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When Starship Troopers came out back in 1997, I was too young to watch it, but I heard about it and was interested in it, so it always lurked in my subconsciousness. I got hands on it in late 2000, in form of an original version. I was in ninth grade at the time, and my English wasn't all that great, so a lot of the movie flew over my head. Some nice action, but that was it, basically. I was intrigued, though, by the whole setting and everything, and so I rewatched it (without improving understanding much) and, half a year later, finally got to watch it in my natural German.
This was a pivotal moment in two ways. On the one hand, I finally understood the damn movie, more on which later. On the other hand, it was a tremendous disappointment. Having seen (even if barely understood) the original, the German voiceover was a huge letdown. Uninspired line delivery, flat tones, missing jargon and, as I learned only later, baffling translation choices conspired to make it into a turd. I also disliked that the actors were so young and perfect looking. A grim setting like this seemed to call for grittier actors, like in my go-to war movie, "All Quiet on the Western Front".
It wasn't until I voiced those complaints to my local fantasy shop owner (the only other geek I knew back in those dark days without broadband, and the same guy who would recommend ASOIAF to me) that he gave me a key insight. He told me something to the effect that "it needs to be this way, this is a propaganda movie". In that moment, everything clicked.
Starship Troopers therefore became the first piece of pop culture I ever gave a critical reception to, and I consequently rewatched it several times (never again in German). I started to look at popcultural stuff with more of an eye to the actual message, setting and direction instead of focussing solely on the plot. And I started to watch as much as I could in English. In the following 15 years, I got from mediocre school English to the level I have today, not because of any lesson but because I consumed a shitton of English media.
All of that wouldn't have happened without Starship Troopers. So, a tribute to Verhoeven and his gang of actors.