Monday, June 6, 2011
In Search of Starship Troopers
I see that there is a trailer for the upcoming videogame Halo 4. I must say I got very excited upon hearing of the trailer, although the game won't be released until "Holiday 2012". Halo is the modern incarnation of my childhood dream of the armored space warrior as first revealed to me through the writings of Robert A. Heinlein in Starship Troopers. I was lucky enough to find Heinlein at just the right age, 12 or 13, and his works influence me til this day. While my boys were growing up I would read to them nightly, and, although the books were probably too mature for their elementary school years, it seemed the right thing to do. It was tough to live in the George Lucas Skinner Box I created, so, my apologies kids...Books that contained dashes of gore, fealty and treachery in equal parts. I read aloud the John Carter of Mars series, The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings and, of course, a part of my science fiction literary canon, Starship Troopers. The scars will reveal themselves surely when they have their own children.
For me, the theme of armored space warrior was first portrayed in the Heinlein manner onscreen in the movie "Aliens", a perfect and unexpected sequel to a movie made seven years previous. The Colonial Marines embodied many of Heinlein's soldiers' attributes and attitudes so it remains one of my all-time favorite action movies.
Image from Roughnecks
I must also make mention of the short-lived animated TV series Roughnecks which spun-off from the big screen adaptation of Starship Troopers. These Roughnecks were a fitting sequel of sorts to the troopers in the Heinlein novel. Again, the children were subjected to watching the elusive run of the series when we could catch it.
And lo, there occurred the second year of a new century and Halo was released. Here was Heinlein indeed! In a video game! To be able to immerse yourself in first-person armor suit action, fighting, among other aliens, bugs from the beyond! Great and so appealing to a Starship Troopers aficionado.
So, when I see today the news of a trailer promising further adventures of Master Chief, I am happy. Playing Halo is zen to this particular Heinlein fan! On this same note, I just finished The Forever War by Joe Haldeman, a science fiction classic which I had not read until last week. It deserves to be mentioned in any cosmos-trekking warrior's litany of space armor sagas. Very different...and like, so 70's man...