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The Surprising Connection Between Starship Troopers And Total Recall

Science fiction films in the late 20th century were heavily dependent on physical prop usage to make the filmmakers' vision of the future look realistic for present-day moviegoers. Since CGI technology was not quite as advanced as it is today, filmmakers had to rely more on physical means to wow audiences. As a result, the quality of physical props could often make or break a movie's success in theaters.

It should be no surprise, then, that films with limited resources and time have found themselves reusing props from older movies. For instance, Ghostbusters' iconic P.K.E. meter was famously jacked for films like They Live. However, one lesser known case of this phenomena actually draws a connection between two of the 1990s' most iconic sci-fi action films, Total Recall and Starship Troopers. In a strange twist of fate, these two films share more in common than just Paul Verhoeven serving as director for both movies.

Starship Troopers featured props from Total Recall

The original 1990 Total Recall, starring Arnold Schwarzenegger, had its fair share of iconic props. Memorable examples include the nostril-stretching tracking device that Schwarzenegger painfully yanks from his nose and the remarkably gross puppet for the mutant, Kuato. However, many of the film's other props are easily overlooked, making them perfect targets for recycling. According to ScreenRant, 1997's Starship Troopers took advantage of this fact, and used some of Total Recall's props and set pieces for their own purposes.

As it would happen, Starship Troopers eventually followed in the footsteps of Total Recall by recycling its own props for other films. The iconic outfits worn by the troopers themselves were reused particularly often. For instance, the cult favorite TV show, Firefly picked up one of the helmets and recycled it for their own space-soldiers after a basic paint-job. Meanwhile, the 2001 remake of Planet of the Apes took the same helmet and used it for their ape army. Unlike Firefly, however, the minds behind Planet of the Apes rigged the helmet to look entirely different from its original design.