Wednesday, February 27, 2002

I finally got a haircut today. Can't say that I like it but it could have been worse. ROTC may be annoying but at least I'm not enrolled in the military whose rules are so much stricter. What made me think about that? The answer is Starship Troopers.

I finished reading Heinlein's novel. When I compare it to the movie (which I only saw snipets) or the TV series, they pale in comparison to the book. A lot of changes were made and granted, the theatrical and TV production had more "action", the book is a treasure in its own right.

The first difference is the characters. For one thing, the main character in the book is a Filipino. Juan Rico is his name and while glossing over the various starships, he commented that "there ought to be one named Magsaysay".

As for the rest of the cast you see in the movie and TV show, they all died except perhaps for the female pilot love interest (whose head was shaved for military protocol). Rasczak's death is mentioned in the third page, Carl didn't even reach field combat, and Jenkins was gone by the time you reach the middle. Starship Troopers is the story of one person: Rico, and Heinlein focuses on that.

Also, I mentioned earlier that if you want action, the movie is as better medium. There are only two pitched battles mentioned in the book and the first one only happens in the second half. Instead, the book dwells on the more difficult aspects of being a soldier: the training, the pressure, and the duty. Also, Heinlein's future government is identical to ours except for one simple but significant difference: in order to be recognized as a citizen, you have to enlist in the army. Thus, people who didn't pass military training does not have the right to vote, and this has a huge impact on society.

Throughout the book, you'll encounter various historical accounts and philosophical views. Interestingly, quotes that appear at the beginning of each chapter owe a lot to the Bible.

Perhaps the best aspect of the book is how the story ended. If you have the chance, I highly recommend the book. With only two hundred plus pages, it's also an easy read.

Oh yeah, did I mention that today, I found out that the beta version of Warcraft III is out? =)


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