Starship Troopers

…is the new Art of War.

And in that vein, it’s worth noting all the amusing butthurt among moron fans of the original Verhoeven dreck at the news that someone is going to do it right.

[Update a few minutes later[

Speaking of classic science fiction, an ode to Harlan Ellison, who is still with us.

And from occasional commenter Laura Montgomery, “How John Varley Broke My Heart But Other Science Fiction Writers Shouldn’t Have To“: some thoughts on space regulations.

[Late-evening update]

Link to Laura Montgomery’s blog was broken. Fixed now. Sorry!

8 thoughts on “Starship Troopers”

  1. Years ago, Insty interviewed Tim Minnear, and he expressed interest in making a Starship Troopers, and Moon is a Harsh Mistress movie.. . . . When justifying WHY a Starship Troopers movie should be made he said something like, “I think fans would like a movie made about the book, created by someone who read the effing book.”


  2. It would be really nice if the new ST movie adhered to the book with regard to tech and story. The technology to film (via cgi) full exoskeleton combats suited guys bouncing around and lobbing nukes certainly exists

    1. Yep. And keeping it true to the book would be great, but I’m doubtful it will happen in any way that makes the movie successful. Movie production, like the mainstream news media is a wholly owned subsidiary of the left. Someone, someplace in power will be working hard to sabotage it and make sure nothing like it gets started again.

      1. Agree, and there’s not a lot of talent outside (and what’s there is usually berated to pretend like they don’t disagree with the left and black list projects); so you end up with stuff like the Atlas Shrugged movies, which are tolerable, but otherwise a disappointment.

  3. It’ll be interesting to see what, if anything, emerges from the fens of development.

    The thing I found interesting about Verhoeven’s SST was just how much of the actual Heinlein source material survived in the long stretches of rock-em-sock-em space opera between the interstitial bits of left-wing peace-nik snark.

    Basil Pouledoris’s score was also first class and played very straight. It was as good as his work for the ‘Conan’ movies and exceeded only by his masterpiece score for ‘The Hunt for Red October.’

    While there were a lot of things in Verhoeven’s SST that strongly hinted he had never read the actual book – the weirdly Aryan casting and portrayal of the future version of Buenos Aires being most prominent – I attribute this to the common Hollywood practice of having nameless, faceless “readers” digest source material and produce “treatments” whose brevity would make even Reader’s Digest wince.

    There were two significant changes in Verhoeven’s SST, anent Heinlein, that I thought were actually good, dramatically. One was combining the characters of Mr. DuBois and Lt. Rasczak. The other was making Dizzy Flores female and Johnny Rico’s unrequited pre-military pursuer. A peripheral character and incidental death in Heinlein’s story carried a lot more centrality and dramatic punch in Verhoeven’s telling.

    In order to do this, of course, Verhoeven had to make the Mobile Infantry co-ed. The way the MI were portrayed in the filmic SST – un-augmented soldiers in futuristic body armor – made this a pure exercise in PC and opportunities for gratuitous female nudity. Not that there’s anything wrong with that. Especially when the female in question is the awesomely yummy Dina Meyer.

    But a co-ed military makes much more sense when it’s a force based on heavily augmented soldiers in vacuum-tight powered armored suits as Heinlein originally had it. Heinlein’s MI was stag, but Joe Haldeman’s very comparable UNEF in ‘The Forever War’ was not. Differential upper body strength is irrelevant when the suit provides all the “muscle.” To be fair, Heinlein’s SST made it very clear that the “Fleet” was co-ed and that women even had the majority of pilot slots.

    Here’s hoping the new SST retains Verhoeven’s borrowings from Haldeman. Maybe Denise Richards and Dina Meyer can be offered cameos as ship’s captains. To play female MI troopies I think I’d prefer to cast actresses of roughly the same age Richards and Meyer were in the 1996 SST – Hailee Steinfeld and Demi Lovato would be excellent picks.

  4. The guys in the news article were commenting how it’s futile to remake a Verhoeven movie. Well I have to disagree. Total Recall (1990) was IMO crap and the newer one (2012) is much better. Despite what IMDB or metacritic says. Starship Troopers didn’t feel right without the main plot item behind the whole way the Mobile Infantry in the book works, namely the exoskeleton, most fans of the book agree with this. With modern CGI there’s no reason for not having the exoskeletons. Even back then it made no sense to cut them back.

    1. We could also have done without the PSI. Verhoeven did make several things right though. The bugs aren’t just humanoid insects, which makes them IMO more interesting, and yes those character changes Dick mention also made sense. Also without having the proper background its hard to imagine how that government structure got into place. The movie just glossed over the backstory.

      We may also get a Dune movie in a couple of years. Legendary Entertainment bought the movie rights recently.

  5. Decades ago, I went to see Harlan Ellison in a freewheeling gathering at my college. He was asked about Heinlein; he volunteered that he liked Bob just fine, but wife Ginny was a b-i-t-c-h. (He may have used a less acceptable word there, can’t remember for sure. Whatever it was, I’m pretty sure he spelled it.)

    At the time, he and Heinlein were tied in Hugo wins with four each. Ginny had gone out of her way to point out that Bob’s Hugos were for novels, therefore more worthy than Harlan’s. Anyway, Ellison’s ego was bruised, an unforgivable transgression.

    And Ellison has racked up a lot more Hugos since. It’s easy for me to imagine he directed a mental “so there” dagger at Ginny after each one.

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