mildly. And the critics thought they hated Starship Troopers.

    • Replies: @Tom Welsh
    , @Colin Wright
  11. Do you seriously think Heinlein valued collectivists over individualists?

  12. Half-Jap says:

    Whatever the explanation, Starship Troopers is an anti-liberal classic which has done far more to promote than to undermine Heinlein’s vision of military meritocracy.

    Didn’t read the book or didn’t understand that it is deeply liberal in the classic sense, or I just misunderstood that you meant the modern, especially American variety of ‘liberal.’
    Starship Troopers is all about individual liberty, to join a bureaucracy or military, for only “service guarantees citizenship,” or not and produce and consume as they see fit. Earth is at peace, practically as a liberarian utopia.
    The novel is set during a war for survival, so naturally the emphasis is on the military. Besides, it wouldn’t make for a great story or movie if it wasn’t Franz Kafka’s depiction of bureaucracy. The military is necessarily collectivist, but that is for practical purposes.
    Heinlein’s world is not a military meritocracy. The military is necessarily one, though, and the world is merely meritocratic.

    • Replies: @Trevor Lynch
  13. Anon[170] • Disclaimer says: • Website

    Of course Verhoven could not film a straightforward adaptation of a novel that glorifies war and denigrates democracy in favor of something that sounds like fascism. So he claimed his movie was satire. But that’s not how the fans see it. Like Stanley Kubrick’s Full Metal Jacket, Starship Troopers contains over-the-top depictions of brutal military training and combat that actually function as recruiting propaganda.

    But why couldn’t he make such a movie? Isn’t RAMBO just that? It says politicians are wusses who didn’t let gung ho US soldiers win the war in Vietnam. And Rambo is one-man Wehrmacht who takes on all the Vietnamese commies and the Soviet war machine… and comes out on top.

    And didn’t STAR WARS end with Riefenstahl ending? The rebels in the first movie are all-white and just another empire. It’s fascists vs fascists.

    Incidentally, BLACK HAWK DOWN is far more gung-ho its depiction of war than anything in STARSHIP. A few critics, esp black Elvis Mitchell, complained of its ‘racism’, but most were admiring. I found it strange since, like ZULU, most of the action is about white guys blowing away pesky blacks.

    I didn’t see BATMAN with Penguin but some said it was like Aryan Batman hero vs the Semitic Penguin.

    Among the most un-PC movies were Tim Burton’s PLANET OF THE APES and Zach Snyder’s 300, but maybe that was okay with Hollywood as long as it could be seen as Neocon War Porn.

    BLADE RUNNER also had quasi-fascist characters who went from villain to hero. Roy Batty is like a blonde Aryan god-hero who ultimately wins our respect and sympathy.

    I think part of the reason why Jews and the so-called ‘left’ became more OKAY with fascist imagery was:
    (1) It was too profitable to ignore at the box office. Even when the bad guys are ‘fascist’, they are seen as uber-cool: Terminator and Darth Vader. Also, even the ‘anti-fascist’ forces act like fascists to win: Ultra Violence. Why do kids play video-games? To feel like Mother Teresa? No, to feel badass. Even when they are fighting Nazis in video-games, they feel like nazis. This goes for Hayao Miyazaki too. Ideologically, he’s a peacenik(like Cameron and Lucas), but like those other two, he loves militarist and ‘fascist’ imagery even as he ultimately condemns it.

    (2) Once Jews and globo-homo took over America, they controlled the War Machine. In order to fight more Wars for Israel and spread globo-homo as new messianic faith, militarism was back in vogue. After all, Jews gotta make goyim to sign up for war and empire. So, even as Jews rail against ‘nazis’ and ‘fascists’, they are the New Nazis of a new 1000 Reich with US as metropole. Jews are longer partisans hiding in the woods anymore. They are not ragtag Zionist guerrillas as Neo-Zealots trying to form a nation. They are the oligarcho-uber-commanders of the biggest war machine in the world, and they must promote militarism to persuade goy suckers to fight for ‘glory’.

    (3) Jews figured one of the most effective way to subvert and weaken white power is to promote a kind of Afro-fascism. Via promotion of black athletics, rapper thug attitude, and black sexuality, Jews are no longer promoting racial equality but the impression of blacks as the superior god-hero-like race to which white women must give themselves sexually and to which white boys must cuck. Egalitarianism sounds nice and all, but it’s rather dull and boring. Americans love winners and champions, not the Average Joe or man in the middle.
    If whites were to regard blacks merely as equals, blacks would be no more than whites with black skin. In order for whites to lose racial confidence, they see blacks as SUPERIOR to whites. So, just like Leni Riefenstahl featured Teutonic Aryans(and later Sudanese Nuba) as the most impressive races, Jews use images of Black Superiority to turn whites into cucks. Of course, promotion of blacks as uber-race is never called ‘fascism’ or ‘racism’ but as ‘progress’ and etc., but the message is no longer ‘blacks are as good as you’ but ‘blacks are better than you, white boy, so get on your knees and cuck.’

    Because Jews now control neo-Heinleinism, the ideas in STARSHIP TROOPERS should seem more appalling than appealing to those in the Alt Right. After all, the men in ST are like mental robots. They never ask questions. They never speak truth to power. They never wonder what it’s all about. Instead, they are cookie-cutter creatures who do as told and are easily manipulated by the Power. Now, in the story, Earth is indeed threatened by a race of space bugs, so humanity is responding to real danger. But, the Power that rules over us can use hysteria and paranoia to fool the public into ‘serving’ and ‘defending’ the nation against threats that are bogus or exaggerated. Russia Collusion Hoax for instance. We saw how this worked in the lead up to the Iraq War. Hussein as new hitler. WMD. War on Terror. Shock and Awe. So many people, even the best of Americans, were fooled.
    Many men of HONOR served in the Iraq War. They fought bravely and served honorably. But the great lesson of that war is that HONOR is never enough. Honor without understanding, insight, and the will to ask the WHY is useless. Honor can be made to serve horror. After all, a soldier can serve HONORABLY in any war. Plenty of Germans believed Hitler and served honorably in the Eastern Front. But they were serving a regime of madness. Before being honorable, they should have been skeptical and conscientious.

    To the extent that Jews control the deep state & media and do NOT want us to ask questions and instead just trust the Narrative and serve and fight HONORABLY as war dogs and horses, those in the Alt Right must put issues of honor on the shelf for the time being. They must ask WHAT is worthy of our honor? Certainly not Wars for Israel. Certainly not Wars for globo-homo. Certainly not new ‘cold war’ with Russia to appease insatiable Jewish rage.

    The men in STARSHIP TROOPERS are just like idiots in the US military. Sure, they are tough, brave, and etc. But they are so EASY. They are suckers who don’t ask questions. They like being trained and used as attack dogs. Take orders, do as told, and just blow things up.
    Paul Verhoeven was being rather sly. He said he was satirizing fascism but he was really satirizing the US war state. After all, the society in STARSHIP is pretty degenerate, trashy, hedonistic. It seems saturated with pop culture and youth mania. Soldiers take to war like it’s college football season. Female soldiers are little more than walking barbie dolls(to their G.I Joe male counterparts). Society is so trashy and degenerate one wonders if it’s even worth defending from space bugs. They even got coed showers.

    What sort of society is likely to be better governed: a society that reserves political power to an honorable minority proven to have the courage and responsibility to risk their lives for the common good—or a society that gives equal power to everyone, allowing the selfish, cowardly, and irresponsible majority to outvote their betters? The answer is obvious.

    Sparta didn’t turn out so well in the end. Also, the noble military caste in peace-time turn corrupt and parasitic. Japan’s eventual fate under Tokugawa rule. And judging by US and European military men, I wouldn’t put too much trust in them either. It seems many people enter the military mainly for stability and security. They want to be told what to do because they are too lost, confused, or unimaginative to make their own decisions and think for themselves. They lack autonomy of thought. Most of them are careerists like Colin Powell who went along with Iraq War. Or all those military cucks who went along with women, homos,and trannies in military. We think of military guys as tough, but they are tough in the way dogs are tough. They are incapable of independent thought. They are incurious about what’s really happening. They have all these guns, tanks, and planes, but they are never the ones to decide how such are to be used. Instead, they wait around idly until an order comes through to blow up a nation they never heard of and drop bombs to kill people about whom they know nothing.
    The German military failed to stand up to Hitler even as the fuhrer got increasingly reckless. And Japanese military led nation to ruin. A society run by likes of John McCains would be a sorry one. And of course, military commanders rarely see real combat. They give orders and take all the credit while their minions do all the dying in gory combat. Patton and MacArthur talked big, but they saw war through binoculars. Also, judging Ross Perot’s vice presidential choice, those who’ve known real war may be too shell-shocked and mentally messed up to be of sound mind and body.

    Democracy recognizes that leadership virtues can be found in all social classes, but it fails by politically empowering everyone indiscriminately, simply by virtue of being born.

    I don’t think that is the main problem with democracy. If US politics had indeed empowered everyone, it’d be in less trouble. Rather, democracy invariably turns into rule by plutocracy and oligarchy. Most Americans are too distracted with junk culture and idiot dogma(pushed by elites) to have any sense of what is going on. 50% of Americans don’t vote. And when politicians don’t do as promised, people don’t rise up but just turn away and watch more junk on TV.
    If the demands of the majority had shaped US policy, the US would be a much better place. But against populist wishes, the US is driven by oligarchic donors and their whore politicians and the corrupt courts. Politicians mostly ignore the people and just do as their donors tell them. US is a moneytocracy before it’s a democracy.

    From a technical point of view, Starship Troopers is a brilliant achievement. I recently rewatched it on Blu-ray on a large-screen OLED TV, and I found the special effects to be stunningly realistic. The arachnids are genuinely terrifying.

    You gotta be kidding me. The special effects are on the level of STAR TREK TV shows. We see Earthlings in toylike spaceships doing battle with giant beetles that shoot lasers out of their bungs. It’s like a movie made with STAR WARS toy figures and cereal boxes whence they came. At best, one might say the aesthetics was intentionally goofy and cartoonish to make the whole thing look like a straight-faced spoof.

    How was it even possible that such an appealing anti-liberal movie was ever made?

    Why? Maybe because Jews became the commanders of the Lone Superpower and wanted goy suckers to be like dimwit Rico and go fight Arab-Arachnids? Jews are loving fascism now. Disney bought STAR WARS, and all that fascist-imagery(taken from Riefenstahl, fascist spectacles, Western myth, samurai legends, etc) is being used to promote globo-homo-shlomo-Afro fascism.

    Whatever the explanation, Starship Troopers is an anti-liberal classic which has done far more to promote than to undermine Heinlein’s vision of military meritocracy.

    No, the movie takes fascist ideas & images and associates them multi-culti globo-homo US as the lone superpower. It’s like TERMINATOR 2. Via reprogramming, the techno-fascist robot is made to serve humanity and turn traitor against his own machine kind. Any side can use ‘fascism’, which is more about idolatry than strict set of ideology. Though communists weren’t ideologically anti-fascist, their militarism, the cult of great leader, and collectivism was almost indistinguishable from certain key features of National Socialism(and the more militarist wing of Zionism).
    ‘Fascism’ doesn’t necessarily favor one side over the other. ‘Fascist’ Japan fought white US. Fascism has many faces, and its vulgar form is the worship of power. So, whoever has the most power becomes the focus of vulgar fascist passion. It’s like sports. When whites were champions, white boys and girls idolized white athletes. When blacks defeated whites and took over sports, white boys and girls began to idolize black athletes. If fascism is about worship of naked power, then whoever has the most power or most trophies becomes the focus of pop fascist passion.
    When Germany conquered France, French women admired German soldiers as alpha.

    When STARSHIP TROOPERS was made, the US was pretty much in the hands of Jews. Why should Jews fear ‘fascism’ when they got the control? While Jews hate specific forms of fascism such as National Socialism, they love the generic kind of vulgar fascism where people pledge their allegiance to the ultimate power. Hillary even pledged to go to war with Russia over Syria at the behest of super-powerful Jews. As blacks won in brawn and Jews won in brains, generic fascism in the US turned into a ritual of whites admiring blacks as the badass race and worshiping Jews as the super-rich, genius, and brilliant race. (And later homos as the ‘creative race’.)

    STARSHIP TROOPERS is Poopers. Far more interesting movie along that line is ZULU, from which STARSHIP copped some scenes. As for Heinlein, the Cold War really got to him. In retrospect, his enthusiastic support for Reagan’s STAR WARS defense system and fuming at Arthur C. Clarke for opposing it makes him come across worse than foolish: clueless.

    [MORE]

    Personally, TWILIGHT OF THE COCKROACHES and GUNBUSTER(despite the insufferable lead character crybaby Noriko) are among the more interesting variations on fascist themes.

    In TWILIGHT, Germany and Japan(cockroaches) against US and Russia(humans post-cold-war).
    In GUNBUSTER, Japan refights the Pacific War in space.. but this time, they got the nuke.

    Two reviews of the movie:

    https://www.chicagotribune.com/news/ct-xpm-1997-11-07-9711070293-story.html

    http://www.jonathanrosenbaum.net/1997/11/multinational-pest-control/

    • Agree: Willem
  14. There’s sort of a Cold War context to the novel, ignored in the essentially vapid movie, I think. The personalityless, interchangeable bugs represent communists, and the militaristic society of earth is what we should do about it, in the eyes of the author. If that’s true, leftist verhoeven should have depicted the bugs as admirable in some way, but perhaps that would be giving him too much credit.

    The Ukraine bug should have broken off from the other bugs.

    • Replies: @Chaotic Neutral
  15. WHAT says:

    Verhoevven also made Robocop and that one with young Hauer, so satire is absolutely intentional.

    • Replies: @Anon
  16. I think the film works for another reason: It shows young white men who grow up fast and assume difficult responsibilities early in life, and many of us can see the value of that life trajectory. Young men traditionally had to get up to speed starting literally in boyhood, because until recently our society didn’t have enough wealth lying around to subsidize men’s ability to waste years of their lives in college and then as atomized, aimless urban bugmen. You just didn’t see any “kidult” men who did the equivalent of collecting comic books, playing computer games and watching superhero movies.

    No, a few generations back the typical 20 year old American white man either ran his family’s farm or plantation, worked on a sailing ship or studied to enter a profession in a few months. John Quincy Adams started his own law practice when he turned 23, for example. The Starship Troopers film reminds us of the male culture of early maturity and competence that we have lost.

  17. anon[342] • Disclaimer says:
    @Fidelios Automata

    > It seemed silly that humans would be foolish enough to battle the bugs on the surface instead of nuking them from orbit.

    Heinlein addresses that in the book, if I remember correctly, using the analogy of spanking a baby rather than hitting it with a sledgehammer. The light tap was done to force a political change.

  18. Bill H says:

    Starship Troopers is the best book and the worst movie of all time. The movie was totally unwatchable, and after having read the book a dozen times or so I walked out of the movie halfway through.

    There is nothing “brutal” about the military training depicted in the book; it closely describes Marine boot camp in the 1960s and 1970s. Achievement of citizenship did not require military service and the risk of one’s life, it could be achieved in any form of federal service including “dirtside” administration or research. As has already been pointed out, there were no women in the Space Marines.

    • Replies: @Logan
  19. we are getting there, just give it a few more months. . . .

  20. Moses says:

    No film has made for better memes than Starship Troopers. A true classic.

    [MORE]

  21. A major mistake that most make is assuming this to be a fascist military society.
    Citizen comes from service which doesn’t have to be in the military, state specifically in the book.
    Citizenship comes after the priod of service. The military doesn’t vote. So how is this a fascist militaristic society?
    Yes they are in a war, and its a story of troops, but that doesn’t mean the culture behind it is based on the military.
    Yeah Verhoeven got all the trappings in place and hammed it up good and made sure Doogie wore an SS coat, but so what?

  22. Z-man says:

    Denise Richards was delish!

    • Replies: @Stebbing Heuer
  23. If you watch the film satirically and as the campy over the top thing Verhoven wanted it to be, it is quite decent. It did butcher many parts of the novel but it also kept some of the more solid concepts.

    But don’t take my word for it, if you want to do your part for Federal Service simply ask yourself: WOULD YOU LIKE TO KNOW MORE?!

  24. CBTerry says:

    One of the most hilariously bad movies I have ever seen.

  25. @ Trevor Lynch,

    The name of the director of the 1997 movie ‘Starship Troopers is Paul Verhoeven – Link to wiki

    Hope this helps.

  26. Starship Troopers, like The Hunger Games is not science fiction: Both are astute prognostication.

  27. @Anon

    It’s pretty obvious he meant to say that it was popular with the audience, which it was.

    • Replies: @Pincher Martin
  28. Tom Welsh says:
    @Kirt

    Exactly right. To my mind, it was a malicious parody deliberately crafted to misrepresent Heinlein’s ideas in the worst possible light.

    At a time, moreover, when such a misrepresentation would be likely be popular and make money.

    • Replies: @travel lyte
  29. Tom Welsh says:
    @Alfa158

    And of course we have Johnny Rico being a Filipino, at a time when most American (and other) SF writers would never have dreamed of such casting.

    Or (admittedly much later) Friday being a black woman.

    • Replies: @Anon
  30. Tom Welsh says:

    Heinlein explained some things that are by no means obvious even to devoted readers who are familiar with all his work. For instance:

    “If a person names as his three favorites of my books “Stranger”, “Harsh Mistress”, and “Starship Troopers”… then I believe that he has grokked what I meant. But if he likes one – but not the other two – I am certain that he has misunderstood me, he has picked out points – and misunderstood what he picked. If he picks 2 of 3, then there is hope, 1 of 3 – no hope.

    “All three books are on one subject: Freedom and Self-Responsibility”.

    (Those words were written in 1965, and are quoted on page 266 of “Robert A, Heinlein In Dialogue with his Century: Volume 2, The Man Who Learned better” by William H. Patterson, Jr.)

    A year or so earlier, Heinlein wrote in a letter that “‘Glory Road’ and ‘Farnham’s Freehold’ are possibly the least ‘escapist’ (along with ‘Stranger’) of any of my stories and the three together are a trilogy. But all three of them are heavily allegorical – and I’m damned if I’ll explain the allegories!”

  31. Not to be missed, a classic bit of MSM hysteria:

    GOOSESTEPPING AT THE MOVIES

    • Replies: @Z-man
  32. Tom Welsh says:
    @Kirt

    As I pointed out in an Amazon review (possibly now removed for some reason), a film of “Starship Troopers” without powered suits is like a film of “Midway” without aircraft carriers.

    If it wasn’t technically possible to do the powered suits, the project should have been abandoned.

    • Agree: Bill
    • Replies: @Alfa158
  33. Dear Mr. Lunch, isn’t the name of the director VERHOEVEN, rather than “VERHOVEN?”

    • Replies: @Anon
    , @Trevor Lynch
  34. @Half-Jap

    You are mulling over my argument, but which you don’t like, but you haven’t let the pieces click together.

    The military is a meritocracy. And the only people who can be citizens are people who go through the military meritocracy. Thus the society is a military meritocracy. You wouldn’t say that the USSR was not a Communist society because most people did not belong to the Communist Party.

    The military is indeed collectivistic by necessity. And those collectivistic traits are deemed better for society than individualist ones. Hence the collectivists get political power and the individualists don’t. Giving everyone a choice to determine which group they belong is not libertarianism, if the libertarian types are precisely the ones who are deemed unfit for social responsibility. People exercise choice in all sorts of regimes. People could choose to apply for the Communist Party. That did not make the USSR a libertarian society.

  35. @donald j tingle

    Do you think he valued “men” over “producing-consuming economic animals”?

  36. I think Sargon’s critique is the most incisive – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kVpYvV0O7uI

  37. @donald j tingle

    Everybody values people like himself, and a serious artist is of course an individual, therefore an individualist.

    However, they can pretend to prefer collectivism — since it is with collectives that individuals have to deal to make their way in the world, and he can pretend to that to himself, not only to the others.

  38. Interesting ideas regarding how elites must be chosen and maintained. Going soft on elites after stalin is what caused Soviet union disintegration and methamorposis into capitalistic state. There is good old Soviet film that I used to watch with admiration for the main character. Communist. It is not dissimilar in this regard of self sacrifice and servicing common good from Starship troopers. No bugs though and things do not look that beautiful. The time is Russian civil war and at the end main character is killed. Because such people became nonexistent in later USSR, gorbachov and his gang could easily go about their business. Hence what I find interesting in this article idea is that there must be no easy path without risk and responsibility for those at the top.

    • Replies: @Anon
  39. The Ken-doll Johnny Rico, came across as outrageously gay.

  40. Z-man says:
    @HammerJack

    To the tune of the Dr. Pepper gingle, ‘I’m a Nazi, you’re a Nazi, we all wanna be a Nazi too!’
    Big grin!

  41. Z-man says:
    @Fidelios Automata

    Then we wouldn’t have had a movie or a novel. Big grin!
    Shower scene? Denise Richards? I gotta see that flic again! (Naughty grin)

    • Replies: @Jake
  42. @mijj

    Georeg Orwell did a good job demonizing the idea of “endless war.”

    • Replies: @James Forrestal
  43. OK.

    1. Paul Verhoeven is a master of social satire. His “commercials” in Robocop are hilarious as are infomercials in ST, among many other things.
    2. Dina Meyer is on the order of magnitude more beautiful woman and better actress than Denise Richards ever was.
    3. One of my favorite movies, not least because of a hilarious tactics of large formations.
    4. The cast, headed by Michael Ironside (with the exception of talentless Richards) is awesome.

    In general–a delight in its own right as a parody.

    • Replies: @Anon
    , @Logan
    , @Stebbing Heuer
  44. Anon[127] • Disclaimer says: • Website
    @Fidelios Automata

    Although there was some interesting philosophy in Troopers,

    ENDER’S GAME is more interesting ‘philosophically’ as it’s more about game theory than mere brutal combat. I mean the movie as I haven’t read the book.

    • Replies: @Sam J.
  45. Anon[127] • Disclaimer says: • Website
    @Tom Welsh

    And of course we have Johnny Rico being a Filipino

    A James-Michener-kind of touch. Race-mixing as basis of imperial expansion. Philippines was the ‘good’ Asian nation, the obedient dog of the US. Race-mixed via European Imperialism too.

    Making Rico a Filo was less about being ‘progressive’ than being imperialist. ‘Good’ Asians vs ‘Bad’ Asians(the Red Chinese and North Vietnam).

    I hear Rico is ultimately supposed to be black. Like Tiger Woods?

  46. TG says:

    I wouldn’t really call Starship Troopers “right wing.”

    I mean, the current modern “right wing” says that people who are rich are intrinsically better than the rest of us, and they should be absolved from any kind of service and make all the decisions for us because they are rich (which a priori means they are virtuous), including being subsidized by public bailouts – and anyone complaining about this is ‘socialist.’ Heinlein’s view is more collectivist – indeed, in a fundamental way, more communist – and gives power not to the smartest or richest, but the ones demonstrating in actual deed that they value the entire society and not just themselves. It is the complete opposite of Ayn Rand, and people somehow miss that. It’s as if anything with harsh aspects simply must be ‘right wing’ or ‘fascist’ regardless…

    Running a military society on purely military lines has never been shown to work, but there is a long history of cases where when the leadership of a country were military veterans, they value peace and stability – and only when the veterans die off, and you get spoiled rich kids who never sacrificed anything themselves running things, that we get wars again. In the US, the post-civil war generals who became presidents were largely pacifists – and then the got the ivory tower Woodrow Wilson who plunged us into a pointless bloodbath. After WWII, Eisenhower was very much not a military adventurist – and now we get Cheney and Clinton etc. who never served and they never met a stupid war they didn’t like. Not saying it’s a panacea, mind, but sometimes it does work.

    But the tactics in the movie are utterly ludicrous. Mobs of people with ineffective weapons charging the enemy in wave attacks? The Heinlein book tactics were so much more interesting, but I guess it would be hard to make a movie with every soldier a kilometer away from every other spread out… Kind of like how space combat today shows ships blazing away at each other at distances that would make the Spanish Armada claustrophobic, but then it does look cool on the screen…

    • Replies: @Svigor
  47. Anon[127] • Disclaimer says:
    @Hans Vogel

    Dear Mr. Lunch, isn’t the name of the director VERHOEVEN, rather than “VERHOVEN?”

    The crypto-nazi side of Herr Lunch just can’t get Oven out of his mind.

  48. Anon[127] • Disclaimer says: • Website
    @Sergey Krieger

    Going soft on elites after stalin is what caused Soviet union disintegration and methamorposis into capitalistic state.

    But Stalinism was based on too much fear and brutality. Couldn’t be sustained. There is tough love and justice. Stalinism was rough abuse and no justice.

    • Replies: @Sergey Krieger
  49. Anon[127] • Disclaimer says: • Website
    @WHAT

    Verhoeven’s attitude is simple: “Hollywood is trashy and Americans are dumb, and so, you morons deserve my dummified versions of Philip K. Dick and Robert Heinlein.” His movies are less satire than insult to Americans(and an Americanized world). But he is still servicing that very Americanism he feels contempt for because most people enjoy the willfully idiocratic elements of his movies as popcorn entertainment(just like kids watching Godzilla movies don’t think about allegory of nuclear fallout).

    But more importantly, STARSHIP is less satire than a work of appropriation. Jewish Hollywood in effect appropriated ‘kewl’ fascist imagery and themes to put them at the service of the Zionist-Supremacist US empire, aka get dumb young Americans excited to fight Wars for Israel, hate the ‘mizzies’, and maybe to hate & even fight Russia is it falls out of the Jewish hegemonic orbit.

    With Jews buying up Disney and STAR WARS, they finalized their means of appropriation. Notice how the New STAR WARS is a kind of ‘antifascist’ fascism. The white male empire is the evil ‘fascist’ power to beat BUT the rebels(the good guys) are also ‘kewl’ fascist gear, playing imperial politics, relying on the Force, and blowing things up in blitzkrieg fashion.

    In the 40s and 50s, American war movies were in humanist mode. It was as if Omar Bradley made them. War is unfortunate but a necessary evil at times.
    Since the 80s, esp with Stallone and Arnawd, violence-as-spectacle was placed at thew center. It was as if they were made by Pop Patton who loved war for war’s sake.
    Compare the first ROCKY with the part III. First one is a humanist story about a palooka gaining dignity. Part III is about Rocky as master of the world. RAMBO, a huge hit, turned war into cartoon fantasy.

    Appropriating fascism for globo-homo-shlomo empire is what the US is about. And even ‘literally hitler’ Trump turned out to be puppet-fuhrer for Israel than leader of White America.

    • Replies: @Z-man
    , @Feryl
    , @Feryl
    , @jeff stryker
  50. Kurt says:
    @Dutch Boy

    One subtle point, often missed: Every female soldier or sailor depicted in the film suffers death or horrific, gruesome injuries. While perhaps a sly commentary on the suitability of women for these roles, at the very least it is a cautionary tale. Be careful what you ask for, girls.

    • Replies: @Dutch Boy
    , @Logan
  51. Logan says:

    Heinlein’s Johnny Rico is a Pilipino who lives in Buenos Aires.

    Nope. His family lives in Manila. They are visiting in BA when it’s destroyed by the Bugs.

  52. @Hans Vogel

    This is why I love The Unz Review. It has the best proof-readers in its commentariat.

    • Replies: @Hans Vogel
  53. Anon[127] • Disclaimer says: • Website
    @Andrei Martyanov

    1. Paul Verhoeven is a master of social satire. His “commercials” in Robocop are hilarious as are infomercials in ST, among many other things.

    It’s smiley satire or satire-for-dummies. A satire so goofy and obvious that it becomes a spoof of satire. Satire that nibbles and kisses than bites and cuts is useless.

    Also, in the age of vulgar irony, people just wink-wink at the whole thing.

    What may be dangerous about STARSHIP is that its Neocon War Porn propagandizing slips through the purported ‘satire’. This way, Jewish Hollywood plays it both ways. It promotes globo-hom0 militarism while telling people to just lighten up cuz it’s all meant as ‘satire’.

    But the laughter that the movie elicits is not ironic ridicule or mockery of militarism but a kind of aloof hipsterism that says fascism can be cool too…. as long it’s on the side of globo-homo empire.

    • Replies: @Andrei Martyanov
  54. Jake says:
    @Z-man

    Denise Richards is not in the shower scene. She is at officer pilot school, not infantry training.

    • Replies: @Z-man
    , @Lurker
    , @c matt
  55. Logan says:

    Although the world of Starship Troopers is militaristic and meritocratic, it is quite pointedly not racist or sexist. All races are represented, and women can aspire to any position, including combat roles. Men and women even bunk and shower together in the military.

    The author should have noted that this is the movie ST, not the book, in which the Mobile Infantry is all-male. If I remember rightly, starship pilots are all female. Clearly, RAH is focused on which sex is better suited for specific roles.

  56. Z-man says:
    @Jake

    That’s why I don’t remember it! (Grin)

  57. Logan says:
    @Anon

    And of course, military commanders rarely see real combat. They give orders and take all the credit while their minions do all the dying in gory combat. Patton and MacArthur talked big, but they saw war through binoculars.

    You really need to read up on the earlier careers of these men.

    • Replies: @Anon
    , @Chris Mallory
  58. Logan says:
    @Bill H


    There is nothing “brutal” about the military training depicted in the book; it closely describes Marine boot camp in the 1960s and 1970s.

    Really? Flogging and executions?

    • Replies: @HammerJack
    , @anon
  59. Z-man says:
    @Anon

    This post was very good.
    You misspelled ‘muzzies’ and ‘AAhnold’.
    I only listened to 30 seconds of that link and I already caught an error. The Iran deal was to stop nuclear weapons not ballistic missiles which is what the Zionists want to add to the treaty.

  60. Logan says:
    @Andrei Martyanov

    Quite agree, especially #2!

  61. Ray P says:

    Verhoeven’s Zionist sympathies are on show in his drama about the Dutch resistance to Nazi occupation, The Black Book, The heroine is a Jewess who joins the resistance and goes undercover inside the German headquarters, becoming romantically attached to a good German officer. She has a dispute with the gleader of her cell because he won’t risk his Dutch agents to save Jew hostages from execution. Final scene has her fighting Arabs attacking her kibbutz in Israel after the war.

    • Replies: @Anon
  62. Anon[127] • Disclaimer says: • Website
    @Logan

    Mussolini and Hitler were involved in combat in their youth. Hardly made them wiser.

    • Replies: @Logan
  63. @Chaotic Neutral

    Maybe that is the reason that verhoeven makes the protagonists so nondiverse, especially the hyper “aryan” Casper Van Diem. He’s winking at the idea that humanity represents nazi Germany in the novel. The bugs, the Soviet Union, attacked earth, equated with the bolsheviks conquest of the Eastern European countries, Hungary, Ukraine and the Baltic states. They were the aggressors. Fascist Europe was a response to that aggression.

    I find there is a lot of subtle rightism in verhoevens movies. Robocop is like that, hinting at black crime. Maybe he’s neither obtuse nor leftist.

    • Replies: @Ray P
  64. Alfa158 says:
    @Tom Welsh

    Probably a few factors in play there.

    Powered suits would have hugely inflated costs that were already over budget.
    Interplay between the characters would have been much more difficult to dramatize with everyone locked up in metal shells, and in some cases spaced hundreds of meters apart. It’s why courtroom dramas allow lawyers to walk right up to the witness stand and jury box even though that isn’t allowed in a real trial.
    The Bug warriors in the movie were unarmed, being basically large dangerous animals. They would have been no threat to armored power suits. In the book the Bug warriors used the same type of weapons as the humans. Arming the warriors to be able to fight armored Troopers would have further inflated the budget and risked making the Bugs less credible looking on screen. With unarmed Bugs Verhoven simplified things, and increased the dramatic tension, by absurdly arming the Troopers with 20th Century rifles designed to killed flimsy fellow human infantry instead of weapons tailored to kill Bugs.

    And yes, I would also love to see a faithful mini-series version of the book, even if it includes Rico’s heroic death off-stage at the end of the book.

    • Replies: @Anon
    , @Kyle Kiernan
  65. Carlos45 says:

    Very much enjoyed Starship troopers all action movies should be made like this.

    Its simple not boring, not taking itself too seriously and most importantly not insulting your intelligence with pentagon propaganda with evil russians, nazis and arabs against the US hero.

    This final fact makes it watchable unlike red sparrow that i couldnt stand after about 20min and switched off.

  66. Anon[127] • Disclaimer says: • Website
    @Ray P

    Verhoeven’s Zionist sympathies are on show in his drama about the Dutch resistance to Nazi occupation, The Black Book,

    I didn’t see it as necessarily Zionist sympathies. Rather, it’s like Jews can’t escape conflict wherever they go.

    Some even attacked him of ‘antisemitism’ for the movie.

  67. Anon[127] • Disclaimer says: • Website
    @Trevor Lynch

    The military is a meritocracy.

    Is it? Military isn’t about the best minds or strongest bodies. It’s about average Joes — the median of society — trained to kill.

    One may argue a soldier moves up the ranks for courage under fire, but most promotions are about seniority and hanging around than about special talent.

    And top officers are more the product of elite academy than performance in war.

    In times when men fought with swords and shields, there was more an element of meritocracy. But if the toughest men are expended in combat, it’s bad for the gene pool over the generations.

    Romans got wimpier and wimpier after losing so many tough men over generations.

    • Replies: @Logan
  68. Anon[127] • Disclaimer says: • Website
    @Alfa158

    Powered suits would have hugely inflated costs that were already over budget.

    All you gotta do is wrap them in plastic and styrofoam and call it ‘power suit’.

  69. Logan says:
    @Anon

    True. But my point was that neither gentleman referenced was unfamiliar with combat.

    • Replies: @Anon
    , @Logan
    , @Che Guava
  70. @threestars

    He called the film a “box office success,” so I’m not sure how it can be pretty obvious to anyone reading that passage that the author meant anything else by it.

    But even if you have read his mind (but not his words) correctly, you’re still wrong. Verhoeven’s Starship Troopers was not “popular” among film-going audiences, nor was it critically panned. It received mixed reviews from both the critics and moviegoers.

  71. Ray P says:
    @Chaotic Neutral

    In the film the human Federation is clearly the aggressor – the Mormon colony set itself on a bug-world. Buenos Aires was an inside job.

  72. One problem with the idea of military service being about “risking your life for the common good” it that it requires an eternal enemy against whom the military must war. What happens when there’s no good reason to go to war? Go to war for bad reasons? Against innocent people? We’re unlikely to be blessed with space bugs to fight.

    Most military veterans never risked their life (my son was a notable exception) and even among those, like my son, who did any sensible person must question whether driving around Afghanistan waiting to get shot at or blown up is serving the common good in any fashion.

    Plus, seeing as how I understand modern human nature, if military service is the gateway to the levers of power, those in power will make sure there are plenty of safe routes for their children to pass through that gate.

  73. @Cloudbuster

    As an addendum, if we’re merely considering any government service as a requirement, do you really think that the people most often found in our government bureaucracies and things like the Peace Corps are emblematic of the people you want running society?

  74. Bill H says:
    @Trevor Lynch

    “And the only people who can be citizens are people who go through the military meritocracy. “

    Read the book. That statement is incorrect. Citizenship can be earned by any form of federal service, including administration, research and other forms of non-military service.

    • Replies: @Anon
  75. Anonymous[220] • Disclaimer says:
    @Trevor Lynch

    Have you ever read Joe Haldeman’s the forever war and if you have what is your opinion of it? It was written as a riposte to starship troopers by a Vietnam veteran who comes home from intergalactic war to drastically changed social conditions (e.g hippies). It presents the military as being horrible and alien.

    Thoughts?

  76. Ray P says:

    One predictive aspect of Forever War is that Mandella lives long into the future and ends up commanding a unit where he is the only heterosexual since the world government made the population queer. I think an a.i. eventually admits this was a mistake.

  77. Anon[198] • Disclaimer says: • Website
    @Bill H

    I read like the first chapter of STARSHIP and that was ENOUGH!

    • Replies: @Logan
  78. Anon[198] • Disclaimer says: • Website
    @Logan

    Okay. It seems Patton got wounded in WWI. But it seems like MacArthur served as general in WWI, so I don’t think he saw much direct combat.

    I wonder.. does combat experience make people more sensitive about violence or more desensitized to it? Maybe there is no clear-cut answer. Maybe it depends on the personality.

    You’d think John McCain would have second thoughts about war due to his experience. And his overtures of peace to Vietnam seemed to indicate this. But as ‘neocon’, he became a nutjob war-hawk in favor of just about every War for Israel and New Cold War with Russia. Maybe eagerness to please is what counts most. McCain was so eager to please his Jewish masters. And even though Colin Powell knew WMD was mostly lies, he went along with it to be a team player.

    • Replies: @rod1963
  79. Lurker says:
    @Anon

    Arab-Arachnids

    Arabnids?

    • Replies: @Anon
  80. Fun says:
    @mijj

    Pretty much. We don’t have any cartoon villain bugs to fight. Just each other. Real wars against actual humans include a lot of petty rationales, senseless death, destruction, and dishonor.

    Point taken from the author that people need to value things bigger than themselves. War is the worst way to achieve that.

    • Replies: @Anon
    , @Feryl
  81. @Trevor Lynch

    You’re welcome. By the way, a former editor of the prestigious Hispanic American Historical Review told me he once rejected a contribution on the history of Colombia for the simple reason that the author consistently referred to that nation as “Columbia.”

  82. What sort of society is likely to be better governed: a society that reserves political power to an honorable minority proven to have the courage and responsibility to risk their lives for the common good—or a society that gives equal power to everyone, allowing the selfish, cowardly, and irresponsible majority to outvote their betters?

    This is Sparta!

    (S. Troopers was certainly better than Battlefield Earth!)

  83. Che Guava says:

    I loved the movie, and had read the book.

    Most of Trevor’s points are valid.

    Really, it works on two levels, allowing one to watch it with somebody who wants to see it as a great parody while enjoying it in a different way.

    Some OPs have made many wrong statements, all of the women are not killed off, Inez for one is there at the end, and in the recruiting ad.

    Carl is not wearing an SS overcoat, but a long leather coat of the type favoured by the Gestapo (and the Cheka before that).

    However, I enjoyed the blatantly fascistic parts of uniform designs in Starship Troopers.

    For the couple who were raising Gunbusters, thanks, I forgot about it because the TV show became pretty boring, I haven’t seen the feature film.

    Verhoeven is interesting, from my reading, Detroit of now is in many ways like the Detroit of Robocop, except that the real-life villains are much darker-skinned.

    It was also prophetic in terms of police garb, none dressed like that at the time, now, in many western countries, many do, I see the photos.

    Total Recall, despite Aaanold being totally inappropiate to play the everyman protagonist of the original short story, was pretty good.

    As for his more recent apologium to Zionism, I had no desire to see it after reading a little about it. The earlier OP’s comment describing the ending makes me even happier to have not watched it.

    • Replies: @Anon
  84. Lurker says:
    @Cloudbuster

    if military service is the gateway to the levers of power, those in power will make sure there are plenty of safe routes for their children to pass through that gate.

    In Starship Troopers there were no non-combat roles available.

    • Replies: @Logan
  85. Anon[198] • Disclaimer says: • Website
    @Lurker

    Arabnids?

    That’s good. Bugmen order whites to kill Arabnids.

  86. chesley says:

    You really need to re-read the book if you think the movie bears any resemblance to it philosophically, or ideologically. It is far more libertarian than fascist, which it really isn’t at all. The Federal Service, especially the MI, actively tried to discourage people from enlisting.

    It’s been too long since I saw the movie to comment on your description of it intelligently, but I’m sure I would have some disagreements with your interpretation of that, too.

  87. Lurker says:
    @Jake

    Denise Richards is not in the shower scene

    Dammit.

    • Replies: @Stebbing Heuer
  88. Anon[198] • Disclaimer says: • Website

    Jews love ‘fascist’ fantasies if they serve certain agendas.

    During the Cold War, Israel was allied with South Africa against the ‘Marxists’ and PLO.
    While many Jews condemned South Africa, others saw Angola as Soviet clientele a bigger threat.

    Jack Abramoff’s Aryan-militarist fantasy. Good Nazi fights with good blacks against bad blacks.

    https://www.ifc.com/2010/05/red-dragon

  89. @Logan

    Both men were scum who used the American military against American vets protesting the government. Both can rot in the Hell they richly deserve.

    • Replies: @Logan
  90. Logan says:
    @Logan

    Macarthur went into WWI as a colonel in February 1918. He went on multiple trench raids and was wounded multiple times including being gassed. He was promoted to brigadier general in June. He was even captured, though, oddly, by American troops who mistook him for a German during one of his forward reconnaissances.

    I’m not a fan of the guy but you can’t really call him a behind the lines kind of person. At least not in WWI.

    • Replies: @Anon
  91. Logan says:
    @Anon

    Something many people don’t realize is that ST was originally written as one of RAH’s series of juvenile fiction stories, what they call Young Adult today.

    It was, not surprisingly, rejected as such by his longtime publisher and he took it as authorization to find another publisher who could handle more adult material.

  92. Logan says:
    @Anon


    One may argue a soldier moves up the ranks for courage under fire, but most promotions are about seniority and hanging around than about special talent.

    In time of peace military bureaucrats generally move up the ladder. In actual war they tend to get weeded out pretty quickly by losing battles.

    Grant and Sherman, among others, failed out of the prewar army.

  93. Logan says:
    @Chris Mallory

    A valid point. But nothing to do with whether they were REMFs.

  94. Logan says:
    @Lurker

    Incorrect. There were lots of non-combat roles that allowed the person to qualify for citizenship. But once signed up they would send you where they chose, not where you wanted to go.

    • Replies: @Lurker
  95. Logan says:
    @Cloudbuster


    One problem with the idea of military service being about “risking your life for the common good” it that it requires an eternal enemy against whom the military must war.

    Not really. At the start of the book and movie there is no war. When you sign up you agree to fight if required, but being in a fight is not necessary.

    RAH’s point was the willingness to fight in defense of the community, not that fighting actually occurred.

    • Replies: @Ray P
  96. Anon[198] • Disclaimer says: • Website
    @Che Guava

    Verhoeven is interesting, from my reading, Detroit of now is in many ways like the Detroit of Robocop, except that the real-life villains are much darker-skinned.

    Dr. Stranglovitz or How Hollywood stopped worrying and learned to love Fascism.

    When DIRTY HARRY came out(along with STRAW DOGS and DEATH WISH), there was intense debate about movies with potential fascist messages or nihilistic view of life.

    https://s-usih.org/2014/05/fascinating-fascism-the-other-f-word-in-seventies-cultural-criticism/

    But after STAR WARS and so many action spectacles, fascistery or fasceristics just became part of the cultural landscape. So commonplace that no one much noticed anymore. Now, there was always an element of fascistery in superhero comic books, but they were considered lowbrow kiddie fare and didn’t much affect cinema until the BATMAN and SPIDERMAN. Prior to them and others, SUPERMAN was the only superhero franchise that made any impact in mainstream cinema.

    Same happened with the rise of harlotry. Up to the middle of the 80s, the feminists had sufficient power to press on the issue of overt sexualization and exploitation the female image. But the double whammy of madonna and her scribe Paglia changed the discourse where being a slut wasn’t exploitation but empowerment. Now, harlotry is so much a part of the culture that people don’t even notice.

    It’s like Hindus don’t smell curry like we do. They are so used to it that it’s just part of the air they breathe.

    In the early 70s, DIRTY HARRY, STRAW DOGS, and DEATH WISH triggered a heated debate about movie violence, law and order, and fascism. But when JUDGE DREDD, a far more ‘fascist’ movie about law and order, was released in the 90s, no one batted an eye. Fascistery has just become part of movie culture. (And the influence of nihilistic anime, blood-soaked Hong Kong action cinema that raised the ante on nihilistic violence[thus influencing Tarantino], and ever more violent video games also led to the massive shift.) Today’s progs are not about opposing fascistery but now to appropriate it for their side.

    Susan Sontag was wrong about Riefenstahl’s long-term influence when she wrote FASCINATING FASCISM though her views seemed plausible at the time. The 70s was a time of personalism, naturalism, and experimentalism in American cinema. It seemed as though those trends would define future film-making. But, in fact, most such movies never hit it off with the mass audience.

    http://marcuse.faculty.history.ucsb.edu/classes/33d/33dTexts/SontagFascinFascism75.htm

    Triumph of the Will and Olympia are undoubtedly superb films (they may be the two greatest documentaries ever made), but they are not really important in the history of cinema as an art form. Nobody making films today alludes to Riefenstahl, while many filmmakers (including myself) regard Dziga Vertov as an inexhaustible provocation and source of ideas about film language.

    Most people were waiting for someone like Spielberg and Lucas to come along, and they did. Both were more about spectacle and owed more to Riefenstahl than to Dziga Vertov, whose films seem overly experimental and intellectual for most moviegoers. The avant garde Lucas side that made THX 1138 & AMERICAN GRAFFITI gave way to the Lucas who came up with STAR WARS and INDIANA JONES movies. Sontag wrote off Riefenstahl as cinematic influence, but it lived on and grew ever bigger via Hollywood’s new love with fascistery(though masked with anti-fascist message). Just like Cecil B. DeMille’s main appeal was pagan idolatry and grandeur — what would 10 COMMANDMENTS be without all that awesome Egyptian stuff? — but sold as morality tale for good Christians, so many of recent movies are excesses in fascistery but sold as ‘anti-nazi’ lessons.

    • Replies: @Feryl
    , @Che Guava
  97. Anon[198] • Disclaimer says: • Website
    @Logan

    Okay, I stand corrected. A tough warrior in youth.

    • Agree: Logan
    • Replies: @Logan
  98. Ray P says:
    @Logan

    Part of Heinlein’s purpose was to defend military preparedness in nineteen fifty-nine. Just because one has peace and prosperity now doesn’t mean it’s eternal. Rico’s father decries the military as a worthless, useless anachronism in a world united without war for a hundred years.

  99. Logan says:
    @Anon

    Don’t get me wrong. He was perhaps the greatest megalomaniac in American history. His victory at Inchon was spectacular but almost incredibly risky. He lucked out.

    It’s worth noting that WWI wasn’t exactly his “youth.” He was 38 in 1918.

  100. Anon[198] • Disclaimer says: • Website
    @Trevor Lynch

    The military is indeed collectivistic by necessity. And those collectivistic traits are deemed better for society than individualist ones. Hence the collectivists get political power and the individualists don’t.

    But the noblemen lost out to the bourgeoisie that was more individualistic in talent and enterprise.
    Also, unless the entire society is militarized(like Israel is where everyone is expected to be a citizen soldier), military rule can lead to oppression and resentment. The helots felt oppressed by the Spartan warrior caste. National Socialism, Zionism, and Communism made sure to militarize the entire society. Though US was never a militaristic state, it did allow universal ownership of weaponry(at least for whites through most of its history).

    Do collectivists gain political power? Not really. Elitists gain power. Elitism is about close cooperation among those with connections and in the know. The Deep State is not collectivist. It is not about ALL OF US as part of the process. It’s about conspiracy of those with the proper credentials and connections. Now, these elitists create the illusion that we are all in it together. Take the character Toohey in THE FOUNTAINHEAD. He’s really for his own personal power and ego, but he knows how to manipulate mass opinion to get people on his side. But he is the hand, the public is the clay.

    While no successful person is an absolute individual, the most powerful people are ultra-individualists to the extent that they come up with ideas and make billions off them. Sure, guys like Jeff Bezos and Sergey Brin have to come to terms with the Tooheys of the world, but with so much money to throw around, they buy lots of politicians, lobbyists, and media people.
    Soros may appear to use ‘collectivism’, but he has money to throw around at his many pet causes because he made it as a individualist financial shark.

  101. @Logan

    Maybe he has Starship Troopers confused with Full Metal Jacket.

  102. I wished this review focused more on the subtle message in the movie that the Arachnids are actually the victims. Human settlers were encroaching onto their territory and they only struck back when they finally had enough of that.

    • Replies: @Anon
  103. @Cloudbuster

    One problem with the idea of military service being about “risking your life for the common good” it that it requires an eternal enemy against whom the military must war.

    No, it simply requires training and preparedness for war, which as the film makes clear, is risky enough. And training and preparing for war are something one must always do, because in a world where there are a variety of peoples, existential conflicts of interest, which can lead to war, can never be eliminated.

  104. Anon[198] • Disclaimer says: • Website
    @Hapalong Cassidy

    I wished this review focused more on the subtle message in the movie that the Arachnids are actually the victims.

    I highly doubt that was meant as the ‘subtle message’. More like an ignored angle that no one cared about. But there is some degree to subtlety in ENDER’S GAME, a far superior movie(though I don’t know anything about the book).

    • Replies: @Che Guava
  105. “I wished this review focused more on the subtle message in the movie that the Arachnids are actually the victims. Human settlers were encroaching onto their territory and they only struck back when they finally had enough of that.”

    That is the underlying argument or at least question. Look it is a fun movie. And while I read Heinlein science fiction in my youth. I was unfamiliar with this story. It’s a fun movie with a lot of thought provoking philosophic currents. There were also hard bitten realities, such the military being a means of upward mobility.

    But clearly, nothing was left more open ended than the questions of territoriality and insect intelligence.

    ———————————–

    While Denise Richard’s character was interesting. All the fire was the dynamic between and with Dina Meyer. It’s almost a no brainer about where the real romance lies.

  106. @Z-man

    Yeah but Dina Meyer stole my black heart.

    • LOL: Z-man
  107. @Andrei Martyanov

    2. Dina Meyer is on the order of magnitude more beautiful woman and better actress than Denise Richards ever was.

    Seconded.

    And I saw her first!

    • Replies: @Andrei Martyanov
  108. @Lurker

    No fear – Dina Meyer features prominently.

    • Replies: @Lurker
  109. @Trevor Lynch

    The military is welfare for marginally employable whites.

  110. @Bill Jones

    That’s what the bourgeoisie always say.

    • Replies: @Ray P
    , @Bill Jones
  111. Anon[198] • Disclaimer says:

    Heinlein’s Johnny Rico is a Pilipino

    Filipino

    or

    Filo

  112. Lurker says:
    @Logan

    I’ve read it a couple of times, I don’t remember that element. But it’s been 20 years since I looked at the book, so I defer to you in this matter.

    • Replies: @Logan
  113. @Bill Jones

    The military is welfare for marginally employable whites.

    Try to get into USNA, USCGA or West Point. Good luck with that, even against the background of lowering criteria. Nor all NCO or Warrant Officer people are stupid. Purely enlisted? It depends. In other words–it is not that simple even today. So it is welfare but for some segments, not all.

  114. @Anon

    But the laughter that the movie elicits is not ironic ridicule or mockery of militarism but a kind of aloof hipsterism that says fascism can be cool too…. as long it’s on the side of globo-homo empire.

    Do not forget–the movie is from 1997, before the meme-driven and virtue-signalling culture took over. It, actually, delivers–I know, my daughter was a school girl then and she got it, the same as her class-mates (later) for exactly what it was–a satire. Especially this:

  115. Anon[198] • Disclaimer says: • Website

    Really, it works on two levels, allowing one to watch it with somebody who wants to see it as a great parody while enjoying it in a different way.

    Irony is the tool of satire, but when the purported satire itself becomes the object of irony by an audience that isn’t so much laughing at the stupidity of militarism(as in DR. STRANGELOVE) as winking at the gentle mockery of militarism as just another joke, the result is declawed satire that is utterly useless: A cat whose scratches are turned into mere pats. People watching STARSHIP TROOPERS are less likely to see it as satire of war than a satire of satire of war. The ridicule of militarism is ridiculed, and we know a double negative is a positive. The recruitment ad in the movie doesn’t so much ridicule military propaganda as ‘leftist’ mockery of such propaganda. The overall message is, “Lighten up, anti-war progressives. We are hip to the propaganda and manipulation. We aren’t fooled, and the real reason we support war is because USA is cool, the land of the right to party.”

    The effect of STARSHIP TROOPERS is rather like TEAM AMERICA(by the SouthPark guys), which is more like a satire of anti-war satire. The final message is we must be for Team America, warts and all, because Matt Damon sucks.

    Anyway, satire doesn’t really work if it’s fuzzy-wuzzy and has us laughing more in the spirit of those being satirized than in the spirit of those who despair. As funny as IDIOCRACY is, it fails as satire because, when push comes to shove, we are entertained than distressed by the Dumb Future World. It’s so goofy and over-the-top that we remember the laughs but not the point.

    • Replies: @Feryl
  116. i never read the book so please correct me if this is not accurate, but

    the basic plot makes no sense at all. the insects are sending asteroids to hit earth. the insect planet, klendathu, is on…the other side of the galaxy.

    even at light speed, it would take 80,000 years for an asteroid to move from where the insects are, to where the humans are, and that’s assuming they have some kind of guidance so they don’t fly past the earth solar system harmlessly, missing by trillions of miles, which is what would actually happen if you were just throwing space rocks around, if they even get there, and don’t hit something else, or get captured by the gravity of another star, which is also what would really happen.

    of course the asteroids are not moving at light speed, so really it would take millions of years for the space rocks to get to earth. oumuamua, if it was a solar sail, still appears to have probably taken hundreds of years to get to the solar system, and that’s if it was coming from a ‘nearby’ star.

    i’m ok with this for entertainment purposes, but it has to be taken with a big grain of salt as ‘serious’ science fiction. i like the movie as entertainment and i have no problem with the rest of the concepts about how human society could be better organized, and other ideas from heinlein.

    • Replies: @Ray P
  117. @Stebbing Heuer

    Seconded.

    Dina simply outshines Richards in every scene both as stunningly beautiful woman and as an actress. And today she is still looking fabulous. Her face features are actually stunning and I hope she ages gracefully without much “work” done.

  118. “But the tactics in the movie are utterly ludicrous.”

    they make little sense in real life but they make the movie more fun and entertaining. most war movies are about infantry, which is the most interesting to see, but the least important thing in real war now. some movies about fighter aircraft, a few less about tanks, and bomber aircraft come in about last. submarine movies are not that common, you can count them on your fingers. after that, it drops way off.

    movies are rarely made about missiles, only a few, and almost never made about artillery. but there would be much less movie if the humans just bombarded the insect planets from orbit, then landed, set up artillery, and shelled them, which is what they would actually do.

    tanks and (power armor, apparently) infantry would come in last, for mop up.

    apparently in the mid 90s, they thought they didn’t have the effects for power armor infantry, so it would be interesting to see what cameron or another effects director could do with starship troopers today. a lot of the physical effects guys are retired or dead now though, so maybe it would be all computer effects if you did the movie in 2020 and guys like stan winston, rob bottin, rick baker are long gone.

  119. Anon[198] • Disclaimer says: • Website
    @Cloudbuster

    Plus, seeing as how I understand modern human nature, if military service is the gateway to the levers of power, those in power will make sure there are plenty of safe routes for their children to pass through that gate.

    In the 60s, there was the idea that US was warlike because too many of the elites served in the military and knew war and only war.

    The idea would be that the future would be different. Boomers protested the Vietnam War, and the draft ended under Nixon. And the end of the Cold War meant we not worry about WWIII or nuclear war.

    But so many of these boomers and X-ers who never served in the military became among the most war-crazy and warmongering people on Earth. Many were Jewish, a people who especially don’t serve in the military at lower ranks.

    When elites and their kids don’t serve in the military, they don’t have skin in the game as Nassim Taleb likes to say.

    Always more fun to gamble with other people’s money and kids.

    Now, what with homomania being the national religion and missionary faith of America, all you need to do to win support for war is PAINT THE BOMB GAY.

    New Cold War with Russia? Why them Russkies won’t allow homo parade in Red Square.
    War with Iran? I’m sure they can sell it as ‘gay rights’ war.

  120. @Anon

    I believe it was due to tough times. But stalin from what I was reading was just man but harsh and demanding. I would agree that there could be some finer balance found but what happened after his death was total relaxation. And it is still here. I believe there definitelly should be return to Stalin cadres politics. It was not just socialist system under stalin that was making miracles. Those were Stalins cadres. As Lenin put it:”Cadres determine everything” . Poor cadres politics ruined USSR after stalin.

  121. Anon[198] • Disclaimer says: • Website
    @Fun

    Pretty much. We don’t have any cartoon villain bugs to fight. Just each other. Real wars against actual humans include a lot of petty rationales, senseless death, destruction, and dishonor.

    You know what’s interesting? CLOVERFIELD did a damn effective job of making the audience believe as if giant space bugs were really invading NY. Suddenly, even deracinated hipster kids turn into tough survivor types. It’s a dumb movie idea but so powerfully done. I never would have believed in the movie’s worth unless I saw it. It is an instant and minor classic. All the more effective because it begins so persuasively and naturally as amateur home-video slice of life. Because the movie situates us in the spontaneity of everyday life, the sudden appearance of the monster has the element of verity. It is genuinely shocking and ‘believable’. It’s like Star-hipster Troopers. There’s even some food for thought about nature of memory, data, and the world. Just like the video we are seeing was recorded over an existing tape, the world is being ‘erased’ by the space monster. The fragility of everything, from the poetic to the prosaic.

    • Replies: @rod1963
  122. ‘…The best system, however, assigns political power only to the most responsible…’

    The flaw in the logic here, of course, is that it assumes those most willing to risk their lives are the most responsible.

    A good third of the male adolescent population disproves the validity of that about once a year. More prominent counter-examples include such utterly irresponsible adventurers as Richard the Lion-Hearted, Napoleon, Santa Ana, Mussolini, Ernst Roehm, and Che Guevara. These people were all perfectly willing to risk life and limb — but would you actually want them to run your country?

    There’s a lot to be said for dullness. If I want adventures, I’ll engage in them when I choose — not when my fearless leader does.

    • Replies: @Trevor Lynch
  123. rod1963 says:
    @Anon

    The only reason McCain was not drummed out Annapolis was because of his father.

    Powell was always a water carrier. He helped cover up Mai Lai which opened doors that otherwise would have been shut for someone like him.

    You can’t avoid political a**wipes gaming the system. But our current system is a disaster.

    The Civil Service is a jobs programs for blacks and liberal college educated whites with top of the line pay and benefits and a union that prevents them being fired.

    Much of the damage can be put on Congress when it made Affirmative Action law of the land. Before the Civil Service wasn’t the foul monster it is now.

  124. Ray P says:
    @Trevor Lynch

    “We’ve outgrown wars. This planet is now peaceful and happy and we enjoy good enough relations with other planets. So what is this so-called ‘Federal Service’? Parasitism, pure and simple. A functionless organ, utterly obsolete, living on the taxpayers. A decidedly expensive way for inferior people who otherwise would be unemployed to live at public expense for a term of years, then give themselves airs forthe rest of their lives.”

    — Rico’s businessman father

  125. ‘…Surely things can’t be that black and white. But while shitlibs soil themselves, healthy people cheer such sentiments and work them into countless edgy Right-wing memes…’

    Yes, but the Holocaust wasn’t actually a good thing. Lynch mobs aren’t so cute if you’re the target. Etc.

    Things aren’t that black and white. It is the worst of us that are filled with passionate intensity, not the best. Passion becomes a pretext for doing what we know perfectly well is wrong. Sometimes, what’s emotionally appealing isn’t a good idea. If it were, the ghetto would be one long and unending parade of inspiring examples to us all.

    • Replies: @Trevor Lynch
  126. @Bill Jones

    It’s actually unfortunately an economic necessity for many, in the age of parasitical finance capitalism.

  127. rod1963 says:
    @Anon

    They all died because they had no survival instinct like most white folks. It was a litany of bad decisions from minute one because they let their emotions run the show. They reminded of a bunch of stoners.

    But it’s a accurate response by most younger whites when threatened. Just stand there and whip out the old camera and wave it about like a magic wand even when being beaten or watching your city being wiped out.

    If a serious urban disaster(WMD) happens all you can do is drop everything, grab your emergency kit and GTFO. Forget about calling, twitting, etc. All those will collapse under excessive use. You will be on your own. Very few whites have the cajones to do that. The Feds have all but admitted they can do nothing for you it it’s bad.

    • Replies: @Anon
  128. Svigor says:
    @TG

    Wow, that first paragraph was extremely Jewish. Didn’t read the rest…

    As for Heinlein’s system in the novel, it’s dying to be abused and destroyed. Think of the German military Hitler complained about, thick with Jewish “officers,” good for nothing…

    After all, Heinlein made sure it was “meritocratic” and “multicultural” and “race-blind” and all the rest, right?

    Doomed.

  129. Ray P says:
    @prime noticer

    In the book, the Bugs have an industrial and technological civilization with faster-than-light hyperdrive spaceships which are used to raid Earth. The destruction of B.A. is not described but referenced.

  130. @Colin Wright

    The flaw in the logic here, of course, is that it assumes those most willing to risk their lives are the most responsible.

    People who risk their lives for the common good are by that very fact more socially responsible than people who refuse to do so.

    Praising dullness — by which you mean aversion to conflict and risk — is pretty much the essence of the bourgeois mentality. Leaders with the souls of accountants are not generally very good at preserving their countries from international predators.

    • Replies: @Colin Wright
  131. @Alfa158

    ‘…Now here’s a Heinlein sci-fi novel that will never be dramatized: Farnham’s Freehold. Ooosh, now that would get an er, energetic reception to put it mildly. And the critics thought they hated Starship Troopers.’

    Be careful what you wish for. These days, a black ruled, slave-cannibal society would be presented as a good thing.

    Actually, let’s crowd-fund it. See if we can get Spike Lee to direct it. Go for the reaction. Sort of ipecac for the American soul.

    • Replies: @Alfa158
  132. @Colin Wright

    Things aren’t that black and white. It is the worst of us that are filled with passionate intensity, not the best.

    You are misquoting Yeats. When a civilization is in decline, the best lack conviction and the worst are full of passionate intensity. A healthy civilization is one in which the best people are full of passionate intensity, thus they can contain the disintegrative forces of the worst.

    • Agree: AaronB
  133. gp says:

    Things that made the movie work (setting aside comparisons to the original book): The “fascists” are fighting an indisputably existential threat, so any form of political organization is justified as long as it leads to victory and survival. The enemy is bugs, not humanoid, so unworthy of any compassion, and can be exterminated heartlessly. Cast acted their parts as directed, enthusiastically. SFX was well-executed, and essential to the story, not just “gee-whiz look what we can do.” Earthlings were depicted as brave and competent, not indecisive, weak or exploitive. Whether movie was meant as parody or not, viewers can enjoy it either way.

    • Replies: @Ray P
  134. Anon[411] • Disclaimer says:

    From a technical, common-sense view from Russia, Starship Troopers is a measure of Western cultural incompetence and stupidity, like Dune and StarWars before (epigonous mixtures of fairy-tails and epics). That’s not only because of Soviet DShK guns the troopers fire at the bugs in the movie (scene at the battle station trap). They could better use Mosin-Nagant or anti-tank rifles of the same WW2 era, just instead of machine guns with caliber too small for the bug-sized objects.

    Why transport and unload 100000+ troopers to the distant planet, if you already have warp drives and energies enough to destroy the planet itself? Who needs any human troops, atmosphere winged attack planes, artillery or whatever landing, if your civilization may produce a Death Star or Battlecruiser? And, with such advanced tech, still no robots, manual controls everywhere, numerous flight deck personnel etc. – on a starship, not a 1970s aircraft carrier. Blame this on TV tropes?

    If this was done inentionally, than Starship Troopers are, in fact, just a fascist militia used to oppress the populace on Earth or other human planets with their small guns and knives. And all the troopers they need no more were just disposed off on the bug planet, or just somewhere in space pretending to fight the bugs that Federation TV told they exist somewhere. And the TV showed the simulation of bug war they need to maintain a martial law.

    • Replies: @Ray P
  135. Feryl says:
    @Anon

    Movies are supposed to be escapism. You are correct that many movies made in the early 1970’s alienated a lot of proles. At the end of the day, most people want to know who the good guy is, and who the bad guy is. Most people want movies to end in such a way that we are reassured that the “good guys” have been rewarded, and the bad guys punished. Even Tarantino, who tried to revive early 70’s nihilism in the 1990’s, has recently resorted to having Nazis and slavers take most of the abuse. How bout that? A “rebel” resorting to the most trite sort of political correctness.

  136. Ray P says:
    @gp

    On competency – brilliant pilot Carmen crashes the Rodger Young into a giant asteroid or meteor in deep space knocking off part of the spaceship’s superstructure and killing her crewmen. She should have seen it in their path from thousands of miles (using radar). Like a scene in Spaceballs.

    • Replies: @Che Guava
  137. Feryl says:
    @Anon

    These are all good points. Starship Troopers reminds me of “ironic” rock bands from the 1990’s. Let’s face it, action movies (and rock music) work a lot better when they are mostly or entirely earnest. A lot of 1990’s pop culture is awful because it mostly or totally fails to take itself that seriously. Everyone goofs on the 1980’s for having “stupid” pop culture, since the bands and movie directors generally wanted the material to be taken seriously, no matter how otherwise goofy or exaggerated the subject matter was.

    1987’s Robocop works because Alex Murphy is a character we take an interest in, and the villains he faces off against are memorably despicable. Sure, Robocop has some broad satire and over-acting, but the movie is generally serious; that’s why 1987 viewers literally cheered at the end of the film, in some theaters. 10 years later, with Starship Troopers, the cast is bland cannon fodder (it’s been suggested here that some of the actors were told to act chillier on screen, wouldn’t surprise me), and the “villains” aren’t even human (stealing a gimmick common to children’s cartoons, when “beings” targeted for damage or death are robots or monsters so as to avoid upsetting children, and to avoid the question of how to make human characters better bad guys).

    So yeah, Starship Troopers comes off as a glib and smug parody of childish and stupid story-telling, rather than a gripping action movie with some funny bits (which is what Robocop excelled at). It’s telling to me that Brits like the Troopers movie more than Americans evidently do. Americans have always preferred earnestness over knowing camp, after all.

  138. Jason Liu says:

    Eh, I expect real fascists to crack some human leftists’ skulls first.

    Otherwise you’d have human traitors telling you that most arachnids are actually good people, that human-arachnid differences are merely a social construct, and Earth could use some arachnid immigrants for cheap labor and exotic alien cuisine.

  139. Alfa158 says:
    @Colin Wright

    You may be right, the African society in the book was basically Wakanda, but written 50 years before the Black Panther movie. In fact I wonder if the BP comic was inspired by Farnham’s Freehold, they just cleaned it up and removed the cannibalism and slavery.
    Heinlein was really being open-minded. In the mid-sixties it was still a plausible hypothesis that once Africans were freed from colonial oppression, slavery and Jim Crow they could be capable of developing advanced technological Wakandas. In the book, after the Northern civilizations were destroyed and de-populated by the war, Africans picked up where the Whites had left off and built spaceships and stuff. Heinlein’s sin was postulating that their genetically and culturally determined practices would continue.

  140. Anon[198] • Disclaimer says: • Website
    @rod1963

    They all died because they had no survival instinct like most white folks. It was a litany of bad decisions from minute one because they let their emotions run the show. They reminded of a bunch of stoners.

    It’s about love and friendship. They could have just run to save their own lives, but the guy has a guilt-complex about the girl. He would rather die trying to save her than save his own life. That’s what love is all about. And others stick with him because of friendship and camaraderie. They don’t act like mindless stoners but as people who value human bonds.

    On the one hand, it’s gritty-realistic. On the other hand, it’s romantic like damsel-in-distress fairytale, a modern tale of prince vs dragon.

    It works. It shouldn’t work but it does.

    As an idea — NY attacked by giant monsters — , it sounds retarded. But in terms of story conception and execution, it is near-brilliant.

  141. Feryl says:
    @Fun

    Would Star Trek be more interesting if the Klingons or Romulans were giant bugs? Fully dehumanizing a set of characters in a story (or even just one important character) is going to reduce the dramatic heft of a story. Micheal Myers will always be more interesting than Godzilla, because none of us have anything in common with a literal monster.

    BTW, the director of Starship Troopers openly admitted that he couldn’t “get away” with the movie unless the villains were totally inhuman. If this is also a satire on nations at war dehumanizing the enemy, well, I get it, but it certainly doesn’t take any guts to make a story where the villains have no human characteristics at all.

    • Replies: @Ray P
    , @Trevor Lynch
  142. Ray P says:
    @Anon

    Your fake-war justifying fascist order scenario resembles a few Philip K. Dick stories e.g. The Penultimate Truth.

  143. Feryl says:

    Troopers the movie would be a brilliant satire if the military elites were portrayed as bumbling idiots who prioritize women’s rights (feelings) and minority employment over having a well functioning and homogeneous military.

    Instead, Troopers tries to be an “ironic” variant of the cookie-cutter boring war films of the 1950’s, which featured earnestly competent infantry valiantly fighting on behalf of a worthy cause and admirable elders. But in Troopers, all of the soldiers, white, black, male, female, etc. are brave and competent in battle. At least in the 1950’s, our taste-makers weren’t deranged enough to suggest that a multi-cultural military would actually work. And in the 1950’s, we did believe that our elites knew what they were doing. But in 1997, making a movie with admirable middle aged officers and mostly competent youngsters just seems, well, totally out of step with the late 90’s zeitgeist, partly explaining why the movie failed to make much money. Saving Private Ryan (1998) gave us a believably horrendous portrayal of combat, and made a lot more money than Troopers. After Platoon and Full Metal Jacket became big hits in the late 80’s, one would think that everyone in Hollywood would understand that the audience for stolid and simplistic mid-century war films is now quite small.

    • Replies: @Ray P
    , @Trevor Lynch
  144. Feryl says:
    @Anon

    First Blood (1982), the first Rambo movie, is rather realistic and modest in scale (hardly anyone dies).

    Platoon (1986) and Full Metal Jacket (1987) were big hits, and they both made military service look like complete hell (at one point, Charlie Sheen in Platoon has to stop a gang-rape, and he pleads with fellow soldiers that the Vietnamese are human beings who deserve more respect).

    Most Americans had a dim view of the military in the 1970’s and 80’s. Stripes (1981), although a comedy, did generally do a good job of capturing public sentiment towards the military.

    On a lighter level, even Top Gun (1986) portrayed one pilot as cracking under the pressure, and he has to quit the Air Force. The movie doesn’t judge him to be a coward or traitor, but just a reminder that military service is stressful and not for everyone.

    I would argue that full-blown military apologetics didn’t began until the 2000’s, when the Pentagon started to vet scripts for war/military movies.

    Don’t buy into the hype that “everything” started getting way worse and stupid in the 80’s. Think for yourself.

    Oh, and Stallone and Schwarzenegger are frequently portrayed as heroic individuals who get little to no help (or are outright betrayed) by the civil authorities. How this is supposed to feed into “fascism”, I have no idea (it seems to me that being a renegade, or a vigilante who plays by his own rules, is pretty much the polar opposite of a police state or otherwise authoritarian state).

    • Replies: @Pincher Martin
  145. Feryl says:
    @Anon

    Millennials are much less enthusiastic about Uncle Sam’s military adventures in comparison to older generations. So all the neo-connery of the last 20 years has failed, big time. And no matter how many WW2 movies are released to try and imprint on us that war, sometimes, is just necessary , younger people aren’t buying it. And Stallone beating up a Soviet boxer in 1985, and the vigilante action pics of the 70’s and 80’s, have jack shit to do with modern foreign policy and the public’s attitude towards it. Well, at least in terms of how Millennials view these issues.

    New Star Wars sucks. The action figures don’t sell at all. 1970’s and 1990’s Star Wars sold much more merchandise. The female heroine of New Star Wars has been the subject of much mockery and memeing, often derided as a grrrrl power special snowflake. Luke and Han were never made fun of this way.

    Disney’s “blockbuster” movies rely on inflated ticket prices to sell the narrative that they are “popular”. Actual ticket sales have been stagnant since 2004. In 1977, everyone really did see Star Wars. Ditto movies like the Exorcist, Jaws, Batman (1989), Titanic, and so forth. Per capita ticket sales were much stronger in the 1970’s than they are now. The days of theaters having long lines for popular movies are mostly over.

    • Replies: @mppl
  146. Ray P says:
    @Feryl

    Star Trek had the Borg which were originally dehumanized (and designed as insectoid creatures). Voyager had Species 8472 as well.

  147. @Trevor Lynch

    …Praising dullness — by which you mean aversion to conflict and risk — is pretty much the essence of the bourgeois mentality. Leaders with the souls of accountants are not generally very good at preserving their countries from international predators.

    Really? Francisco Franco — who in my estimation, had ‘the soul of an accountant’ — did a rather good job of steering his nation through the potentially disastrous perils of first, World War Two, and then second, the Cold War. Ditto, incidentally, for Ataturk’s unsung successors in Turkey. I would also add Eisenhower — in MacArthur’s description, ‘the best clerk I ever had,’ and as a general, a decided mediocrity, but as a national leader, perhaps the only choice who could have kept us out of nuclear cataclysm, and did.

    I suggest you read the pages of of War and Peace where Tolstoy discusses generals who get headlines versus generals who don’t. Some of the time — most of the time — great leadership is all about being dull, ‘bourgeois,’ and in general, doing your best to keep anything from happening, as opposed to ensuring it does.

    As, perhaps, more of a genuinely free actor than my fantasizing right-wing ubermenschen confreres, if I’m going to get myself into trouble, I’ll do it on my own volition, not at the hand of some ‘great leader.’ You let me wreck my own life — don’t appoint some asshole to do it for me.

    • Replies: @Trevor Lynch
  148. Ray P says:
    @Feryl

    Troopers has horrendous combat scenes which are replete with gore but the goofily acted and shallow characters stop us caring, leaving it ridiculously excessive- the effect is hollowed. No one feels for anyone in this film – the acting isn’t persuasively real.

    • Replies: @Feryl
  149. @Feryl

    Most Americans had a dim view of the military in the 1970’s and 80’s.

    Perhaps in the nineteen-seventies, with the draft and Vietnam still lingering early in the decade, but not in the nineteen-eighties. Hollywood movies do not represent wider American attitudes toward anything in U.S. society, let alone toward the U.S. military.

    Throughout the Reagan era, public confidence for the U.S. military gradually increased, culminating in the enormous support for it after Operation Desert Storm in 1991.

    • Replies: @Feryl
    , @jeff stryker
  150. Ray P says:

    To be fair, absence of feeling for and between characters is a problem with the book. It compensates with ideas which the film largely lacks.

  151. anon[997] • Disclaimer says:
    @Logan

    “Don’t talk to me about naval tradition. It’s nothing but rum, sodomy, and the lash.” — W. Churchill

  152. Feryl says:
    @Pincher Martin

    People developed a more positive attitude toward the military in the 80’s precisely because we barely used it. And the fact that unpleasant movies about Vietnam were popular suggests that the public had a realistic attitude toward the military. Desert Storm was “successful” because GHW Bush and his advisors had the sense to not allow a quagmire to develop, where the public and the media would soon began to question just what the hell we were doing there.

    Movies are reflective of public tastes; movies that don’t make money are obviously out of touch with public sensibilities. If people in the late 80’s wanted mindless pro-war propaganda, they wouldn’t have seen Platoon and Full Metal Jacket in large numbers.

    Ordinary Americans, since Vietnam, have generally been quite sensibly skeptical about sustained military campaigns. But, as elites have grown more corrupt over the last 30-40 years, they’ve become more and more contemptuous of what the public thinks. As I said above, since 9/11 the Pentagon has frequently vetted military themed movies (do you think that any of the late 80’s Vietnam movies were vetted by the US military?). This countries institutions (be it the media, Hollywood, the Pentagon, or whoever) are obviously dominated by corrupt careerist assholes disinterested in genuine and useful reform.

    Also, we need to make a distinction between supporting the troops and supporting wasteful and unnecessary war. Outside of the 1970’s, most people generally don’t “hate” the military, but supporting the troops doesn’t mean advocating endless war.

  153. @Anon

    Stallone films always reflected the times they were made. The original ROCKY was written by a struggling Italian guy from New York who’d played a few bit part supporting roles as assistant mobster types. ROCKY III was more about fears of blacks and Mr T was what white men were afraid of encountering if they drove into Detroit. ROCKY IV was Cold War propaganda. ROCKY V was recession-era early 90’s malaise (Though Tommy Morrison suffered a far worse fate off-screen dying of AIDS in prison).

    The first RAMBO was a real 70’s film and reflected the fact that in 1982 it was still the 1970’s (Which did not end until about 1983). FIRST BLOOD has an antique air about it when you watch it. A hippie is run out of town by the Sheriff for having long hair.

    • Replies: @mppl
  154. Feryl says:
    @Ray P

    The scenes aren’t viscerally disturbing because space bugs do not exist. We have no frame of reference for anything involving giant creatures which have never existed (it would be different if it was a bear or shark). Watching people hurt each other (or get hurt by real animals) has much better dramatic potential.

    “Giant” monster movies have never been appealing to me because of how absurd they are.

  155. @Pincher Martin

    Actually the Stallone films draw a clear-cut line there.

    FIRST BLOOD was written in the seventies and Stallone is a hippie. Even though the film takes place in 1981 (And was not released until 1982) it has a real seventies aura to it. Long-haired hippies run out of town by Sheriffs in the habit of violating people’s civil rights and all that.

    The eighties did not start until 1983 or so. If you watch FIRST BLOOD it could have been made in 1974.

    The second film is full-on Reagan era jingoism. Russian commanders, expensive hardware, uber-patriotism.

    There is nothing in FIRST BLOOD to reflect this. Stallone is a hippie. The Right-wing cops are the baddies.

    • Replies: @Pericles
    , @mppl
  156. @Feryl

    The difference between FIRST BLOOD and the 1985 sequel reflects this.

    In the first film, Stallone is a wiry hippie who is wandering the roads of the US. The patriotic cops are the baddies.

    There is nothing of the jingoism of the second film. What is so strange, considering how “Right Wing” the series is now considered, is what a Left-wing stab at the Right the original film was.

  157. @Feryl

    Yes, but also beginning with Desert Storm the military was careful to coordinate with the media the presentation/narrative of the war, something that is now SOP. The Pentagon doesn’t vet only military movies, and there’s no real distinction between Hollywood and the “news” media in general, they’re just separate propaganda departments.

    • Replies: @Feryl
  158. Anon[144] • Disclaimer says:
    @mijj

    heinlein’s ideal society requires an eternal state of war.

    Eternal war could be a euphemism for general politics, which are the method behind all human social interaction. In other words, politics and their “violence”, in whatever form, are fundamental to being human because socializing and all that comes with it is fundamental.

    The question is not whether or not we are going to wage war, in whatever form that it takes (if for no other reason but to eternally define all of our essential boundaries), but rather what are we going o wage war on?

    Communism’s subtextual rationale for its demand for eternal war is that it is necessary to wage a war on the boundaries (geographic, cultural, racial, socioeconomic, etc) that a fascist society would wage eternal war to protect (and whether or not that fascist society actually exists).

    War is the human experience, in all of its forms. What you choose to fight for is what dictates that war’s relative morality.

  159. Anon[425] • Disclaimer says: • Website
    @mijj

    Heinlein expected the Cold War to last a long time.

    In Clarke’s 2001 and 2010, the Soviet Union is still around.

    • Replies: @Half-Jap
  160. Greg S. says:

    The idea of whether Paul Verhoeven intended Starship Troopers to glorify the advantages of a borderline-fascist right wing society is an interesting one. I think many clues to answering this riddle lie with Robocop, which had not only the same director, but the same writer (Edward Neumeier).

    Robocop (in its original, uncut state) was heavily and clearly satirical towards the rising corporate American state and the general trend of American culture in the 80s. Wonderful film, and sad that very few people have seen it in that uncut state (the television edits stripped 100% of that satire out).

    So while I don’t consider Verhoeven a “Liberal” filmmaker in any sense, I do believe that there was an honest attempt made to poke satirical fun at Heinlein’s idea’s of society while delivering the story of Starship Troopers. One reason for the satire may have simply been that they were afraid NOT to be satirical, or they would be called out as a bunch of Nazis (which apparently happened anyway). I think the fact that some of the ideas the film made fun of are now being mulled around and taken seriously, only adds to the magical irony of Starship Troopers – one of the most excellent “bad” films in existence, and certainly a favourite of mine.

    • Replies: @jeff stryker
    , @mppl
  161. Anon[411] • Disclaimer says:

    Given at least 3 major logical inconsistencies of the film like:
    A. Humanity so advanced has no need to unload 100k+ human troopers to a planet far, far away
    B. Bugs so advanced still look like artificial war-tech species (flamethrower and SAM beetles)
    C. Bugs capable to precisely target and hurl a small asteroid to the distant planetary system do not have any conceivable reason to do so;
    one may think that film creators are not just idiots, and showed all this intentionally.

    All this setting can qualifty as 100% false flag-scenario. Bugs are artificially created by someone or even humans themselves – e.g. to maintain permanent war scare. About half of the Earth population are consripts provided with choice to become elite (citizens). Most of them die outside Earth (battling with ‘bugs’ etc.), solving the Malthusian puzzle. Those who survive become officers of elite (or members of military Order) and exploit the oppressed like their (human?) masters (who created bugs and targeted that asteroid).

    • Replies: @jeff stryker
  162. Half-Jap says:
    @Trevor Lynch

    No, I believe it was even mentioned in passing in the movie that citizenship is by going through public service, but the military is emphasized. I am referencing the book, in any event, and that society is libertarian. Service is purely voluntary, although for those with few other prospects it is not a meaningfully voluntary choice as it is in the US. Civilians are allowed to choose a public or private life, not a Communist, or unaffiliated-but-you’ll-regret-it, dichotamy in Starshp Troopers; there is no coersion by some entity that’s monopolized organized violence.

    • Replies: @MEFOBILLS
  163. Half-Jap says:
    @Anon

    So did all the “experts.”

  164. @Greg S.

    Detroit is much worse than what he depicted.

    It is not sophisticated white corporate assassins who moonlight shooting policemen for no reason in a wonderful mixed black and white multicultural crime gang.

    And the corporations fled Detroit. The city looks far, far worse than that film depicted.

    • Agree: Beefcake the Mighty
    • Replies: @mppl
  165. @Anon

    STARSHIP was based on 8 MILLION MILES TO EARTH and was pure 90’s crap.

    Van Diem could not act and his career really fizzled.

    The only role that Clancy Brown excelled at was playing the oldest teen Lafgren in BAD BOYS who got bludgeoned half to death by Sean Penn’s improve pillowcase weapon.

    Denise Richards was a crap actress and only stayed in the headlines because Charlie exposed her to HIV.

  166. 36 ulster says:
    @Anon

    Good to read you over here at unz.com, Roissy.

  167. @Feryl

    Would Star Trek be more interesting if the Klingons or Romulans were giant bugs? Fully dehumanizing a set of characters in a story (or even just one important character) is going to reduce the dramatic heft of a story. Micheal Myers will always be more interesting than Godzilla, because none of us have anything in common with a literal monster.

    Personally, I found the bugs terrifying in a way that more humanoid enemies can never be. Fully dehumanizing your opponent (for instance, in a pure man vs. nature movie, like a shipwrecked sailor struggling for survival) can be dramatically very powerful, but it throws all the focus back on the human side of the struggle. Men (individually and collectively) can have lots of dramatic struggles with themselves.

    • Replies: @mppl
  168. @Feryl

    But in Troopers, all of the soldiers, white, black, male, female, etc. are brave and competent in battle. At least in the 1950’s, our taste-makers weren’t deranged enough to suggest that a multi-cultural military would actually work.

    That’s not how the movie actually unfolds. There is a great deal of cowardice and incompetence, especially in the Battle of Klendathu. A young woman panics and flees and gets killed anyway. A Japanese soldier runs out ahead of the rest (putting him in the line of fire), getting him killed by the bugs. When the commander is killed early on, the unit wavers until Johnny Rico helpfully tells them to “Kill them, kill them all!” There’s even a scene later in the movie of a literal circular firing squad.

    • Replies: @Feryl
  169. @Colin Wright

    Some of the time — most of the time — great leadership is all about being dull, ‘bourgeois,’ and in general, doing your best to keep anything from happening, as opposed to ensuring it does.

    As, perhaps, more of a genuinely free actor than my fantasizing right-wing ubermenschen confreres, if I’m going to get myself into trouble, I’ll do it on my own volition, not at the hand of some ‘great leader.’ You let me wreck my own life — don’t appoint some asshole to do it for me.

    Hegel’s words come to mind here: No man is a hero to his valet, not because the hero isn’t a hero, but because the valet is a valet.

  170. Yngvar says:

    I once watched Starship Troopers dubbed to German. That was something else.

    • Replies: @mppl
  171. @Alfa158

    Rico’s death? where in the world do you get that from?

    • Replies: @Ray P
  172. Che Guava says:
    @Anon

    You are raising many interesting points, most not new to me (one or two), and some I am only partially to agree, but why post as Anon?

    Did you say anything that was making it essential to avoid using the u-name you were signing up with?

    Judge Dredd, Stallone version was pretty crap.

    The more recent one, great, except for his voice (still, much more suitable than Stallone’s).

    I loved the 2000 AD comics when overseas, only thing that matches the best of manga, sure makes nonsense of the underpants-over-pantihose Jewish superhero stories in the USA. Would saying more, but having to work tomorrow, even though it is a weekend *and* national holiday.

    Excuse me for not making a more full reply.

  173. Ray P says:
    @Kyle Kiernan

    In the final chapter of the book, Rico, now officer commanding, jumps with his men onto Klendathu, homeworld of bugs, to seize a bridgehead like D-day, Arnhem or the proposed invasion of Japan in nineteen forty-five. It seems suicidal.

    • Replies: @Kyle Kiernan
  174. The issue for Miss Richards is not Muss Richards. It’s the foreshadowing that she is not really into her Rico, her HS boyfriend. And it’s clear she’s going to dump eventually. That was the directors choice.

    • Replies: @c matt
  175. @ExpertApeHunter

    the idea of “endless war.”

    Known to the Trots as “permanent revolution.”

    Who are the ideological heirs to that tradition?

    “I regard myself lucky to have been a young Trotskyite and I have not one single bitter memory.”

    Irving Kristol, Neo-Conservatism (1995)

    • Replies: @Che Guava
  176. Che Guava says:

    That is like saying that there has never been a movie made of Lord of the Rings, Tale of Genji, or many others.

    As a fan of the work of P.K. Dick, there are four faithful takes, Screamers (the title of the story is Second Variety), a French version of Confessions of a Crap Artist (which I have not seen, but want to), and A Scanner Darkly (which is briliant), and the short film of Impostor, as Clone in Japan. The long version is terrible, featuring numinous negros who have nothing to do with the original tale, among other bullshit.

    I was unfortunate to see it at the cinema, the first 25 and final 15 minutes are great, but the original forty minute version has it. It is great.

    It was planned to be part of a trilogy of short films, presented as a feature, and would have worked as such. Two were turned into stand-alone features, and Mimic was pretty good as full-length.

    Impostor has many out-takes from Starship Troopers, and in the recommended forty minute version, not in the crap feature.
    As for Vorhoeven’s take on Troopers, be careful what you are wishing for.

    As a lover of the trilogy, I have many complaints about the Peter Jackson take on Lord of the Rings, but was generally enjoying it (always at a greater distance from immersion than in the books). I know that any remake will be putrid. Did not bother to see any of the Peter Jackson The Hobbit films, but I read reports of it which make me glad to avoid it.

    There will never be a better take on Troopers, I was reading the novel long before the film, I didn’t have any trouble with the film.

    Any remake will be twisted beyond worth.

  177. Che Guava says:
    @James Forrestal

    Nice u-name. Also, screw the Trots!

  178. Dave03 says:

    The movie sucked. He did no research, I doubt he even read the book. Heinlein never came out and said it, but there is enough evidence in the book, Johnny Rico was Filipino, not white. Good special effects but the story was warmed over BS. Someone needs to do it right.

    • Replies: @mppl
    , @Feryl
  179. Che Guava says:
    @Ray P

    Most woman drivers!?!

    • Replies: @Ray P
  180. Pericles says:
    @jeff stryker

    Rambo is a homeless Vietnam veteran thrown away by society, despised by civilians and betrayed by his superiors. I seem to recall the book even ends with his former commander shooting him in the head.

    • Replies: @mppl
    , @Ray P
    , @jeff stryker
    , @Feryl
  181. c matt says:
    @Jake

    I thought z-man’s references were in the disjunctive (hence the separate question marks). Personally, I found Dizzy the more attractive (when she was cleaned up like at the “prom).

    • Agree: Che Guava
  182. c matt says:
    @EliteCommInc.

    Richards was the embodiment of white collar career over blue collar white trash existence. Flight school representing the upper class, infantry representing low-middle to low-class.

  183. Ray P says:
    @Che Guava

    She has a male flight instructor alongside her so it’s not purely Carmen’s fault. Some may regard it as Verhoeven deliberately subverting modern feminism. He could have simply been presenting the space Nazis as idiots.

    • Agree: Che Guava
  184. mppl says:
    @Pericles

    I seem to recall the book even ends with his former commander shooting him in the head.

    FIRST BLOOD was based on a novel?

    LOL.

    • Replies: @Pericles
  185. Ray P says:
    @Pericles

    What else can one do with a mad dog?

  186. mppl says:
    @Dave03

    I heard Rico isn’t just a Filipino but black.

    Was Heinlein into Michener-ism? Race-mixing as form of enlightened imperialism?

    • Replies: @Ray P
  187. mppl says:
    @Yngvar

    I once watched Starship Troopers dubbed to German. That was something else.

    Well, New Germany will look like a crazy quilt nation. Germany already has a million blacks. It will have millions more.

  188. mppl says:
    @Trevor Lynch

    Personally, I found the bugs terrifying in a way that more humanoid enemies can never be.

    Monster bugs can be terrifying but within limits. Mankind invading another planet filled with killer bugs is plausible in sci-fi universe. But flying bugs that attack Earth? Beetles shooting cannon balls out of their anuses? That’s a stretch.

    Bugs are terrifying for two reasons. Many people have phobia about bugs, esp spiders. There’s something about their ‘alien’ looks. It’s one reason why most people will not eat bugs(though, if one thinks about it, crabs-lobsters-shrimp aren’t all that different).

    Also, certain insects have mindless herd instinct. They are utterly fearless and ruthless, total killing machines that will sacrifice themselves without fear or conscience. One reason why zombies are so terrifying is they can’t be reasoned with. Same goes for the first Terminator. It is like a humanoid hornet programmed to kill.

    • Replies: @Anonymous
  189. mppl says:
    @jeff stryker

    Detroit is much worse than what he depicted.

    But Detroit of the future could be gentrified by immigrants and hipsters.

  190. mppl says:
    @Greg S.

    The idea of whether Paul Verhoeven intended Starship Troopers to glorify the advantages of a borderline-fascist right wing society is an interesting one.

    The issue is not the IDEA. Cinema is extremely visceral and built for spectacle. Spectacle loves larger-than-life heroism and mythology. So, there is something inherently ‘fascist’ and ‘anti-democratic’ about cinema itself. Nazism was a beauty cult but so was Hollywood. Even TEN COMMANDMENTS features an Aryan Moses in Charlton Heston. Even based-on-true-story movies usually feature actors who are far more attractive than real-life counterparts.
    So, even the most ‘anti-fascist’ movie indulges in fascistry as aesthetic tapestry.

    Also, even when fascists are featured as villains, the audience on some level are filled with admiration for their awesome display of power.

    If fascism is understood as the idolatry of power, it will always be with us. And cinema is spectacle.

  191. @Tom Welsh

    Well, there was the coed shower scene.

  192. mppl says:
    @jeff stryker

    Stallone films always reflected the times they were made. The original ROCKY was written by a struggling Italian guy from New York who’d played a few bit part supporting roles as assistant mobster types. ROCKY III was more about fears of blacks

    The race element was always there in ROCKY. It was a white hero cinderella story from the beginning. But the first ROCKY was made in the 70s when realism and naturalism defined much of New Hollywood. It was about grit in a world of grime.

    By ROCKY III came around, the aesthetics had changed. MTV kicked off, and everything got slicker and cartoonier. Mr. T is a cartoon villain who really belongs in the professional wrestling circuit. ROCKY III even has a cameo by Hulk Hogan.

    I much prefer the naturalist humanist feel of 70s cinema than 80s plasticinism. TO LIVE AND DIE IN LA is strange work in taking the 80s vibes of MIAMI VICE and stuffing it with 70s sweat and blood.

    • Replies: @jeff stryker
    , @Feryl
  193. mppl says:
    @jeff stryker

    FIRST BLOOD was written in the seventies and Stallone is a hippie. Even though the film takes place in 1981 (And was not released until 1982) it has a real seventies aura to it. Long-haired hippies run out of town by Sheriffs in the habit of violating people’s civil rights and all that.

    Not quite. FIRST BLOOD is a like right-wing EASY RIDER. Stallone is not a hippie. He has long hair but more in the spirit of enraged and wronged Samson. Hippies were peaceniks, Rambo isn’t. He is an ur-warrior. He is bitter because he feels the government wasn’t there for people like him. They went over to Nam to fight and win, but when they came back, the government felt shame about them as ‘losers’ and hippies called them ‘baby killers’.

    Ironically, Rambo is persecuted by small town rubes who seem like uber-conservative. To them, he is an outcast, a derelict, maybe an agitator. But actually, he’s an all-American warrior.

    One might compare Rambo with Billy Jack. But even as Billy uses violence at times to right wrongs, he is a lefty folk hero. In contrast, Rambo was happy to be a soldier, and his bitterness has to do with having been stabbed in the back by the government and people alike. He is road rage warrior.

    • Replies: @jeff stryker
  194. mppl says:
    @Feryl

    Millennials are much less enthusiastic about Uncle Sam’s military adventures in comparison to older generations.

    While most millennials don’t want to serve in war, the rise of Obama and globo-homo made them far less anti-war. Under Obama, US perfected a new kind of war: Open Borders War. Instead of invading a nation with US military, the trick is to violate its national borders, flood it with Jihadis and terrorists, arm them, and let them run loose. The result has been devastating. (To be sure, this plan really began with Carter and Brzezinski in Afghanistan.)
    Obama destroyed Libya and Syria but with either silence or SUPPORT from the millennial proggy community. As Democrats and Deep State became one, waging wars for globo-homo became something to cheer for. Also, because of women in combat and open door policy for homos, many progs now see the US military as vehicle for spreading ‘progress’.

    • Replies: @Feryl
  195. Ray P says:
    @mppl

    The young hero of Tunnel in the sky, published in nineteen fifty-five, was declared by Heinlein to be black. It’s not explicit in the text but it bears seeds indicating his non-whiteness.

  196. Pericles says:
    @mppl

    Sure, look it up. I read it way back in the mists of time.

  197. Ivy Mike says:
    @Anon

    Or, instead of that overly long comment, you could’ve just written, I am an ignorant racist.

    • Replies: @Anon
    , @Beefcake the Mighty
  198. Muggles says:

    Wow, so much commentary and analysis for what is a B movie.

    Aside from the cartoonish plot (though somewhat scary) I always thought that the numerous way-too-pretty young actors in the film was because Verhoeven was gay. And/or the producers as well. That was and is my assumption but it may be false. Aren’t most of them gay?

    Don’t know why I assumed that, other than all of the male actors (in my dim memory) were more attractive than the females. I recall a lot of scenes with half naked young men showering, etc. (and I’m not gay!).

    In more believable films (e.g. early Star Wars) the male actors have more character and are not so GQ looking, like real people. Go stand in any sports event entrance line and you’ll discover how people actually look.

    So I always thought this was a SF lite kinda gay romp, with big CGI ‘bugs’ thrown in just for grins.

    Yes the militaristic plot and love of things war related is a turn off. So make that “leather gay.”

    • Replies: @Willem
    , @Anon
    , @Feryl
  199. Willem says:
    @Anon

    Starship Troopers is a satire on all movies that consider that war is just. It is a different version of Private Ryan saves War (see http://www.thirdworldtraveler.com/Media/PrivateRyan_War.html).

    It is amazing that the author (Trevor Lynch) doesn’t see this, perhaps he didn’t watch the movie, directed by Paul Verhoeven (not Verhoven).

    I remember the end of the movie, where the bug is captured and showed human feelings (the bug was… scared). How did the humans react? – By being thrilled, after which they tortured the bug a bit more. That is the essence of the film: war dehumanizes, all under the guise of brotherhood and being good. I beg to differ and think that people who actually went to war think different than the author suggests here. I think that people went to war experienced it, hate war.

    Here is Orwell on War

    ‘As far as the mass of the people go, the extraordinary swings of opinion which occur nowadays, the emotions which can be turned on and off like a tap, are the result of newspaper and radio hypnosis. In the intelligentsia I should say they result rather from money and mere physical safety. At a given moment they may be ‘pro-war’ or ‘anti-war’, but in either case they have no realistic picture of war in their minds. When they enthused over the Spanish war they knew, of course, that people were being killed and that to be killed is unpleasant, but they did feel that for a soldier in the Spanish Republican army the experience of war was somehow not degrading. Somehow the latrines stank less, discipline was less irksome. You have only to glance at the New Statesman to see that they believed that; exactly similar blah is being written about the Red Army at this moment. We have become too civilized to grasp the obvious. For the truth is very simple. To survive you often have to fight, and to fight you have to dirty yourself. War is evil, and it is often the lesser evil. Those who take the sword perish by the sword, and those who don’t take the sword perish by smelly diseases. The fact that such a platitude is worth writing down shows what the years of rentier capitalism have done to us.’

    https://www.orwellfoundation.com/the-orwell-foundation/orwell/essays-and-other-works/looking-back-on-the-spanish-war/

    • Replies: @Anon
  200. Willem says:
    @Muggles

    ‘Don’t know why I assumed that’

    Well as they say, it takes one to know one…

  201. Anon[224] • Disclaimer says: • Website
    @Willem

    That is the essence of the film: war dehumanizes,

    But you can’t dehumanize 2D characters. They are cartoon to begin with.

    Also, there is element of pity in every defeat. Big bad Mike Tyson almost human when he was humbled by Lewis.

    • Replies: @Willem
  202. Anon[224] • Disclaimer says: • Website
    @Muggles

    I always thought that the numerous way-too-pretty young actors in the film was because Verhoeven was gay.

    Don’t know about Verho but I think Wolfgang Petersen who did DAS BOOT is a homo. But that was not a pretty movie. And it was not DAS BUTT though some homos will see the sub as like an S & M ‘gay’ bar.

  203. Anon[224] • Disclaimer says: • Website
    @Ivy Mike

    It is spelled race-ist, and race-ism is the truth.

  204. “Flight school representing the upper class, infantry representing low-middle to low-class.”

    That is how the basic military hierarchy is structured from it’s earliest construction. The officer corps has its roots in class and education. But in the case of the Miss Richard’s role. She and “Johnny” were of the same class as I recall what made the difference was education. That in the world created by the film, merit actually is valued. It’s the ideal cream to the top.

    But in real life, the cream is not always welcomed for any number of reasons and siphoned off for less than the best or the merited.

  205. @mppl

    WAS BRIAN DENNEHY/SHERIFF TEASLE THE REAL HERO?

    If some pissed-off and glowering homeless urban Italian guy who has shoulders like a water buffalo and acts like he is about to let loose and hurt somebody (And physically looks very capable of it) wandered into your city you might find it a bit ominous, wouldn’t you?

    Stallone is homeless and looks like a bit like a junkie. In the police car he gives very terse and forced replies and immediately asks Teasle “Why you pushing me?” There is no doubt that Brian Dennehy/Teasle is smug and faux-pleasant in an obnoxious way but then again he was not stopping and frisking Rambo the second he saw him like cops would be today and running his ID.

    Teasle also knows that Rambo is going to run into trouble with moronic local hicks and someone will get injured if he hangs around town for 10 minutes.

    Teasle then finds a huge knife on him.

    Finally, and most important, Rambo could have fled the woods after avoiding the police and National Guard which was Trautman suggested. “You’ll find him working in a car wash in Seattle or somewhere in two weeks” to which Teasle the cop replies “Hope” meaning that probably they would have not found Rambo.

    Instead, Rambo returns from the woods and trashes the town.

    For what? A dickhead cop in a poor hick town he had never been too that was merely walking through?

    • Replies: @Anon
  206. @mppl

    It would seem to me that SCARFACE seem to arrive at a time (1983) when it incorporated both of these things (Seventies grit, MTV montages and elctropop) at a sort of crossroads. MIAMI VICE seem to imitate a great deal of SCARFACE (Even using some of the same locations).

    Stylistically SCARFACE arrived just as Disco was ending and MTV electrop was beginning.

  207. Anon[252] • Disclaimer says: • Website

    Basil Poledouris’ score is also highly effective.

    Lackluster, like canned movie music.

    But Poledouris did come up with a dazzling score for CHERRY 2000, an oddly captivating bad movie.

  208. @Pericles

    RAMBO’S ARREST & DETAINMENT

    Rambo could have simply bailed himself out of jail for $50 (In those days) and simply left the town and not shown up for court.

    Bench warrants for misdemeanor charges like carrying a concealed weapon and vagrancy are local or state.

    The town was right over the state border because Teasle says “Portland is South” so they were very near the Oregon and Washington state line.

    Rambo could have gotten bailed out of jail the next day and simply never returned to Oregon.

    Nine times out of ten, this is what drifters and travelers do in real life. And cops expect them to never show up in town again. Out of sight, out of mind.

    He was from Arizona and Teasle would never have bothered extraditing him (Nor could have, legally).

    Of course the situation becomes personal in the jail. One reason is that Rambo has mental problems “Can’t you see this guy is crazy” says David Caruso. And the cops enrage Rambo.

    However, if Rambo were normal, he would have never GONE to jail. He would have simply shrugged Teasle off and hitched a ride to the diner.

    Being a veteran in jail, he could have simply impressed the cops with stories of killing enemy soldiers in Vietnam for two hours and then been bailed out and simply walked over the state line and never returned.

    Even AFTER he has revenge on the cops he could have walked away. The Colonel says “Let him leave and you’ll pick him up in Seattle in two weeks” to which Teasle replies “I don’t HOPE that gets picked up in Seattle” (Teasle is a cop who knows that once Rambo is out of the woods and far enough away from the town, they would never find him.

    Rambo ends up in Thailand eventually anyhow. He could have hauled ass down to Arizona, gotten on a plane to Thailand and that would have been the end of that.

    Instead, even after one cop was dead and the others painfully wounded and Teasle is made to cry with a knife at his throat…Rambo insists on shooting up the town. Why? He barely walked into the town in the first place. The guard who instigated the violence fell out of the helicopter and was dead anyhow.

  209. Max Payne says:

    Loved this movie to bits. Military fascism never looked so sexy.

    I liked the little touches. Like how every adult was horribly disfigured. Ironside, that blind biology teacher, the recruiter who shakes Johnnys hand.

    The 90s were a magical time for movies. The end of the era of models/miniatures, puppetronics and matte paintings… which is why it still looks so good even today.

    You can tell though with all the SST merchandise, toys, TV series, sequels, games, etc. etc. etc., that they had no idea what to do with this movie/franchise. Kids should not be watching it but it’s too over-the-top to be taken as serious adult entertainment.

    Can’t believe that was 22 years ago….

  210. Gus Flory says:

    Trevor,

    If you like military science fiction that has something to say, check out THE FORGOTTEN OUTPOST.

    Starship Troopers was an influence. Written for the post 9/11 generation.

    Gus

  211. Cherry2000

    Laughing.

    I love this movie. Fun in almost every way.

  212. Pericles says:
    @jeff stryker

    You might say it was the straw that broke the camel’s back.

    Rambo could have simply bailed himself out of jail for $50 (In those days) and simply left the town and not shown up for court. … Being a veteran in jail, he could have simply impressed the cops with stories of killing enemy soldiers in Vietnam for two hours and then been bailed out and simply walked over the state line and never returned.

    The point was they didn’t admire veterans in those days, right?

    Instead, even after one cop was dead and the others painfully wounded and Teasle is made to cry with a knife at his throat…Rambo insists on shooting up the town. Why? He barely walked into the town in the first place. The guard who instigated the violence fell out of the helicopter and was dead anyhow.

    The conflict of the movie escalates step by step. Rambo gets a ride out of the county by the Sheriff. Rambo doesn’t accept being chased away from society so he returns to town. Rambo gets arrested and bullied by the police. Rambo flees into the woods, but is chased by the police. After him making fools of them, the police send for a helicopter and shoot to kill instead of trying to capture him. And so on. At some point, things have snowballed beyond Rambo shrugging and hitchhiking to the next town.

    You could see it as the Vietnam vet drifter, damaged by his war experiences, trying to rejoin society but being rebuffed. He’s not admired, the normie despises or hates him. Then there is the twist, or revenge fantasy, that this homeless vet is also secretly a super soldier who can take on these soft civilized people and win. Unfortunately for society, its representative the Sheriff doesn’t realize this and isn’t willing to take the humiliation of the loss and sue for peace. Until it’s escalated far beyond his control and the secret masters have to go in and eventually restore order. The drifter gets to show his strength and value to the normies, but is in the end not permitted to rejoin society.

  213. Willem says:
    @Anon

    ‘But you can’t dehumanize 2D characters.’

    Sure, but the essence of art is that one makes 2D characters 3D in their own mind.

    ‘Also, there is element of pity in every defeat. Big bad Mike Tyson almost human when he was humbled by Lewis.’

    I agree. Conclusion there is: they should not have fought at all.

  214. Ray P says:
    @jeff stryker

    Of course, the purpose of the film was to bring the Vietnam War home and see how Americans liked being on the receiving end.

  215. @jeff stryker

    It is interesting that, even in a movie that’s “right-wing” by Hollywood standards, the main villain is the usual liberal boogeyman: localism.

    • Replies: @jeff stryker
  216. Feryl says:
    @Beefcake the Mighty

    There was a collapse in professionalism and “neutrality” that began in America in the early 1990’s, which seems to coincide with two things:

    1) The entry of Boomers into higher management positions
    2) The dissolution of the Soviet Union.

    Draw your own conclusions.

    Stuff like Gary Webb’s research into CIA excess was desperately swept under the rug by the establishment, but in the mid-80’s Iran-Contra was big news. For all the shit that Bill Clinton got in the 90’s for his peccadilloes and bogus real estate transactions, there wasn’t much attention paid to his very shady background WRT government corruption/associations with drug dealers and other criminals when he was governor of Arkansas in the 1980’s. And Janet Reno murdered a lot of Americans in cold blood at Waco, which the “respectable” media largely glossed over.

    Ever since Boomers started being president in 1993, the “respectable” media has shown very little interest in really digging into the vast corruption surrounding the Boomer generation and it’s rise, which really began to affect our culture in the 1990’s. Trump of course is an exception, but he provoked hostility by campaigning as a Buchananite Republican. Had he said upfront that he was a Reaganite, he would’ve only gotten relatively gentle teasing by the MSM (like how they treated GW Bush).

  217. Feryl says:
    @Pericles

    The writer of the novel, and director of the movie, both stated that the intent of “First Blood” was to capture the plight of mentally unstable Vietnam vets who couldn’t be integrated back into society. There’s nothing in the book, or even movie, which comes off as some kind of apologetics for mindless wars.

    “Rambo 2” was designed to be a rehabilitation of both the character of Rambo, and the notion that our vets would never be able to transcend the sense that they “failed” in Vietnam (which was a popular opinion in the 70’s and even 80’s). So Rambo basically re-fights Vietnam, and successfully completes a rescue mission. Never the less, the James Cameron co-written movie clearly indicts cowardly and corrupt upper brass and bureaucracy, in keeping with the “vigilante” themes that US cinema was so fond of in the 70’s and 80’s. So it’s hard to call a movie, in which the hero succeeds in spite of what his “leaders” are doing, a ringing endorsement of the military. On a similar level, the James Cameron directed “Aliens” (1986) is about a civilian cautiously joining a military rescue mission, only to be forced to take command of the situation when inexperienced leadership and clueless bravado nearly cause the entire team to be wiped out.

    For all the shit that the Reagan era gets, it seemed a lot more “woke” about military ineptitude than the Bush/Obama/Trump era. How many popular movies of the last 19 years have indicted the military as a poorly run and naive bureaucracy?

    • Replies: @Anon
  218. Anon[361] • Disclaimer says: • Website
    @jeff stryker

    FIRST BLOOD is about the villain of the Counterculture — patriotic soldier seen by the Peace Movement as neo-imperialist — depicted in counterculture terms. Make War, Not Peace. In a similar vein, the Americans are the Viet Cong in RED DAWN. American ‘imperialists’ have been ennobled as underdog Resistance or Rebellion.

    Incidentally, PATTON was also marketed as a right-wing counterculture hero.

    Salute to a Rebel.

  219. Feryl says:
    @mppl

    You do realize that the movie business, is a business, right? Making money. The sort of nihilism openly on display in a lot of 70’s movies was not going to financially sustain itself, esp. because most people who go see movies are teenagers, not cynical middle aged men.

  220. PITY FOR SHERIFF TEASLE

    The guy was a Korean war veteran of 50. Not a Green Beret or any sort of elite but just a grunt who’d become a cop after the war. At one point he says “Do you think Rambo was the only guy who had hard time in Vietnam?”

    His town is a recessed pit of drunks and cheap bars under economic strain anyhow.

    He figures the moronic locals will probably start a fight with this hippie anyhow and says (Fiarly accurately) “You’re asking for trouble around here”. Rambo looks like a pissed-off guy who is going to hurt somebody the second he sees him.

    Rambo is fairly rude in the car to him, even asking him why he is pushing him. Teasle himself is rude of course, but he is a cop and it is his town.

    He does not do anything to Rambo but Rambo sucker-kicks him in the chest and injures his ribs.

    He actually SAVES Rambo’s life when his Deputy is about to shoot him from behind on the motorcycle.

    He gets into a car accident following him. Rambo then jumps him again in the woods and puts a blade against his throat and draws blood.

    Instead of quashing the beef and simply slipping out of the woods to Seattle to work in a car wash or whatever, Rambo returns and destroys his town.

    Finally, he shoots him off the roof and seriously injures him.

    Rambo moves on with his life in sunny Thailand.

    But Teasle is simply going to sit in his miserable little town for the rest of his life, probably permanently in pain from his injuries.

    • Replies: @Beefcake the Mighty
    , @Anon
  221. Feryl says:
    @Muggles

    The director was mocking Aryan aesthetics with his casting. Since he’s “satirizing” fascism, of course the lead actors are all going to be attractive and clean cut. The director was a child during WW2, and he detests right wing politics which he blames for major conflicts and atrocities.

    Robocop (1987) features much less attractive actors, and a much more gritty aesthetic, because it’s about America’s Carter/Reagan era civic collapse (growing ugliness and decay, swearing, violence, citizens who can’t trust industry, politicians, etc.).

    • Replies: @Beefcake the Mighty
    , @Anon
  222. Feryl says:
    @mppl

    According to Pew, Millennials are much less likely to say that the US is a “good guy” entitled to throw his weight around, compared to older generations.

    Hillary and the neo-cons were behind the attacks on Libya and Syria. It’s just more good old fashioned Reaganism, which other have correctly described as really beginning with Carter. Since the late 70’s, America has gotten increasingly worse at running it’s own affairs while insisting on trashing other countries, to boot. This has nothing to do with cultural liberalism or Millennials, but rather, allowing the Pentagon’s bull-shit to be given greater and greater subsidies.

    Reagan destabilized much of Latin America in the 1980’s, which GHW Bush then “completed” with NAFTA which caused even more Mexicans to go north. There is nothing “unique” or “new” about Obama’s foreign adventures. America has been aggressively destabilizing the world for dubious reasons since the 1980’s. Remember how death squads were called “freedom fighters” by the Reagan and Bush admins?

  223. Feryl says:
    @Dave03

    The movies central lead (Aryan Casper Van Dien) had to be a Teutonic GQ model because it would be “racist” to have lead character who is so vapid and stolid. And like I said above, the director wasn’t following the book but rather was satirizing early 20th century fascism and eugenics. Which means that having non-white leads would’ve made no sense.

    As for Teutonic actors representing Latin America, well, the implication seems to be that Eugenic breeding has produced a lot of Aryan supermen.

  224. @jeff stryker

    Interesting comments, but you’ve twice referenced Thailand, which is where the third movie begins. Rambo was supporting a Buddhist monastery by fighting in underground street fights (human dogfights essentially), and he had slipped away to Thailand after the events of the second movie in SE Asia. He was arrested at the end of the first movie, and when the second one begins, he’s in a very harsh prison camp doing hard labor. He was never lounging around on a Thai beach.

    • Replies: @jeff stryker
  225. @Feryl

    One impression I had of SST (unquestionably an entertaining movie) was that fascism (by which Verhoeven seems to have the typical shallow liberal conflation with militarism) is ok as long as it’s multi-cult and feminist. One of the more laughable scenes is the chubby black woman (decked out in Wehrmacht-style uniform) assuming command (from an older white guy) of the space force/Luftwaffe/whatever after a major military disaster.

  226. Feryl says:
    @Trevor Lynch

    But the diversity soldiers aren’t portrayed as being that much worse than the white guys. The movie, to me, has always been rather annoyingly schizo in what is trying to “celebrate” and what it is trying to condemn. It wants to “mock” fascism with it’s earnestly gung-ho patriots, and it’s largely Aryan lead actors are a clear reference to early 20th century eugenics. Yet it also would have us believe that a “modern” or “future” human fighting force would integrate different races and genders with minimal friction (aside from the token romantic squabbling that the movie gives us).

    I still think the writer and director of “Troopers” had practically no idea what they were trying to say with the movie, and to the extent that they had any particular goal with the movie, they did a poor job of executing it.

    It’s also annoying to me that the film-makers were forced to portray the characters as vapid, and the battle tactics as stupid, in order to dodge accusations that they were promoting fascism/excessive patriotism.

    Admittedly, I thought the movie was fun when I was a kid, but it’s one of those movies where the flaws become more glaring as you get older. And I certainly never thought, for even 5 seconds, that it’s anywhere near as effective as Robocop (which works wonderfully as both an earnest action movie and a satire of Reaganism)

    • Replies: @Anon
  227. @Beefcake the Mighty

    At the end of the first film when Teasle tells Rambo to “finish it” and kill him, he means it. He has been as thoroughly defeated as any man could be. Rambo defied the petty position of authority that gave him a reason to live, kicked his ass in his own office (After which Teasle saves Rambo’s life when his deputy has a clear shot as he is on the fleeing the police station and clearly is going to shoot his head off), kicked his ass again in the woods, destroyed his town and finally shot him through the roof.

    Rambo does what he CHOOSES to do in Thailand (Later owning a snake farm) and enjoys drinking in bars and getting on with his life.

    He has completely forgotten Teasle. Rambo has forgotten all about him and all about that town and is all wrapped up in life in Thailand and does not give a fat rat’s ass about what happened in that town.

    But Teasle was 50 when those events occurred (Rambo was in his early 30’s) and now he will be sitting around in pain in his house long-forgotten.

  228. @Beefcake the Mighty

    HOLLYWOOD’S BOOGEYMAN: THE LOCAL BOOGEYMAN

    I pick FRIDAY THE 13th because it is the prototype for exploitation of middle-class and urban/suburban fears about unworldly rural whites.

    First, the camp workers arrive in the small town near the camp. The locals are all coarse and poor hicks. A few give the usual harbinger of doom about old murders and the urban types ignore it. Ther is the faint suggestion that the local hicks might know a killer is out there and simply don’t care if urban city slickers whom they resent for their sophistication and erudition are victims.

    The killer is a local nutter. Always the killer dresses like a lumberjack. The killer is at home in the woods and the urban or suburban types are not. The killer uses weapons we associate with rural life. Arrows, fishing gaffs, machetes.

    At the bottom of it is class divide horror. That the locals in rural towns like LEATHERFACE or JASON might be SO pissed off at their marginalization and poverty and contempt with which the urban middle-class views them that they kill them off.

    • Replies: @Anon
  229. Sam J. says:
    @Anon

    “…ENDER’S GAME is more interesting ‘philosophically’ as it’s more about game theory than mere brutal combat. I mean the movie as I haven’t read the book….”

    You’re really missing out on a great book. If anyone here likes Starship Troopers I believe you would like Ender’s Game and of the series do not miss Ender’s Shadow about Enders deputy Bean. It’s fantastic.

  230. MEFOBILLS says:
    @Half-Jap

    Trevor quote

    Giving everyone a choice to determine which group they belong is not libertarianism, if the libertarian types are precisely the ones who are deemed unfit for social responsibility.

    and Half Jap quote

    I am referencing the book, in any event, and that society is libertarian. Service is purely voluntary

    Let’s define libertarianism shall we? Libertarians believe that all markets are elastically priced, that that competition drives prices to their lowest level. Libertarians also believe that money should emit from the marketplace and not government. Libertarians do not agree with the truism, that money’s nature is law, and money is part of the commons.

    Libertarians believe that if people were left to themselves, then government becomes small and meritocratic. This sort of world view ignores that man is a rent-seeker and will feather bed if possible.

    The very types of people that avoid rent-seeking and being a parasite on society, in Heinlein world, are those that become citizens. These type of people, who are willing to fall on their sword for others – especially their extended tribe, are by definition, not Libertarians.

    The simple concept of “choice” does not encompass all that libertarian-ism is.

    This idea that people are not the same, also defies libertarian orthodoxy. Libertarian-ism assumes (incorrectly) that all people are moral actors, and if not, market prices will punish their behavior.

    Trevor wins this round. Libertarians, by their choosing, would not choose to be altruists looking out for the common good.

  231. @Trevor Lynch

    “That’s what the bourgeoisie always say.”

    That’s an interesting givaway Marxian word to use.

    Who are the bourgeoisie? They are the productive, inventive middle class- the organizers, owners and sustainers of the businesses that generate the wealth and create the jobs upon which the bureaucrats and rentiers of the State and Globalists prey.

    They are the creators and heart and soul of America,

    So fuck you and the other mindless murderous parasitic socialist filth of the military who create nothing and exist only to destroy.

    • Agree: Chris Mallory
    • Replies: @Anon
  232. Anon[238] • Disclaimer says: • Website
    @Feryl

    The writer of the novel, and director of the movie, both stated that the intent of “First Blood” was to capture the plight of mentally unstable Vietnam vets who couldn’t be integrated back into society. There’s nothing in the book, or even movie, which comes off as some kind of apologetics for mindless wars.

    Disingenuous as the movie’s main selling point is how tough and badass Rambo is. COMING HOME or BORN ON THE FOURTH OF JULY(or even DEER HUNTER) FIRST BLOOD is certainly not.
    Any movie’s real message is its visceral focus, and FIRST BLOOD puts machismo at the center.

  233. Anon[238] • Disclaimer says: • Website
    @jeff stryker

    Right. A man deserving pity than sympathy.

  234. Anon[238] • Disclaimer says: • Website
    @jeff stryker

    I pick FRIDAY THE 13th because it is the prototype for exploitation of middle-class and urban/suburban fears about unworldly rural whites.

    Not the prototype. It goes back to DELIVERANCE and TEXAS CHAINSAW MASSACRE. Even back to IN THE HEAT OF THE NIGHT and BAD DAY AT BLACK ROCK. And the final montage of NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD makes the human rubes seem worse than the zombies.
    And then, there are chain-gang movies like SULLIVAN’S TRAVELS and I AM A FUGITIVE.

    In THE EXORCIST however, the devil targets soulless modernity. And OMEN has the devil’s son taking power the deep state.

    • Replies: @Che Guava
  235. Anon[238] • Disclaimer says: • Website
    @Feryl

    The director was mocking Aryan aesthetics with his casting. Since he’s “satirizing” fascism,

    Satirize or Sanitize? Maybe a kind of Sanitire.

    Who/Whom matters in this game. What is ‘fascism’ in one is ‘liberal democracy’ in another.
    Praising Jews and Israel uber alles is ‘democracy’. But saying ‘It’s okay to be white’ is ‘nazi white supremacism’.

  236. Anon[238] • Disclaimer says: • Website
    @Feryl

    Admittedly, I thought the movie was fun when I was a kid, but it’s one of those movies where the flaws become more glaring as you get older.

    The movie looks cheap even if it was a big budget production. It seems intentional, like a never-ending commercial for action figures and toys. It is a toy commercial or a ‘fascist’ version of TOY STORY.

    It’s too stupid to rise to the level of satire. An interesting satirical take of the marketing of fascist tropes to young ones is SMALL SOLDIERS.

    https://www.jonathanrosenbaum.net/2018/12/cutting-heroes-down-to-size/

    • Replies: @Feryl
    , @Che Guava
  237. Feryl says:
    @Anon

    The movie has that damn ultra glossy aesthetic that most mid-late 90’s movies have. They had great film stock back then, it’s just too bad that everything is lit so bright, and everything (and every actor) is so darn nice looking.

    The movie had to be “stupid” so that the makers wouldn’t be accused of glorifying fascist militarism.

  238. @Ray P

    Hardly.
    First battle of Klendathu was a failure and he survived that (I think, need to check).
    But this is the ultimate fight of the war, properly prepped and planned and nothing in the text suggests he will buy the farm. to be fair nothing rules it out either as that would deny the themes of the book.

    • Replies: @Ray P
  239. Anon[146] • Disclaimer says: • Website
    @Bill Jones

    Who are the bourgeoisie? They are the productive, inventive middle class- the organizers, owners and sustainers of the businesses that generate the wealth and create the jobs upon which the bureaucrats and rentiers of the State and Globalists prey.
    They are the creators and heart and soul of America,

    Bourgeoisie of old sought respectability and conventionality, for better or worse.

    That kind of bourgeoisie no longer exists. We have the bobo’s, the bohemian-bourgeoisie, or the yupsters, the yuppie-hipsters. And these scum promote globo-homo. It’s scum like Jack Dorsey who bans rightists to get more money from Zionist Wall Street.

  240. Ray P says:
    @Kyle Kiernan

    I had checked my copy of the book before I posted. You are smugly ignorant.

    • Replies: @Kyle Kiernan
  241. Che Guava says:
    @Anon

    I haven’t seen the Omen episode where young Damien Omen graduates from military school and heads for high office for a long time, and it is probably an insult to the actor (I am sure he was more handsome), but whenever I see a photo of Jared Kushner, it makes me think of that.

    He has also had, of course, enormous trouble unloading a bad investment in a Noo Yawk building with the number 666 on the street or avenue where it is.

    • Replies: @jeff stryker
  242. Che Guava says:
    @Anon

    Joe Dante’s children’s movies are great, Small Soldiers just one of several.

  243. @Che Guava

    Sam Neil looks like Kushner in the FINAL CONFLICT.

    By then the series was just kind of funny. For example, Damien has a big statue of Our Savior in his house and lobs abuse at it after a hard day at Thorn industries.

    His Rotts sleep with him.

    He gets into a relationship with a single mother and sodomizes her (Of course he is a sodomite).

    Damien sort of comes off as a bit of a loser in the film. A bunch of monks keep trying to stab his ass and he keeps killing them off.

    • LOL: Che Guava
  244. Someone once asked Heinlein about Starship Troopers being militaristic and he said he was a military man, of course it was militaristic. He was a career Navy CPO and only missed WW2 due to being medically retired. This novel was published in 1959 and I think it was influenced by all of the WW2 memoirs that had been published by then. I beleive it is more of a tribute to military service than some fascist fantasy.
    Some things about the movie that always bothered me were the Mobile Infantry in the book were almost like Iron Man and in the movie were basically cannon fodder. Second thing they were like a bunch of guys trying to kill herds of grizzly bears with .22 rifles. No artillery, no armour,no air support and not even a rifle that could effectively kill or disable a bug.
    It was still a great movie and I wish the showers had been like that when I was in the Army.

  245. @I do want to live forever.

    Re. the showers: if the female soldiers looked like the hot chicks in the movie, absolutely. If they looked like Lynddie England, then I’ll be doubling up on deodorant.

    • Replies: @jeff stryker
  246. @Beefcake the Mighty

    BEEFCAKE

    I spent a short amount of time in the National Guard ROTC and generally the good-looking chicks date officers.

    However, I’ve from army buddies who would pimp the black girls and this was “industrial prostitution” whereby a female soldier would come into a barracks and they would throw a blanket over the bottom bunk and then 18 dudes one after another would pay to screw her.

    This was in the nineties when morale was lower.

    • Replies: @Che Guava
  247. @Che Guava

    CHE

    I’m sorry, I am unable to follow you here.

    • Replies: @Che Guava
  248. Che Guava says:
    @Anon

    Wow. I did not even know that there was a movie.

    The novel is pretty bad.

    So, Ender is told that he is just playing video games in training.

    Then, we have the sudden revelation that Ender has, in reality, been leading the forces of the Earth in their campaign against some alien horde (I can’t even recall what type of alien horde, the writing was pretty bad), manages to wipe them out, then has pangs of guilt that push him into positions copied frnm Paul Atreides in Dune (I have never finished reading any of the Ender sequels, they are too bad, but in summary, seems accurate).

  249. Che Guava says:
    @jeff stryker

    OK, in English, I found the comment that you were making believable, but upsetting, not in the sense of an SJW, but in the sense that it is horrid behavior.

    • Replies: @jeff stryker
  250. Che Guava says:
    @Logan

    Wow. I did not even know that there was a movie.

    The novel is pretty bad.

    So, Ender is told that he is just playing video games in training.

    Then, we have the sudden revelation that Ender has, in reality, been leading the forces of the Earth in their campaign against some alien horde (I can’t even recall what type of alien horde, the writing was pretty bad), manages to wipe them out, then has pangs of guilt that push him into positions copied frnm Paul Atreides in Dune (I have never finished reading any of the Ender sequels, they are too bad, but in summary, seems accurate).

  251. have you ever watched brazillian “tropa de elite” (elite squad”) movie?

    it’s similar in way, that the cast is a bunch of leftists, while the director is certainly “progressive” (although he recuses to be directed involved in party politics – he likes to give a neutral vibe)

    but the film have the INVERSE effect on the audience. the audience sympathized with the “violent” policemen, specially their rants against the upper-middle class that funds drug dealers while claiming to care about violence in the ghetto. the vast majority of the audience supported the film in this way. the left today complains about how the director of the movie “empowered” the ‘fascists’.

    the second movie, though, had a more conciliatory note. of how the evil are corrupt politicians, etc. which is a less divisive thing for the society

    • Replies: @Anon
  252. Anon[351] • Disclaimer says: • Website
    @baked georgia

    He did a superb job with the new ROBOCOP movie.

    Unlike the first one that treats Americans as dummies who deserve a dumb ‘fascist fantasy'(that goes over their heads), the remake is a smart pop satire of globalism.

  253. @Che Guava

    CHE

    Horrid behavior? Its called biology.

  254. “classic military, science fiction, and coming-of-age film”

    A very fine review.

    My take: The film WAS intended satire but lefties cannot tolerate fascism ever looking cool. Verhoeven has said the humans, not the bugs, were the aggressors.

    • Replies: @Logan
  255. Anon[211] • Disclaimer says: • Website

    According to Metacritic:

    https://www.metacritic.com/movie/starship-troopers/critic-reviews

    7 Positives
    10 mixed
    3 Negatives

  256. Ray P says:
    @I do want to live forever.

    Heinlein graduated Annapolis. He was an ensign, then lieutenant j.g. and finally lieutenant.

  257. Anon[202] • Disclaimer says: • Website

    Volume 2 of Dave Kehr’s MOVIES THAT MATTERED:

    Volume 1 is must-read. Volume 2 has more good stuff.

    https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/34524699-movies-that-mattered

  258. Logan says:
    @Lurker

    More critically, even the combat branches weren’t really active when the story starts. The Federation hadn’t been involved in a real war for decades. So if the point was the fighting and killing they were faling.

  259. Logan says:
    @I do want to live forever.

    RAH graduated Annapolis and served for five years. He was medically retired due to tuberculosis.

    I also hated the way they portrayed the MI. What in the world was “Mobile” about them? They were simply light infantry and appallingly poorly armed, as you note. They seem to send them out with AKs or the equivalent to fight elephants. Dumbest tactics I’ve ever seen.

  260. Logan says:
    @tma_sierrahills

    lefties cannot tolerate fascism ever looking cool.

    But fascism does look cool. Compare the “style” of the Third Reich to that of the USSR. No comparison. Even the Soviet military caps look really silly.

    Probably due mostly to this style, nobody in the history of the world has ever, as PJ O’Rourke noted, had a fantasy about being ravished by an SJW.

    • Replies: @Beefcake the Mighty
  261. Dutch Boy says:
    @Kurt

    Which reminds me of my army officer father’s advice: Stay away from the infantry!

  262. @Logan

    Aesthetics matter, no question.

  263. I went through the first 150 or so comments and failed to find what I took to be the obvious reason why this movie was remarkable and perhaps almost unique. The director said he was spinning a parody. It’s not a parody of Heinlein but rather of Hollywood. From beginning to end every single character of the script is downright despicable. It’s quite impossible to identify with anybody. They all come across as cardboard cutouts of mediocre characters that quite fail to generate the sort of quality that elicits some kind of investment on the part of the viewer. Somebody finally called Hollywood’s bluff and .. hardly anybody noticed. We’re doomed. And we deserve it.

  264. @anon

    I believe that was in relation to the attack on the Skinnies home world. Which worked as I believe they changed their alliance with the bugs and sided with us.

  265. @Logan

    It would have been such such a great movie if they would have used the Mobile Infantry in the book , or made that movie with the CGI available now.

  266. Logan says:

    Major serious problem with the powered armor. Very hard to show acting while in it. Same reason lead characters don’t even wear helmets in stuff like Game of Thrones, which is, like, spectacularly idiotic, not to mention unhistorical.

  267. Logan says:
    @Kurt

    The Denise Richards character?

  268. When Verhoeven started work on Starship Troopers, it was supposed to be a sci-fi movie called Bug Hunt at Outpost Nine, and I think we can all agree that that’s a superior name. But someone explained to the execs in charge that Bug Hunt, with its interplanetary war against giant insects, had a lot in common with Robert Heinlin’s right-wing 1959 sci-fi novel Starship Troopers. So they bought the rights and changed a few things so that Bug Hunt would now be an adaptation, sort of like how Die Hard With a Vengeance was a generic thriller rewritten to be about John McClane. But when Verhoeven tried to read the book, he claims that it made him “bored and depressed,” and he never finished it. So the director here had a whole lot of contempt for the movie he was supposed to be making, and that contempt comes through very, very clearly in the finished product.

    https://theconcourse.deadspin.com/the-grisly-goofy-starship-troopers-played-dumb-to-make-1741600229

  269. @Ray P

    And you are needlessly trying to be condescending.
    I didn’t check my copy because it was halfway around the world.
    Having checked an e-copy I’ve confirmed that I’m still right and you were a jerk for no good reason.

Current Commenter
says:

Leave a Reply - Comments on articles more than two weeks old will be judged much more strictly on quality and tone


 Remember My InformationWhy?
 Email Replies to my Comment
Submitted comments become the property of The Unz Review and may be republished elsewhere at the sole discretion of the latter
Subscribe to This Comment Thread via RSS Subscribe to All Trevor Lynch Comments via RSS
PastClassics
The “war hero” candidate buried information about POWs left behind in Vietnam.
What Was John McCain's True Wartime Record in Vietnam?