Don’t get anything twisted, the realistic portions of Starship Troopers don’t have anything to do with giant bugs or space travel, but the media coverage and manipulation is definitely realistic since if anyone’s missed out for the last several decades, the media has grown in strength to a degree that’s almost a little disconcerting considering that people continue to listen. Manipulation by the media is something that’s bound to cause a great deal of debate with a lot of people but is unfortunately very real. In Starship Troopers, there’s no denying that media manipulation is a prominent force that helps to keep people interested and to keep them searching for more interesting newscasts. The truth is that this is what’s done in the real world as well, and it works quite often since people will continue looking at items of interest, both personal and professional. If one goes on YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, and various other social media sites, they’ll find a host of information that is either highly misleading or factual, no matter how unpleasant it is. Depending on the person’s own personal bias and beliefs they’ll either listen to everything the news media has to say, or they’ll make their own decisions.
In Starship Troopers, it was pretty evident that a lot of people were ruled by the news media and were being given what those in charge believed was worth knowing. Otherwise, it makes sense that there might have been a bigger voice within the community that might have subscribed to the idea that humans didn’t need to be messing with the arachnids when there were likely so many other worlds to explore. But humans being humans, exploring and displacing, or trying to, native species is kind of a thing that goes hand in hand with expanding one’s species. That’s how the bugs became seen as a violent and destructive force, since like it or not, the humans were invaders, and trying to communicate with creatures that are seen by humans as to be big and stupid as well as dangerous wasn’t a priority.
There’s no doubt that the audience and the people within the movie were meant to be manipulated into thinking that a native species was being dangerous for no reason, but the truth is that the media loves to spin things towards conflict and drama, much as they did in this movie. It was a little over the top for much of the time, but it had the desired effect since people had a serious hate-on for bugs and didn’t think that any of them deserved to live. That’s why any bug that was captured was going to be studied and otherwise tortured to gain the secrets that were needed in order to make the army even more effective and that much stronger for the knowledge gained. But through the news media, the manipulation of the populace continued, and as it’s seen in the real world, this is still how things happen. Asking questions is frowned upon quite often no matter who’s in charge, and giving an opinion that’s not the desired manner in which the media is pushing people is often met with a great deal of hostility or alienation that leaves the speaker essentially out in the cold.
This is one perspective obviously, but it’s one that many people have come to recognize as a popular view since many individuals have come to the realization that each time they turn on the news there’s something that leaps out at them in terms of a headline that promises doom and gloom or sensationalism on a level that’s hard to ignore. The propaganda that the movie featured is impossible to ignore since it’s front and center and an integral part of the story. But in real life, many people tend to simply turn off the news and ignore it as much as they can. It’s not that the news media don’t inform the people of what’s happening and what’s important, it’s that the news has become far more opinion than simple information and much more of a push rather than a suggestion that what’s going on far, far away from home is important. Obviously in the movie, the news was important, but treating everything like a real-life sitcom was disturbing.
This is even more true in the real world since the things that people should care about are being offered up like a plate filled with misery and despair while news anchors attempt to stand as the shining light while their opinions are the siren song guiding the people to what they tout as the way to true equality and possible happiness. The downside is that those that follow the news tend to be among the most miserable individuals of all sometimes. So yeah, Starship Troopers was realistic in a sense.