Starship Troopers 3: Marauder (2008)


Introduction

Starship Troopers 3: Marauder is a 2008 American military science fiction film written and directed by Edward Neumeier and starring Casper Van Dien, who returned as Johnny Rico from the original film, along with Jolene Blalock and Boris Kodjoe.

It is a sequel to Starship Troopers (1997) and Starship Troopers 2: Hero of the Federation (2004) (which were both written by Neumeier) and the third instalment of the Starship Troopers film series.

Outline

In the eleven years of “The Second Bug War”, the Mobile Infantry has improved their weapons and tactics, while the Bugs have countered by developing many new Arachnid variants. The United Citizen Federation now finds itself engaged in prolonged trench warfare. The Federation puts out a positive spin through the media, while using its judicial and military authority to suppress peace protesters and religious fanatics.

Colonel Johnny Rico is stationed on the agricultural planet Roku San, where the popular Sky Marshal Omar Anoke pays a visit. Rico’s old friend, General Dix Hauser, gets into a bar fight with farmers protesting against the war. When Rico stops Dix from shooting a farmer, Dix orders his arrest, but the base defences suddenly fail due to an alien attack. Rico knocks down Dix and leaves to fight the Arachnids. When Roku San falls, Rico is blamed by the Federal Media and condemned to execution for insubordination.

Captain Lola Beck is piloting Anoke to Sanctuary, the Fleet’s secret HQ, when they are marooned on classified planet OM-1. Admiral Enolo Phid suppresses this information, but Dix learns of the situation and Dix has Rico’s execution faked, wanting him to lead a rescue mission.

On OM-1, an apparent earthquake causes Dr. Wiggs to fall into a crevasse, where Anoke sees a giant eye staring from below. Cynical cook Jingo Ryan is next to die after he takes shelter within a cluster of rock outcroppings, which are actually Arachnid limbs which pull him below. Engineer Bull Brittles asks the deeply religious Holly Little to marry him, but dies shortly after.

On Earth, General Hauser confronts Admiral Phid about why she is abandoning the Sky Marshal, only to be arrested. Phid reveals to him that Anoke is responsible for the downfall of Roku San, having used psychic powers to communicate with the “Brain of Brains”, also known as “Behemecoatyl”, through a Brain Bug captured in the first movie. The Sky Marshal, deluded into thinking that he could save humanity if he could make peace with them, adopted the Bugs’ religion. He turned off the electric barrier surrounding the base on Roku San to demonstrate his willingness for peace. The Federation now believes the original Brain Bug allowed itself to be captured in order to pass on intelligence from inside the Federation. When the Federation decides to kill and dissect their Brain Bug, it somehow discerns their plot. It retaliates by unleashing a telepathic attack, and slaughters many soldiers before Hauser kills it.

It is revealed that Admiral Phid ignored the distress calls from OM-1 so she could become the new Sky Marshal; however, she failed to take into account that highly skilled Beck would be with Anoke.

On OM-1, the stranded make contact with Behemecoatyl, who communicates with them through the corpses of their fallen comrades and soon kills Anoke to absorb his knowledge; Beck and Holly, the last survivors, begin praying to be saved.

Rico leads the Marauders, an elite team of troopers, on a rescue mission, using the Federation’s new battle-suits. They defeat the Arachnid warriors on OM-1, suffer no casualties, and rescue Beck and Holly. OM-1 is revealed to be the home of the Bug Hive, the Arachnids’ ruling body, and Fleet destroys it from orbit with a “Q Bomb”.

Rico is cleared of all pending charges, promoted to the rank of General and given command of the Marauder program. Anoke is reported to have died in a terrorist attack, staged by the government to explain his disappearance. Dix and Beck are married, Admiral Phid is appointed the new Sky Marshal with Dix as her second-in command, and Holly becomes a Federal chaplain. Dozens of peace protesters are hanged in connection to the purported terrorist attack. Phid, impressed with the way that Sky Marshal Anoke was rendered servile by the Arachnids’ religion, decides the Federation should adopt a religion, and Christianity is embraced by the Federation.

Cast

  • Casper Van Dien as Colonel Johnny Rico.
  • Jolene Blalock as Captain Lola Beck.
  • Boris Kodjoe as General Dix Hauser.
  • Stephen Hogan as Sky Marshal Omar Anoke.
  • Marnette Patterson as Holly Little.
  • Stelio Savante as Bull Brittles.
  • Cécile Breccia as Link Manion.
  • Jon Falkow as Jingo Ryan.
  • Danny Keogh as Dr. Wiggs.
  • Amanda Donohoe as Admiral Enolo Phid.
  • Ashley Forshaw as Bug Scream.
  • Tanya van Graan as Sergeant A. Sunday.
  • Nicole Salandra as Sergeant J. Kirby.
  • Corey Burton as Official (voice).

Trivia

  • The film was released directly to DVD in the US on 05 August 2008.
  • Ed Neumeier, wrote the screenplay of the previous two “Starship Troopers” films, and makes his directorial debut with this film.
  • Casper Van Dien returned for the third film and had been wiling to return for the second film, but said Phil Tippett wanted to go a different direction.
  • Production started in May 2007, with principal photography commencing in South Africa.
  • Robert Skotak served as Visual Effects Supervisor, and Roger Nall was the Digital Effects Supervisor responsible for the CGI creature design and the marauder battle armour sequences.
    • Nall lead a team of about 25 people. Their team worked on over 350 effects shots for the bugs, and the Marauder sequence required about 100 shots more.
    • Other companies worked on sequences such as space ships, puppet work, wire removal and more, an estimated 150 additional effects shots.
  • In March 2009, Starship Troopers 3: Marauder was nominated for a 2009 Saturn Award in the Best DVD Release Category.

Starship Troopers Series

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

Production & Filming Details

  • Director(s): Edward Neumeier.
  • Producer(s): David Lancaster.
  • Writer(s): Edward Neumeier.
  • Music: Klaus Badelt.
  • Cinematography: Lorenzo Senatore.
  • Editor(s): Michael Bateman.
  • Production: Bold Films.
  • Distributor(s): Stage 6 Films.
  • Release Date: 19 July 2008 (Japan) and 05 August 2008 (US).
  • Running Time: 105 minutes.
  • Country: US, South Africa, and Germany.
  • Language: English.

 

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