Starship Troopers 3: Marauder is the second direct-to-DVD sequel to Starship Troopers (1997 film) and third installment of the Starship Troopers film series. It takes place eleven years after the events of the first film. Rico is now a Colonel and commands the Mobile Infantry units defending a base on the planet Roku San that comes under attack by an army of Bugs. The film is rated R in the United States and 14A in Canada.
Eleven years after the Invasion of Planet P, the Federation was still fighting against the Bugs and had been developing new ways to defeat them, as well as increasing recruitment through use of propaganda and advertising. Any peace protesters and religious fanatics were executed as seditionists.
Colonel Johnny Rico was stationed on the planet of Roku San, in a Federation assault outpost where under constant attack of the Bugs. A shuttle brought in General Dix Hauser, Captain Lola Beck, old friends of Rico, and Sky Marshal Omar Anoke to boost morale. Hauser had a fight with a drunken farmer, though he claimed he could handle it, he was thrashed around the bar. Rico intervened, preventing Hauser from killing the farmer. Hauser threatened Rico with court martial soon before the outpost's Electric Perimeter Fence failed, falling ultimately into the hands of the Bugs. Rico lead his troops against the Bugs until they got attacked by a Scorpion. Lola evacuated Anoke aboard the shuttle, fleeing the planet. Ultimately, Roku San fell. Rico was blamed for the response and sentenced to hanging.
On the way back to base, Geronimo, the ship Lola and Anoke were on, was thrown out of warp space near the planet OM-1. The former and cook Jingo Ryan, engineer Bull Brittles, Dr Wiggs and religious flight attendant Holly Little, took an escape pod down to the planet while other soldiers took a shuttle. With the appearance of Bugs, they had to leave the pod for the shuttle. Along the way, Holly began praying as Anoke encouraged her, which Lola found nothing but annoyance. Unfortunately, their team was picked off one by one until only the women and Anoke were left.
A message was sent to Earth, which only Hauser received. He cut Rico's hang line just before the execution, bringing him to the Sanctuary, a top secret military base that reinforces all the Fleets in the Federation. He gave Rico command of the Marauder Program, a unit of seven advanced robotics mechs piloted by elite troopers. Rico chose his surviving command staff from Roku San, including Link Manion. Because the mechs were to be directly linked to the pilot's nervous system, the pilots first required to strip to be scanned and analyzed for compatibility. While stripping, the troopers asked each other what to do for short leave and possibly the end of the war. Link Marion asks Rico the latter, but he replied that the war was never going to end. They then go into a scanning room. Private Skinner didn't take off his underwear until he was told to, leading Sergeant Sunday to poke jokes at him. The troops were scanned, linked with a specific Marauder.
Hauser learned that Darla Lamb, who gave him the information on Anoke, was sentenced to death, so he confronted Admiral Enolo Phid, who authorized it and abandoned the Sky Marshal. Unfortunately, he was arrested. The Federal Media then reported that Anoke and Hauser was killed in a terrorist attack as Phid took his place. She then took Hauser to the holding cell of the Brain Bug captured from Planet P, revealing that Anoke had been spending a lot of time around the Bug, communicating with it, ultimately becoming indoctrinated by it. Anoke even shut off the electricity on Roku San, showing that he's a traitor. Phid had not counted on Lola being with him and fear that the location of the Sanctuary might be known to the Bugs. They then planned to kill and dissect the Bug, but it overheard them and unleashed a telepathic scream in an attempt to escape, killing several persons present. Hauser was able to kill it.
The group on OM-1 found the shuttle craft — only to find that its crew had died of air loss before hitting the ground. Suddenly, they were surrounded by Warrior Bugs as Behemecoatyl, the God Bug, otherwise known as the "Brain of Brains", the guiding intelligence, rising from the ground, tearing apart the shuttle. Anoke had hope to meet it and wished to negotiate peace with the Bugs. Behemecoatyl communicated with him through the corpses of their fallen comrades and impaled him, consuming him for his knowledge. Holly begged Lola to pray as it seems that seven "shining lights of guardian angels" come down from the night sky, who were actually the Marauders and bombed the God Bug. They annihilated hundreds of Warrior Bugs and rescued the survivors. In orbit, the Federation then uses a Q Bomb launched from the York to destroy OM-1 as Dix proposed to Lola.
To keep morale up, the Federation placed a funeral for Sky Marshal Omar Anoke. Peace protestors were again hanged. Holly became the Federal chaplain, as the Federation uses Christianity to control the masses. Dix and Lola got married while Rico was offered a promotion to general with permanent control of the Marauder Project.
- Casper Van Dien - Colonel/General Johnny Rico
- Jolene Blalock - Captain Lola Beck
- Boris Kodjoe - General Dix Hauser
- Stephen Hogan - Sky Marshal Omar Anoke
- Marnette Patterson - Holly Little
- Stelio Savante - Bull Brittles
- Cecele Breccia - Lieutenant Link Marion
- Jon Falkow - Private Jingo Ryan
- Danny Keogh - Dr Wiggs
- Amanda Donohoe - Admiral Enolo Phid
- Fred Abrahamse - Keva
- Tanya van Graan - Sergeant A. Sunday
- Nicole Salandra - Sergeant J. Kirby
- Antonio Summerton - Sergeant M. Hightower
- Graeme Richards - Lieutenant A. Danner
Notes and Trivia
- The story of the film takes places 11 years after the Invasion of Planet P.
- Two characters from the first film, Johnny Rico and the Brain Bug, appear in the film.
- During the battle of Roku San, footage of battle of Zulu Alpha from Starship Troopers 2: Hero of the Federation can be seen on the monitors.
Starship Troopers references
There are a number of ties made to the original Starship Troopers novel in the third film that were non-existent in the first two.
- The M11 Babar Marauder originates from the Marauder Suit from the novel. However, different to the novel version, which is a Powered Suit worn by a soldier, the M11 is a bipedal vehicle piloted by a soldier.
- The manner in which Rico and his squad land on OM-1 seems to be directly entering the planet's atmosphere (possibly by capsules) instead of taking a dropship to land on the planet.
- Rico also uses the phrase "on the bounce", which was used often in the novel, relating to the Powered Armor's ability to bounce over terrain using jump jets.
- The Q Bomb is similar to the Nova Bomb, also a weapon capable of destroying a planet.
- The Geronimo is named after a ship with the same name from the novel.
- The home base of the Fleet being a secret planet called Sanctuary, is a place from the novel.
- The film includes a religious element, which was mentioned at times in the novel.
There have been mixed reviews for Starship Troopers 3: Marauder. On Rotten Tomatoes, the film currently holds a 50% rating
Joe Leydon of Variety stated that "Die-hard fans of Starship Troopers, Paul Verhoeven's notorious 1997 cult-fave sci-fi spectacle, will be pleased to note that its second made-for-vid sequel gamely attempts to replicate the original pic's over-the-top style and self-satirical tone. Unlike 2004's negligible Starship Troopers 2: Hero of the Federation, a relatively straightforward actioner, the latest episode reprises Verhoeven's love-it-or-hate-it mix of gruesome mayhem, overstated melodrama, peek-a-boo nudity and tongue-in-cheek fascist aesthetics."
Alex Dorn of UGO.com stated that "fans of the original movie should be pretty happy with this venture" but that those "expecting the whiz-bang big budget wonder of the original will be disappointed." He gave the film an overall rating of a B minus.
On the other hand, Scott Weinberg of FEARnet gave the film a fresh review, stating that the film is "probably a rental more so than a must-own, but certainly worth a look if you dug the first film."
Critics from IFMagazine liked the film very much: "The sets and locations are good, the acting is surprisingly good, the storyline is decent and there is enough of the political and social commentary (from oppression of religious freedoms, to no right of assembly, to the execution of those that speak out against the war, to propaganda used to hide the truth, to using sex either gay or straight to get people to sign up for the military) that it harkens back to the original."
In March 2009, Marauder was nominated for a 2009 Saturn Award in the Best DVD Release Category.