Talk:Starship Troopers

Active discussions
Starship Troopers is a featured article; it (or a previous version of it) has been identified as one of the best articles produced by the Wikipedia community. Even so, if you can update or improve it, please do so.
This article appeared on Wikipedia's Main Page as Today's featured article on May 1, 2006.
Did You Know Article milestones
January 21, 2006Good article nomineeListed
February 15, 2006Featured article candidateNot promoted
February 20, 2006Peer reviewReviewed
March 8, 2006Featured article candidatePromoted
August 23, 2013Featured article reviewDemoted
June 11, 2017Good article nomineeListed
July 25, 2017Featured article candidatePromoted
Did You Know A fact from this article appeared on Wikipedia's Main Page in the "Did you know?" column on July 14, 2017.
The text of the entry was: Did you know ... that Robert Heinlein's 1959 novel Starship Troopers is a critique of US society of the 1950s, and advocates for corporal and capital punishment?
Current status: Featured article


Are you sure this isn't a satire?Edit

Look all I've watched is the movies, but I was kinda surprised when I looked this up and found that the positions were supposedly legitimate interpretations of the author's views. Is this established anywhere? I don't understand it, it looks a lot like a Orwellian distopia caused by social conditions and an external threat much like the zerg from starcraft. I thought it was supposed to be a satire of fascism and militarism... am I wrong? Plaidman (talk) 08:37, 9 June 2012 (UTC)

You are wrong. The book is a serious novel and can be read as a political treatise. The film, while is it actually good at keeping some of the themes of the book, is very much a satire of American militarism and society. The book isn't a dystopia, it's just a different world to the one we live in, a world where nothing is given and everything is earned. The book is a good read, I encourage you to read it. So in answer to your question, and in the interest of the article, the article is about the book which is definitely not satire, whereas the films are. Canterbury Tail talk 12:20, 9 June 2012 (UTC)
The initial title of the script for the movie was "Bughunt on Antares 5" or some such; the references to Heinlein's novel and the title were added ... who knows why? Some of the character's names are retained, and little else. The director supposedly read only the first chapter of the book, put it aside saying he didn't want to make a coming-of-age film, and ignored it. htom (talk) 19:38, 9 June 2012 (UTC)
Interesting. You might consider adding something about this in the article about the book. I just checked the page for the movie and it has a blurb about it, if you wanted to draw sources and words from it. Personally having read the wikipedia page I do not think I would enjoy the book for ideological reasons. Thank you for responding promptly and thank you for your work on wikipedia. Plaidman (talk) 08:02, 10 June 2012 (UTC)
Material about the movie belongs in the article on the movie, not the book. The ideas in the book are not affected in any way by the movie which had the book's name attached to it. --Orange Mike | Talk 17:24, 11 June 2012 (UTC)

There Should Be A Link To The Article About The MovieEdit

There Should Be A Link To The Article About The Movie. (talk) 18:58, 4 November 2008 (UTC)

It is already in the article. Jappalang (talk) 22:25, 4 November 2008 (UTC)

Terran Federation–Bugs conflictEdit

Terran Federation–Bugs conflict - I had linked this to the article, but... I am not sure it has anything to add, so reverted my edit out.- sinneed (talk) 05:19, 27 June 2009 (UTC)


  • I'm surprised there is no mention of the fact that any soldier at any time can decide to leave the army without any questions asked. This is even true while the Bug War is raging. In which army has it ever been possible to leave during wartime without being accused of desertion and risking the death penalty? --Crusio (talk) 20:22, 25 July 2009 (UTC)
  • Just re-watched the movie and re-read some parts of the book. An important aspect of both is the emphasis of Raszak (who in any real fascist society would be indoctrinating the youth with the ideas of The Leader) on independent thinking and making up your own mind. A teacher like that would not survive for a minute under a fascist regime. --Crusio (talk) 12:09, 26 August 2009 (UTC)
Yeah, I gotta say, don't really see the fascism. I mean, personal freedom and personal choice are espoused throughout, and the right to vote is extended to any willing to work for it. It's not like they limit voting along any arbitrary and unchangeable lines like race, ethnicity or religious background. And the Terran Federation is a society with few laws, low taxes, etc. That doesn't sound fascist to me, it sounds libertarian. SpudHawg948 (talk) 10:55, 1 October 2009 (UTC)
  • Exactly, Heinlein was an avowed libertarian, definitely not a fascist or militarist. --Crusio (talk) 11:03, 1 October 2009 (UTC)
  • It's simplistic to describe Heinlein as a libertarian; his political views were more complex (and self-contradictory) than that. It is, however, absurd to describe him as a fascist. Whether the Terran Federation is a quasi-fascist state is again a more complex question; I'd call it more a junkerstaat (and that's not a compliment).--Orange Mike | Talk 18:02, 1 October 2009 (UTC)
In what way? The citizenry of the Terran Federation can hardly be compared to a group of hereditary landed nobles who obtained their positions of status through the war of colonization and conversion carried out by the Teutonic Knights. As I stated above, citizenry is based on civil service, not something as arbitrary as bloodlines, as would be the case in a so-called junkerstaat. If anything, the Terran Federation is a meritocracy. People are awarded greater rights and privileges once they do something to merit said privileges, such as placing their own needs aside to serve, or, as the US Air Force succinctly states it, after they put "Service before Self". Any comparison of the Terran Federation to a feudal system is, in my opinion, overly simplistic and clearly in error. SpudHawg948 (talk) 11:49, 2 October 2009 (UTC)
Good point; I referenced the junkers primarily because of the cult of the warrior which they inspired in late-19th-century Prussia, but it is still a weak analogy. --Orange Mike | Talk 15:49, 2 October 2009 (UTC)
Actually, I don't see much evidence that military service buys you greater rights and priviliges, except of course voting, which is of little value to the individual. A retired Lt Colonel (which seems to be a rather high rank in the TF) is teaching history in high school. Of course we're not really informed whether he has to do that to put bread on the table. --Trovatore (talk) 22:03, 2 October 2009 (UTC)
I do agree though that any description of Heinlein as "libertarian" has to be qualified. Many of his writings resonate with libertarians. But in To Sail Beyond the Sunset he speaks approvingly of hanging people for growing and selling marijuana. In Revolt in 2100 (admittedly an early work) he espouses social credit. I think we have to consider him a man of libertarian instincts, but not a promoter of a particular political theory. For a writer, of course, this is a good thing -- ideological writers tend to be predictable and uninteresting. --Trovatore (talk) 02:47, 3 October 2009 (UTC)
Sorry, it's not Revolt in 2100 I was thinking of. It's Beyond This Horizon. Searches for "heinlein" and "social credit" mostly come up with For Us, the Living, which I've never actually read -- the socred stuff may be more explicit there. But it's definitely there in Beyond as well. --Trovatore (talk) 03:01, 3 October 2009 (UTC)
Ummm... the ability to vote is the "greater rights and privileges" that come from military service. And to the contrary, what can be more important than having a say in how you are governed? I mean, wars have been fought and empires brought down over the right to vote. Saying the right to vote is of little value to the individual is like saying the right to own property or freedom of worship are of little value. The fact that there are two separate categories of people (citizen and civilian) is proof enough that military service (or any of the other services that garner you citizen status) is rewarded with greater rights and privileges. It's basically the foundation of the entire society of the Terran Federation, as Heinlein himself points out on numerous occasions. Also, in an aside, if the rank structure of the Terran Federation is anything like contemporary military ranks, Lt Col is not that high on the ladder. Lt Col is basically "middle management". Also, you make the assumption that teaching is a thankless and low paid job, when nothing of the kind is ever stated. SpudHawg948 (talk) 11:10, 5 October 2009 (UTC)
I said it's of little value to the individual. If you personally couldn't vote, but everyone else who thinks like you and has the same interests as you still could, your life would be little different. You will probably never in your life cast a vote that changes the result of an election, above perhaps the city-council level — in every election bigger than that, if you had voted the opposite way from how you actually voted, the outcome would have been exactly the same.
That's completely different from owning property or worshiping freely, both of which directly affect your life.
Now, of course veterans are likely to have interests in common, and in real life one would expect them to use the vote to promote those interests over those of non-veterans. But there's little evidence in the book that this happens. That might be one of the most unrealistic aspects of the book. --Trovatore (talk) 18:52, 5 October 2009 (UTC)
Well, you do have to factor in that there are many fewer people voting, thus giving each vote cast more weight. This becomes even more important when you realize that veterans are in no way, shape, or form a cohesive voting bloc, as personal experience has demonstrated. I mean, Duncan Hunter and John Murtha are both veterans, try getting them to vote the same way on just about anything. Same with John Kerry and John McCain, or for that matter Al Gore and George W Bush. Saying that veterans are likely to vote for common interests assumes that there are interests common to all veterans. It's like expecting all truck drivers to vote the same way. It's, quite frankly, naive. And again, if the right to vote in no way affects your daily life, than how can you explain the American Revolutionary War, or the Women's suffrage movements worldwide, or any of the other wars, revolutions, and social movements formed with the sole goal of obtaining the right to vote? Much ado about nothing? SpudHawg948 (talk) 20:53, 5 October 2009 (UTC)
Are you wilfully misunderstanding me? None of the things in your last sentence are about the value of the vote as an individual right. As an individual right, it's almost worthless. The existence of the vote affects your daily life -- but not because you vote. Rather, it's because lots of other people, who think like you do (or who think differently), vote.
There are, of course, interests common to all veterans. The size of the pension, for example. If the veterans of Starship Troopers extract a gold-plated pension from the sweat of non-veteran brows, the book makes no mention of it. There is no indication that the testimony of a non-veteran can't be held against a veteran in court. That sort of thing. These would be genuine "greater rights and privileges" for veterans, and in a real-world setting where they had the vote and non-veterans didn't, you would probably expect to see them. But they aren't there in the book. --Trovatore (talk) 21:26, 5 October 2009 (UTC)
No, I'm not "wilfully (sic) misunderstanding" you. Merely pointing out that the "existence" of the vote could not exist without the individual's right to vote! You point out that daily life is affected when "lots of other people, who think like you do (or who think differently), vote." And what are those people doing but exercising an individual right, which certainly must be of some importance to them, why else would they do it? For all your talk of "other people" voting, all those "other people" are doing is exercising their individual rights to vote! As for Veterans having common interests such as pensions, you clearly haven't been paying attention to the on-going debate over the proposed new pension system for the National Guard. And, of course, inferring the existence of something (like some common goal such as "gold-plated" pensions when the author states nothing of the sort) is speculation. All I have been doing is taking the work at face value, not inventing new points seemingly out of whole-cloth. And at the end of the day, the fact that one group has the vote and another doesn't is proof that the former has at least one greater right/privilege than the latter. That's all I've been trying to say, so perhaps it's you who have been willfully misunderstanding me? SpudHawg948 (talk) 21:38, 5 October 2009 (UTC)
The vote can certainly exist without you having the right to vote. It's important to you that the groups with which you identify not be excluded from the franchise; if your voting privilege specifically were gone, it would hurt only your pride. So it's important as a group right, but not as an individual right. --Trovatore (talk) 21:46, 5 October 2009 (UTC)
But as I have been trying to say all along, it is a group right that cannot exist without the individual right! Honestly, this seems like it's become a "forest and the trees" argument, with you arguing that the trees do not matter on their own, as the forest would still exist, and me trying to point out (thus far in vain) that you cannot have a forest without all the individual trees! If anything, your argument sounds like something you could expect Juan Rico's father to say in an attempt to keep him from entering Federal service. The entire Terran Federation is predicated on the individual right to vote. Without an individual right to vote, there IS NO GROUP RIGHT!!! Regardless, my entire point originally was to answer your query about what greater rights service garnered by pointing out that the right to vote, held by one group but not another, is a greater right. SpudHawg948 (talk) 22:24, 5 October 2009 (UTC)

May I point out that Heinlein's "utopia" has several similarities with both the Greek city-states and the early Roman Republic. Even in Athens, only male citizens could vote and hold office and only those that could serve in the ground or naval forces were citizens. To be a citizen was to be a Soldier (or a sailor). Socrates was proudest of his service as a hoplite. The wealthy bought horses and armor and weapons and served as cavalry, the well-to-do bought armor and weapons and served as hoplites in the front ranks of the phalanx. That level of service brought them more political power than the guy carrying a sling and operating as a skirmisher or missile troop on a galley (or a rower throwing javelins, rowers on Greek and Roman naval vessels being free men and expected to fight). We go to the Romans, and the same system is in place. Until the manipular legion when the oldest (and best equipped) Soldiers get switched to the back, but the best troops, men in their prime and still well equipped make up the centuries in the first line. Until after the well after the Carthaginian Wars, Roman citizens could not stand for office without having served ten years or ten campaigns in the legions. And both Athens and early Rome, as ancient "democracies" were renowned as aggressive and imperialistic states. Being a "democracy" does not automatically translate into being pacificsts. And a limited franchise based on service, whether military or not, is NOT fascist, either of the Italian/Spanish or the Nazi varieties. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 20:45, 19 December 2019 (UTC)

Version of article when passed as FAEdit

Starship Troopers March 8, 2006 Might be a good idea to revisit the old article and revise the content to remove so much focus on "Controversy". Regards, —Mattisse (Talk) 01:01, 6 August 2009 (UTC)

Could you be more specific? The Controversy section hasn't changed all that much, it has the same four subsections and is of approximately the same length as in that older version. --Noren (talk) 13:37, 6 August 2009 (UTC)
I agree that the Controversy section is too long -- right now it's almost one third of the article (34420 characters by my count in the article, 10891 of those are in the controversy section, a rate 31.6%). I got it -- some folks don't like the book. It seems hardly worth this much space to say that. Bogomir Kovacs (talk) 16:08, 10 August 2009 (UTC)
I disagree. The controversy is about Heinlein's treatment of matters important in the real world, which are fundamental to the book's premises, and which it was written specifically to address - he was doing more than just writing a piece of entertaining fiction. That the controversy is considerable, which the size of the section merely reflects, demonstrates his success in creating arguments of intellectual weight about important considerations, whether or not one agrees with his own conclusions. (talk) 11:19, 26 August 2009 (UTC)

I disagree too. The book maunders in and out of political discourse interminably. It is an Anne Rand style political commentary, and about as subtle with it as a kick in the nuts. He was writing it to make a political point. This got up a lot of people's noses and it is almost impossible to talk about the book without the politics, hence controversy. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 12:33, 7 December 2011 (UTC)

I'm not sure where to find good sources for information about Heinlein's purposes for the political aspects of Starship Troopers. To me, it seems obvious that he meant to write a counterpoint to two ideas that had become commonplace in the US at the time of his writing: First, the assumption that increasingly powerful and accurate missiles and bombs would make ground forces obsolete and lead to "clean wars" where enemy forces were destroyed from hundreds of miles away. Secondly, the idea that as societies became more affluent, they would owe more to their citizens (without requiring similar amounts of commitment from their citizens). Heinlein clearly believed that any society whose citizens demanded bread and circuses at the cost of those more wealthy than themselves would quickly fall apart. (talk) 01:48, 1 June 2014 (UTC) James MacKenzie


There is a discussion on this book in particular, and on any military reading list books from military academies and training facilities in general at


(the topic was started on 23 December 2009 - so if it not there, check the archives). (talk) 09:33, 9 January 2010 (UTC)

I just checked the dead link to the IOBC (updated to Ft Benning at and ST is off the list. I'm removing the reference. CompRhetoric (talk) 19:18, 12 February 2010 (UTC)

In the Navy, for example, Starship Troopers is on the recommended list for Junior Enlisted personnel. The above linked Ft. Benning list starts at an NCO rank and goes up, so it's entirely plausible that the book is still on a reading list intended for junior enlisted Army personnel. That being said, I couldn't find such an official list, so I agree that it should not be in the article at this time due to being unsourced. Does anyone have a link or copy of a current Army list for junior enlisted persons? --Noren (talk) 02:10, 13 February 2010 (UTC)
I read Starship Troopers as a teen but didn't understand it until I did time in the US Navy. I can't speak of an official reading list for junior enlisted as I never saw any such, but here is my take on Heinlein's message: The franchise, and the responsible exercise thereof, should be restricted to those who have shown by their actions to put the welfare of their society above their own personal wants and desires. I don't find this at all militaristic and, having seen the elephant myself I find myself almost always at odds with people who want to bomb hell out of [your choice of current bad guy]. It is also the case (and explicitly stated in the novel) that 95 percent of Federal service is non-military. But even that service is obnoxious enough and difficult enough that you are reminded of what it took to get the franchise, and why you should exercise it wisely. And, although this is a personal opinion only, and a biased (veteran) one at that, I like that idea. I have also read The Forever War, consider it a good read, and consider it as a compare-and-contrast exercise as to why you should always think for yourself instead of simply following orders. (talk) 22:09, 16 September 2019 (UTC)
It's back on the Commandant's Reading List for the Marine Corps. Palm_Dogg (talk) 17:08, 18 July 2011 (UTC)
It's back off the USMC list [1]. It has been included on the CNO Reading list as a recommended, but is not an essential reading any longer [2] — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 14:45, 15 May 2013 (UTC)


Article is too long and needs complete revising. Link to: Johnnie Rico states he is a Filipina, the text suggests an Argentine or some other S.A.. All references to movies and games should be literary removed and most elements should be placed in present-tense as fiction. <removed link to copyright violation> Ncsr11

Rico does not state he is a Filipina; he does clearly state that he is a Filipino; and there is nothing whatsover in the book to suggest that this is false. There is no justification I can see for the removal of references to the existence of games, movies, etc. And we don't take kindly to people who insert links to copyright violations here. --Orange Mike | Talk 17:25, 20 July 2010 (UTC)
For a more detailed discussion of where this is mentioned in the book, see this archived talk page discussion.--Noren (talk) 02:47, 26 July 2010 (UTC)

"Allegations of fascism"Edit

This section is of long standing, is well-footnoted, and is well-balanced. There is no justification that I have ever seen presented for its persistent removal. --Orange Mike | Talk 21:08, 17 August 2010 (UTC)

I agree. While I personally think the allegations are generally made by people who haven't actually read and understood the book, they are indeed common enough accusations. Plus it is referenced and has been in the article for a long time. In fact the section, with some alterations, appeared in the Featured Article version of the article back in 2006. Canterbury Tail talk 00:11, 18 August 2010 (UTC)
Looking back, I must agree, too. The only excuse I can offer for my undoing the addition is that my memory incorrectly placed that section in the movie's article, not in the book's, but the allegations were around long before the movie was thought of (and may have been part of the director's misunderstanding of the book itself.) Sorry for participating in a revert squabble; the section should stay. htom (talk) 04:48, 18 August 2010 (UTC)
How about an Allegations of Allegedness section? An Allegations of Allegationalism section? Isn't Sulu enough Phillipinos in the Federation?

As needs to be done once in a while, I've chopped large amounts from this section that are OR defenses of the book without any sources. It would be good to get notable defenses of the book with cites and include them in the article. Ashmoo (talk) 13:06, 1 March 2013 (UTC)


I am wondering what connection the quote "correct morals arise from knowing what man is—not what do-gooders and well-meaning old Aunt Nellies would like him to be." has with anti-communism. It is not clear who he is referring to and I see no specific mention, unlike the other quotes given in the same section (such as to do with Marx and the Labour ToV) to communist theory. I have removed it, maybe too boldly, until someone can explain it. It seems a bit like original research to me, because unlike the other quotes, it isnt obvious what he is trying to say in relation to communism. ValenShephard (talk) 05:39, 27 August 2010 (UTC)

I agree with you. There is no clear indication that Heinlein is talking about communism in this passage. I really doubt Heinlein was inclined to describe communists as "do-gooders". --Trovatore (talk) 05:42, 27 August 2010 (UTC)
I appreciate your quick response. I wonder if anyone knows what he is actually referring to in that quote? It seems very diffuse though, so I guess it could be interpreted many ways. ValenShephard (talk) 05:45, 27 August 2010 (UTC)
Whatever it means, wikieditors shouldn't be quoting primary sources to advance interpretations of a text. We need to rely on notable commentators who have done so. Ashmoo (talk) 10:31, 27 August 2010 (UTC)
Also true. --Trovatore (talk) 10:46, 27 August 2010 (UTC)
Yes, you're right. I just wanted to see some way of including what I removed, I dont like simply cutting an article. ValenShephard (talk) 17:52, 27 August 2010 (UTC)
It's an understandable sentiment not to want to destroy the work of others, but unfortunately I don't think it's one that helps us build a quality encyclopedia. If we're sentimental about removing clutter we wind up with cluttered prose. This is a particular danger in designed-by-committee type projects. --Trovatore (talk) 21:01, 27 August 2010 (UTC)
I didn't particularly want it included, I removed it after all. What do you mean this is a danger in designed by committee type projects? ValenShephard (talk) 21:19, 27 August 2010 (UTC)
Just what I said. A lot of people contribute a little bit, and no single person is responsible for working it into a coherent narrative. --Trovatore (talk) 21:37, 27 August 2010 (UTC)

I think the quote was wrongly attributed, too; my memory is that it was Rico's memory of retired Lt. Col. Jean V. Dubois, speaking in class, not Rico (who did agree with the quote.) I've got to re-read it. htom (talk) 15:46, 27 August 2010 (UTC) See my comment above about Heinlein's "utopia" and its links to the political and social structures of the Greek city-states and early Roman Republic. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 20:48, 19 December 2019 (UTC)

Allegations of racismEdit

Of course "Starship troopers" is racist. Remember Untermensch, Yellow Monkey, Rats, Infidels, Nonpersons, Second-class citizens, Lives unworthy of life and other forms of Dehumanization. All more than enough to support war. Is Heinlein putting us in front of the mirror? Aldo L (talk) 02:54, 19 November 2010 (UTC)

That sort of discussion is off-topic here. Talk pages are for discussions of changes (or proposed changes) to the article, not discussions of the subject matter of the article per se. --Trovatore (talk) 09:10, 19 November 2010 (UTC)
Oops, I am sorry. What I am trying to say is that this, the relationship between war and racism, was debated a hundred times before. The new debate here should be whether Heinlein himself was racist (something that I have never heard before) or just his opus. If the latter is the case, I think that it would constitute a non issue. War is war: it is racist, it is cruel, it is immoral, it is unholy, etc. I don't see any controversy here. If I am allowed to, I would like to introduce two options: we may consider the section "Allegations of racism" redundant, or we may look for more references that explain the inclusion of racist material into "Starship troopers". Aldo L (talk) 12:41, 19 November 2010 (UTC)
If you can find some reliable notable sources that have defended Starship Troopers in this way, please include it. Ashmoo (talk) 12:33, 17 February 2011 (UTC)

Heinlein's "utopia" is a post-racial society; people are not judged by their sex or race, the only distinction is whether they are veterans or not. The reader doesn't get any hint to Rico's race until well into the book. It seems to me that the book was pretty subversive for having a non-white main character in 1959. Puddytang (talk) 07:45, 29 March 2012 (UTC)

Allegations? But will it develop in to actual criminal charges and arrests, though? What are the conseqences to the allegations? Ender's Game got banned from many 10th grade reading lists and it turns out that book was only about the author's hometown of Greensboro, North Carolina in much the same way as Something Wicked This Way Comes (novel) and The Martian Chronicles was about Waukegan, Illinois. Any good prosecuter knows if you really want something to stick, you've got to come up with something a lot better than mere allegations. We all need to be super-duper extra cautious of anything having to do with 'allegations of utopianism'. After all, the U.F.P.'s shipyards are based over Utopia Planitia. Ncsr11 (talk) 00:25, 15 April 2012 (UTC)

I am personally confused at the opening sentence to the 'Allegations of utopianism' portion of the article: "More recently, the book has been analyzed as a utopia (in the sense of a society that does not, and cannot, exist), and that while Heinlein's ideas sound plausible, they have never been put to the test and are, actually, impractical or utopian". HEL-LO, it's a fiction book, and isn't meant as a blueprint for the real world. I would think this author's psychological inability to discern between fiction and nonfiction is more of a concern. (talk) 07:15, 24 April 2012 (UTC)

Controversy and criticismEdit

Aside from the cliché usage of saying the novel "has attracted controversy and criticism", the source in question is a review of the film, not the novel, with some personal reminiscences of the book in the review from a reviewer who read it 38 years ago. This should not go in the lead section unless it can be shown that the book actually has significant controversy and criticism from established critics. Viriditas (talk) 22:38, 17 January 2011 (UTC)

Since the article shows this to be true, I see no reason to link to the Salon article in the lead. Viriditas (talk) 22:40, 17 January 2011 (UTC)

External Link Deleted?Edit

Hi, I placed a link to my article on Starship Troopers, which was recently published in the New York Review of Science Fiction (January 2011), in the External Links section, but it was deleted. Is this because I linked to the paper on my site? Unfortunately, NYRSF has not recently updated their site, so this is the only online access for it. It directly engages the issues raised in the criticism and controversy section, as well as some of the other essays linked under external links, which is why I added it. Advice appreciated. — Preceding unsigned comment added by PhilGochenour (talkcontribs) 21:28, 4 April 2011 (UTC)

Actual Military AssignmentEdit

The author mentions at the begining of Chapter Three, that Rico is sent to basic at Camp Currie on the northern prairies of Alberta, Canada assigned to the Third Training Regiment, as a bivouced camp. Similarly, Alberta's primary infantry training grounds of the Canadian Army to that region is CFB Wainwright on the northern prairies in Denwood, Alberta. The primary infrantry to that region would be the 3rd Battalion, Princess Patricia's Canadian Light Infantry (3PPCLI) under the 1 Canadian Mechanized Brigade Group (1CMBG) based at Lancaster Park, CFB Edmonton composed of two rifle companies (airborne and mountain), a fire support company, and a command and support company. Because Camp Currie is bivouced it could be intended as being anywhere a few miles north of Edmonton. When Canada mobilized for Korea and NATO its three traditional Regular Force regiments (The Royal Canadian Regiment, Princess Patricia's Canadian Light Infantry and Royal 22e Régiment) expanded into three battalions of the "Mobile Strike Force". The author's intentions is that Rico's first outfit is "Willie's Wildcat's", Company K, Third Regiment, First Mobile Infantry Division, Federal Service. -August 29, 2011

Sounds like original research to me. You don't know Heinlein's intentions, and he may have just made things up. Canterbury Tail talk 00:55, 30 August 2011 (UTC)

The phrase intentions is just a way of stating that it was written in the book.

The world in which Juan Rico lives is post-WW3, where the nation-states collapsed after years of war. That the training base is in western Canada is simply Heinlein picking a place where the terrain, weather, and environment reinforce the training in making successful completion as difficult as possible. Note that the OTHER training camp was in SIBERIA. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 20:51, 19 December 2019 (UTC)

Joe Haldeman's The Forever War (1974)Edit

In terms of military science fiction, despite the controversies regarding Robert A. Heinlein's, Starship Troopers (1958), at conventions for a number of years science fiction authors routinely cited Joe Haldeman's, The Forever War (1974) as the 'perfect' military science fiction. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 05:02, 6 September 2011 (UTC)

Joe is a combat veteran with the shrapnel to prove it (still sets off alarms when he goes through scanners), and wrote Forever War in part as an answer to Starship Troopers. But what is your point? --Orange Mike | Talk 13:52, 8 September 2011 (UTC)

Chinese Hegemony in ChinaEdit

An interesting fact: in the Chinese translation (or some Chinese translations), "Chinese Hegemony" is changed to "Japanese Hegemony". Is this worth a mention perhaps? I wonder if any other changes has been made, or if other translations take similar liberties. (talk) 08:57, 24 October 2011 (UTC)

The Mainland Chinese have publishing propaganda guidelines in that nothing negative may be stated about the party. Ncsr11 (talk) 01:38, 23 April 2012 (UTC)

Positioning of Gifford essayEdit

Why is the paragraph treating James Gifford's excellent essay, on Heinlein's claims about the "mostly civil service" nature of Federal Service versus the actual textual evidence, placed in the "Allegations of fascism" section? Whether most electors are military veterans is only weakly related to fascism in any sense of the word that I understand. Wouldn't it make more sense in the "Allegations of militarism" section? --Trovatore (talk) 07:58, 29 November 2011 (UTC)

That's a good point. But it does flow from the Allegations of fascism section, so I don't see offhand how to fix this. Do you (or anyone else) want to try? I also added David Dyer-Bennet's similar argument re the veteran franchise controversy. Best, Pete Tillman (talk) 04:46, 18 March 2012 (UTC)

Military history section errorEdit

In the section "Military history, traditions, and military science" the text implies that Sir Arthur Currie commanded the Canadian Corps during the second world war. In fact he held that post during the first world war. (talk) 19:35, 29 November 2011 (UTC)Brock 11/29/2011

Fixed. --Pete Tillman (talk) 04:49, 18 March 2012 (UTC)

Problems that need addressingEdit

This article has been a Featured Article since 2006 and is not as up to snuff to today's standards. One notable issue it has it is the lack of sourcing. One example of this is in the "Military history, traditions, and military science" section. Another issue is has is how its written. Feels like something out of Sparknotes. "The raid itself, one of the few instances of actual combat in the novel, is relatively brief" is an example of how the prose is that good. And finally there are problems with its structure as there are one line paragraphs in it. GamerPro64 18:06, 14 June 2013 (UTC)

External links modifiedEdit

Hello fellow Wikipedians,

I have just added archive links to 5 external links on Starship Troopers. Please take a moment to review my edit. If necessary, add {{cbignore}} after the link to keep me from modifying it. Alternatively, you can add {{nobots|deny=InternetArchiveBot}} to keep me off the page altogether. I made the following changes:

When you have finished reviewing my changes, please set the checked parameter below to true to let others know.

As of February 2018, "External links modified" talk page sections are no longer generated or monitored by InternetArchiveBot. No special action is required regarding these talk page notices, other than regular verification using the archive tool instructions below. Editors have permission to delete these "External links modified" talk page sections if they want to de-clutter talk pages, but see the RfC before doing mass systematic removals. This message is updated dynamically through the template {{sourcecheck}} (last update: 15 July 2018).

  • If you have discovered URLs which were erroneously considered dead by the bot, you can report them with this tool.
  • If you found an error with any archives or the URLs themselves, you can fix them with this tool.

Cheers. —cyberbot IITalk to my owner:Online 16:08, 27 August 2015 (UTC)

GA ReviewEdit

This review is transcluded from Talk:Starship Troopers/GA1. The edit link for this section can be used to add comments to the review.

Reviewer: Sagecandor (talk · contribs) 01:44, 11 June 2017 (UTC)

This one, for review, I shall take. Sagecandor (talk) 01:44, 11 June 2017 (UTC)

That you are willing, very glad, I am. Vanamonde (talk) 04:53, 11 June 2017 (UTC)

Successful good article nominationEdit

I am glad to report that this article nomination for good article status has been promoted. This is how the article, as of June 11, 2017, compares against the six good article criteria:

1. Well written?: I read the book and saw the film many years ago and it was a joy to encounter such a high quality article about this subject again. I rarely say this, but I will say it here: the intro section is a bit too long. I would recommend trimming it down to four paragraphs each of four or five sentences in length, tops. Otherwise, the writing quality is quite good throughout, certainly more than good enough for good article quality for right now. Suggest you may wish to consult Wikipedia:Manual of Style/Novels about the precise order of the sections, but the sections are all there and they are quite in-depth, very well done.
2. Verifiable?: The article is meticulously cited throughout, with a notes and bibliography section. These don't need to be in the three level headers and can each just be their own two level headers.
3. Broad in coverage?: The article is tremendously thorough, I daresay probably one of the most thorough on a novel I have seen on Wikipedia.
4. Neutral point of view?: The sections "Criticism of militarism" and "Allegations of fascism" are well cited and fleshed out. As well as "Utopianism" and "Race and gender". The mere existence to me of this detail level of research shows that the article is not overly promotional, nor overly critical, yet matter of fact and academic in its detail to the references. It passes for NPOV.
5. Stable? No instability for a few months. Just some minor IP edits to watch out for. Talk page doesn't have recent comments for a few years, no arguments there ongoing.
6. Images?: Four images. Two fair use with good fair use rationales. Two free use with appropriate licensing.

Very very very very very very well done. If you feel that this review is in error, feel free to have it Good article reassessed. Thank you to all of the editors who worked hard to bring it to this status, and congratulations.— Sagecandor (talk) 16:45, 11 June 2017 (UTC)

First sentence second paragraphEdit

"The story is set in a future society ruled by a world government dominated by a military elite"

It doesn't matter where this is sourced from ... it's wrong.

Service is not military. Case in point ... Carl, one of the first characters introduced in the novel when stating what he hopes to do for his service:

"Me?" Carl answered. "I'm no truck driver. You know me Starside R & D, if they'll have me. Electronics"

Further a doctor carrying out an examination of the protagonist states

"But if you came in here in a wheel chair and blind in both eyes and were silly enough to insist on enrolling, they would find something silly enough to match. Counting the fuzz on a caterpillar by touch, maybe"

NOT military.

Yes ... due to the attack the need for military results in the vast majority of people going into military branches of Service. But prior to that attack a Fleet Sergeant says to Carl and Johnny

"But if you want to serve and I can't talk you out of it, then we have to take you, because that's your constitutional right. It says that everybody, male or female, shall have his born right to pay his service and assume full citizenship but the facts are that we are getting hard pushed to find things for all the volunteers to do that aren't just glorified K. P. You can't all be real military men; we don't need that many and most of the volunteers aren't number-one soldier material anyhow. Got any idea what it takes to make a soldier?"

Furthermore, the military do not control the government. A person does not become a citizen until they complete their service.

"Go career? Quite aside from that noise about a commission, did I want to go career? Why, I had gone through all this to get my franchise, hadn't I? and if I went career, I was just as far away from the privilege of voting as if I had never enrolled because as long as you were still in uniform you weren't entitled to vote. Which was the way it should be, of course"

I suggest someone who is comfortable editing remove the clearly incorrect statement that the Terran Federation is military dominated. (talk) 12:35, 19 April 2019 (UTC)

Your comments are based on your own analysis of the text, whereas our article needs to be based on what reliable sources say about the subject. Please see WP:YESPOV, and WP:NOR. Vanamonde (Talk) 15:08, 19 April 2019 (UTC)

"Reliable sources"? What? And who chose these "reliable sources"? I've read the book over and over since I was 14 years old. I have studied history, military in particular, for almost fifty years. I'm a retired US Army LTC. How does that make me any less a "reliable source". And the fact is the comments are correct. The political system is dominated by veterans. Veterans may be formed in their personal opinions and character by their military service, but they are NOT the military. This is not like 1930s Japan where the ability to bring down governments by refusing to provide active duty flag officers to serve in the Cabinet, allowed the Army and the Navy to dominate civilian government. And introduce their ideas of militarizing Japanese society to be put into effect. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 20:56, 19 December 2019 (UTC)

Personal experience is all well and good, but Wikipedia requires reliable and verifiable sources for information. The guidelines for Wikipedia:Reliable sources are clear and apply to all of us. Mediatech492 (talk) 17:36, 20 December 2019 (UTC)


In regards to the film, did everyone take this 1997 thing and run with it? 1997 is repeated multiple times through this article, but the movie was released in 1999...

Jade Phoenix Pence (talk) 02:17, 16 September 2019 (UTC)Jade Phoenix Pence

@Jade Phoenix Pence: Virtually every source I cited when I wrote this, and all of those that I double-checked just now, list 1997; and this includes IMDB and Rotten Tomatoes. The others are [3], [4], [5], [6]. Are you sure you are not mistaken? Vanamonde (Talk) 03:55, 16 September 2019 (UTC)
Movie was definitely released in 1997, I recall watching it while at university. Anyway every source says 1997. Canterbury Tail talk 12:07, 16 September 2019 (UTC)
It was really amazing when Entertainment Weekly had an issue in 1997 discussing the box office of a movie that wouldn't be released until 1999! --Noren (talk) 13:39, 16 September 2019 (UTC)
I swear, I was just looking at the Starship Troopers article yesterday and it said 1999... Jade Phoenix Pence (talk) 06:05, 18 September 2019 (UTC)Jade Phoenix Pence
I found out why, apparently the article was vandalized: Glad to know I'm not going crazy, at least. Jade Phoenix Pence (talk) 06:07, 18 September 2019 (UTC)Jade Phoenix Pence

Let's be real about it and remove the cloggingEdit

I've read Starship Troopers I've come here to edit The reason is coz it had nothing to do with the book "X says Starship Troopers racist" "Y says Starship Troopers sexist" "Z says it's nazi" This wasn't a description of the book It was a hit piece That was 90% of the article So I edited out the clog and left just enough so it's known that there are people who hate it There are people who have the creative minds to find it racist , sexist and nazi And that's no reason to make this article JUST folks who complain I edited out the clog out Threw in quotes from the book to let the reader make up his mind Edited more to remove the constant attempts at portraying Heinlein as a monster And published Now Obviously you disagree You think this article SHOULD be a hit piece So I'm following standard Wikipedia procedure and writing this to see if you YOU EDITORS Are willing to admit this article is biased And let me unbias it If you have any logical reason to object Say it Explain how 90% of the article being "X says Starship Troopers evil and dystopic" is unbiased and actually teaches the reader about the book — Preceding unsigned comment added by DUDAHR (talkcontribs) 19:38, 11 April 2020 (UTC)

Please comment on the article not on editors, that would constitute personal attacks.
As for the interpretations, we don't decide what the interpretations are. We only show what reliable sources and analysis shows about it. As Wikipedia editors we don't get to decide what the viewpoint on a book or other work is. However is it can be reliably sourced that a huge proportion of critics and respected sources say the book is intrepreted as X then we can put that in. Remember Wikipedia is about reliable sources and verifiability , not truth. Canterbury Tail talk 20:28, 11 April 2020 (UTC)
Additionally, have you edited Wikipedia before, and under what username? Canterbury Tail talk 20:29, 11 April 2020 (UTC)
I second what Canterbury Tail said above; additionally, I'd suggest you read through WP:DUE, which lays out what constitutes a neutral article on Wikipedia. Please also remember that this article has been through a featured article review process, where it was subject to heavy scrutiny to bring it into compliance with our policies. Large scale changes to it need to be made after a consensus for them has been reached here on the talk page. Vanamonde (Talk) 15:48, 12 April 2020 (UTC)

Gender of pilotsEdit

Yes, Heinlein does depict females as more likely to be good pilots. But Juan Rico is allowed to apply and is taken seriously when he does so. He's turned done, but with his grades in Mathematics it's hard to see how he could have made the cut, regardless of gender. Shmuel (Seymour J.) Metz Username:Chatul (talk) 06:03, 29 May 2020 (UTC)

Return to "Starship Troopers" page.