Starship Troopers has an interesting legacy. For most, it was just a forgettable sci-fi action movie featuring a bunch of CGI bugs and Neil Patrick Harris in a supporting role. But some people—mostly young men who were raised in the 1990s—absolutely love Starship Troopers. The film’s bizarre tone and excessive use of bug guts have imprinted themselves on the psyches of these fans and ensured that the movie will live on in memes for years to come. Now, to celebrate the film’s 20th anniversary, one such fan has cut together a trailer that gives Starship Troopers the gravitas it so richly deserves.
According to director Paul Verhoeven, the film was meant as a satire of the militarism and fascism promoted in the Robert Heinlein novel it’s loosely based on, despite the fact that Verhoeven stopped reading the book after two chapters because “it was so boring.” Whether or not the film hits its target is up for debate, but this recut trailer leans heavily into political commentary, opening with a quote from Ronald Reagan’s 1987 speech to the United Nations. Combine that with a soaring score and an endless onslaught of insects and you’ve got yourself a modern blockbuster. The only misstep in this entire “modern trailer” is not going with the obvious tagline, “The Only Good Bug Is A Dead Bug.”