On a planet of Big Creepy-Crawlies, a young bug named Bug is just another worker for the Overqueen, but he dreams of leaving Bug-World behind and joining the Starship Rangers, an elite group of humans who explore the galaxy. Bug has spent his whole life exploring the wreck of a Ranger starship that crashed many years ago, watching their video logs so often that he's even learnt the human language, but after the Overqueen decrees that Bug should become an eggplanter instead, it seems as though his dreams will never come true. That all changes when another starship arrives on Bug-World bearing a new team of Starship Rangers, among them the beautiful science officer February. It's Bug's chance to live his dream of being a Starship Ranger, but first he'll have to face off against robots, scorpions, corrupt traitors and true love in order to save his new friends and his entire world.Starship is a science-fiction musical theatre comedy from Team StarKid, the creators of A Very Potter Musical and Me and My Dick. Written by Matt Lang, Nick Lang, Brian Holden and Joe Walker, from a pitch by Walker and Darren Criss ("The Little MermaidmeetsAliens") and with music written by Criss, it was performed in early 2011 and released on DVD and YouTube on April 30. Within a few days of the soundtrack's release on iTunes, it rose to #3 on the iTunes sales charts in the US, the UK, Denmark and the Netherlands, #2 in Australia, Canada and Ireland, debuted at #1 on Billboard's Top Cast Albums chart (beating the record set by Me and My Dick, which reached #11), and even cracked Billboard's overall album sales chart, coming in at #134 after only three days of sales. It's distinct from other Team StarKid shows because the performance, which took place in Chicago, charged for the tickets, and a DVD of the performance was later released through their online store.You can watch the entire show on YouTube or buy the DVD and the soundtrack from their website.And no, they did not build this cityon rock and roll.
Starship provides examples of the following tropes:
Audible Sharpness: Taz's knife is so badass it has two: one provided by Taz, the other pre-recorded.
Aroused by Their Voice: Comments on the videos where Brian Holden and Dylan Saunders sing indicate that they have this effect.
Badass Mustache: Up has one. When it becomes apparent to Taz that he isn't the Bad Ass he once was, she rips it off and puts it on herself... only for Up to take out another one from one of his pouches and slap it on.
Blind and the Beast: When February and Bug first meet, February has been blinded by a mammal-wrangler's mucus and so she can't see that Bug is not really human.
Blue and Orange Morality: The Hive's code of ethics is a little... different. Many bugs very happily sacrifice themselves to be eaten alive by the Overqueen to nourish the eggs. Bugette's proposal to Bug about eating his head and planting her larvae in him is treated like being asked to have sex. In fact, most of this trope with the Hive revolves around happily eating things alive.
The Cameo: Many of the Team StarKid regulars show up in bit roles during the pre-recorded segments. Tyler Brunsman, Brian Rosenthal, Britney Coleman, Arielle Goldman, Nicholas Joseph Strauss-Matathia, Devin Lytle (as aSouthern Belle!) and Lily Marks all cameo as Starship Rangers in the opening ad, Richard Campbell is a blue-headed alien, and A.J. Holmes is the captain of the crashed starship.
The orientation speech at the hatchery — all newly hatched larvae eat the nearest mammal for nourishment. This is the fate that befalls Junior after he kills Bugette and her eggs hatch from inside her.
At the hatchery, Bug is warned that the gag reflexes of mammals makes it more difficult to implant eggs. When February figures out that Junior used her for egg implantation, she lists the possible reasons why — one of these being that she barely has a gag reflex, which would make egg implantation very easy.
Coconut Superpowers: In the live-stage production, the actor shooting the zapper had to say "pew" to signify shooting. In the Internet version, lasers were added... but the actors still say pew.
Combat Tentacles: After being captured by Autobots during the war, Up was held spread-eagled by tentacles while he was cut in half.
Curse Cut Short: Averted. In the intro recruitment video, the captain's log is filled with static. The captain says "Somebody F*static*KED UP BIG TIME!" When Bug and February watch a non-staticy version, the captain says "Somebody... FIRETRUCKED UP BIG TIME!
Dark Reprise: "Kick It Up a Notch" is a pretty evil song to begin with, but Junior's take on it is even more so. While Pincer displayed some kind of understandable motivation, Junior seems to be doing it mostly For the Evulz(weed money notwithstanding). Could also count as a kind of Triumphant Reprise since, at that moment, he seems to be winning.
Deal with the Devil: Pincer offers Bug the chance to become a human through use of a brain leech that can psychically link him to the mind of a Starship Ranger (who is brain-dead due to a malfunction in a cryotube that was in a starship crash 18 years prior, but whose body is still very much alive). Pincer's only condition? Bug must befriend the humans and bring them to him. Bug accepts, believing that Pincer only wants to be friends with them- not knowing that Pincer intends to eat them and let the Mosquito Brothers suck their blood).
Heart Is an Awesome Power: Why? Because a combination of it and breathing exercises can make three human-sized mosquitoes take in too much blood and violently explode.
Up: Bug was right! I just needed to learn to kill with my heart!
Heroic Sacrifice: Up (has his blood sucked out by the Mosquito Brothers), Krayonder, Bug (has himself and Pincer Thrown Out the Airlock by February to stop Pincer from killing the other Starship Rangers-sacrificing his human body in the process), Bugette (takes a bullet for Bug after Junior tries to shoot him). The first three get better (for example, Bug's mind goes back to his real body, similar to what happens in James Cameron's Avatar when Spellman's Avatar is killed in the final battle of the movie) but poor Bugette doesn't.
Hugh Mann: While Bug actually is in a human body, he frequently forgets it in casual conversation, leading to lines like "you humans." No one notices.
"No, that probably wouldn't work. It sounds stupid, and if I say it you'll think I'm stupid and then I'll be embarrassed."
The reply to above statement as well: "You don't have to be embarrassed in front of me, we're friends."
"I Want" Song: Bug's part in "I Wanna Be" is one, but it's turned into the "I Am" Song at the end of "Status Quo" after Bug becomes human through a brain leech that psychically links him to a brain-dead Starship Ranger in a cryotube whose ship crashed on Bug World 18 years prior.
Just Friends: Hinted at, Commander Up says that he likes Taz, but aside from almost losing his life to save hers, which it's probable he would do for any of the crew, there isn't any actual evidence. Her reaction to this could be construed as evidence that the feeling's mutual.
Literal Metaphor: Up's injury that caused him to go soft involved having his balls cut off. It also applies later when Up kills with his heart... by speeding up his heart rate and causing a surge of blood that causes the mosquitos to explode.
Logic Bomb: "I'm faster than the two of us combined"
Tootsie when attempting to talk to Megagirl for the first time; she says that she is not a woman, and he responds by yelling that not many people regard him as a man as he has never slept with a woman.
Also averted for every member of the Starship Rangers, who all thought that they were going to die virgins when captured by Mr. Spider.
As with every other StarKid production, Joe Walker. It helps that he's wearing a tight grey muscle-defining shirt.
Brian Holden looks damn fine in that costume of his.
Naïve Newcomer: Tootsie Noodles to the Rangers, and Bug to humanity in general.
The Needs of the Many: A major philosophy on Bug World, and repeated often. Bug doesn't understand what it means until he sacrifices himself to save February and the other Starship Rangers from Pincer.
Taz: It's your gun, stupid! Tootsie: That's not what I was using it for earlier, sorry.
Not So Different: Pincer and the Overqueen. Particularly that while he is a villain because he wishes to feast on human brains, this is actually not that different than the Overqueen routinely snacking on members of her own Hive.
During the Captain's SOS video he says "The hunters have become the hunted, and it's wabbit season."
Stealth Pun: Dylan Saunders played Dumbledore in AVPM and AVPS. In Starship, he appears in an early scene as a bumblebee. "Dumbledore" is an Early Modern English word for "bumblebee".
Take That: An absolutely epic one is given to Glee. To clarify, this quite clearly refers to Darren Criss, who had to cut back on his involvement in StarKid productions after being cast on the aforementioned show.
Up: Damn that G.L.E.E.! They're always making twisted abominations of everything!
Too Dumb to Live: A lot of the Humans seem to come across as not working with a full deck of cards.
Translation Convention: While on the BugWorld, the bugs speak a bug language to each other, though it's translated (for the audience's convenience) to English. Only Bug himself is fluent in both. There are times when it's pointed out that Bug is switching between Bug and English and that the characters of the opposite race can't understand him while he's speaking the other language. The only times the Bug language is spoken untranslated is when Bug first meets February and eloquently says "Wagaglolgalogal!" and at the end when Bug teaches February how to say "I love you."
Triang Relations: Type 4 with Bugette as Alice, Bug as Bob, and February as Claire.
Junior: Yeah, he's about to have an accident with his head and my zapper. Heheheheheh... AND THEN I'LL SHOOT HIM!!
World of Ham: Well, it is a StarKid production and it does have Joe Moses, Joey Richter, Joe Walker, and Lauren Lopez in it in prominent roles.
Writers Cannot Do Math: Possibly; It's been two years since Up's famous injury which happened in the final battle of the robot war. The robots who had ruled earth with a fist of iron for 100 years. You wouldn't have thought then, that 18 years ago anyone would have been able to go on space exploration jaunts to uncharted planets. Especially not with Up's description later that gives the impression it was more a rebellion than a war. Although, if you remember that Tootsie is from Farm World and there are presumably many planets in the Galactic League, it could stand to reason that Earth was lost to the Robot forces during the war and humanity briefly relocated its government elsewhere. This would explain why they were so desperate 18 years ago to secure new planets to colonise.
Year X: According to the Starship Captain's log, the first starship crashed on "Stardate 30XX".