A Starship Trooper screaming as a giant bug attacks.

Starship Troopers

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Updated Aug 19, 2021 at 03:20PM EDT by Adam B..

Added Aug 19, 2021 at 12:12PM EDT by Adam B..

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Starship Troopers is a 1997 science fiction film made by Dutch director Paul Verhoeven, based on Robert A. Heinlein's 1959 novel of the same name. The film follows young recruits sent to space to join the military in a war against armies of enormous alien bugs. The film was not well-received when it was released, but over time, it has come to be appreciated as a satire of the original book's perspective, as well as a broader satire of military and fascist propaganda in the digital age. This deeper reading of the film has inspired several memes.


Starship Troopers was written by renowned science fiction author Robert Heinlein, and received the 1960 Hugo Award for Best Novel. Since its publication, it has been both influential in its vision of interstellar war and controversial for its glorification of war and the military.[1]

Paul Verhoeven, director of Robocop and Total Recall_, adapted the book into a film that released on November 7, 1997, featuring cutting-edge CGI and visual effects techniques to realize the enemy alien Bugs. Verhoeven has said that he attempted to make a film that would comment on the militaristic and fascistic themes of the book, rather than faithfully adapting it. The widespread use of screens and propaganda are an important element of this satire.[1]


Starship Troopers was a disappointment upon its initial release. Rotten Tomatoes reports that the film received 65% positive reviews, with many finding the film repetitive and criticizing the performances of the lead actors.[2] According to Verhoeven, speaking in a later interview, "We were accused by the Washington Post of being neo-Nazis […] It was tremendously disappointing. They couldn't see that all I have done is ironically create a fascist utopia."[1]

However, in the 2010s, the film received a critical reappraisal as these themes became clearer to audiences, and people drew comparisons between the film and real life politics and media. According to an article in The New Yorker by David Roth, "the present has caught up to Verhoeven’s acid vision of the future."[3]


The film is best known online for having a framing device where a cursor is clicking between different video clips that link sections of the story using commercials, informational broadcasts, news reports and other forms of propaganda.

Several memes have been created from these sequences, including I'm Doing My Part and Would You Like To Know More?

In addition, the film has become a source for memes in niche communities, such as the "Starship Troopers Nukeposting" Facebook group.[4]

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