screenplay by Edward Neumeier
based on the novel by Robert Heinlein
RASCZAK: Here in History and Moral Philosophy we've explored the decline of Democracy when social scientists brought the world to the brink of chaos, and how the veterans took control and imposed a stability that has lasted for generations since... You know these facts but have I taught you anything of value? You. Why are only citizens allowed to vote?
LANNY: It's a reward... what the Federation gives you for doing Federal Service.
RASCZAK: No. Something given has no value! Haven't I taught you dimwits anything? I guess they ought to revoke my teaching credential... When you vote, you're exercising political authority. You're using force. And force, my friends, is violence, the supreme authority from which all other authority derives.
CARL: Gee, we always thought you were the supreme authority, Mr. Rasczak.
RASCZAK: In my classroom, you bet. Whether it's exerted by ten or ten billion, political authority is violence by degree. The people we call citizens have earned the right to wield it.
DIZZY: My mother always says that violence never solves anything.
RASCZAK: Really? I wonder what the city fathers of Hiroshima would have to say about that. You.
CARMEN: They probably wouldn't say anything. Hiroshima was destroyed.
RASCZAK: Correct. Naked force has settled more issues in history than any other factor. The contrary opinion 'violence never solves anything' is wishful thinking at its worst. People who forget that always pay... They pay with their lives and their freedom.
RASCZAK: You. Tell me the moral difference, if any, between the citizen and the civilian?
JOHNNY: The difference lies in the field of civic virtue. A citizen accepts personal responsibility for the safety of the body politic, of which he is a member, defending it, if need be, with his life. The civilian does not.
RASCZAK: The exact words of the text. But do you understand it? Do you believe it?
JOHNNY: Uh, I don't know.
RASCZAK: Of course you don't. I doubt if any of you here would recognize 'civic virtue' if it bit you in the ass.
BIOLOGY TEACHER: For our final today, please identify the mouthparts, the abdominal organs, and for extra credit, locate the nerve cord and count the ganglia. You may begin.
JOHNNY: Aw, c'mon, it's just a bug.
BIOLOGY TEACHER: Just a bug, eh? We humans like to think we are Nature's finest achievement. I'm afraid it isn't true. This Arkellian Sand Beetle is superior in many ways. It has fewer moving parts, can reproduce itself in vast numbers, and unbound by concerns of ego and mortality, makes the perfect selfless member of society.
BIOLOGY TEACHER: Our galaxy is teaming with insect life. We have identified over two billion species so far. Human, life, it would seem, is the anomaly.
CARMEN: But we 're intelligent. Human minds have invented art, mathematics and interstellar travel.
BIOLOGY TEACHER: True, we know of no insect society that has produced a Shakespeare, an Einstein or a Cherynkov, but before you let that go to your head, take the example of the Arachnids, a highly organized, highly evolved insect society. They are relatively stupid by human standards. Workers have an IQ of 12, warriors around 35 , and yet the Arachnids have colonized planets. Over a million years of evolution, Nature has provided the Arachnids with the biological means to hurl their spore into space.
JOHNNY: I've been thinking about applying for Federal Service, too. Fleet, maybe.
CARL: Your father will never let you.
JOHNNY: I'm eighteen. It's my decision, I think I'd make a pretty good pilot. I've good great reflexes. You need that for maneuvering, you know.
CARL: Only 1 in 14 male applicants make it through stellar navigation. So what do you think your chances are?
JOHNNY: Eight point... no, uh, seven...
CARL: If you can't do those numbers, you haven't got a chance.
JOHNNY: All I know is Carmen's going to be a citizen, and I don't think it'll work out for us if I'm not.
CARL: Love... how excruciatingly pathetic.
CARMEN: Romance is just a vestigial biological response to procreation...
RASCZAK: Figuring things out for yourself is the only freedom anyone really has. Use that freedom. Make your own choice, Rico.
PSYCH OFFICER: Are your parents currently citizens?
JOHNNY: No, sir.
PSYCH OFFICER: Which do you think is more important, courage or confidence?
JOHNNY: Courage, I guess.
PSYCH OFFICER: Please complete this sentence. "I want to be citizen because -"
JOHNNY: I want to be a citizen because... well, because of my girl, Sir.
MAJOR: My job is to dertermine what you're best suited for.
JOHNNY: I want to be a pilot, sir.
MAJOR: Sorry, son, no way. Your school records say you don't have the math skills. That rules out the scientific and engineering applications, and I'm afraid we reserve non-military options for candidates who are frankly less able-bodied than you are, son... It looks like the only thing you're good for is cannon fodder. I'm putting you down for the Mobile Infantry.
CARL: I got Games & Theory.
CARMEN: Games & Theory? That's Military Intelligence... Oh, Carl!
JOHNNY: Whoa Way to go, boy-yo!
RECRUITING SERGEANT: Next time we meet, I'll probably have to salute you. What about you, son?
JOHNNY: Infantry, sir.
RECRUITING SERGEANT: Well, good for you. The Mobile Infantry made me the man I am today.
ACE: Sir, I don't understands who needs a knife in a nuke fight anyway... All you gotta do is push a button, sir
ZIM: Put your hand on the post, private.
ZIM: The enemy cannot push a button if you disable his hand. MEDIC!
ACE: What makes you think... you'll make... squad leader, Rico?
JOHNNY: Something... I've got...you don't.
CARMEN: Look at that. Isn't it beautiful? I had to show you. It's great to be out here on my own. I'm just not some little girl from Buenos Aires anymore. I'm gonna be a starship pilot, and I'm gonna see the universe... And that's also the problem because I don't really want to get married, Johnny. I don't want to have kids. I want a command, a ship of my own, and you know, I don't think that's gonna leave a lot of room for you and me. I know that's not what you wanted to hear... but I have to follow my heart. I'm sorry. I'm afraid you'll hate me, and I couldn't stand that. Write me, alright? Write me, so I'll know that we'll always be friends.
ACE: Funny how they always want to be your friends after they kick your guts out.
C.O.: What can I do for you, Rico?
JOHNNY: Sir, I wish to reconsider my request to drop out, sir.
C.O.: Sorry, son. I can't do it. You signed the 1240/A. It would be illegal.
JOHNNY: Sir, i know it was wrong. I didn't learn from one mistake and I made another, sir. Sir, my family... my whole family was in Buenos Aires, sir.
ZIM: Is that your signature, Rico?
JOHNNY: Sir, yes it is, sir.
ZIM: Doesn't look like it to me.
CARL: To defeat the enemy, we must know the enemy. Take for instance your basic Arachnid warrior. Minimal IQ, armored, completely lethal. You can blow a limb off...and it's still 86% combat effec-tive. But here's a tip: Aim for the nerve stem and put it down for good. Now while you are out killing bugs, we want you to be our eyes and ears. The bugs use some kind of plasma burst to divert meteors and aim them toward Earth. We need to know how they do this. If you encounter any plasma, report it immediately to your superior. Good luck and good hunting!
ZANDER: I was thinking. Maybe we should get married, Carmen.
CARMEN: You weren't thinking...you were dreaming!
ZANDER: If we're gonna be a team, why not be a real team?
CARMEN: There's a war on. I want a command, I want my own ship, you do, too...
CARMEN: So who's got time to get married?!
RASCZAK: This is for you new people. I only have two rules. Rule one, everyone fights. Rule two, no one quits. If you don't do your job, I'll kill you myself. Do you get me?