Before the Bug-WarEdit
Carmen is the daughter of a Fleet veteran. After they graduate from high school, Carmen and Rico's best friend Carl Jenkins join the Federal Service. Johnny Rico decided to join up as well out of his love for Carmen. She excelled at mathematics and was easily accepted into the Fleet Academy, where she became the pilot of the Rodger Young. However, she decides to go career and breaks up with Johnny.
Battle of KlendathuEdit
Carmen was one of the pilots of the Rodger Young toward Klendathu and offloaded the ships. While worried about the plasma blasts, Captain Deladier told her that reports said it was random and light. However, as ships started to be destroyed, the crew realized that the report had been wrong. She was ordered to go into high orbit but the ship was grazed by a plasma blast, damaging the ship and seemingly killing her. However, during the aftermath battle of Klendathu, in which massive troops were killed, she survived the battle and learned that Rico has been killed. However, Rico was only wounded in action.
Ambush in Whiskey OutpostEdit
Later, Carmen and Zander were sent to the outpost to rescue the Roughnecks. When the boat landed, Zander jumped out to provide support fire until all troops are board. Before they could board, Dizzy Flores was mortally wounded by a Warrior Bug. Rico, Ace, Watkins, an unamed trooper and Zander rescued her. After Dizzy died in the boat, Zander informed Carmen that she should know that Rico was not killed at the Battle of Klendathu. Then, an enraged Rico approached the cockpit and ordered Zander to get on the comm and tell fleet to bombard Planet P, asking who was in charge. Rico replies that would be his and assumed command of the mission. Carmen then took off her helmet, saying that she thought that he was killed. Rico replied that he was not, but a lot of his troopers and his request were parished.
Invasion of Planet PEdit
In the Invasion of Planet P, the Rodger Young is hit by Bug plasma. Carmen and Zander Barcalow escape the ship, landing in the Bug colony. Zander's brain is eaten by the brain bug, but Carmen is saved when Rico and the Roughnecks arrive in time. At the end of the film, Carmen is shown to have been promoted to captain and assigned to Athena. Her fate afterward is unknown.
John A. Warden IncidentEdit
During the bug attack on Fort Casey, Carmen found out that Carl, now Minister of Paranormal Warfare, had taken control of her ship, the John A. Warden. When she confronted him, he calmly brushed off her concerns and dismissed her inquiries over why he wanted her ship, claiming that the information's classified. He then had his bodyguards forcibly escort Carmen to the Alesia.
Once all surviving troopers had evacuated and the Alesia was far away from Fort Casey, Carmen received a formal reception from Captain Jonah, as a sign of respect for the strike on Planet P. Carmen then cut to the subject of the John A. Warden and asked where it is. Sadly, Jonah answered that they lost contact after the battle. But that didn't deter Carmen, who requested to see the ship manifest.
Carmen later took a shower before punching the wall, cursing Carl's name. Then suddenly, alarms start going off. Getting dressed, Carmen assembled with the rest of the crew in the briefing room for a transmission with General Rico, who announced that the John A. Warden had gone missing and the Alesia was the closest ship to find it. Rico then dismissed the troopers for a private conversation with Carmen, who quickly accused him of letting Carl take her ship. Rico defended that the ship is technically Federation property and that he was unaware of the specifics of Carl's mission. However, Carmen revealed she had found out that the John A. Warden's signal had been turned off, most likely by Carl. Rico then reminds her that she is the only one who knows the ship inside and out and insists that she join the insertion team. Carmen agreed to it, but stated that she's doing it to retake her ship, not save Carl. She then walked out on Rico as he attempted to ask her out on a date when she returns to Earth.
During the briefing, Ratzass requested that Henry "Hero" Varro, commander of Fort Casey, who was charged with insubordination by Carl, be allowed to join the insertion team. Though Hero proved unresponsive to Lieutenant Daugherty's persuasion, Carmen was able to otherwise.
When they find the Warden, Daugherty's team escorts Carmen to the bridge while Varro's team secures the Engine Room, both teams finding nothing but dead crewmen and a few dead bugs. Carmen then worked to restore life support and gravity to the ship while Chow restored power. However, once that's done, Hero warned that there were bugs onboard. Carmen and the troopers attempted to evacuate to Alesia, only for the Warden to fire upon it. With no way off, the party returns to the bridge, where Hero reveals that he found Carl locked up in a bug cage. At Ratzass' urging, he revealed that Carl found a Bug Queen on Fort Casey and ordered K-12 to captured her. Hero refused, believing it would lead to heavy casualties, resulting in his arrest. Now Carl's experiment had blown up in his face, as the Queen had taken control of the ship.
The Warden soon started heading for a wormhole, the destination being Earth. With Carmen being unable to warn the L-6 base of the danger, Trig takes off her armor and crawls through the vents to get to the Queen. Carmen attempts to regain control of navigation but the Queen detects her and locks her out before sending Warrior Bugs after the survivors. By the time they were able to kill all the bugs, the Warden arrived in the Sol System, on a collision course for the L-6 base. With the Queen in control of all communication systems, Ratzass improvises by firing at the bulkhead, creating flashes of Morse code to inform the L-6 over what's going on. The Franklin, Sheridan and Ishizuka attempted to intercept the Warden but were able disabled by the larger ship's superior weaponry. The Warden then diverted off its course and began a collision course with Paris. Hero decided to take the troopers, excluding Daugherty, who stayed behind to guard Carmen, to fight their way to the engine room and kill the Queen. Carmen then remembered that Trig was in the vents and ordered to kill the Queen. Though Trig's sniper rifles failed to do the job, she managed to shoot out some wires, disrupting the Queen's control of the ship, enabling Carmen to pull the Warden off course before losing control, as the ship crashed on the outskirts of the city.
Coming to, Carmen found Daugherty's limb body, presumably as a result of the crash, before attempting to navigate the corridors alone. She soon ran into a Plasma Grenadier Bug. Hearing a voice in her head telling her which direction to flee, Carmen obeyed, only to trip. But before the bug could kill her, Hero turns up and kills it instead. They then make for the airlock to escape the Warden, but the outer airlock was remotely locked. Hero then took Bugspray, Ratzass and Mech to return to killing the Queen while Ice Blonde protected Carmen. Soon after the men left, bugs began attacking them. Luckily, the two women were saved by Rico, who had lead a Marauder unit to rescue them. As Rico came back with Carl, the Warden`s claw destroyed the retrieval ship, preventing them escaping as the L-6 base launches nukes to destroy the ship. However, the Queen destroyed them with the Warden's cannons before bugs started spilling out of the ship. Carmen then despaired that the Queen had already won. Suddenly, Bugspray and Mech returned, revealing that Hero ordered them to plant explosives on the engines while he continued on to the Queen, as fallback plan to take out the bugs. But then Carl revealed that he still had a working shuttle which he used to evacuate from Fort Casey, though Carmen knew that the Queen would stop them from leaving. Therefore, Rico left to finish the job, while the others commandeered the shuttle. Once Rico restored control of the shuttle, Ice and Ratzass went back to retrieve him. Once Rico was aboard, they made their escape before the bombs blew, though the shockwave knocked them out of the sky.
Watching the smoking wreckage of the John A. Warden, Carmen gave Carl a slap, accusing him of destroying her ship, killing her crew and nearly left the Earth vulnerable to infestation. Carl apologized for her loss but promised that in the long run, his research will save the galaxy, just like how he saved her. Carmen then realized that Carl was the one who telepathically led her to Hero, though he claims it's classified to evade her answer.
After the Fleet left the Sol System, with Captain Ibanez commanding the Fleet from the Federation Starship John A. Warden. Later during the Attack in the Arachnid Quarantine Zone Carmen Ibanez was contacted by Carl Jenkins via telepathic link and wanted her to deliver a message to Johnny.
After the communication from Carl, her Executive Officer told her that "Fed Net just reported an Infestation on Mars", which surprised her more or less. Then two unidentified Federation Starships intercepted the John A. Warden, which are used by the the Special Branch. She is able to outmaneuver them and head for Mars to rescue Johnny. Later Amy Snapp tries to detonate the Q-Bomb on Mars but learns, through Carmen broadcasting his signal, that the bomb is deactivated by the Lost Patrol. Carmen informs Johnny's team that everything they've been doing up to that point is broadcasted on the Fed Net. When Johnny intiates his plan to use Mars atmospheric system to deal a huge blow to the bug forces Carmen herself flies down to pick him up and with her skills is able to retrieve Johnny and his team.
Carmen in the beginning of the first movie is shown to be flirtatious, teasing, and peppy. She wants to be a pilot more than anything and despite being Johnny's girlfriend does not seem to fully reciprocate the feelings he has for her. Eventually she desires to go career and breaks up with him. Like Jonny she initially see's her time in the military as fun and joyful but the Klendathu incident shows her the reality of life in the military and over time hardens into a capable and excellent captain of her own starship. As shown in the John A. Warden incident she has become very protective of her ships. To the point she would attack her best friend Carl about taking her ship. However her time in the Military has turned her into a strong, and independent individual but she's also suspicious of their motives especially when Carl is involved.
Unlike Johnny, however, she does not just follow orders blindly and will often question the reason behind them. This is especially true with Carl's orders, also despite being his best friend she is suspicious of his motives especially during the John A. Warden Incident and the Bug invasion on Mar's. Despite her suspicions though she ultimately trusts him even if she doesn't like his orders she will fulfill them but not without some fuss.
- Johnny Rico was Carmen's boyfriend during high school. Carmen later dumped Johnny while he was in boot camp as she were planning to go career. In Invasion, Johnny attempted a romantic gesture on her. but she ignored or seemingly did not hear him thus putting their relationship on a purely friendly term.
- She, Carl, and Rico are vowed to be best friends forever. However, Rico and Ibanez are closer to each other than to Carl. Over the years, her relationship with Carl becomes strained due to the secretive nature of his position. It becomes slightly more so when Carl takes her ship to transport the Queen though he does not tell her this which upsets her even more. In Traitor of Mars, Carl contacts her to help Johnny and while she expresses anger at his request ultimately she carries it out.
- She had a brief romance with Zander Barcalow (film).
- Carmen was meant to appear in Starship Troopers 3: Marauder during a FedNet advert for United Citizen Federation Fleet, however the actress Denise Richards had a scheduling conflict and could not play the role. The character was replaced with Enolo Phid.
- An early design of Carmen Ibanez in Starship Troopers: Invasion later becomes the character model of Tia Durer.
- She is also referred as Carmencita in the DVD extra from the Japanese version of Starship Troopers: Invasion Blu-ray DVD.
- In Puerto Rico, every time they'd say "Carmen IBANEZ" in the film, the entire audience would scream out: "¡¡¡IBAÑEZ, coño!!!"
- Carmen killed 48 Warrior Bugs in the film Starship Troopers.
Starship Troopers: InvasionEdit
Starship Troopers: Traitor of MarsEdit