Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Starship Troopers - Adaptation Roll Call

Let us take a look at all the adaptations for this Heinlein novel from 1959 going in chronological order starting where it first began.

The Novel

"There are no dangerous weapons; there are only dangerous men."
 -Sergeant Zim

The novel that started this little adaptation craze...although it seemingly took several decades to occur. A story of war and humanities place in it along with the moralaty of violence. Definately controversial and in today's light the views can seem a bit jarring especialy if your political views are askewed from it. Still the millitary and combat portions specifically the power armor and drop pods of the book are very well handled and I would reocmend reading it (it is also fairly short) as it is very enjoyable and I could not put it down.

The Anime OVA

Yes indeed the first on screen adaptation, Released in 1988 in japan as Uchū no Senshi . It was never given an international release and the only way to find this is to track down a Laser Disc (remember those bad boys) version over in Godzilla's domain. For the time the animation was decent though the story did take several liberties with the source material. Still it was for the most part faithful to the broader ideals of the book when it came to the combat sequences (keeping in the awesome power armor). looking at the above cover one gets vague Gundam overtones and indeed it was made by the same company...and adding to this Gundam borrowed heavily on the ideas for mecha from star ship troopers so it is fun to see it come full circle so to speak. All in all it is a decent series in it's own right and worth a watch if you can track down a copy.

The Movie

 Now here we get into the territory that most know. The 1997 theatrical film directed by Paul Verhoeven (of Robo Cop fame). As far as an adaptation goes this one is crap. Originally not even based on the novel instead it was a completely original screen play entitled "Bug Hunt at Outpost Nine" some one noticed the similarities to SST and the studio managed to acquire the rights and just re-named characters and settings as needed. The director hated the novel even though he admitted to not reading it. Still having said this the film is definately a guilt pleasure of mine. Many of the actors fit their roll perfectly and the SFX looks good even from todays standards, most of you have probably seen this one but if not go over to netflix and check it out.

The CGI Series

By far my favorite adaptation. Released in 1999 this CGI cartoon took elements of the movie and added back in many of the elements misisng from the books like drop-pods and combat armor. Mix in heavy character development and orginal ideas and you come up with my second favorite all CGI cartoon (after ReBoot) I would actualy wake up at 5AM weekdays just to catch this before school started now that is dedication. The only down side is that it ended production on a cliffhanger with the bugs attacking earth and now we will never know what became of the Roughnecks as their chronicle was shot down in it's prime.

The Game
A Real Time Tactics game released in 2000 by MicroProse (Civilization series). Admittidly I did not get to play much of this. Only a few missions at a friends house once. But from my vague recollection it was a bog standard tactics game for the time and some what dated graphics even then. Still I am only rambling here to deny the innevitable of what comes next in this series.

The Sequel

Oh God! No...ANYTHING BUT THIS AHHHH! ok really this is the worst of the bunch. The absolute dredge of cinema as tvtropes would put it so bad it is horrible. There are honestly no known redeeming qualities to this abomination. Some how it even has worse special effects then the original even with the 7 year advance in technology. I suppose the budget difference would have to be seen to believed but honestly who ever thought they could get away with this. let us move on before I create a new blog dedicated to trashing this....thing.

The Threequel

Now this is an actual sequel in fact let us forget about the other one up there as this movie certainly does. released in 2007 Johny Rico is back from the original as are the cheesey would you like to know more proto political adds. It also finally shows us "live action" power armor in the titular mauraders. Now don't get me wrong this is by no means a good movie but compared to....well other movies it isn't as terrible and is laughably bad if anything especialy the stupid religion plot crammed in there. Still it is worth a watch if you can acquire it for free.

That pretty much wraps up most of the main adaptations there was a few board game, a line of comics and a cancelled FPS game....but hey what can i say do you want to be reading this post forever grunt!


Anonymous said...

everytime i hear about starship troopers i always remember "she's afraid!!"

Kromulent said...

I didn't even know they made a third one. I feel a little dirty for liking the first movie, but it's so cheesy that it's great. Plus, Commissar Doogie!

pv said...

woah that looks very interesting and cool to read

Game Reviewer said...

Looks like a good read, any ideas on where to get it?

Game Reviewer said...

To correct my comment, I meant the first book haha, sorry about the mistake.

yossarian said...

haha wow. i never knew these movies came from a book. of course.. i never really liked the movies much.

Mike said...

I wonder what the founders of Hiroshima would say

They wouldn't say anything. Hiroshima was destroyed.

ironrager said...

"how do you get him to do that?"
"i gave him the impression there was a grub crawling up my mom's leg. He's on a mission to go eat it."
"i hope you dont do that to me.."
"no, i can't do human. Yet."

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