Watching Starship Troopers Post 9/11   April 24th, 2010

Originally Written 03/19/08

When we were hanging out this weekend, my friend Lonnie wanted to watch Starship Troopers, which was fine for me as it’s an entertaining flic. I love how the first half of it is like an Aaron Spelling show in space, which is some goofy, silly fun, then once they get to the action the effects and CGI and design of the bugs are most excellent. It was an enjoyable way to flit away a lazy Saturday afternoon, eating junk food and hanging out.

I was also struck by a bit of a surprise at watching the film post 9/11. There’s a good deal of unplanned parallels to things going on today, even if we aren’t fighting giant bugs. First there’s a group of young adults who join up with the military during peacetime to better their lives. A vicious surprise attack by an enemy propels everybody into war, which is greatly underestimated at first.

Also, while it was satire and exaggeration, the media propaganda hit home in a few spots, including predicting having embedded reporters with the troops on the missions. Of course it’s missing the left half of the news machine, but except for a couple of throw-away lines there is no dissent among the population. Everybody agrees this is an enemy that needs to be fought and wiped out, but then it’s a battle drama, so the writing calls for that.

Anyway, it’s not a serious political treatise, it’s just something I noticed, that watching this goofy film from 1997 reads a little different in the paranoid 2000s. Damn I miss the late 90s, when the money flowed freely and the biggest thing we had to worry about was who the president was getting oral sex from.

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