In Brief

Birth of the Bug: See How Artists Built the 'Starship Troopers' Alien Warrior (Video)

If you're a fan of the 1997 sci-fi cult classic "Starship Troopers," Christmas just came a little early.

The visual-effects company Amalgamated Dynamics Inc. (ADI) has released a nearly 6-minute video showing how its artists and technicians built a "warrior bug" for the film.

"To celebrate the 20th anniversary of 'Starship Troopers,' we dug deep into our video archive to uncover footage we had not previously presented on the studioADI channel," ADI representatives wrote in a description of the video, which was posted on YouTube Wednesday (Nov. 15). "Part 1 kicks off the series chronicling the creation of the warrior bug, from sculpture to paint to animatronics testing."

A still from the 1997 film "Starship Troopers," which centers on a 23rd-century war between humanity and a race of insect-like aliens. (Image credit: Everett Collection)

Paul Verhoeven's "Starship Troopers" — which shares its name with a 1959 novel by Robert Heinlein — chronicles a 23rd-century war between humanity and a race of insectoid aliens. If you haven't seen it, you really should; it's a lot of fun.


The movie is absolutely crawling with warrior bugs, but most of them are computer-generated. The strikingly lifelike animatronic one shown in the new video was used for close-up shots.

You can watch the newly released video on YouTube here:

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Mike Wall
Senior Space Writer

Michael Wall is a Senior Space Writer with and joined the team in 2010. He primarily covers exoplanets, spaceflight and military space, but has been known to dabble in the space art beat. His book about the search for alien life, "Out There," was published on Nov. 13, 2018. Before becoming a science writer, Michael worked as a herpetologist and wildlife biologist. He has a Ph.D. in evolutionary biology from the University of Sydney, Australia, a bachelor's degree from the University of Arizona, and a graduate certificate in science writing from the University of California, Santa Cruz. To find out what his latest project is, you can follow Michael on Twitter.