The Heinlein Chronicles



Novel Summary

Heinlein Biography

Bibliography and related sources

Militarism in Starship Troopers

The Satirical Movie

Other Starship Trooper Mediums

Theories of Punishment

Verhoeven's Vision


                The movie Starship Troopers takes a more satirical view of the militaristic tendencies in the novel. A number of important features become exaggerated in order to portray this fascistic and militaristic society and reveal to people these tendencies.
                The first instance in which the satire becomes obvious is with the color of the uniforms worn by the soldiers. Each soldier wears a typical uniform grey. This was the same color the Nazis wore in World War II. Even more striking are the officers whose uniforms very closely resemble that of German officers during the war as seen on the right.
                Secondly there is a substantial amount of propaganda contained in the film usually involved in riling everybody up to join the Mobile Infantry or at least “Do their part”. Most of these films involve children to coax people over to their good side. All of them, though, show that everyone is partaking in the conflict in order to rouse everyone together against the enemy. This is very excellently in contrast to the book, where there is very little encouragement to join the military. In fact, people are dissuaded because they only want people who are absolutely committed.
                Another key difference here between the movie and the novel. That is the presence of women in combat. The novel had absolutely no women serving in the mobile infantry, probably intended for practical reasons. The movie, however, puts women in the exact same role as men. They live together, they train together, and they even shower together. This is an attempt, similar to the propaganda movies, to show the unity felt between mankind. Every man, woman, and child are linked together in a massive struggle vs. the other. The arachnid with whom everyone fights is that big other with which everyone wants to defeat. The idea is to portray the gigantic struggle against destruction.

Even the way that the movie fights the bugs is in stark contrast to the bugs. They charge out of landing craft wearing nothing but highly ineffective armor and their own personal armor. The attack is reminicent of D-day landings in movies like Saving Private Ryan where hordes of troops run out to their deaths. It takes generally dozens of troopers shooting at a single bug to have any chance of bringing it down. People are relatively expendable to the Federation. As Carl explains later it is about the species and each individual trooper might need to be sacrificed to save the whole. These are basically fascist principles applied to space warfare.