'Starship Troopers' Fan Theories That Might Be Too Good To Be True
Starship Troopers was not a massive critical hit when it was released, but the odd, fascistic world the film creates has spawned years of conversations and theorizing.
The film is centered around a simple plotline, with Johnny Rico, a typical action hero, getting caught up in both a love triangle and a generic space-faring adventure. It's only upon a closer examination of the film that its shell of normalcy begins to crack, and you realize everything may not be as it seems.
Paul Verhoeven, the director of Starship Troopers, has made it very clear fans are not simply imagining the film's subtext and deeper meaning. It was his intention to create a film that makes you initially root for the main characters and only later realize their actions may not have been so heroic. It's no surprise a film dripping in this much subtext has set the internet ablaze with scores of Starship Troopers fan theories.
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'Starship Troopers' Is A Propaganda Film
Starship Troopers frequently cuts away to some sort of computer desktop screening Federation news. Redditor /u/HowlsRegularCastle argues this is because the entire film is Federation propaganda, and those cutaways are the commercial breaks.
This theory would also explain why all of the supposed soldiers in the film look like supermodels, and why none of the main characters ever seem to question the morality of the Federation's decisions.
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The Conflict Exists To Prevent Overpopulation
What problems does a utopian society have? According to Redditor /u/Shazaamism327, a society on the level of the Federation, with world peace and advanced technology, would be most concerned with overpopulation.
This Redditor makes the argument that the Federation promotes military service and keeps itself involved in a perpetual clash as a way to keep population numbers down. The conflict works to prevent overpopulation, stimulate the economy by constantly making vehicles of war, and discourage infighting on Earth by making the Arachnids into a common enemy.
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The Federation's Military Is Incredibly Incompetent
Maybe the destruction of Buenos Aires and losing the assault on Klendathu were both done on purpose, or maybe the Federation is just incredibly incompetent when it comes to its military. When you think about it, it makes sense that a one-world government with no infighting would be fairly rusty when it comes to military prowess.
Redditor /u/Squigs makes a compelling case for the Federation's military incompetence by analyzing the assault on Klendathu. It fails so spectacularly because of the tight formation of the Federation's starships, but when we see the Federation's next assault, this strategy has not changed.
A comment by a former Redditor outlines the military's incompetence further. For one thing, the troopers' main strategy throughout the movie is to retreat at the first sight of bugs. For another, their military arms in the film have every attachment you can think of except an aiming device of any sort. They are constantly marching into conflicts they are completely unprepared to fight.
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The Arachnids Aren't The Bad Guys
#BugsCan'tThrowAsteroidsAcrossSpace is a hashtag that no one has ever used, but it perfectly encapsulates the basis of many theories in the Starship Troopers community. Redditor /u/Amrlkjaneway isn't afraid to do a little math to back it up.
Assuming the bugs don't have the capability to launch asteroids at light speed and are thus launching the giant rocks at regular ol' asteroid speed, it would take 500 million years for an asteroid to get all the way to Earth from the bug homeworld. This means the asteroid could not have been sent by the bugs in a deliberate strike against humans. With this in mind, it seems highly unlikely that the bugs started or are perpetuating the conflict.
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The Federation Is Behind The Buenos Aires Tragedy
If you've seen the film, you know a major part of Johnny Rico's motivation to stay with the Federation is the destruction of his hometown of Buenos Aires, allegedly at the hands (or legs?) of the Arachnids. This theory, proposed by Redditor /u/shawn123456, claims the destruction of Buenos Aires was actually done by the Federation itself to give the military a reason to storm the bug homeworld.
While a military organization targeting its own people is extreme, the film - through Neil Patrick Harris's character - makes it clear early on the Federation is willing to do whatever it takes, including sacrificing its own troops on missions with no chance of victory.
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The Federation Wants To Lose On Klendathu
In the film, the strike on Klendathu goes horribly wrong, mostly due to bad intelligence concerning the beetles' ability to launch plasma missiles into space.
Redditor /u/hoobshanker doesn't believe the Federation could have possibly known so little about the plasma beetles' abilities, and instead thinks suffering a loss on this scale was another ploy by the Federation to garner civilian support for the conflict. This theory also brings to light how efficiently science officer Carl Jenkins is able to dispatch a bug early on in the film, but then during the clash of Klendathu, the troopers appear to struggle with eliminating any of them - almost as if they weren't trained to hit the bugs' weak spot in the first place.