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Old 02-18-03, 11:26 AM   #1
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What government is in place in Starship Troopers?

Since I dare not talk about politics in other, I'll ask you guys for comments.

Summary follows:

Yes, that's right. Heinlein wrote the book in the late 1950's. Johnny Rico was from Buenos Aires and it gets destroyed by a bug attack, making him think both his parents are dead. I read the book after I played this game the first time (and before I ever saw that movie), so I wonder if Fred and Paul were giving a nod to Heinlein's story.


Title: Re: Most Obscure Bit of Dialogue and/or Detail?
Post by Dave Morse on Dec 18th, 2002, 3:55am



They're real bugs, but there are only 4 types: Worker, Warrior, Brain, Queen. No "Orbital Defense Fart Bugs".

But the bugs were /not/ the cool part of ST. In fact they were totally generic. The coolest part of ST was the powered armor. AFAIK this was the first serious Sci-Fi appearance of what is now an anime staple. And when they went to translate it into the movie they just decided to drop it because it wasn't "essential" to what they were trying to do.

I think the movie was trying to make fun of fascism. And make fun of the fact that most people wouldn't know fascism unless it had Nazi(TM) stamped on it.

I'm not sure if the book was also trying to make fun of fascism, or if it was secretly advocating it, or just trying to present the facts in an unbiased light. I guess the latter, but would be interested to know what others think.



Title: Re: Most Obscure Bit of Dialogue and/or Detail?

Post by Casey Monroe on Dec 18th, 2002, 11:36pm



The reason why the suits were dropped from the movie is because the outsides of the suits would all look exactly the same, and no one would be able to tell which characters were which--not to mention the fact that it would preclude any opportunity for "acting". Of course, considering how ST went, maybe it would have been better that way...



Title: Re: Most Obscure Bit of Dialogue and/or Detail?
Post by Dave Morse on Dec 19th, 2002, 12:02am



A Starship Troopers adaptation without powered armor is like Moby Dick with no whale.



Title: Re: Most Obscure Bit of Dialogue and/or Detail?

Post by Niahak on Dec 19th, 2002, 12:53am



I would say the Starship Troopers movie was OK on its own...
The fact is, a movie made directly from the book probably wouldn't make that good a movie.
What's so fun about some guy bounding off hills launching nukes everywhere?
Although the planet (don't remember name)scene would've been cool. And the launch system, too.
I don't think it would preclude acting, since suits could be different for each person.
Oh yeah, and in the book Dizzy was male. So they couldn't have had that excuse for the topless scene(s?). ;D
All in all, I'd watch a more loyal remake, but I don't know if the general populace would like it.




Title: Re: Most Obscure Bit of Dialogue and/or Detail?
Post by Black Monk on Dec 19th, 2002, 6:16pm



A ton of the book was introspective thoughts by the protagonist. In a visual media people want visual action, not someone sitting around thinking about things while a voiceover yaps about getting over the hump in boot camp or hearing about his father dying, etc.

A direct translation to the movie screen would have had very limited mass appeal and would have been long and boring.

'sides, Dizzy had a topless scene! Mmmmm...



Title: Re: Most Obscure Bit of Dialogue and/or Detail?
Post by Chax on Dec 20th, 2002, 12:55am



:

None of you have it right
take it from someone who's parents were close friends to the author.

it has NOTHING to do with Facism or whatever, it is another method of goverment that Heinline put foreward, and to me works a lot better then our current one.

There were more forms of bugs then just 4, there were the acid bugs which were shown in the movie as well.

Heinline was a fantastic author and a very good friend to my parents. I respect the creators for reconizing him, i only wish i was born soon enough to meet him like my sisters..



Title: Re: Most Obscure Bit of Dialogue and/or Detail?
Post by Dave Morse on Dec 20th, 2002, 2:50am




on 12/20/02 at 00:55:50, Chax wrote:

it has NOTHING to do with Facism or whatever, it is another method of goverment that Heinline put foreward, and to me works a lot better then our current one.


I regard the central tenet of Fascism to be that the individual's needs are subservient to the needs of the state. ST seemed to have a sort of two tiered, semi-fascist system: citizens (i.e. willing fascists), and non-citizens (who enjoyed most of the advantages of American citizens, but not the right to vote). Its interesting how the balance was struck, and how that gets rid of some of the nasty problems with fascism - like when you get too old to be productive you have to jump off a cliff.

Of course the other tendancy of fascism is to put forward a Mussolini style charismatic leader. ST definately didn't have that.




Title: Re: Most Obscure Bit of Dialogue and/or Detail?
Post by unigolyn on Jan 28th, 2003, 8:47pm




Quote:
on 12/20/02 at 02:50:03, Dave Morse wrote:

I regard the central tenet of Fascism to be that the individual's needs are subservient to the needs of the state. ST seemed to have a sort of two tiered, semi-fascist system: citizens (i.e. willing fascists), and non-citizens (who enjoyed most of the advantages of American citizens, but not the right to vote). Its interesting how the balance was struck, and how that gets rid of some of the nasty problems with fascism - like when you get too old to be productive you have to jump off a cliff.

That's not the central tenet of just Fascism - it's the central tenet of every collectivist political philosophy.

And Paul Verhoeven's cinematic accomplishments notwithstanding - he's a moron when it comes to interpreting Heinlein. The society put forth in Starship Troopers isn't Fascist at all - it's a democratic meritocracy. It's not fascism, just a form of democracy that's different from the ones we have. Basically, citizenship (i.e. voting and eligibility for public office) is not a right - it is a privilege to be earned. EVERYONE has an opportunity to earn it, it's just not automatically given to everyone. And I have to say I agree - running a government (by picking who runs it) isn't something anyone can do just cause they want to. After all, the poster boy of fascism, Adolf Hitler was ELECTED, because people were deceived by his talk of grandeur and racist rhetoric. And Heinlein's 'federal service' certainly includes political education, making a retired Starship Trooper better equipped to vote for a competent leader instead of some slick powerhungry politician (note: no one in actual military service is allowed to vote, or serve in public office, you get citizenship AFTER service). And most Heinlein fans agree that 'federal service' was actually a much larger concept than mere military service, since the failure rate in military recruitment was a whopping 99 percent.

The society itself wasn't fascist at all, it was clearly a free, capitalist society. In the movie, Rico's parents were highly against citizenship and the federation, and had no qualms in voicing their disapproval. There is no freedom of expression in a fascist society, especially expression that's critical of the government.

Verhoeven proved himself an idiot when he called Starship Troopers a fascist book and made a movie where they all wear Nazi uniforms. Oddly, he did include the egalitarian nature of book - all races and all sexes have equal standing in the government and military, and the space fleet is actually largely dominated by women.

As a shoot 'em up sci fi action movie, however, I loved ST to pieces, and I still love Verhoeven's movies, especially Total Recall.



-------------------------
Some interesting points. Do you think a SST like govt. is a straight up utopia, or does it accuratly portray nazism sans uniform?
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Old 02-24-03, 12:39 PM   #2
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Re: What government is in place in Starship Troopers?



It is an age since I read the book and, to date, I have not seen the film.
Quote:
Originally posted by RoQuEr
Since I dare not talk about politics in other, I'll ask you guys for comments.

[massive snip]

Some interesting points. Do you think a SST like govt. is a straight up utopia, or does it accuratly portray nazism sans uniform?
I know from posts past that there are some Heinlein fans in the forum but perhaps I was not alone in finding the quoted chunk of material a little difficult to follow...?

.... maybe I will now compound the problem by adding some additional quotes/links I found!
Quote:
Starship Troopers isn't really a book about the military, being a soldier, or even government; it's a book about civic virtue, and what distinguishes a citizen -- in the sense of one who recognizes that, with rights, come responsibilities, and that the two are proportional -- from a non-citizen. The military is a good model for this discussion, because it involves (at least theoretically and, I think, usually in practice) a relatively straightforward instance of consciously placing the interests of your society above your own personal interests.
See also:
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Old 02-24-03, 08:48 PM   #3
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Thinking about it again after reading those comments, the gov't there does remind me quite a bit of some of the Ancient Greek gov'ts. I guess you might call that a merit-based democracy -- though more focused on wealth -- ie. landowning. The principle is there though.

edit -- I was thinking more of the Roman Empire. Citizens, allies, etc.

Actually, I might just be rambling here. I did like the ideas the book brought up and given the right conditions, something like that might work really well, but it's really hard to see something like that actually being properly implemented -- apparently in the book it came about as the result of a series of bloody civil wars and whatnot.

oh well.

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Old 02-24-03, 09:04 PM   #4
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Re: Re: What government is in place in Starship Troopers?

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Old 02-24-03, 09:46 PM   #5
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It's been awhile since I've read the book but I don't recall it being a facist state at all. It was a system in which those people who choose to make the running of the country part of what they wanted to do would have to serve their time first. A merit based democracy as one of the posts above mentioned. IIRC Rico's father was pretty well to do w/o being a citizen (maybe that was just in the movie though) so it seems like even non-citizens can make something of themselves. IIRC the main thrust of ST (or maybe it was Forever War I read them back to back and I'm constantly confusing parts of them ) was more about the glorification of war and the use of propaganda (by any Gov't) to do it despite the fact when it came down to it war is an ugly thing in any sense of the word.
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Old 02-24-03, 10:53 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally posted by nemein
It's been awhile since I've read the book but I don't recall it being a facist state at all. It was a system in which those people who choose to make the running of the country part of what they wanted to do would have to serve their time first. A merit based democracy as one of the posts above mentioned. IIRC Rico's father was pretty well to do w/o being a citizen (maybe that was just in the movie though) so it seems like even non-citizens can make something of themselves. IIRC the main thrust of ST (or maybe it was Forever War I read them back to back and I'm constantly confusing parts of them ) was more about the glorification of war and the use of propaganda (by any Gov't) to do it despite the fact when it came down to it war is an ugly thing in any sense of the word.
Your memories may be from "Forever War" -- haven't read it -- because they don't match up to ST. Also, by the end of ST the book, Rico's dad has joined up after his wife (Rico's Mom) and sister were killed by a bug meteorite somewhere. Funny scenes with him as a private meeting his officer son.

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Old 02-24-03, 11:08 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally posted by nemein
IIRC the main thrust of ST (or maybe it was Forever War I read them back to back and I'm constantly confusing parts of them ) was more about the glorification of war and the use of propaganda (by any Gov't) to do it despite the fact when it came down to it war is an ugly thing in any sense of the word.
That's a whole lot closer to Haldeman's vision that Heinlein's. Read The Forever War, folks. It's important, especially now.
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Old 03-25-17, 02:53 AM   #8
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Re: What government is in place in Starship Troopers?

I just watched the film in 35mm on Monday and from stuff that I read online -- Verhoeven never even read the novel. It says that he started to, but found it dull. Ed Neumier had read it and basically summarized it for Paul. In essence, Starship Troopers, the film, is a mishmash of fascism, meritocracy, elitism, etc.

Also, keep in mind that that in the film Rico is only there for the girl, Dizzy is there for Rico, Ibanez is there, because she wants to be, as is Carl. These primary characters all come from money. The supporting characters, some minorities, are there, because the Federation will pay for Harvard, red head with the short hair wants to have babies, and so forth. Sure, they're not treated any different, but there's definitely class issues involved.

I'll have to read the novel again. I saw the DTV sequel Marauders years ago and it was awful. They say that Part 3 is decent, and that Invasion rocks. I'll have to peep those out.
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Old 05-01-17, 09:16 AM   #9
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Re: What government is in place in Starship Troopers?

The novel has a bare minimum of plot, held together by big chunks of political philosophy and discussions of soldierly virtues.

Verhoven, who was bombed by the Nazis when he was a boy, decided that Starship Troopers was a celebration of fascism, and made the movie a satire of militarism.
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