"There are no dangerous weapons. There are only dangerous men."- Sgt. Charles Zim
Robert A. Heinlein's Hugo Award winning novel Starship Troopers is one of the greatest sci-fi novels of all time. Whether or not you agree with the politics presented in the book, it was an important work of science fiction because it explored the politics of a space militia. Many elements of this book also inspired a lot of other works including books (Joe Haldeman's The Forever War, John Steakley's Armor, John Scalzi's Old Man's War, and John Ringo's Legacy of the Aldenata...I am still not sure if Orson Scott Card's Ender series was inspired by Starship Troopers), films (the colonial marines from Aliens were modelled after the Mobile Infantry, in fact they used terms that present in the book ["bug hunt", "drop", etc.]), anime (Yoshiyuki Tomino was directly influenced by Starship Troopers when he created Mobile Suit Gundam), and video games (Warhammer 40,000, StarCraft, Armorines: Project S.W.A.R.M., and the Halo series).
An anime OVA adaptation of Starship Troopers was released in 1988. The designs for the Mobile Infantry's power armors were created by Kaztuaka Miyatake, who is famous for his work on Macross (the source material for the first third of Robotech). Say for one scene on YouTube, I have not seen the anime. I really wish that either someone would post it on YouTube with subtitles or that it would be released in the U.S. on DVD/Blu-Ray. I am very interested to see what they did with the source material.
Perhaps the most famous version of the story, and admittedly the version that got me interested in the Mobile Infantry, was the 1997 film. It was directed by Paul Verhoeven, who directed Robocop (one of my all-time favorite films, which should not have been given a crappy remake) and Total Recall (another great sci-fi film that also got an unnecessary remake). The movie deviates from the book....alot. Sure there are some similarities to the book, but the similarities are only superficial. For example- what happened to the Squishies and why didn't they use the effects to create the power armor from the book?! But unlike some movies that are supposedly based on books but completely deviate from them to the point that they're barely recognizable (Eragon [no relation to Baragon nor Barugon] and World War Z- I am looking at you with strong contempt), I actually kind of like this film. The story's a decent one and the battles between the bugs and the Mobile Infantry are awesome (probably because of the inner THEM, The Black Scorpion, and The Beginning of the End fan in me). If you want another opinion about the differences between the book and the film, I strongly recommend watching The Dom's Lost in Translation review of the film and book. www.youtube.com/watch?v=MRYtTM… I also recommend checking out Krimson Rogue's review of it in his The Book Was Better series. www.youtube.com/watch?v=aadZeY… Oh, and as for the DVD sequels- I absolutely hated them. The most tolerable one was Starship Troopers: Invasion, but even that was so-so (it felt like I was watching cut-scenes from a video game that you didn't get to play to earn said cut-scenes). I also haven't seen Roughnecks: Starship Troopers Chronicles (so I have no opinions on it). On December 2011, it was announced that there would be a remake of Starship Troopers. The results, even if they aren't good, will still be interesting.
With this piece, I wanted to pay tribute to both the book and the legacy that it inspired. I hope you will enjoy this piece.
Starship Troopers- copyright Robert A. Heinlein, G. P. Putnam's Sons, Ace books
Starship Troopers- copyright Sunrise, Bandai Visual
Starship Troopers- copyright Tristar Pictures, Buena Vista International, Touchstone Pictures, Jon Davison Productions