Mini-Nuke Episode #12: Starship Troopers

In this episode, we wanted to learn more about the mobile infantry, so we talked about Starship Troopers, both the 1997 movie and 1959 book. How does the story deploy tactical nuclear weapons in the war against the bugs? Why was the book’s author inspired to write a protest against the campaign to end nuclear testing? Who would Herman Kahn enjoy talking to more: Carl or the brain bug? Tim Westmyer (@nuclearpodcast), Will Saetren (@WillSaetren), and Geoff Wilson (@nuclearwilson) answer these questions and more.

This is the 12th in our Mini-Nuke episode series, where we overthink pop culture with a smaller slice of nukes than our usual full-sized episodes.

Before we decide to talk a walk down washout lane, we recommend checking out:

Low-Yield Hot Take: Blade Runner’s Nuclear Plot Lost Like Tears in Fallout

1280_ryan_gosling_blade_runner_2049In Philip K Dick’s 1968 novel, Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep, that forms the basis of the 1982 movie, a nuclear “World War Terminus” was responsible for post-apocalyptic San Francisco.

This is the reason why most animals are dead and humans use bioengineering and cloning to create artificial animals like snakes and robot cats. Radiation and nuclear war is also a motivation for people to move off-world (that and the fact each person who does gets their own replicant butler).

The 1982 movie doesn’t mention nuclear war as far as I can tell, but these plot devices of off-world colonies and artificial animals remain as holder overs. When I watch Blade Runner 2049 tomorrow at theNational Air and Space Museum, Smithsonian Institution IMAX theater, I will keep an eye out for nuclear plot points.