Starship Troopers 2: Hero of the Federation (2004)


Introduction

Starship Troopers 2: Hero of the Federation is a 2004 military science-fiction horror television film directed by Phil Tippett and starring Richard Burgi, Lawrence Monoson, and Colleen Porch.

It is a sequel to Starship Troopers (1997) and the second instalment of the Starship Troopers film series.

Outline

On a planet inhabited by Arachnids, a squad of soldiers find themselves pinned down and surrounded by Arachnid forces – even with their new laser gun technology and assistance from psychic soldiers, the Arachnid assault overwhelms them. General Jack Shepherd (Ed Lauter) decides to make a last stand with four of his best soldiers to allow the majority of his surviving troops to escape. The plan works and the soldiers escape, including Sergeant Dede Rake (Brenda Strong), psychic Lieutenant Pavlov Dill (Lawrence Monoson), Private Jill Sandee (Sandrine Holt), her lover Private Duff Horton (Jason-Shane Scott), and Private Lei Sahara (Colleen Porch). Despite reaching relative safety, the team is whittled down by deadly storms and arachnid ambushes. Lieutenant Dill is unable to command his soldiers as he receives traumatic visions of utter annihilation. He takes his anger out on Private Sahara, who is revealed to have been psychic but lost reliable control of her psychic abilities during puberty.

The remaining refugees find themselves sheltering within Hotel Delta 1-8-5, an old and abandoned structure containing Captain V. J. Dax (Richard Burgi), a disgraced soldier with an outstanding combat record. Dax had killed his commanding officer and, as punishment, was sealed in a furnace. As a deadly dust storm kicks up, they find themselves without communications or back-up for a lengthy period of time and protect themselves with an electric pulse fence. Dax assumes command, to the annoyance of Dill; Dax sees Dill as an incompetent leader, while Dill sees Dax as a traitor to the Federation.

Soon after defences are set up, General Shepherd and three soldiers return. While the troops there first think that all but one of their comrades has reached safety, it becomes clear that all their comrades but Shepherd have died, and Shepherd has been rescued by three soldiers including comatose private Charlie Soda (Kelly Carlson); the strangely behaving technical sergeant Ari Peck (J. P. Manoux); and the medic, corporal Joe Griff (Ed Quinn). With the help of the newcomers they solve their technical issues, including lack of communication, and wait for a Fleet dropship to rescue them.

At the base, Soda showers and seduces Horton. Meanwhile, Sandee finds a new significant other in Griff, causing tempers to flare; however, both Horton and Sandee soon act strangely, as do many other survivors. Sahara seems to have become ill as she has nightmares and wakes up vomiting. Later she accidentally brushes Griff’s hand and has a psychic vision. She goes to Rake for advice and tells her what has happened. Rake suggests that Sahara is simply pregnant, which can cause visions, make girls temperamental, and make them think that “they know it all”. Eventually Sahara and Dax find themselves facing a new breed of Arachnid – a bug that infests the human body by entering through the mouth and propagating inside the brain. They go to Dill with their news and make amends with him, also learning that he made bad decisions only because of the visions he was having and that he feels incredibly guilty over the loss of men under his command during the escape. Sahara tells Dill that she has been receiving parts of the vision as well, and Dill tells Sahara that an occasional side-effect of pregnancy is a temporary return of the psychic abilities lost at puberty.

Soon after making amends, Dill finds the general recently infected by Soda, whom, just as with Horton, she had seduced to transmit the mind-controlling bug. He attempts to capture Soda along with several infected soldiers to be dissected and studied, but as he rants about the horrors that await them, another infected soldier kills him with the knife that Dax had given him. The murder is blamed on Dax, his name having been inscribed on the knife prior, and he is imprisoned.

After Dax is imprisoned, Rake is ambushed by the infected troopers. She takes multiple adrenaline shots, managing to wound one infected soldier and kill another before freeing Dax, but before the bug can take control her, she kills herself. A soldier attempts to infect Sahara, but she manages to kill him and escape. Sahara uses her restored psychic abilities to read the mind of the Arachnid that had attempted to control Rake’s mind, and discovers the bugs plan: use General Shepherd to infest High Command, allowing the bugs to wipe out the human race and cause Sahara’s vision to come true. Sahara and Dax kill the rest of the infected troops, and make it to the roof to confront the infected Shepherd just as the pulse fences fail. Shepherd is about to be rescued when Dax, dual-wielding rifles, kills him. He gets Sahara onto the ship and tells the bewildered crew that she holds information vital to the survival of the Federation. He then refuses to get onto the ship (“Murderers don’t go home!”) and dies in a blaze of glory while fending off the bugs.

One year later on Earth, Sahara, now discharged from the military, attends a recruiting seminar with her newborn infant son to speak about her experience, and of Dax’s actions, which she credits for saving her life. Although Dax is labelled a Hero of the Federation, his death is shrouded in propaganda as the Federation uses his end as a means of recruitment. As Sahara leaves the recruiting station, the recruiting officer approaches her to thank her for attending and also tells her to raise her son well, as “We need fresh meat for the grinder.” Sahara is visibly alarmed and flees the recruiting station, while the recruiter smiles callously.

Cast

  • Richard Burgi as Captain V.J. Dax.
  • Colleen Porch as Private Lei Sahara.
  • Lawrence Monoson as Lieutenant Pavlov Dill.
  • Kelly Carlson as Private Charlie Soda.
  • Brenda Strong as Sergeant Dede Rake.
  • Ed Lauter as General Jack Shepherd.
  • Sandrine Holt as Private Jill Sandee.
  • Jason-Shane Scott as Private Duff Horton.
  • Brian Tee as Corporal Thom Kobe.
  • J. P. Manoux as Technical Sergeant Ari Peck.
  • Ed Quinn as Corporal Joe Griff.
  • Billy Brown as Private Ottis Brick.
  • Cy Carter as Private Billie Otter.
  • Drew Powell as Private Kipper Tor.
  • David Wells as Recruiting Sergeant.
  • Stephen Stanton as Fednet (voice).

Trivia

The film won the award for Best DVD Release at the 31st Saturn Awards in 2005.

Starship Troopers Series

You can find a full index and overview of the Starship Troopers franchise here.

Production & Filming Details

  • Director(s): Phil Tippett.
  • Producer(s): Jon Davison.
  • Writer(s): Edward Neumeier.
  • Music: John W. Morgan and William T. Stromberg.
  • Cinematography: Christian Sebaldt.
  • Editor(s): Louise Rubacky.
  • Production:
  • Distributor(s): TriStar Pictures.
  • Release Date: 24 April 2004.
  • Running Time: 92 minutes.
  • Country: US.
  • Language: English.

 

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.