The film was released directly to DVD in the U.S. on August 5, 2008. Production started in May 2007, with principal photography commencing in South Africa.
In the past eleven years of "The Second Bug War", the Mobile Infantry has improved their weapons and tactics. However, as they adapt, so do the Bugs, and many new Arachnid variants have developed. The United Citizen Federation now finds itself engaged in trench warfare on the frontier planets. The Federation puts a positive spin on this in the media while using its judicial and military authority to suppress peace protesters and religious fanatics as seditionists.
Colonel Johnny Rico (Casper Van Dien) is stationed on the agrarian planet Roku San when the popular Sky Marshal (and singer) Omar Anoke (Stephen Hogan) pays a visit. Off-duty, Rico's old friend General Dix Hauser (Boris Kodjoe) gets into a bar fight with farmers protesting against the war. During the fight, Rico stops Dix from shooting one of the farmers. Dix tries to have Rico arrested, but the base defences suddenly fail due to an alien attack. Rico knocks Dix to the floor and leaves to help fight the Arachnids. When Roku San falls, Rico is blamed by the Federal Media and set for execution for insubordination and striking a superior officer. However Dix has Rico's execution faked, so that Rico can lead a rescue mission.
On their way back to Sanctuary, the Fleet's secret HQ, Captain Lola Beck (Jolene Blalock) is marooned on a classified planet, OM-1, with Sky Marshal Anoke. Admiral Enolo Phid (Amanda Donohoe) suppresses this information. Dix finds out thanks to an officer who thinks this is wrong and recruits Rico to rescue the Sky Marshal and Lola, the latter being one of the few in possession of the coordinates to Sanctuary, which would cripple the military if the Arachnids learned of its location. An apparent earthquake causes Dr. Wiggs (Danny Keogh) to fall into a crevasse, while the Sky Marshal views a giant eye staring back at him from below. Cynical cook Jingo Ryan (Jon Falkow) is next to die after he takes shelter within a cluster of supposed rock outcroppings, which are actually Arachnid limbs which pull him below. Engineer Bull Brittles (Stelio Savante) asks the very religious flight attendant, Holly Little (Marnette Patterson), to marry him, but dies shortly after.
On Earth, General Hauser confronts Admiral Phid about why she is abandoning the Sky Marshal, only to be arrested. Later, Phid reveals to him that Sky Marshal Anoke is responsible for the downfall of Roku San, having been in communication with the "Brain of Brains", also known as "Behemecoatyl", through the original brain bug captured in Starship Troopers, as he has psychic powers. The Sky Marshal adopted their religion, hoping he could save humanity from the bugs if he could make peace with them. It is revealed that he turned off the electric barrier surrounding the base on Roku San to show his willingness to make peace between the two species. The Federation now believes the Brain Bug allowed itself to be captured in the first place on Planet P in order to pass on intelligence from inside the Federation. The Federation makes the decision to kill and dissect the captured brain but it overhears them and unleashes a telepathic attack, killing a few soldiers by exploding their skulls before Hauser kills it. It is revealed that Admiral Phid ignored the distress calls of those abandoned on OM-1 so she could become the new Sky Marshal; however, she failed to take into account that Lola, who is one of the few pilots of the Federation that know the location of Sanctuary, was with Anoke.
Back on OM-1, the stranded make contact with The Brain of Brains, who communicates with them through the corpses of their fallen comrades and soon kills Anoke for his knowledge; Lola and Holly, the last two left alive, begin to pray that they will be saved.
Rico leads the Marauders, an elite team of troopers composed of his command staff from Roku San, on a rescue mission, using the Federation's new battle-suits. They defeat the Arachnid warriors on OM-1, suffer no casualties, and rescue the two survivors. OM-1 is revealed to be the home of the Bug Hive, the Arachnids' ruling body, and Fleet destroys it from orbit with a planet-destroying "Q Bomb".
Rico is apparently cleared of charges and subsequently awarded a promotion to the rank of General, and given permanent command of the Marauder program. Anoke is reported to have died in a terrorist attack (staged by the government earlier to explain his disappearance) and given a hero's funeral. Dix and Lola are married, Admiral Phid is appointed the new Sky Marshal with Dix as her second-in command, and Holly becomes a Federal chaplain. Dozens of peace protesters are hanged in connection to the purported terrorist attack. The new Sky Marshal Phid, impressed with the way that Sky Marshal Anoke was rendered servile by the Arachnids' religion, decides the Federation should adopt a religion, and Christianity is embraced by the Federation.Casper Van Dien as Colonel Johnny Rico
Jolene Blalock as Captain Lola Beck
Boris Kodjoe as General Dix Hauser
Stephen Hogan as Sky Marshal Omar Anoke
Marnette Patterson as Holly Little
Stelio Savante as Bull Brittles
Cecile Breccia as Link Manion
Jon Falkow as Jingo Ryan
Danny Keogh as Dr. Wiggs
Amanda Donohoe as Admiral Enolo Phid
Tanya van Graan as Sergeant A. Sunday
Nicole Salandra as Sergeant J. Kirby
Corey Burton as Official (voice)
Marauder has had mixed to average reviews. On Rotten Tomatoes, as of 2009, the film was holding a 50% "rotten" rating from six professional reviews, three rotten and three fresh.
Joe Leydon of Variety stated:
"Die-hard fans of Starship Troopers, Paul Verhoeven's notorious 1997 cult-fave sci-fi spectacle, will be pleased to note that its second made-for-vid sequel gamely attempts to replicate the original pic's over-the-top style and self-satirical tone. Unlike 2004's negligible Starship Troopers 2: Hero of the Federation, a relatively straightforward actioner, the latest episode reprises Verhoeven's love-it-or-hate-it mix of gruesome mayhem, overstated melodrama, peek-a-boo nudity and tongue-in-cheek fascist aesthetics."
Alex Dorn of UGO.com stated that "fans of the original movie should be pretty happy with this venture" but that those "expecting the whiz-bang big budget wonder of the original will be disappointed." He gave the film an overall rating of a B minus.
Scott Weinberg of FEARnet gave the film a fresh review, stating that the film is "probably a rental more so than a must-own, but certainly worth a look if you dug the first film".
In March 2009, Marauder was nominated for a 2009 Saturn Award in the Best DVD Release Category.