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Humans in a fascistic, militaristic future do battle with giant alien bugs in a fight for survival.
Jean Rasczak: All right, let's sum up. This year we explored the failure of democracy. How our social scientists brought our world to the brink of chaos. We talked about the veterans, how they took control and established the stability that has lasted for generations since. You know these facts, but have I taught you anything of value this year? [to a student] Jean Rasczak: You. Why are only citizens allowed to vote? Student: It's a reward. Something the federation gives you for doing federal service. Jean Rasczak: No. Something given has no value. When you vote, you are exercising political authority, you're using force. And force my friends is violence. The supreme authority from which all other authorities are derived.
Dizzy: My mother always told me that violence doesn't solve anything. Jean Rasczak: Really? I wonder what the city founders of Hiroshima would have to say about that. [to Carmen] Jean Rasczak: You. Carmen: They wouldn't say anything. Hiroshima was destroyed. Jean Rasczak: Correct. Naked force has resolved more conflicts throughout history than any other factor. The contrary opinion, that violence doesn't solve anything, is wishful thinking at its worst. People who forget that always die.
[Ace is having difficulty with throwing knives] Ace Levy: Sir, I don't understand. Who needs a knife in a nuke fight anyway? All you gotta do is push a button, sir. Career Sergeant Zim: Cease fire. Put your hand on that wall trooper. PUT YOUR HAND ON THAT WALL! [Zim throws a knife and hits Ace's hand pinning it to the wall] Career Sergeant Zim: The enemy can not push a button... if you disable his hand. Medic!
Jean Rasczak: This is for all you new people. I have only one rule. Everybody fights, no one quits. If you don't do your job, I'll kill you myself! Welcome to the Roughnecks!
Jean Rasczak: [to Rico] I need a corporal. You're it, until you're dead or I find someone better.
Johnny Rico: Someone asked me once if I knew the difference between a civilian and a citizen. I know now. A citizen has the courage to make the safety of the human race their personal responsibility. Dizzy was my friend. She was a soldier. But most important, she was a citizen of the Federation.
Carl: We thought there might be a Brain Bug on 'P'. Carmen: You knew and still you sent them? Carl: We couldn't afford to launch an operation if there wasn't one. [both Carmen and Johnny look at Carl with contempt] Carl: You disapprove? Well, too bad! We're in this war for the species, boys and girls. It's simple numbers. They have more. And every day I have to make decisions that send hundreds of people like you to their deaths. Johnny Rico: Didn't they tell you, Colonel? That's what the Mobile Infantry is good for.
Jean Rasczak: I expect the best and I give the best. Here's the beer. Here's the entertainment. Now have fun. That's an order!
General Owen: I had to evade capture. The lives of the Federation were at stake. Ace Levy: [background] Fire in the Hole! [explosion] General Owen: [startled by the explosion] I have operational knowledge of what were up to out here. Jean Rasczak: [to Diz] Dizzi, give me a status report. Johnny Rico: [softly] She's working on it. General Owen: [points to a dead soldier with his head hollowed out] Here, they did it to Farley, they got into his mind. They made Farley call Headquarters. Johnny Rico: The distress call was a trap. General Owen: They're just like us. They wanna know what makes us tick. They wanna know us, so they can KILL us! Jean Rasczak: [into his radio] This is Rasczak, prepare for attack. I repeat, prepare for attack!
Johnny Rico: I wanna join up. I think I got what it takes to be a Citizen. Jean Rasczak: Good for you! Go find out... Johnny Rico: Well... my parents are against it... and I know it's my choice. I was wondering. What would you do if you were me? Jean Rasczak: Figuring things out for yourself is the only freedom anyone really has. Use that freedom. Make up your own mind, Rico.
Johnny Rico: These are the rules. Everybody fights, nobody quits. If you don't do your job I'll kill you myself. Welcome to the Roughnecks! Private Sugar Watkins: Rico's Roughnecks!
Zander: One day someone like me is gonna kill you and your whole fucking race!
Jean Rasczak: [after Rico denies Dizzy's request to dance] Rico - you once asked me for advice, want some now? Johnny Rico: Yes, sir! Jean Rasczak: Never pass up a good thing.
Johnny Rico: Who are these kids? Ace Levy: We got reinforced. Most of them are fresh out of boot. Johnny Rico: We're the old men, Ace.
[after Rico gets a Dear John from Carmen] Ace Levy: Funny how they always want to be friends after they rip your guts out.
Career Sergeant Zim: Anytime you think I'm being too rough, anytime you think I'm being too tough, anytime you miss-your-mommy, QUIT! You sign your 1240-A, you get your gear, and you take a stroll down washout lane. Do you get me?
Jean Rasczak: You got 10 minutes to get ready and go. Johnny Rico: Yes sir. Jean Rasczak: Whos's in there with you? Dizzy: Flores, sir. Jean Rasczak: Make it 20. Johnny Rico: We can do it.
Johnny: M.I. does the dying. Fleet just does the flying.
Dizzy: Rico, I'm dying. Johnny Rico: No Diz, you'll be fine. Dizzy: But it's OK, because I got to have you.
Jean Rasczak: They sucked his brains out.
[last lines] Newsreel announcer: We have the ships. We have the weapons. We need soldiers. Soldiers like Lieutenant Stack Lumbreiser... Lt. Lumbreiser: Over the target area now, Captain. Newsreel announcer: ...and Captain Carmen Ibanez. Carmen: This is the captain speaking. All personnel prepare for drop. Newsreel announcer: Soldiers like Private Ace Levy and Lieutenant John Rico. Johnny Rico: Come on you apes, you wanna live forever? Newsreel announcer: We need you all. Service guarantees citizenship.
Johnny Rico: I hear you got a bug problem ma'am? Corporal Birdie: Ah, stuff it, Rico!
Net Correspondent: No-one here in the AQZ knows exactly when the invasion of Klendathu will occur. But everyone's talking about it, and the talk says "tomorrow". [News journalist happily gives away the human battle plans on network television]
[arriving at the Fleet Space Station, Carmen and Zander see the devastation of the failed Klendathu invasion fleet] Zander: [shocked] My God. How could this happen? Carmen: We thought we were smarter than the Bugs.
Ace Levy: Shoot a nuke down a bug hole, you got a lot of dead bugs.
[Inside an Arachnid study laboratory] Newsreel announcer: Every day, Federal scientists are looking for new ways to kill bugs. Carl: Your basic Arachnid warrior isn't too smart, but you can blow off a limb, [shoots an Arachnid warrior's limb off] Carl: and it's still 86 percent combat effective. Here's a tip: Aim for the nerve stem, and put it down for good. [demonstrates]
Net Correspondent: It's an ugly planet. A BUG planet! A planet hostile to life- [Reporter is attacked and maimed by an arachnid]
Johnny Rico: You're some sort of big, fat, smart-bug, aren't you?
Sky Marshal Dienes: We must meet this threat with our courage, our valor, indeed with our very lives to ensure that human civilization, not insect, dominates this galaxy *now and always*!
Newsreel announcer: Join the Mobile Infantry and save the Galaxy. Service guarantees citizenship. Would you like to know more?
[reporting on the failed invasion of Klendathu] Newsreel announcer: Crisis for humankind. Fleet officials admit they underestimated the Arachnids' defensive capability. [switch over to the Federal council] Newsreel announcer: Accepting responsibility for Klendathu, Sky Marshal Dienes resigns. His successor, Sky Marshal Tehat Maru, outlines her new strategy. Sky Marshal Tehat Meru: To fight the bug, we must understand the bug. We can ill afford another Klendathu. Newsreel announcer: Would you like to know more?
Johnny Rico: Never surrender. Never retreat. Never give up.
Jean Rasczak: [Arriving on Planet P after its been bombed] All right. SPREAD OUT! Fire Teams, you see a bug hole, NUKE IT!
Private Sugar Watkins: Gimme the nuke Johnny Rico: You trying to be a hero, Watkins? Private Sugar Watkins: Just trying to kill some bugs, sir.
Carmen: Johnny, wait... Zander: Forget it, Ensign. He's mobile infantry. When you're paid to kill it doesn't pay to be polite. Johnny Rico: You got something to say about mobile infantry? Zander: You heard me. You want to make something of it... private? Johnny Rico: No, sir, not with an officer. The M.I. doesn't mint stupid troopers. Zander: Then let's disregard rank. [raising voice to speak to the crowd] Zander: Everybody hear that? Rank is not an issue here. Carmen: Zander, please, don't do this. Zander: Come on, what's he gonna do? [Zander turns towards Rico, who punches Zander in the jaw]
Zander: Don't exceed port speed. Carmen: Or what? Zander: Or they revoke your flight status... and mine. Carmen: [Smiles] Your career is in my hands.
closing caption: They'll keep fighting... and they'll WIN.
Johnny Rico: This is Roughneck Two-Zero-One. We are under heavy attack! Radio operator: [voice] But we have Planet P as secure. Johnny Rico: This place crawls, sir! I request retrieval, now! Radio operator: [voice] What is your location? Johnny Rico: Come down on this transmission. Radio operator: [voice] On the outpost? That's crazy! Johnny Rico: Well, I hope you have a crazy pilot. Out.
Ace Levy: Everybody needs a friend like me.
Jean Rasczak: Warm it up, everything you've got. C'mon you apes, you wanna live forever?
Jean Rasczak: Come on you apes! You want to live forever?
Captain Deladier: Steady as she goes, Number Two.
Lieutenant Willy: We're going in with first wave. Means more bugs fer us to kill!
Carmen: Johnny, uh, you remember Zander, don't you? Zander: From the game today. [shakes Johnny's hand] Zander: No hard feelings? Johnny Rico: None at all. We won.
Ace Levy: Don't worry, you still got me to kick around.
[first lines] Newsreel announcer: Young people from all over the globe are joining up to fight for the future. Soldier #1: I'm doing my part. Soldier #2: I'm doing my part. Soldier #3: I'm doing my part. Young kid dressed up as a soldier: I'm doing my part too. [Soldiers laugh] Newsreel announcer: They're doing their part. Are you? Join the Mobile Infantry and save the world. Service guarantees citizenship.
Newsreel announcer: Young people all over the globe are joining up to save the future.
Johnny Rico: I'm from Buenos Aires, and I say kill 'em all!
Jean Rasczak: Rico. What is the moral difference, if any, between a civilian and a citizen? Johnny Rico: A citizen accepts personal responsibility for the safety and body politic defending it with his life. A civilian does not. Jean Rasczak: The exact words from the textbook. But do you understand it? Do you believe it? Johnny Rico: I don't know.
Newsreel announcer: Everyone is doing their part. Are you?
Lieutenant Willy: Remember your training, and you will make it out alive!
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