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Why Some Fans Think Total Recall Is A Prequel To Starship Troopers

Paul Verhoeven has directed perhaps some of the most recognizable science fiction films of all time. From "Total Recall" to "RoboCop" to "Starship Troopers," Verhoeven's sci-fi output in the late '80s and '90s is arguably some of the more unique offerings in the genre. In fact, some have studied his films and noted similarities in themes and satirical elements, which often involve dystopian-like societies with protagonists attempting to just survive in the worlds they inhabit (per The Film Stage).

Because the themes and grim worlds that these films take place in are often so similar to each other, fans have been constructing theories over the years that connect Verhoeven's movies in a more concrete way. Interestingly enough, some fans have argued that the universes of "Total Recall" and "Starship Troopers" are actually one and the same, with the former serving as a prequel for the latter. And there are a few different reasons that some viewers use to justify this theory.

The events in Total Recall could have lead to Starship Troopers

On the subreddit r/FanTheories, user u/Sarlax posited that "Total Recall" and "Starship Troopers" take place in the same universe, with "Total Recall" actually serving as a prequel to the events that eventually unfolded in "Starship Troopers." The crux of this theory revolves around the fictional mineral turbinium, which is being mined at the Mars colony in "Total Recall." As u/Sarlax points out, it's a mineral with very large quantities of energy that, according to this theory, could have been used to make the highly advanced weapons seen in "Starship Troopers."

Additionally, u/Sarlax talks about the advances in space travel seen in "Starship Troopers" and how that particular mineral could be the key to it, as well. "Turbinium also becomes the key to faster-than-light travel," the theory states. "In 'Starship Troopers,' it seems clear that the Federation is relatively new to extra-solar exploration; the only settlements are bare-bones military bases that are recently established."

Basically, the use of turbinium that was being mined during the events of "Total Recall" could have led to the powerful faction that controls it creating the Federation seen in "Starship Troopers." Another small piece of evidence is the existence of psychics in both worlds, though in "Total Recall," they mainly exist as mutants. It's by no means a perfect or even proven theory, but it's still a fun little headcanon that some fans have very much embraced.