Starship Troopers starts off with Colonel John Rico, who is stationed on the Roku San, an agrarian planet. In an unfortunate turn of events, Rico gets into a heated argument with a couple of farmers who are protesting against the war. Rico is charged and given an execution sentence for attacking a superior officer, but his old friend, Dix, prevents Rico's execution so that Rico will be able to lead a rescue mission.
Rico heads back to Sanctuary and finds out that Captain Lola Beck has been assigned to go to a classified planet called Planet OM-1. Dix later finds out that Lola has been summoned as one of the coordinates to Sanctuary.
One of the other troopers, Sky Marshal Anoke, has been reported to have been communicating with Behemecoatyl, also known as "The Bug Brain." Anoke has gained psychic powers from this bug, and he believes that he can save humanity by adopting their religion and making peace with the bugs. Anoke purposely shuts down the electric barrier in hopes that he will be able to make peace with the bugs by bringing the two species together.
Rico brings an elite team of Starship Troopers with him on a rescue mission to Planet OM-1, equipped with Federation battle suits. This planet is home to the Arachnid bug hive. Rico and his squad defeat the Arachnid Warriors and find two survivors to bring back with them to Earth. Once the mission is over, Rico is not only cleared of his past charges, but he is also awarded with a promotion to a General ranking. He is also in charge of the Marauder program as a commander, and Lola and Dix get married.