Returning roughneck Casper Van Dien (THE Johnny Rico) introduced new cast member Jolene Blalock (Lola Beck) and some new clips from the direct-to-DVD Starship Troopers 3 Marauder at New York Comic-Con. After watching all four clips I can safely say that Starship Troopers is back. Get ready for more obviously biased newsreels, new bug enemies, capital punishment, and gratuitous gore scenes.
"I'm really glad to be back as Johnny Rico," says Van Dien. "It's 11 years later. I'm a little bit older and hopefully a little wiser. And ah yeah, he's killing bugs."
It has been ten years since the bug war has been going on. And Neumeier wants to use that time, and the effect it has on people, to show what a long war can do to government and society.
Clip 1: News Reel/Rico's Back
It's a Federal Network newsreel updating viewers on the Bug War. There are new bugs that the Federation wants to keep their troops updated on such as bombardier bugs which act like little kamakaze grenades. The reel then attempts to address the question "Are We Losing This War?" The answer, "Don't Bet On It." The next segment deals with the strict penalty the Federation is doling out for war protesters: execution. The announcer bellows, "People need to watch what they say." Quickly adding to the lists of things not to do while under the rule of The Federation is a segment on religious worship. Apparently that too, "will not be tolerated if it destabilizes our war efforts."
Moving on, the reel focuses on something more positive: music. The hottest ticket seems to be on military personnel who can also carry a tune. And not just any tune: the newscaster leads us in a sing-along to, "It's always a good day to die." Don't forget to support the war effort by purchasing a coffee mug, pen or knife with the Federation's logo and sponsored singer on the back.
The scene then cuts to a military base under attack. A bombardier bug has been launched in and explodes, impaling one soldier with a shovel. But out of the shadows comes a statuesque figure with the jaw line of a lumberjack. It's none other than Colonel Johnny Rico himself. He reaches over, pulls out the shovel and demands action. He turns to the wounded and says, "Can you walk soldier? Give us a hand and pick up that arm and find out who it belongs to." Seriously, sold.
Clip 2: Excessive Punishment
At a local canteen best buds Rico, Lola and another new character Dix Hauzer demonstrate the rift between Federation and the non-citizens. Dix waxes on politically about how more people need to sign up because it's all about the numbers. He has on glasses and talks about math, so he's obviously a geek. Dix then makes a toast to The Federation and only those in military dress salute, while others (who are all strangely wearing flannel) jeer at Dix and his attitude. Then a hush falls over the crowd as a newsreel airs and someone yells out, "Quiet! It's hangin' time." The whole bar goes silent as a group of criminals are fitted with nooses on television. The announcers says, 'They've said goodbye to their families. All that remains is their payment against their crimes against you, citizen." Then the newsreel actually shows them going through with the hanging. It's not super graphic (more on that to come) but just truly unpleasant. Of course this action insights the locals at the pub to yell out to Dix and other Federation types, "You'll pay, you'll pay."
Clip 3: Gore!
The bugs have overwhelmed a military base and are crawling all over the facility. No new bugs yet, just your standard CGI crawlies from the first and second movies. A group of men are attacked and the bugs overpower them, ripping them to shreds. One bug struts off with a human head still impaled on its leg. What happens next is hard to tell because blood gets smeared on the lens and all you can see are the silhouettes of the bugs running back and forth.
Clip 4: Newsreel and Scorpion
The scene begins at another military base and Dix is yelling on a walkie-talkie that he is in charge but gets hit by some sort of blast. Dix falls and loses his glasses. And by Starship Trooper rules, falling down usually equals death, so he's probably gone. You then witness a man sacrificing his life for others by throwing himself atop a bombardier which leads to a good scene of organ-like goo being tossed in the air. Finally back to Rico as he takes out a massive Scorpion bug. Which literally is a giant Scorpion that can shoot a white laser blast out of its tail that kills people.
It's interrupted by another newsreel and finally we get to find out what the "Crack a Planet" phrase means from the first trailer. The news covers the Q bomb debate. Apparently the Federation has concocted a bomb strong enough to blow up a planet. Next is a join-the-Fleet draft commercial: you just have to pass your H.E.D.'s and be of a certain age. It cuts to a young enlistee man giving the camera "the eyes" stating that, "people say boys don't give great H.E.D., but I do." Yikes.
While there were only two bugs revealed in the clips there is still one more bug yet to be discovered. Neumeier promises that this bug will be the biggest bug ever. Also during the question and answer segment a fan asked when they would start implementing Heinlein's mech suits or life suits, and Neumeirer suggested they watch the 3rd movie intently. But what about the destruction that Starship Troopers 2 wreaked, with the whole bugs impersonating humans, will audiences be seeing this in 3? Neumeier skirted this issue saying, "I think there is always room for that."