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Starship Troopers (1997) Poster

Trivia

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In a 2016 interview, Casper Van Dien revealed in an interview about a funny incident when he was picking up his two daughters from school, "I went by the line at school to pick up my kids. You know, you drive up to the school and when I get there and there are these six 10 and 8 year old boys hanging out with my daughters. I pull up in the line and the boys go, 'Johnny Rico! Why didn't you tell us your dad was Johnny Rico?' And I said, 'What are you boys doing watching STARSHIP TROOPERS?' And they said, 'Our dads made us watch it with them!' Then my daughters get in the car and my 10-year-old says, 'Dad, were you really naked in STARSHIP TROOPERS?' And I said, 'Yeah,' and she said, 'How could you do that to me?!' Then my 8-year-old says, 'Wait, like naked naked?' And I said "Yup," and she said, 'Oh my God, my life is ruined!' That was the longest three minute ride home I have had in my life."
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Director Paul Verhoeven and stars Dina Meyer and Casper Van Dien confirmed that Verhoeven and cinematographer Jost Vacano shot the co-ed shower scene in the nude themselves, on a dare from Meyer. On the day of the shoot, Verhoeven had asked the cast to do a little "fashion show without fashion" so that they could get comfortable being naked. When the cast was reluctant to disrobe, Verhoeven asked them what the big deal was, to which Meyer responded, "Paul, if it's no big deal, why don't you do it?" Quite unexpectedly, Verhoeven got undressed, as well as Vacano (who had been raised in a nudity camp). After an initial shock (Van Dien reportedly yelled "Oh God! Dina! Why!?") and a good laugh from the cast, the scene was filmed without problems.
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The year in the movie is 2197.
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Casper Van Dien says he was often asked why a blonde-haired, blue-eyed actor would play the Argentinian Juan Rico. He suggests that his character was the descendant of exiled Germans. Argentina was famously a hiding place of German war criminals after World War II.
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Director Paul Verhoeven's favorite movie of his own.
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A miniature Millennium Falcon can be seen on the backside of one of the starships' bridges.
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Neil Patrick Harris was often called "Doogie Himmler" whenever he wore the military intelligence uniform as it bore a resemblance to SS uniforms. The name is a joke after Harris' TV series Doogie Howser, M.D. (1989).
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When Rico, Carmen, and Carl meet with the recruiting officer after pledging, and the officer shakes his prosthetic hand with Rico, it's revealed that the recruiting officer has lost both his legs. This is not done with any means of special effect, CGI or other trickery since that Robert David Hall, who plays the recruiting officer, had both legs amputated after a car crash accident in 1978. Three years later Hall would be famous to appear in CSI: Crime Scene Investigation (2000) as the medical examiner Dr. Al Robbins, where he is seen wearing prosthetic legs and using a crutch, as well as the character has a limp.
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During filming Jake Busey (Ace) suffered heat stroke after working all day in 120 degrees desert sun, this stopped production for a week, when he recovered several large holes were cut into his uniform so he could cool off, many other cast members suits had this modification as well in order to prevent further cases on average there were 25 people per day being treated for heatstroke during filming.
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Casper Van Dien really punched Patrick Muldoon in the face giving him a bloody lip during the fight scene at Ticonderoga space station; Patrick Muldoon stated in an interview that Casper "hits hard".
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The cow that was killed by the Arachnid in the media break commercial was completely digital but was still censored. A bonus video feature from the DVD shows what occurred behind the censoring bar: an FX tech used a small hose to spray the walls with fake blood. It was shot in cuts, The real cow was placed on his mark for the establishing shot. Then the still shot of the cow was used with computer generated images for the effect where the bug appears to eat the cow.
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The scenes involving explosions and fire after the destruction of Buenos Aires were actually videos taken from the Oakland Hills fire in October of 1991, just two months after Mike Johansen moved to Los Angeles. This film was released just three weeks after his relocation to San Diego, California.
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In a 2014 interview on The Adam Carolla Show (2013), Michael Ironside (Jean Rasczak) - who read the book as a youth - said he asked director Paul Verhoeven - who grew up in a Nazi-occupied Netherlands - "Why are you doing a right-wing fascist movie?" Verhoeven replied, "If I tell the world that a right-wing fascist way of doing things doesn't work then no one will listen to me, so I'm going to make a perfect fascist world: everyone is beautiful, everyone is shiny, everything has big guns and fancy ships, but it's only good for killing fucking bugs!"
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Director Paul Verhoeven admits to have never finished the novel, claiming he read through the first few chapters and became both bored and depressed, calling it "a very right-wing book" in Empire magazine. He then told screenwriter Edward Neumeier to tell him the rest. Verhoeven and Neumeier then decided that while both the novel and its author Robert A. Heinlein strongly supported a regime led by a military elite, they would turn the concept around and satirize it, making the film a hyperbole of contemporary American politics and culture.

Diehard Heinlein fans declare that the filmmakers have completely misinterpreted Heinlein's nature and intentions. He was a very left wing libertarian who opposed conscription and militarism. He depicted the oligarchy-by-ex-military-citizenry government in the book because it was an example of something that has never been done in real life. He was not advocating it, but was merely speculating that such a system could exist without collapsing.
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The use of Nazi imagery for the film's American heroes occasioned comment at the time of the film's theatrical release; the filmmakers did not explain their reasons for this choice with the result that some viewers interpreted it as satire, while others read it as a celebration of Fascism. Ironically, Robert A. Heinlein, a very left wing man, wrote the novel as a satire of a military regime he disapproved of, but filmmakers Paul Verhoeven and Edward Neumeier described him in interviews as a right wing militarist.
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Most of the arachnids appearing on film are CGI but a few life-sized, robotic models were built. However, during the battle scenes, the actors wound up looking at director Paul Verhoeven himself who would stand in front of them and jump and scream to elicit their reactions.
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In the scene where the children are stomping on the Madagascar hissing cockroaches, fake insects were used.
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FedNet was created to help establish the satire in a way similar to RoboCop (1987), another Paul Verhoeven film.
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Casper Van Dien (Johnny) broke a rib during a stunt involving jumping off a "tanker bug."
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The view that people acquired citizenship and the right to vote through military service reflected the views of "Starship Troopers" author Robert A. Heinlein. His views were influenced by his years in military service before World War II and what he saw as the supposed "laziness" of civilians.
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Nearly every military uniform has WWII German military and SS paramilitary uniform references. The flag of the Federation has a symbol which closely resembles the Imperial Eagle from WWII Germany.
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In the director commentary on the Blu-ray DVD Paul Verhoeven stated showing the mutilated bodies on FedNet was to encourage more people to join the Federation, the cow being censored was due to PETA animal supporters, and the experiments on the Brain Bug were censored as it was classified information.
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More ammunition was used in this film than in any previous movie.
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Most of the adults in authority positions in the movie are scarred in some way: Rasczak (Michael Ironside) lacks an arm; the biology teacher has scars on her face, and is blind; and the recruiting sergeant has lost both his legs. Director Paul Verhoeven included them as a symbol of the belligerent history of the Federation.
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An actual Bug from the movie was exhibited in the entry of the main gallery at the 1997 World Science Fiction Convention held in San Antonio, TX over Labor Day Weekend.
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Michael Ironside was Casper Van Dien's mentor on the film - as his character mentor and also in real life, behind the scenes and on set. "And I still hear his voice and everything, when I'm acting, to this day. The same goes with Clancy Brown. Both of them, they influenced me more than they know."
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The combat helmets were repainted again and used by the SWAT team at the end of Planet of the Apes (2001), whose star Mark Wahlberg who was considered for the role of Johnny Rico.
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The classroom walls display portraits of major philosophers - Aristotle, Baruch Spinoza, Friedrich Nietzsche, and Hannah Arendt. All these thinkers are known for their influence on politics and political theory. Arendt notably worked on totalitarianism, an important theme of the movie.
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The battle gear was later reused in Power Rangers Lost Galaxy (1999) and the show Firefly (2002) in the episode "The Train Job".
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The short-lived Australian political party One Nation mimicked the use of the "would you like to know more?" advertisements in a 1998 campaign at recruiting youth to the party, presumably unaware of the satirical nature of those ads, especially given the party had a nationalistic far-right ideology.
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Mark Wahlberg turned down the role of Johnny Rico.
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In the commentary track on the DVD or Blu-ray release, director Paul Verhoeven remarks that he had hoped to cast actors whose age closely matched that of the characters and indeed of real-world soldiers, but the producers felt such actors would look too young, the teacher and the lieutenant of the Roughnecks in the novel are combined into one role played by Michael Ironside.
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The base that houses the Fleet Academy is named "Tereshkova" after Russian cosmonaut Valentina Tereshkova, the first woman in space. There are many more examples in the movie of the future being gender-neutral (meaning there is no bigotry based on gender), such as the mixed-shower scene and the female captain.
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The Federal Service oath is as followed:

"I, being of legal age, of my own free will, after having been duly advised and warned of the meaning and consequences of this oath, enroll in the federal service for not less than 2 years and as much longer as may be required by the needs of the Federation."
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The "Bug planet" scenes (Klendathu, Tango Urilla, Planet P) were filmed in the Badlands of Hell's Half Acre in Natrona county Wyoming. During filming in the park, it was nearly a 110 degrees which prompted the production crew to let the actors and extras to wear only their black t-shirts under the armor, because the neck wrap and the jacket is made out of thick rubber wetsuit /clothing which is very hot to wear.
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In the DVD commentary, director Paul Verhoeven states his intentions clearly - the film's message is that "War makes fascists of us all." He evoked Nazi Germany's fashion, iconography, and propaganda because he saw it as a natural evolution of the post-WWII United States: "I've heard this film nicknamed 'All Quiet on the Final Frontier'," he said. Screenwriter Edward Neumeier broadly concurs, although he sees the film as a satire on human history rather than solely on the U.S.
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17 gallons of fake blood were used throughout the movie.
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Lieutenant Willy is played by Steven Ford, the son of former U.S. President Gerald Ford.
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In the movie, Jonny Rico's and some of the other characters' nationalities have been significantly altered from the original novel. In Robert A. Heinlein's novel, the story focuses on the first-person narrative of Juan "Jonnie" Rico, a son of a wealthy Filipino family who enlisted in to the Mobile Infantry--a highly futuristic military unit equipped with powered armor and an arsenal of advanced weaponry. In the movie, instead of an elite fighting force equipped with Powered Suits, they are a conventional army armed with conventional weapons but apparently without armored vehicles, artillery, most heavy weapons and other vital equipment. The Powered Suits would not feature in the series until Starship Troopers 3: Marauder (2008).
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In the timeout sequence during the jumpball game, Dina Meyer actually smacked Casper Van Dien in the side of the head to get his attention and his response was genuine.
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Edward Neumeier started writing an original script called "Bug Hunt at Outpost Nine". When similarities with the Robert A. Heinlein novel were pointed out, the novel was optioned and the name licensed.
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In the movie, the soldiers are occasionally referred to as "Cap Troopers". In the book, this referred to the capsules they dropped in, but in the film the nickname becomes orphaned.
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The concept of the Plasma Bugs possibly originated from the Warriors in the original novel since they are capable of using energy weapons.
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In an interview with ComingSoon, Casper Van Dien spilled the beans on how a newspaper helped underage audiences see a violent R-rated movie. "The New York Times did a piece where they gave 1000 13- and 14-year-old boys tickets to Bean (1997) to see if they could sneak into 'Starship Troopers' because people were doing that a lot at multiplexes then. After that they had to put the kibosh on it. They think we would have doubled our income so instead of 25 million it would have been 50 if it had been a PG-13 film."
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Casper Van Dien gets stopped and asked about his role in the film all the time, "I get tweeted about it. I just did a funny show called Crunch Time that's going to come out, and the whole thing is, basically I was playing the perfect version of myself, but a lot of the quotes that I was doing were from Starship Troopers. I've also done a Noobz where I played a version of me, with quotes from Starship Troopers again, and there's been a lot of movies where I've done quotes from Starship Troopers over and over again, because this movie just--it's a part of who I am. My daughter sent me a meme recently where it's like, 'Desire to know more.' It's a headshot of me from Starship Troopers and I put that up as my [profile image] and everybody said, 'Hey, I'm glad you're embracing your meme.' I'm like, 'I don't know what that means, but I'm doing it.'" [Laughs]
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"Do you want to live forever?" is attributed to Marine Sargent Major Dan Daly in the WWI battle Belleau Wood. He is one of two Marines to have received the Medal of Honor twice.
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Director Paul Verhoeven says his satirical use of irony and hyperbole is "playing with fascism or fascist imagery to point out certain aspects of American society. Of course the movie is about let's all go war and let's all die".
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Dale Dye was the movie's Military Adviser, reportedly putting the main actors through a one-week-long intense boot camp, just like all of his other films.
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Some of the walls were reused from Total Recall (1990) (another film directed by Paul Verhoeven).
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Dizzy's full name is Isabel Flores.
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Critical reaction to the film at the time tended toward the negative. Especially the Washington Post savaged the film for its perceived glorification of Nazi symbolism and totalitarian regimes. Analysts noted that after a strong $22 million opening weekend, the poor critical reception was most likely responsible for a 50% drop in revenue during the film's first week in cinemas. However, the first signs of critical re-appraisal came in 2001, when parallels were noted between the War on Terror in Afghanistan and the film's patrolling marines on the bug planets. In 2012, Slant Magazine ranked the film #20 on its list of the 100 Best Films of the 1990s. In 2017, The Guardian claimed that "this is no longer science fiction, it has become reality", and in 2020, David Roth of The New Yorker even praised the film as visionary, as it had eerily predicted "the past decades of decadence, decay, rising institutional violence and unrestricted bad taste".
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In the back-story of Jean Rasczak (Michael Ironside): Rascazk lost his left arm which had been grabbed by a Warrior Bug which tried to drag him out of the shuttle during a mission to Klendathu, knowing he had no other option to save himself, Rasczak had the shuttle door closed, slicing off his arm, but allowing the shuttle to escape, he then retired from the Mobile Infantry and became a teacher of History and Moral Philosophy in Buenos Aires.
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The film won Saturn Awards for Best Costumes and Best Visual Effects at the 1998 Academy of Science Fiction, fantasy and horror films, USA Awards.
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James Cameron was attached to direct at one point.
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The fort defense scene contains many references to Zulu (1964): "we're all gonna die," "fire at will" and "fall back into the compound," along with some similar camera angles.
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When Carmen Ibanez is taking the starship out of dock the first time, she flicks a switch to release the hoses attached to the docking platform. That switch is the power switch from a 1982 era IBM PC, the very first PC to see widespread use in home and office.
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The design of the bugs are slightly revised from an unused monster design for Tremors II: Aftershocks (1996). During the making of Tremors 2, they developed two monster designs for 'shriekers' in that movie. One was used for Tremors 2, and the other was slightly revised and used for Starship Troopers. Both film's special effects were supplied by Phil Tippett, who had been working on the two films at the same time. If you look closely, the bug warriors share the mandibles as the graboids from Tremors (1990).
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Casper Van Dien was thrilled that Paul Verhoeven and Edward Neumeier--the director and writer-producer of the film--and Alan Marshall all wanted him, exclaiming, "I was super impressed that that was the case. And I get on the set, and Captain Deladier, who was the Marine who was training all of us, we had done a boot camp and everything, the entire film all he would do is go, "Rico!" I don't know if he knew who I really was, but he'd go, "Rico! Make sure the troops have all the water!" So I'd, as Johnny Rico, I'd have to go around to my two battalion commanders, and then I'd have to go down to each squad leader and then platoon leader and then each person and ask how they were doing on the water, so you know, sometimes we had 1,400 extras and I'd go and talk to every single one of them. So it was amazing."
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Fort Ticonderoga is a real fort in upstate New York that was active during the 18th century. It was used by the British during the Seven Years War with the French and then again by American troops during the American Revolutionary War against the British.
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In the novel, Rico can speak "Tagalog" at home and does not come from Buenos Aires.
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The Federation symbol is commonly mistaken as having being taken from Nazi Germany of the 20th century. Many of its symbols, such as the eagles on the Federal Armed Services uniforms, are actually based off of those used in 20th century American culture and military institutions. In any case, Paul Verhoeven admitted using the Nazi Orpo flag as an inspiration for the Ferderation flag design.
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The band at the graduation party plays a David Bowie song called "I Have Not Been to Oxford Town." The lyrics are reworked a bit to refer to the 22rd century rather than the 20th.
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The reason Carmen's (Denise Richards) father detests Johnny is further elaborated in a deleted scene. Johnny's parents aren't citizens; they have money. This is why Ace (Jake Busey) continuously says to Johnny "you got some guts for a rich kid", and during training, "you rich kids are all the same". In fact, "Rico" is Spanish for "Rich".
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The Boot camp Arthur Currie was named for Sir Arthur Currie of the Canadian Expeditionary Force. Sir Arthur Currie had the unusual beginning of a pre-war militia gunner and eventually worked his way through the entire scale of ranks to eventually become Canada's first Four Star General. His nickname was "Guts and Gaitors".
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Casper Van Dien accidentally shot through a camera during the scene where Rico is wounded and fends off the two Warrior bugs with the Ithaca 37 shotgun under the Morita assault rifle even though they had plastic to protect the camera. Fortunately no one was behind the camera.
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The original text also included the Cap Troopers wearing Powered Armor. The Mobile Infantry in the movie has nothing of the sort until Starship Troopers 3: Marauder (2008) (even though they are experimental Mini-Mecha).
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Because the movie originated from an unrelated script, with names and superficial details from the novel being added retroactively, there are many significant differences between the original book and the film. While the original novel has been accused of promoting militarism, fascism, and military rule, the film is attributed to satirize these concepts by featuring grandiose displays of nationalism as well as news reports that are intensely fascist, xenophobic, and propagandistic.
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Casper Van Dien (Rico), Dina Meyer (Flores), Denise Richards (Ibanez), and Denise Dowse (Sky Marshall Meru) all appeared in Beverly Hills, 90210 (1990).
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During the newsbreak which focused on the massacre of Port Joe Smith it shows a spire with the Statue of Angel Moroni on its top. According to religious custom with the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, the statue of Moroni is only used on the top of dedicated temples and is not found on any other structure regardless of its purpose.
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Denise Richards declined to do a topless scene which wasn't in the original script.
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The powered armor technology that is central to the book is completely absent in the movie; according to Paul Verhoeven this - and the fascist tone of the book - reflected his own experience in Nazi-occupied Netherlands during World War II.
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Michael Ironside (Jean Rasczak) was considered for the part of Alex Murphy/RoboCop in RoboCop (1987), another Paul Verhoeven movie.
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Involved with the project since 1990, Phil Tippett witnessed the screenplay go through many changes. While the script was evolving, the world of visual effects evolved, too, as did the techniques planned to create the alien bugs. Tippett said, "The whole story was completely different in the early '90s... we started thinking about it back then, and mind you this was back in the pre-digital, pre-Jurassic Park (1993) days. We considered using traditional model photography, either stop motion or puppetry, and then of course everything changed in 1993 with JURASSIC PARK." It was directly after his involvement with JURASSIC PARK that Tippett Studio art director Craig Hayes, Paul Verhoeven, Alan Davidson, Edward Neumeier, and Tippett got together and started thinking about what the bugs would look like. "After JURASSIC, we generally decided that we could go digital with the bugs."
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Although they play high school graduates, Casper Van Dien, Dina Meyer, and Patrick Muldoon were all 29 when they made the film.
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The tune Ace plays during R&R time is "Dixie" by Daniel Decatur Emmett, known as the de facto national anthem of the Confederate States of America and still played often in the Southern U.S. This is a reference to Ace's Southern heritage.
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The DVD audio commentary by director Paul Verhoeven was one of the first to be accompanied by a disclaimer stating that the opinions in the commentary belong to the speaker and not necessarily reflect the opinion of the movie studio. Such disclaimers became commonplace in the following years.
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Some critics in the Netherlands, Paul Verhoeven's native country, jokingly referred to the movie as 'Soldier of Orange in Space', referring to Soldier of Orange (1977), one of Verhoeven's earlier Dutch movies. Both movies are about a group of friends who each go their separate ways when war is declared. Some end up working together, while others find themselves at odds with each other.
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The name "Arachnid" derived from spider in Greek, apparently originated from "Pseudo-Arachnids", the giant spiders from the novel. None of the arachnid species resemble a spider by far, however it's meant to be a racial slur against the enemy and it doesn't have to be taxonomically correct.
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For Rasczak's left arm stump the special effects team put a blue sleeve over Michael Ironside's arm which was later digitally removed and controlled by a remote which was operated by the actor.
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Phil Tippett added, "Much of the way the bugs moved was dictated by Craig's designs... we did a lot of animatics, and assigned the bugs weights and the extent of its movements to come up with an animation design, to see how realistically these beings could move and run and attack. We also did months and months of research, including watching lots of documentary books and videos on various insects and bugs."
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Lighting the bugs was an interesting challenge, as well, due to the varying conditions in which the bugs were to exist - both in harsh daylight and simulated moonlight situations. Lead technical director Larry Weiss supervised the lighting designs, among other duties. "In lighting the bugs in the daylight shots, we tried to recreate the lighting that an actual sky would produce, using a combination of lights acting as aerials, and a group of lights aiming up from the ground, in addition to the key (the sun), whose position was based on positioning data from the set." Using reference footage taken on location, including photographing a grey sphere and scale maquettes of the bugs, "we determined the color and intensity of each of those lights. It was a very accurate way of making the bugs appear as if they actually exist in the background plate."
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The song, "I Have Not Been to Paradise," (a cover of the David Bowie song "I Have Not Been to Oxford Town") is sung by Zoë Poledouris, the eldest daughter of Basil Poledouris, the film's composer.
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The lime-green violin that Ace plays the tune "Las Golondrinas"-the Shallows, is a Tucker Barrett electric violin, Jake Busey actually learned to play the violin for this movie. The song, although instrumental in this film, has lyrics. Translated to English. They are:
  • Listen to the swallows when I left was a simple consideration of the destiny uvo instants that better I wanted to crack to forgive him and
Return for his love but I could put myself before the coward and although sad continue on my way with a lump in the throat for the pain I went to stop in the corner from a canteen to derle unleash my sadness with tires and bottles of tequila and despite the continuous binge drinking cent in my the disastrous farewell it is because when I hear the swallows I always remember the days that there are disastrous moments in life and that piesa between mine is one of them I bring the soul over a sea of feelings all via no sicatrisan my eridas that rabio I play in the first moment the song that Bitter farewells farewell to those who love so much time I'll regret while I live It is because when I hear the swallows I always remember the days those there are disastrous moments in life and that piesa between mine is one of them.
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Features two main villains from the "Highlander" movie franchise: Clancy Brown played the Kurgen in Highlander (1986) and Michael Ironside played Kitana in Highlander II: The Quickening (1991). Also, they did voice-overs for two villains in the DCAU. Clancy voiced as Lex Luthor and Michael voiced as Darkseid.
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In the credits, Amy Smart's character is identified as "Pilot Cadet". However, the FedNet announcer refers to her as "Lt. Stack Lumbrezer". One of the movie's co-producers is Stacy Lumbrezer.
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When Rico's inside the healing tank which Casper Van Dien called "the Luke Skywalker tank" - for its resemblance to a scene in Star Wars: Episode V - The Empire Strikes Back (1980) - he couldn't really see Dina Meyer or Jake Busey but could only see the outlines of them; he kept a little bit of bubbles in his nose due to his experience as a scuba diver even though he had a regulator inside the tank.
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The German dubbing of this film, although changing a lot of the political issues of the story, is partly regarded as cult especially due to lines like "Das ganze Gehirn weggelutscht" ("They sucked his brains out") as performed by Joachim Kerzel.
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Unlike other film characters originating from the novel, Lieutenant Willy's novel counterpart, Willie (also known as Captain James K. Will in the 1976 board game), is never directly mentioned throughout the book.
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The rifles featured in the movie are based off the Ruger Mini-14 in a custom bullpup stock similar to those available for other rifles/shotguns in the 1980s.
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This movie, along with RoboCop (1987), Basic Instinct (1992), Showgirls (1995), and Hollow Man (2000), is one of five separate movie franchises in which the first movie of their respective series (directed by Paul Verhoeven) were more successful than their respective sequels (not directed by Verhoeven); all the sequels either had low box office numbers or were released directly to DVD.
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While it's never explicitly stated in the novel, in the film it's strongly implied that Fleet and the Mobile Infantry have a rivalry as Dizzy says to Rico after he fights with Zander, "Mobile Infantry and Fleet don't mix".
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The footage of the Port Joe Smith mutilation bodies was from the Whiskey Outpost.
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Filming the fight scene between Casper Van Dien and Patrick Muldoon consisted of 40 takes to get right for the scene where Johnny punches Zander directly in the face/lip because, as Casper states on the commentary track, Patrick was simply "so tall".
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Casper Van Dien accidentally chipped two of his teeth with the butt of the Morita assault rifle prop during the tanker bug sequence.
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Craig Hayes was in charge of designing the look of the various alien species represented in TROOPERS. Tippett explained, "With the WWII themes presented by Paul Verhoeven, we wanted to continue that theme in the designs of the bugs, representing various generic elements of a war... the Warrior bug is a representation of mobile infantry, the Tanker bugs obviously are representational of WWII tanks, heavy artillery is represented in the plasma bugs and so on.
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The Arkelian sand beetle dissection scene was director Paul Verhoeven's favorite scene filmed.
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Casper Van Dien's favorite of his movies and his favorite role being Johnny Rico.
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Every kissing scene with Casper Van Dien and Denise Richards required a minimum of 5 takes because they couldn't fit their ridiculously over-sized jaws together.
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Michael Ironside's character is missing and arm and later has both legs bitten off by a tanker bug. During a fight with Arnold Schwarzenegger in Total Recall (1990) (also directed by Paul Verhoeven) Ironside's character has both arms severed.
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The sport Johnny plays, which is a combination of football and gymnastics, is called "jumpball". His team is "the Tigers" and Zander's is "the Giants".
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The line "You want to live forever?" (as "You wanna live forever?") was also uttered in Paul Verhoeven's earlier movie RoboCop (1987) by the character Emil.
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The Klendathu battle sequence was the hardest scene to be filmed as the armor all the actors and extras were all wearing was 32lbs and the morita assault rifles were 22Ibs but the rubber rifles were two to three pounds which is 40 extra pounds on them plus they were at 8,000 feet altitude which made the air thinner and they were filming at 2 to 3 a.m. running up the hill take after take.
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Cyrano, Carl's pet ferret, was originally scripted as being a frog or a turtle.
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For sequences where literally hundreds of Warrior bugs populate the screen, various time and processor saving tricks had to be performed. "Some shots were so complicated that they were taking up to 32 hours per frame to render. In order to simplify things, Darby Johnston developed a system that would streamline renders of background bugs that were not the focus of the shot," Larry Weiss remarked. "We used a 'sprite' technique, where we would render out frames of a complete camera rotation around a single bug, and put those frames in a library." Weiss said that Johnston then wrote an algorithm that would determine which one of those frames to access, in relation to the bug's motion path and the camera's position. "This simplified things, and it helped in the render times, too, in that some of the final swarm shots only took 18 hours per frame to render," Weiss noted.
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The Seattle indie rock band Minus the Bear used quotes from the film as song titles in their album Highly Refined Pirates including "you kill bugs good man" "Damn bugs whacked us Johnny" and "Your some kind of big fat smart bug aren't you?"
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Teo didn't create a backstory for his character, Corporal Bronski, he stated in an interview. He states, "I didn't have too much backstory for Bronski. As I read the script, it was clear he was a physical guy, so I took that approach instead and gained almost 30 pounds for him and grew my hair out."
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Casper Van Dien revealed in an interview that this is the movie and role that he's most known for. Fans at conventions refer to him by his character's name of Johnny Rico which he greatly admires.
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On the DVD commentary, director Paul Verhoeven stated about the Morita Assault Rifle being an excellent example of the film's satire -"Intentional or not".
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In Starship Troopers the miniature game, the Arachnids are referred as Arachnid Empire.
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At 129 minutes, this is the longest Starship Troopers movie.
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The bloodiest of all of Paul Verhoeven's movies.
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In Starship Troopers (1988), the boot camp Currie had instead of tents, the recruits lived in normal buildings. But in the movie the buildings are shaped like tents.
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The Federation's flag likely drew some inspiration from the flags of the Russia Coast Guard, Imperial Russian Regiments, Imperial German regiments, and the Confederate States of America.
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Tippett Studios' responsibilities didn't end with just the bugs and their animation. They also were tapped to create various particle effects, including the Tanker Bug's lethal spray, and the Plasma Bug's destructive plasma blasts. Larry Weiss remarked, "In designing the look of the tanker spray, we looked at a lot of lava footage for reference. It wasn't supposed to be lava, but it was meant to have that kind of consistency. We played around with Dynamation for a long time to come up with the final look." The plasma blasts was a challenging task, especially since the data used to create the blasts was shared between Tippett and Sony Imageworks. "Tippett Studio designed the plasma blasts in Dynamation," Weiss said, "and then when Sony needed the blasts in their shots, we gave them all of our data so they could integrate the blasts into their shots. Walter F. Hyneman, who was co-CG supervisor at Sony for the show [along with senior CG supervisor Louis Cetorelli], was instrumental in translating our data. The plasma blasts that you see actually emerging from the rear ends of the Plasma bugs were completed at Tippett, while the ones that you see in the distance, or weaving in between spaceships were created by Sony using our Dymamation designs."
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Although their characters have a rivalry, Casper Van Dien and Patrick Muldoon are friends in real life.
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In the German version, the news commentator you hear all the time was dubbed by Egon Hoegen. This results in additional comic relief because he is the man who, with his rather dry and sarcastic voice, narrates every episode of Der 7. Sinn (1966) (a very well known traffic education show).
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In a propaganda scene near the start of the movie, Mormon extremists are reported to have been massacred by bugs on another planet. Space-faring Mormons are also depicted in the sci-fi series The Expanse (2015). In the Mormon compound in the movie, a golden statue with a trumpet can be seen. The same golden statue is the figurehead of the Mormon ship the "Nauvoo" in "The Expanse".
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For the aerial front flip during the Jumpball game performed by Johnny, Casper Van Dien was actually doubled by stuntman Joey Box doing a flip off a ladder which was later digitally removed from the final film.
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The tanker bug sequence was filmed in 3 days.
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To get Cyrano the ferret to go to his marks from A to B down a table, across the floor, and up the stairs, trainer #1 placed the ferret on his mark and trainer #2 cued him with a buzzer to his next mark.
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After Corporal Birdie has her arm burned off and is retired off-screen by a fellow soldier, you can hear a voice shouting "Medic!". This same clip is used in the video game Team Fortress 2 (2007), when playing with any character and hitting the "E" key (asking for a medic).
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NFL wideout Jerome Simpson actually pulled off the Flip 6-3 hole. In the same uniform, no less.
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James Marsden, Keanu Reeves, Mark Wahlberg, Josh Brolin, & Jason Priestley were considered for the role of Johnny Rico. Neve Campbell & Rebecca Gayheart were considered for the part of Carmen, but were both busy doing Scream 2 (1997).
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In the beginning of the film, the high school in which the characters Rico, Carmen, Carl, and Dizzy attend is actually a Kaiser Permanente hospital.
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Didn't fare very well in the United States. Budget, $105 million. Box office, $54,814,377 (domestic), $121,214,377 (worldwide).
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The heavy weapons mounted on towers featured in the bug assault on the base at Planet P were Browning M2 .50 cal machine guns mocked up to look like Degtyaryov-Shpagin Krupnokalibernyi DShK's ("Degtyaryov-Shpagin Large Caliber"), in a twin-gun arrangement on a gimbal mount. The DShK was designed in the Soviet Union in the 1930s and fires a 12.7x108mm cartridge, roughly the Soviet equivalent of the American .50-cal. BMG. At the time of filming, real DShK's - as well as blank ammunition for them - were all but impossible to obtain, so most appearances of them in film feature M2's with a mocked-up barrel.
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Michael Douglas was considered for the part of Mr. Rasczak, having worked with Paul Verhoeven on Basic Instinct (1992).
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There were over 1,400 extras that were in the film.
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Casper Van Dien is a big fan of science fiction and was so enthusiastic about appearing in the film, being a fan of Paul Verhoeven and Edward Neumeier.
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Michael Ironside, Marshall Bell, and Dean Norris all three appeared in Total Recall (1990), also directed by Paul Verhoeven.
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Only theatrical movie of the Starship Troopers trilogy - all the sequels were were direct to video.
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For the fight scene between Dizzy and Sergeant Zim when Zim has her pinned under his leg, director Paul Verhoeven told Dina Meyer to roll her eyes in the back of her head to make it look like she couldn't breathe.
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Harvard is mentioned twice in this movie. Dean Norris (the commanding officer at the boot camp) graduated from Harvard.
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Despite the fact that Paul Verhoeven is anti-war and anti-fascism (he came mighty close to becoming 'collateral damage' when he was a child), people will accuse him from now until judgment day of making a movie that glorifies war, fascism, and blind, jingoistic patriotism. To think Paul Verhoeven made the mistake of being too subtle. This misaimed fandom gets an in-universe example in Harold & Kumar Escape from Guantanamo Bay (2008). The paranoid, racist, warmongering Homeland Security agent tells Neil Patrick Harris that Starship Troopers inspired him to get into his line of work.
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After the movie's release, fans went up to Casper Van Dien and handed him Death from Above tattoo hennas to give to his kids.
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The film was nominated for the Oscar for Best Visual Effects along with The Lost World: Jurassic Park (1997) and Titanic (1997). The film lost to Titanic (1997).
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Director Paul Verhoeven and screenwriter Edward Neumeier had unprecedented freedom in making the movie because management at Sony kept changing all the time. By the time that studio executives finally saw footage, Verhoeven had already compiled a rough cut of the movie.
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Among the movie's famous fans are directors Martin Scorsese, Joel Coen, Ethan Coen, and Oliver Stone, as well as former President of the USA Bill Clinton.
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The film was released into cinemas uncut in the UK with a '15' rating, but the BBFC (the British censors) felt they had been too lenient and the same version was upgraded to an '18' rating for video and DVD.
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To allow seasoned stop-motion animators to be able to animate computer generated models for Jurassic Park (1993), Craig Hayes and Phil Tippett developed the DID, a digital input device that allows an animator to have physical control over a CG model in real space. CG models can be animated via a scale model fitted with motion sensors, which correlate to certain points on a CG model. After using it on JURASSIC and Tremors II: Aftershocks (1996), Tippett Studio dove head first into the dozens upon dozens of shots to animate for TROOPERS. "We've refined the DID since JURASSIC PARK," Tippett said, "in the overall cleanup of the design. Craig made sure that the DID would be much more responsive to the animator's movements.
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The same walls were also used in Total Recall (1990).
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On the commentary track, Neil Patrick Harris and Casper Van Dien jokingly called the ferret Cyrano the "ferret from hell".
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Matt Damon auditioned for the male lead.
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The film is dedicated to Gavin Gharrity and Tom O'Halloran, two camera operators who worked on Paul Verhoeven's Showgirls (1995).
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Mazzy Star's "Fade Into You" plays during the fight between Zander (Patrick Muldoon) and Rico.
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Dina Meyer accidentally shot near Jake Busey, blowing his ear drums out but luckily he was wearing ear protection so he didn't receive the full brunt of it but he forgave her.
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Tippett Studio has gone through some remarkable changes in the last couple of years, following the revolution from traditional optical effects to the digital realm. They've made the jump from creating effects for smaller pictures like Three Wishes (1995) and Tremors II: Aftershocks (1996) to the visual effects gorilla of STARSHIP TROOPERS. Phil Tippett explained, "The essence of putting together effects shots hasn't changed much, although the technology used to put the elements together has changed dramatically. Whether you're stop-motion animating against a rear screen projection, or if it's against a bluescreen to be composited later, or if you're using CG animation, the aesthetic issues still have to be addressed, no matter what techniques or technology you're using." Weiss commented that Tippett Studio is a different kind of effects house, due to the participation of the art department from conception throughout production. "It was their responsibility not only to design the models, but in painting and testing digital texture map designs--just like an art department would do in creature shop. They not only have to be great artists, but they also have to be somewhat technical, and be able to render out test frames and things like that. This allowed the lighting TDs and animators to concentrate on their lighting and animation duties." Tippett, the creative supervisor and founder of his own company, noted, "No matter what technology is used, our focus has always been geared toward making a compelling picture and designing compelling choreography."
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Critics of the film lambasted the fact that the characters were flat and uninteresting. According to Paul Verhoeven, he was aiming for '90210 IN SPACE!' because the entire film was a propaganda film.
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Dina Meyer jokingly referred to Seth Gilliam as a green M&M with eyes during the scene where Sugar Watkins kills the warrior bug by shooting its eye out and gets covered in its green blood.
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Ibanez is the Spanish version of the surname "Evans".
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Macaulay Culkin favorite film.
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Casper Van Dien appeared as Johnny Rico in a video by the YouTube channel, Screen Junkies called, Honest Trailers: Starship Troopers (2020). Van Dien is also a regular on the channel.
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During the starship destruction scene (01:43:44), a crew member can be seen playing with a giant yellow Slinky just as the explosion rips through the ship.
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The screen of Rico's computer in the classroom shows the word "fedpaint" at the lower border.
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Tom Everett Scott was considered for the role of Carl.
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In several scenes, Johnny wears a jacket, similar looking to the one Arnold Schwarzenegger's character wore in Total Recall (1990) which was also directed by Paul Verhoeven.
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At the beginning of the battle, the Commanding Officer stands and says "follow me." That is the motto of the U.S. Army Infantry. His pose mimics the statue at Ft Benning, GA.
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In the script, Sugar Watkins was described as 6'4 280Ibs with big bulging muscles.
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The Whiskey Outpost was filmed in 3 weeks.
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During the film, most obviously in the "Do you want to know more?" sequences, it often has the feel of watching 20th century polished propaganda newsreels - the official line of what happened. Whereas, by clear comparison, the rest of the movie can be seen as the "reality" of what happened.
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The costume designs use of the "Nazi gray/grey" palette, and a similar uniform design style clearly imply that these are blatantly a form of "Space Nazis". Additionally, during the spaceships in space sequences, it has a vaguely Star Wars Imperial Empire feel about it, which as later Star Wars films clearly made obvious, were also a more subtly designed type of "Space Nazis".
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The commonly used line, "Come on, you apes! You wanna live forever?" is a rendition of a quote from Marine Sergeant-Major Daniel Daly at the Battle of Belleau Wood on 6 June 1918. His words were, "For Christ's sake, men-COME ON! Do you want to live forever?"
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The targets on the assault course at Camp Currie are green and human-like as a homage to the "Skinnies" in the novel.
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This is the first film that Denise Richards and Neil Patrick Harris had starred in together. The second film is Undercover Brother (2002).
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There is an oft-repeated statement that "Though not stated outright in the film itself, Paul Verhoeven has stated that it is set in a Universe where the Nazis won World War II and conquered the world." However, nobody has ever cited where this statement came from, and it contradicts published statements he has made, so he probably never really said it. The film is meant to be future history, not alternate history.
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In a 2014 interview with Empire Magazine, Paul Verhoeven said of the shower scene, "Americans get more upset about nudity than ultra-violence. I am constantly amazed about that. I mean, I haven't seen any sex scenes in American film that are anything other than completely boring. A bare breast is more difficult to get through the censors than a body riddled with bullets."
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Jake Busey (Ace) and Neil Patrick Harris (Carl) were both born on June 15, in 1971 and 1973 respectively.
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While Paul Verhoeven made the message - namely, that the humans are an evil fascist empire squandering their lives in the mistaken belief that war is glorious, and you're a bad guy for cheering them on - as screamingly obvious as he possibly could, the movie is still filmed in the style of Hollywood sci-fi action/war movies as a rather unflattering take on the intersection between Hollywood gung-ho propagandism and imperialist behavior.
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The exciting battle scenes seem to undermine Paul Verhoeven's supposed message, but most of the soldiers still die agonizingly horrible deaths. But the trope itself is also a large part of the message, the unsavory elements of the war and its reasons are referenced by people trying to downplay or distract from those elements.
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Was released two days after Seth Gilliam's (Sugar Watins) 29th birthday.
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Dina Meyer said she was jacked up for this movie.
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During the dissection scene at the beginning of the film, Carmen, in order to establish that humans are the more superior race, she states that humans "created arts, mathematics and interstellar travel." This is a common type of phrase in films set in the future. It often deals with two truths and a theoretical possibility. Most noteworthy films that have used this particular technique are the Star Trek movies as it is set around the 23rd century, making their claims as well theoretically possible.
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Zoë Poledouris's only performance as an actress in the 20th century.
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Neve Campbell & Rebecca Gayheart were considered for the part of Carmen, but were both busy doing Scream 2 (1997).
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This expands to the creators of the sequel as well, who clearly missed out the implication that the Arachnids were the real good guys who were being provoked by the xenophobic and jingoistic humans, and portrayed the humans as the lesser evil.
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The only film in the franchise to be released in the second millennium.
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There were reports at the time of its release that multitudes of 13- and 14-year-old kids were buying tickets to G-, PG-, and PG-13-rated movies and sneaking into the R-rated "Starship Troopers" unaccompanied.
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Casper Van Dien (Johnny Rico) & Dina Meyer (Dizzy Flores) appeared in different episodes of Monk (2002), though not in the same one together.
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Somehow even The Daily Show (1996) (which did movie reviews back then, one of many instances of Early Installment Weirdness) missed the satire, picking up on Neil Patrick Harris's SS-like uniform but not the fact that the audience wasn't meant to be rooting for the humans.
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Arguing for why violence really is the answer, both a student and his teacher early in the film seem to be under the impression that the city of Hiroshima ceased to exist entirely after the end of World War II. This is changed from the speech in the book, where Carthage is cited instead. The change, along with everything else about the film, is deliberate when one considers Paul Verhoeven's beliefs about the United States.
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Two pop songs were released based on the original Robert A. Heinlein novel: "Starship Troopers" (1971) by Yes and "I Lost My Heart to a Starship Trooper" (1978) by Hot Gossip and Sarah Brightman.
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Michael Ironside, Clancy Brown, Dina Meyer, and Brenda Strong were in DC Comics-based animated and live-action series. Michael was the voice of the evil tyrant Darkseid on Superman: The Animated Series (1996) and Justice League (2001)/Justice League Unlimited (2004), and Dark Knight Returns Batman in one episode of The Superman/Batman Adventures. He also played as General Sam Lane in Smallville (2001) and he played the father of the villain Leonard Snart/Captain Cold in The Flash (2014). Clancy was the voice of Lex Luthor in Superman: The Animated Series (1996) and Justice League (2001)/Justice League Unlimited (2004). Also, he played as General Wade Eiling in The Flash (2014). Dina played the Batgirl/Oracle in the series Birds of Prey (2002). And Brenda Strong plays as the mother of the villain Lex Luthor, Lillian, in Supergirl (2015).
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Bobby Cannavale auditioned for a part.
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Two stars from this movie appear in Monk (2002), and they were born only four days apart:
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People who view the real-life United States as Eagleland Flavor #2 are quick to say this film mirrors the War on Terror, specifically the Iraq invasion and aftermath. From the DVD commentaries, Paul Verhoeven made it clear that he views the United States as no different than Nazi Germany - a view he held of America in 1997, well before the events of 2003 popularized it - emphasized by the fact that Carl and the other intelligence officers dress in Gestapo uniforms.
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The seemingly uncensored (UK) television version, perhaps confusingly, in 2020, is distributed by Buena Vista Television Distribution, although the film opens with the original (Sony Pictures) Tristar pegasus animated logo, rather than a version distributed by Sony Pictures Television. The film was a joint presentation of Sony's Tristar Pictures and The Walt Disney Company's Touchstone film labels, so Sony may distribute it in certain other territories.
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The United Kingdom Laserdisc was £34.99.
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Cameo 

Zoë Poledouris: Film composer Basil Poledouris' daughter sings in the prom dance scene. She's on stage wearing a sparkling blue dress, and sings "Into It" and a cover of David Bowie's "I have not been to Oxford Town" from the 1997 album "Outside" minor lyrical changes have been made, with the song changed to "I have not been to Paradise".
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Dale Dye: as high-ranking officer present at the capture of the brain bug at the end, says to Carl, "What's it thinking colonel?"
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Edward Neumeier: The screenwriter appears as the criminal sentenced to death during one media break.
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Timothy Omundson: as the psychic in an early Federation broadcast who says: "If you think you're psychic, maybe you are." Eventually Omundson starred in the TV series Psych (2006) as a character determined to prove that a psychic is a fraud.
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Jon Davison: the producer, during a media break commercial owner of the dead dog says "the only good bug is a dead bug".
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Ronald L. Botchan: The referee during the Jumpball game was a real referee.
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Stacy Lumbrezer: Director Paul Verhoeven's assistant and co-producer as woman taking Federal studies during a FEDNET media break commercial.
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Edward Neumeier: One of the propaganda clips is of a murderer (screenwriter Neumeier) being captured that morning, and was said to be executed at 6 PM. Even if the murderer was captured at 12 AM exactly, that means he was captured, tried, convicted, sentenced and executed in no more than 18 hours.
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Parry Shen: as a student.
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Director Trademark 

Paul Verhoeven: [nude co-ed shower scene] A nude scene takes place in co-ed locker and shower rooms, as in RoboCop (1987).
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Spoilers 

The trivia items below may give away important plot points.

To avoid an NC-17 rating, 4 seconds had to be trimmed from a decapitation during the last battle at the Whiskey Outpost base. However the four seconds can be seen in the version on the FX network.
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Several references are made to WWII Medal of Honor recipient Rodger Wilton Young. Suffering a head injury in high school, he lost much of his eyesight and hearing resulting in his leaving school. Knowing he could not pass the Army physical, he joined the National Guard. He was promoted and deployed to the Pacific. Due to his handicap he requested demotion so he could go into combat with his men.

In the film, career Sgt. Zim makes a similar request when Buenos Aires is destroyed. His wish is also granted. Also, during WWII, Young gave his life in combat by single-handedly bombarding a Japanese machine gun position with rifle fire and grenades during an ambush, allowing his platoon to escape. While rescuing Carmen from the Brain-bug, Sugar Watkins gives his life in an almost identical fashion by laying down rifle fire and detonating the Nuke so his friends can escape; The starship that Carmen is assigned is also named the Rodger Young. Starship Troopers author Robert A. Heinlein included Young's Medal of Honor Citation in the book.
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Several scenes were filmed following Carmen (Denise Richards) coming to grips with the supposed death of Johnny Rico (Casper Van Dien), while starting a relationship with Zander (Patrick Muldoon). However, test audiences started to hate her character for hooking up with another man so soon after the death of her former lover, and were very vocal about it. The scenes were subsequently deleted, although a relationship between Carmen and Zander is still implied in the rest of the movie.
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Body Count: 256
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During the scene where Michael Ironside's character falls into the hole and gets his legs bitten off, Dina Meyer hit her head, was knocked unconscious, and suffered a concussion.
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When Carmen vomits during the dissection scene when Rico hands her all the bug's organs, Denise Richards was actually vomiting up mashed bananas.
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Test audience reactions led to several minor changes before the film was released. Originally, it was clear that Carmen was torn between Rico and Zander. Test audiences, regardless of gender, strongly felt that a woman could not love two men at once, so scenes which portrayed this were cut. These audiences also felt it was immoral for Carmen to choose a career ahead of being loyal to Rico, to the extent that many commented that, in so doing, Carmen should have been the one to die instead of Dizzy. While admitting it may have been a bad commercial decision not to change the film to accommodate this, the directors did cut a scene from after Zander's death where Carmen and Rico kiss, which the audience believed made the previous betrayal even more immoral.
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In the shower scene, Shujimi (Anthony Ruivivar) says that he joined the Mobile Infantry so that the Federation would pay for his studies, which would otherwise have cost him "an arm and a leg". Shujimi later has his limbs ripped off by the bugs.
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During live training, Djana'D (Tami-Adrian George) shoots and kills Breckinridge (Eric Bruskotter) accidentally, resulting in Rico's flogging. In real life, the two actors are together and have a child. They met on this film.
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Besides Rico, Ace is the only one of Rico's squadmates from boot camp to survive the entire movie from Klendathu to Planet P.
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For the scene where Dizzy gets killed by a warrior bug, Dina Meyer argued with director Paul Verhoeven on her character screaming after getting stabbed and when Rico pulls out the arachnids claw from her chest as there was no air in her chest for her to emit such a scream as she wanted it to be authentic, but Verhoeven's only response to her was simply to "just scream".
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Differences between the novel and the movie: In the novel: Dizzy (Dina Meyer) is a man. Johnny Rico (Casper Van Dien) is Filipino. Carl (Neil Patrick Harris) is killed in a bug raid on a research station. Jean Rasczak (Michael Ironside) is combination of two characters, Jean Dubois (a teacher) and Lieutenant Rasczak (leader of Roughnecks). After Rico is promoted to sergeant he is sent to O.C.S. At a transfer station he sees his father has joined the M.I. There is a brief reunion. They wore battlesuits in the novel. Each suit gave a soldier with incredible strength and tremendous firepower. Thus the name Mobile Infantry. Carmen Ibanez (Denise Richards) wasn't Johnny Rico's girlfriend. She was everyone's friend. After joining up they meet when he's a "third lieutenant" on a ship bound for combat. The Mobile Infantry were also fighting a war against the Skinnies - a tall, green, humanoid species who were allied with the Arachnids. Also, the Arachnids weren't mindless, savage creatures they were rather intelligent and had advanced technology somewhat on par with the humans such as H-Bombs (which they used to attack Buenos Aires) ray guns, missiles and space ships. While it's never explicitly stated in the novel in the film its strongly implied that Fleet and the Mobile Infantry have a rivalry as Dizzy says to Rico after he fights with Zander, "Mobile Infantry and Fleet don't mix". The destruction of Buenos Aires is only mentioned with little description. Rico can speak "Tagalog" at home and does not come from Buenos Aires. Ace (Jake Busey) is based on two characters from the novel, Ace and Pat Leivy, while his question about knife throwing toward Zim (Clancy Brown) is a reference to Ted Hendrick in the novel.
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Dialogue changes in German version: when Mr. Rasczak is talking about failure of democracy and how the veterans took control. Only citizens are allowed to vote, in the German version all this is changed about some talking about the war against the bugs, democracy is not mentioned. "Service guarantees citizenship" is changed to "Fight for the Future" * also during the classroom scene when Mr. Rasczak is talking about violence he says "I wonder what the city fathers of Hiroshima would say about that" and Carmen replies "They probably wouldn't say anything Hiroshima was destroyed" this scene was removed from the Japanese version. In the German version Mr. Rasczak says "I wonder what the citizens of Washington would say about that". And Carmen replies "They probably wouldn't say anything Washington was destroyed during the first Bug War".
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In the novel, The Mobile Infantry were also fighting a war against the Skinnies - a tall, green, humanoid species who were allied with the Arachnids. Also, the Arachnids weren't mindless, savage creatures they were rather intelligent and had advanced technology somewhat on par with the humans such as H-Bombs (which they used to attack Buenos Aires) ray guns, missiles, and space ships.
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Rico's career in the mobile infantry looks something like this: Cadet, Cadet - squad leader, washout, Cadet, Private, Corporal, acting Sergeant, Corporal, Lieutenant.
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Teo (Corporal Bronski) recalled an incident that he said was the funniest and simultaneously scariest day that he was involved in during the whipping scene of Casper Van Dien (Johnny Rico) for some reason he had a tendency to slowly and steadily creep forward with each power thrust with the whip he was using which of course was endangering Van Dien who was in front of but (presumably) a safe distance away from him after several requests from director Paul Verhoeven to stop moving forward which he seemed unable to control-the crew placed 25 lbs. sandbags on top of his feet to keep him in place and that's how they filmed most of the scene when they showed him from the waist up.
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In the original script, it was Captain Deladier who was supposed to have her brains sucked out.
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Right before the battle of Klendathu, Lieutenant Willy says to his troopers, "Remember your training and you will make it back alive." Ironically, Lieutenant Willy is the first one to get killed during the battle by a warrior bug, showing he didn't remember his training.
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When Carl influences his ferret Cyrano to go "bug" his mom, Rico tells Carl not to do anything like that to him. This foreshadows a scene near the end, wherein Rico saves Carmen from the Bugs as Carl psychically guides him, though Carl later says it's "classified".
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When Rico's father says he would rather take ten lashes in public square than see him ruin his life, it foreshadows what happens to Rico after Breckenridge's (Eric Bruskotter) death; Rico himself receives ten lashes in a public square, and ruining Djana'D's (Tami-Adrian George) (who killed Breckenridge) chances of becoming a citizen to go into politics.
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Dizzy is frequently cited as a fan-favorite character, but given her demise, this made returning for sequels tricky. The most recent movie, Starship Troopers: Traitor of Mars (2017), found a way around this by having Dizzy - voiced again by Dina Meyer - appear to Johnny when he's stranded and surrounded by bugs. This later turns out to a projection sent by his psychic pal Carl.
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When Lt. Rasczak gets his legs bitten off by the tanker bug maybe a reference to what happened to Jehal the acting commander of the Roughnecks in the original novel.
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When Carmen meets Johnny at the spaceport she tells him, "My dad had to help me pack. Suddenly he's afraid he's never going to see me again." This foreshadows the destruction of Buenos Aires which kills Johnny's parents and Carmen's father.
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The Battle of Klendathu is highlighted as a demonstration of very poorly thought out tactics on the humans' part in both versions. Ships are parked in orbit right next to each other, so Bug anti-space weapons can take them out easily, hit after hit. Bonus points when this problem is mentioned by the humans as one of the reasons the attack failed, yet they did it again in the next big battle. The attack force is light infantry (not mechanized), with no armor, air support, or any kind of artillery between hand grenades and pocket nukes. While the lack of armor support is Hand Waved by statements that the terrain is unsuitable for tanks and the like, there is no justification for a lack of air support, either for bombing or rapid deployment of troops, especially when they're shown to have such capabilities (one wave of bombers is seen wiping out some bugs, but nothing more). Human infantry are squishy, heavily-outnumbered and armed with weak but massed ranged weapons. Rather than set up kill-zones and defensive feint traps and making use of explosives to counter their numbers, they simply send the troops rushing over to fight the bugs in a Zerg Rush. Not very good when the enemy is the actual Zerg. Poor morale and troop cohesion, with the whole assault turning into a panicked rout after only a few casualties.
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Casper Van Dien lost 15 pounds for the whipping scene.
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It is debatable by fans whether the Arachnids were even responsible for the attack on Buenos Aires, given that the bug meteor is asserted to have been launched from Klendathu, on the other side of the galaxy and therefore tens of thousands of light-years away (especially considering that the asteroids where shown moving slower then light and where allegedly able to cross 80,000 light years without hitting anything or being pulled off course, yet still hit Earth with pinpoint accuracy) this, combined with the informative nature of the film narrative as a recruitment advert, can be interpreted as a commentary on the propagandistic nature of contemporary media and its role often as a willing accomplice to militarism. However, given that in one scene the Rodger Young is shown to be on a collision course with one of these asteroids, and that they are able to take evasive action after Carmen and Zander sight the asteroid visually would seem to suggest that the simpler explanation is that director Paul Verhoeven just ignored the physics of the situation for cinematic effect or simply because that is what the plot required.
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During the fight scene between Johnny and Zander, for the scene where he flips Johnny over onto the table for the first take, Patrick Muldoon ended up throwing Casper Van Dien on top of his head on the table to which he repeatedly apologized to him. For the second take, he ended up landing on top of an apple box on top of the table.
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Before the battle of Klendathu, when Rico, Dizzy, Ace, and Kitten are "Getting cut together", Kitten says, "We're going to fight and we're going to win". Ironically, during the battle of Klendathu during the general retreat, Kitten gets killed by a warrior bug.
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One major plot hole, how Rico escaped Klendathu despite being severely wounded and left behind. An answer comes when Rico, Dizzy and Ace join the Roughnecks. After Ace gets decked by Corporal Birdie for insulting the Lieutenant, Ace is told that the Lieutenant saved their lives before Corporal Birdie looks over at Rico and firmly states, "Who do you think saved your ass!", meaning that it was Rasczak that saved Rico, though that's the extent of the explanation.
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Several scenes were modified to tone down the movie for showing on Russian television. Aside from cut down similar to the Australian version to tone down the violence, is a modification to the video feed scene (where Rico walks Carmen through his surroundings, camera in hand) when his squadmates take off their pants to moon the camera, static was added to cover the nudity up. also, the shower scene and the sex scene were slightly cut to remove frontal nudity.
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In the original novel, Johnny Rico's father originally gives him a ticket to Mars instead of Zegema Beach as in the film. This mirrors Total Recall (1990), another Paul Verhoeven film.
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The tune Ace plays while Johnny Rico is dancing with Dizzy is the Mexican song "Las Golondrinas" (The Swallows). Since this melody is mostly played in farewells and closures as a way to say 'good-bye' to someone, it foreshadows the fate of Dizzy.
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Although Katrina Mclntire is never seen get killed when she is dragged into a bug hole by a Warrior bug, even though it is stated bugs don't capture enemies and Starship Troopers Dominant Species, original script and commentaries have mentioned that those who don't retreat from the Battle of Klendathu are killed.
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When Dizzy is impaled by a Bug Warrior, her comrades free her by shooting off one of the Warrior's limbs that remains embedded in Dizzy. Instead of picking her up and carrying her to the rescue shuttle immediately, Rico and Ace remove the Warrior's limb before doing so. This action may have ultimately killed Dizzy. Being impaled by such a thing, leaving it in does help the patient because it acts as a plug for the body, slowing down bleeding. Though Dizzy was also stabbed at least twice before by the same Warrior, her last wound would've been the worst of it. With the Bug limb out, and none of the Troopers giving her first-aid during the ride back to the Fleet, Dizzy was doomed because of Rico's well intended, but misguided, actions.
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At Whiskey Base where the general is discovered in a "closet", the prop used for the closet was actually an industrial refrigerator commonly found in the restaurant kitchens.
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Rico's service number is 0589 as revealed on his Death Certificate when he's mistakenly listed as K.I.A.
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The recruiting sergeant says to Carl, who was chosen for military intelligence, "next time we meet, I'll probably be saluting you." Ironically, near the end, Sergeant Zim (who busted himself to Private to get combat) salutes Johnny Rico, who is now a lieutenant.
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In the script, there was a scene during a FedNet broadcast showing the Mobile Infantry reclaiming Dantana, the planet where a Mormon colony was massacred, in the prelude to the Klendathu invasion.
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Ace says "shoot a nuke down a bug hole, you got a lot of dead bugs," which is what Rico does later in the movie on Tango Urilla.
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Although the plot of the film is almost completely unrelated to the novel, the names of characters who die in the novel are given to characters who die in the film. "Dizzy Flores" (a man in the book, a woman in the film) dies in the first chapter. One exception to this is Rico's friend Carl, who dies in the book, but not the film.
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In the DVD commentary, director Paul Verhoeven says fans wanted Carmen to die and Johnny to end up with Dizzy, proving that it isn't only fans who have preferred couples. Considering that in the original book Dizzy is male and Johnny and Carmen have at most a one-night stand together, this wouldn't have been such a bad change compared to most of the rest of the changes Verhoeven actually did make.
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When Sergeant Zim is roughing up the recruits, he hits Shujumi in the right leg with his baton. This is interesting as Shujumi later gets his right leg cut off by an Arachnid during the battle of Klendathu.
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During the last dance segment, when Johnny and Carmen are kissing, when the screen pans out more Denise Richards is actually chewing bubble gum.
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During the psychic card game, Rico incorrectly guesses the card as "Ace of Spades" which symbolizes the "Death of the Year" and the start of a new one, when the wheel turns again. The reason why it is a trump card is that Death comes for all of us in the end, and there is no escape - even for kings. The spade is also known in the Tarot as the sword - a symbol of war.
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Director Paul Verhoeven has commented on how he based the Propaganda segments on those played in historical authoritarian regimes during wartime and also how he set up the Bugs to be clearly superior in every way to the humans opposing them. Combining the two together can imply that the surprisingly happy ending portrayed in the final Propaganda cut scene is simply a case of the government trying to hide the awful truth of the probable defeat.
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According to director Paul Verhoeven, in RoboCop (1987), the nude coed locker/shower scene was meant to show gender neutrality in the police force in the future. As opposed to having the standard separate locker and shower rooms in accordance with gender, the film depicts men and women sharing locker and shower rooms as if it's perfectly natural. Verhoeven wanted more nudity in the scene but the timing and pacing prevented it. He states, "We tried to introduce gender neutrality in the locker room. But it went by so fast." As a result of the scene lasting for several seconds, a decade later, Verhoeven decided to do a similar scene that lasted for a few minutes in this film to showcase more of the gender neutrality in the government agencies in the future. Interestingly, most of this film's cast and extras were nervous about doing the nude scene. So, Verhoeven and cinematographer Jost Vacano stripped naked to make them more comfortable, which garnered laughs. Verhoeven stated that nudity is not a problem for him and Vacano was raised in a nudist camp. Afterward, the cast and extras did the scene with no problem. It's unclear whether Verhoeven achieved the same approach for the extras in RoboCop (1987). Despite the differing time lengths, both scenes presented the possible prospects of gender neutrality in the future in a professional manner.
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The film features the first co-ed shower scene in a mainstream American movie. One had been scripted for Aliens (1986), but the actresses involved weren't too enthusiastic about it, and the scene was not deemed important enough. Director Paul Verhoeven had intended to show one in RoboCop (1987), but timing and pacing issues prevented this. He finally succeeded in getting one on the screen ten years later.
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It's speculated that Dizzy's constant romantic pursuit of Johnny, in a way, ultimately lead to her untimely death. Johnny most likely unintentionally caused her death by pulling out one of the bug legs that was impaled through her chest in attempt to try to save her. Theoretically, in hindsight, if Dizzy weren't so persistent toward Johnny and was more focused during duty, she probably would've had a better chance at surviving. In combat and war, you have to be more focused and less distracted. Right before Lt. Rasczak barges into the tent to alert them of the surprise attack by the Warrior Bugs, she and Johnny were making out and were about to make love. Engaging in amorous activities most likely distracted her, and Johnny to a certain extent, to where it ultimately costed her life when they had to almost immediately go and battle the Warrior Bugs on their station.
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In her coffin, Dizzy is laid to rest on a green Therm-a-Rest Z-Lite sleeping pad.
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In the shower scene, everyone talks about why they joined Federal Service. When it's Ace turn he says he wants go career "officers training, all the way." When he states his reasoning his head is framed in the shower handle in way that looks like a noose. It is like he is giving himself a death sentence. Even though he doesn't die in the movie.
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Johnny and Carmen's secondary love interests, Dizzy and Zander, respectively, end up dying gruesome deaths involving impalement. Dizzy died by being impaled in the chest by one of the Bug Warrior's legs and Johnny and Ace removing the leg from her chest in an attempt to save her. Zander died by being impaled in the head and his brains sucked out by a Brain Bug. In both cases, Johnny and Carmen, respectively, witnessed those respective deaths firsthand. Whether viewers liked these characters and their relationships with the respective main characters or not, it's agreed upon that Dizzy and Zander's deaths were cruel and horrific.
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The TV journalist killed at the beginning of the film was the first to be shown covering the invasion.
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In a deleted scene, Carmen doesn't want to kiss Johnny because in the future, feelings are something more private than erogenous contact.
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On Reddit, user TanookiDooki had a theory to the effect that Paul Verhoeven's earlier movie RoboCop (1987) is set in the same universe as this film, and laid the argument out concisely. Connecting on several fundamental levels, from cultural norms to political commonalities to design, it not hard to buy that these universes could be connected. Let's start with the with the most obvious factor that could potentially unite the two: politics. In the RoboCop universe, after a series of events precipitated by a deal with the overtaxed Detroit Police Department, the corporation Omni Consumer Products basically becomes the government of Detroit, Michigan. By RoboCop 2 (1990), the city in such debt to OCP that the Chairman of the company decides to essentially foreclose on all property in the city, in order to create a gentrified "utopia" called Delta City. He is nearly capable of enacting this plan due to the power of OCP, despite not being an elected official; in order to exercise your full rights as a citizen, you need company stock. Old political institutions are looked on as symbols of decay and corruption. While the world of Starship Troopers has transferred this power over to military might instead of corporate oversight, the ideology behind both societies are very similar. As Tanooki puts it: In Starship Troopers, this mentality is expressed in what seems like a society that took it to full fruition. Their government is based around CITIZENS who are all subservient to the central military authority. Citizens are required to serve if they want to gain full rights within their society which means they've essentially scrapped democracy as a concept. So both societies showcase what happens if democracy fails and is usurped by a terrible, more centralized power structure. While it's probably unlikely that OCP's power in and of itself led to the military might of Starship Troopers, the same strain of thinking that got Detroit where it was could have very easily led to the "veterans taking control" that creates the future of Starship Troopers. Tanooki continues: "This is what I believe went down in the Robocop universe. I believe that OCP and the Urban Rehabilitators were a proto-form of the Terran Federation which ended up taking over. While it can be debated whether OCP is the precursor to Terran Fed or if the Terran gov. is a similar entity with the same idea, the reality is they likely exist in the same universe. OCP was unsuccessful in the films, the power vacuum that was left in society called for a new centralized force to maintain order and security at a time when neither were guaranteed."
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The film highlights a major flaw in the Human logic: they viewed their enemy as inferior. Few in the Federation understood their enemy at the beginning, like Rico's Biology teacher. She highlights the Bug's many strengths, reproducing in vast numbers, has no fear, no ego, can colonize other worlds by hurling their spore into Space, whereas Rico denounces them as 'just a bug'. Another is the Fed-Net Expert who warns that there has to be a leadership caste within the Bugs as a major reason of how they won at Klendathu. Only she is immediately ridiculed by the other 'Expert', whom says, "Frankly, I find the idea of a bug that thinks offensive!" It wasn't until after the massacre at Klendathu that the Humans realized their enemy is more of a threat than they originally thought.

Humans degrade the Bug Warriors, saying the Bug Warrior "...isn't too smart". On Fed-Net, Carl shows how to kill a Bug Warrior by shooting the nerve stem. This shows how to kill a single Bug, but not how to kill an entire, coordinated, army of Bugs. On the other hand, the Bugs know how Humans function. They take prisoners and by sucking out their brains, they gain intelligence on not just individual Humans, but also military intelligence, enabling them to adapt and coordinate in large numbers.

Going back to what Rico's Biology teacher said, the Bugs can reproduce in large numbers and with seemingly having no fear or concept of what death is, they are not afraid of dying in vast numbers so long as the day is won. Whereas the Humans are staggered after losing 100,000 dead in a single hour at Klendathu.

Other strengths Bugs possess: they can launch meteors towards Earth using their Plasma Bugs, and inflict horrific casualties. Those same Plasma Bugs can coordinate their fire against the Fleet at Klendathu and Planet P with great accuracy. They took out Lt. Rasczak radio-man before they reached Whiskey Outpost thereby impairing their ability to call for help when the Outpost is later attacked. Instead of going over the wall, the Bugs tunneled under the Outpost and killed the original garrison with relative ease as shown by the few Bug bodies compared to Human bodies. When Rasczak's platoon is defending the Outpost, the Bugs send seemingly their entire army at once, along with 'air' and 'tank' support. Such a tactic wasn't used by the Humans when they tried to invade Klendathu before. Perhaps their greatest tactic, they manipulated Farley to calling for help after the Outpost had been overrun. The Humans didn't think the Bugs could do such a thing, and therefore didn't suspect a trap.

This ultimately showed that the Humans' "superior" mindset over the Bugs led to extremely dire consequences and devastation.
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Zander says to the Brain Bug that one day someone like him will kill it and it's whole race, foreshadowing Starship Troopers 3: Marauder (2008) in which it gets killed by Fleet Intel officer Dix Hauser.
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In the movie is shown as for the shooting practices are used laser guns, instead fire guns. Curiously, laser guns never are shown to be used in real battles. An interesting detail revealed to be an evidence of a totalitarian system that rejects futuristic and more deadly weapons to kill enemies in favor of classic bullets weapons although it imply more casualties in its own troops.
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When Djana'D accidentally kills Breckenridge by blowing off half the top of his head it's similar to an insect society when a female praying mantis kills the male by decapitating it after mating.
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