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Franchise / Starship Troopers

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"Bugs, Mr. Rico! Zillions of 'em! I'm-a burnin' them down!"

Starship Troopers has spanned across multiple media related franchises. It started off with the politically controversial Robert A. Heinlein novel. It was later followed by a short-lived (and quasi-legal) Anime adaptation, a polarizing Paul Verhoeven film and its sequels, a CGI animated TV series, and two CGI films. There was also a pair of table-top strategy games that had some limited success, a d20 System RPG, and at least two computer games. There was even a comic book series done by three different publishers.

The various forms of media tend to share the general theme and look of the Verhoeven film while frequently blending it with elements from the book.

The movie was so popular that there was a even a toy series based on the movie.

Not to be confused with that song by a prog-rock band (which in any case was "Starship Trooper" singular), or the pop hit "I Lost My Heart To A Starship Trooper" by Sarah Brightman.

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The Book

  • Starship Troopers: The work that started the entire franchise. Written by Robert A. Heinlein, a noted science fiction author. The book explores a variety of political, social, and military themes. It is often noted as being controversial for said themes. Examples include citizenship gained via serving in the military,note  co-ed service which at the time was quite controversial, themes of corporal punishment such as public lashings, and (other than the Lensman) being one of the first notable use of power armor in literature. The book is notably popular among the members of the U.S. military.


The film that parodied the book. Verhoeven was critical of the themes and did his best to make fun of the book. The end result was a satirical sci-fi action movie mixed with black comedy. The film gained a large following leading to spin offs the franchise in various ways.

  • Starship Troopers (1997) - The Federation is going to war! Buenos Aires was hit by an asteroid sent by those dirty bugs! We're gonna ship out to Klendathu, the bug homeworld, and wipe out every last stinking bug we see!
  • Starship Troopers 2: Hero of the Federation - (An all new cast!) The last remaining survivors of a Mobile Infantry force are taking cover in an abandoned outpost, waiting for a transport to escape an approaching bug army. Unfortunately, they don't realise that there's a new kind of bug, a parasitic mind-controlling bug, and they want to go back to Earth, too...
  • Starship Troopers 3: Marauder - Sky Marshall Omar Anoke is on a tour, performing his smash hit "It's A Good Day To Die! (When you know the reasons why!)" to the frontline troops. His ship is forced to make an emergency crash-landing on a bug-infested world, where his guards are picked off one by one, and he struggles to survive till a rescue party gets there. Meanwhile, Johnny Rico returns to lead the new Marauder power-suit team. But will he reach the Sky Marshall in time!?
  • Starship Troopers: Invasion
  • Starship Troopers: Traitor of Mars


  • Starship Troopers: The anime more closely followed the book, to a point. It had powered armor more inline with what the book envisioned. The bugs even had energy weapons. However, the bugs start the war via a series of attacks on civilian and military targets, which is more in line with the main plot driver of the movie.

Comic Books

  • Starship Troopers: Insect Touch (1997)
  • Starship Troopers: Brute Creations (1997)
  • Starship Troopers (1997) - Adaptation of the first movie.
  • Starship Troopers: Dominant Species (1998)
  • Starship Troopers: Blaze of Glory (2006)
  • Starship Troopers: Dead Man's Hand (2006)
  • Starship Troopers (2006-2008)
  • Starship Troopers: Damaged Justice (2006-2007)


Tabletop Games
  • Starship Troopers This 1976 Avalon Hill game used the conflict-zones of the book as a setting, without getting into anything beyond the strategy/tactics of warfare with the Powered Armor and other tech-items. It was one of Avalon Hill's entry level games, meaning that its seven levels could be easily set up and played in under a couple of hours. For a stone strategy gamer it wasn't very satisfying. You had to practically try to lose, for the Bugs or Skinnies to come out the winner. Some issues of The General (Avalon Hill's in-house magazine) included new scenarios along with rules for orbital bombardment, neo-dogs, and Bug and Terran heavy weapons, among other things.
  • Starship Troopers: The Roleplaying Game, and Starship Troopers: The Miniatures Game, released in 2005 by Mongoose Publishing, is at its core based on the "Roughnecks" series if you must be specific, but basically says Throw It In to elements from just about everything else from the other sources. A Mobile Infantry unit, for example, can be made up of standard Roughnecks troopers, Movie-style "Light" Troopers, Marauder Powered Armored troops, or a mix of all three and then some.

Video Games

  • Starship Troopers: Simply called Starship Troopers, published in 2005 by Empire Interactive and set after the events of the movie, the FPS game managed to be incredibly fun despite having absolutely no right to be. Of the 9 weapons available, 7 were rapid fire, including the missile launcher. 5 of those were just variations on the Morita Mk2 rifle seen in the movie. The Nuke Launcher also made an appearance, but rare ammo and ever bigger and harder battles meant it was often Too Awesome to Use. Enemies came in two varieties: ones you couldn't kill because you couldn't hit them, and ones you couldn't kill because they had absurd amounts of health and armour and could often only be hurt by attacking tiny, constantly moving weak spots. This also lead to bosses regularly taking over an hour to kill. Both kinds of enemies appeared in droves: the CD case boasts about the game's revolutionary SWARM engine being capable of fielding over 300 enemies at once, but apparently no one told Strangelite, the developers, that this didn't mean they had to always have 300 enemies attacking you at any one point. Expect body counts well into the thousands even in the first level. Cutscenes consisted largely of footage taken from the films, which in turn led to the majority of the game locations looking identical to film locations, despite being allegedly different places.
  • Starship Troopers: Terran Ascendancy
  • Starship Troopers: Terran Command
  • Starship Troopers: Extermination

Western Animation

  • Roughnecks: Starship Troopers Chronicles: A CGI animated series that takes elements from both the original book and the Verhoeven film. It follows "Razak's Roughnecks" through their conflict with the bugs. The series was divided up into a series of five episode long arcs, each one covering the Roughneck's battles through a campaign on one planet.