Starship Troopers: Traitor of Mars (2017)


Introduction

Starship Troopers: Traitor of Mars is a 2017 Japanese-American computer animated military science fiction film.

The film is a sequel to Starship Troopers: Invasion (2012) and the fifth instalment of the Starship Troopers film series.

It also marks the return of two original actors from the first film. Casper Van Dien reprises his role as Johnny Rico from the first and third films and Dina Meyer reprises her role as Dizzy Flores from the first film.

Outline

After the events of Invasion, Johnny Rico has been demoted to the rank of colonel and relocated to a Martian space station to train a new batch of troopers. Unfortunately, his squad is incompetent. Mars overall has low support for the war, seeing their planet unaffected by the bug conflict and even suggesting pulling out from the war. Because of their laid-back attitude, the denizens of Mars were not ready when the bugs attacked. Unknown to everyone, Sky Marshal Amy Snapp executes her plans for power.

Snapp hatched her own plans to destroy Mars while gaining popular support for doing it. She was well aware of the bug nest growing under Mars for some time but decided to take advantage of the bug attack to gain social and political support to scuttle the whole planet. She staged a fleet attack run on the Arachnid Quarantine Zone (AQZ) as a massive distraction. While no one notices, she plans to capture General Carl Jenkins, then fabricate a story in which the Federation was too distracted in the AQZ to save Mars and had to detonate a Q-Bomb (a planet destroyer whose power was demonstrated in the third movie) to cleanse the bug threat, thus blaming Jenkins for the loss of Mars. Unfortunately for her, nothing went according to plan.

During the bug attack, Rico and his team survived the initial assault and managed to land on Mars surface. While the bulk of the Federation started their attack run on the AQZ, Snapp captured Jenkins and disrupted all communications between Earth and Mars. However, before he was captured, Jenkins telepathically reached out to Carmen Ibanez to come back to Mars. Because Ibanez and Jenkins are trusted friends, Carmen redirected her ship back to Mars. Meanwhile, during a bug attack, Rico’s troopers were found by a rescue drop ship and everyone made it on board except for Rico, whom the team presumes dead. When regaining consciousness, Rico sees his dead lover, Dizzy Flores, who was killed in the first movie, who asked him to help stop the Q-Bomb. Unknown to Rico, Dizzy is a telepathic projection from Jenkins. While being beaten and drugged by Snapp, Jenkins managed to telepathically motivate Rico to help stop the Q-Bomb. All was unravelled when Snapp publicly announced the fall of Mars.

Rico’s surviving troopers realise he is alive and return to save him. Upon reuniting, the team heads towards the weather control tower to disarm the Q-Bomb. Subsequently, Rico’s troopers overload the tower’s systems to improvise a massive explosive device to severely thin out the enemy forces. With the FedNet back online, public reception of Snapp turns negative. Carmen arrives with a drop ship and rescues Rico’s surviving team. With the team evacuated, the tower’s destruction destroys the bugs within its blast radius.

In the aftermath, Jenkins breaks free from his captors and later returns to power. Rico is promoted back to the rank of general and leads the operation to reclaim Mars, while Snapp’s treachery is revealed to the public.

Cast

  • Casper Van Dien as Colonel Johnny Rico, a demoted general stationed on the frontier planet of Mars forced to train rather hopeless soldiers.
  • Dina Meyer as Isabelle “Dizzy” Flores, Rico’s deceased lover who appears as a telepathic hallucination induced by Carl Jenkins to inspire him.
  • Justin Doran as Carl Jenkins, Minister of Paranormal Warfare.
  • Luci Christian as Carmen Ibanez, Captain of the John A. Warden.
  • Emily Neves as Sky Marshal Amy Snapp, a genius who wishes to destroy Mars for political and social support as Sky Marshal.
  • DeRay Davis as 101, a trigger-happy explosives expert.
  • Juliet Simmons as Camacho, the only female in the squad.
  • Chris Gibson as Dutch, a red-haired joker who was known for always being dismembered in simulations. He was killed in real life the same way.
  • Greg Ayres as Geo, a quiet soldier with a penchant for science over combat who was also known for his distinctive goggles.
  • Leraldo Anzaldua as Ratzass, now Rico’s right-hand man after the events of Invasion. His rowdiness has settled down as his reputation grows throughout the Federation. As the first recurring character in the Starship Troopers series aside from Rico, Jenkins and Ibanez, he is unfortunately killed when jumping from a gunship, as his helmet air seal fails, freezing his body in freefall.
  • Andrew Love as Fed Net Official.
  • Ashley Forshaw as Bug scream.
  • John Swasey as George.
  • Kyle C. Jones as Daniel.
  • Rob Mungle as Special Branch Chief Torek.
  • Maggie Flecknoe as Ticket Agent.

Trivia

  • Following Roughnecks: Starship Troopers Chronicles (1999) and Starship Troopers: Invasion (2012), Starship Troopers: Traitor of Mars is the third CG animated project in the film series’ universe.
  • Screenwriter Edward Neumeier (who wrote the first three films and directed Starship Troopers 3: Marauder) returned to write this entry.
  • Development and news of the animated film, made to coincide with the 20th anniversary of the release of the first film, happened rather discreetly.
  • News of the film emerged on 05 June 2017, when Sony Entertainment debuted a trailer online.
  • The film was given a one-night release on 21 August 2017, via Fathom Events. It debuted on home media on 19 September 2017.

Starship Troopers Series

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

Production & Filming Details

  • Director(s): Shinji Aramaki and Masaru Matsumoto.
  • Producer(s): Joseph Chou, Max Nishi, and Tomi Hasimoto.
  • Writer(s): Edward Neumeier and Shinji Aramaki.
  • Music: Tatsuya Takahashi.
  • Cinematography:
  • Editor(s):
  • Production: Sola Digital Arts and Lucent Pictures.
  • Distributor(s): Stage 6 Films.
  • Release Date: 21 August 2017.
  • Running Time: 88 minutes.
  • Country: US and Japan.
  • Language: English.

 

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