This Video Explores Starship Troopers’ Messy Satirical Relationship With Fascism

“The only good bug is a dead bug.” Yeesh.
“The only good bug is a dead bug.” Yeesh.
Image: TriStar Pictures

Starship Troopers is a seductive satire. Let’s dig into why, and how.

In a thoughtful new video posted by YouTube channel Wisecrack, the creators of the channel take a deep look at Starship Troopers, Paul Verhoeven’s adaptation of Robert Heinlein’s classic novel. Troopers is a complicated film, a satire that’s so straightforward that some people miss the satire entirely, and this video digs into the murky complexity of the film’s relationship with fascism.

Wisecrack argues, interestingly, that Starship Troopers isn’t a straightforward satire, even if it’s intended as one, and nor is it a movie that accidentally glorifies fascism. Instead, it’s somewhere in the middle, exploring a fascist state of mind in a way that’s sometimes celebratory, sometimes mocking, and always enthralling in a way that’s built to cause the viewer to be drawn into the mindset of the movie’s fascist heroes, in a way that, no matter what its conclusion, is a harrowing reminder of how seductive fascist ideology can be in its presentation.


It’s a great video, and complicated my thoughts about Starship Troopers, which is a really fascinating film in its own right. Do give it a watch.

io9 Weekend Editor. Videogame writer at other places. Queer nerd girl.

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The Final Days of Gawker Have Come

I’ll never understand the people who saw this and only saw a straight action film. The satire is still great.

And yes, Heinlein would have hated everything about it. Which, as I grow older, has come to mean nothing at all.