I have a confession to make: I’ve never read Ender’s Game. I know, a part of me should have my nerd credentials ripped off, torn into pieces, spat upon and then skinned and turned into some kind of floppy ruck sack. The issue was while in middle school and high school I was too busy reading Heinlein and Douglas Adams, and the contrast between those two types of SF left me a bit frazzled and unable to try anything else for a while, until I found Philip K. Dick and boy did that open a whole new can of worms. Enough my waxing poetic about books I’ve read in the past though, and more about Ender’s Game itself. Sadly, all I have to go on now is how it’s supposedly a great story, written by a man who now unfortunately has tainted his own name pretty horribly. There’s been a pretty large, and justified row about Orson Scott Card due to his incredibly awful personal beliefs, and I’m fairly certain that will affect the perception the public at large has of the film. Especially for folks like me, who haven’t read the novel itself, and only know about OSC’s reputation. Regardless of that stigma however, the trailer is certainly interesting enough.
The problem I have with that trailer is it doesn’t really explain what the story is at all, and relies on the fact that you already know the story to be pumped for it. It makes me think what most non-SF loving people must think of the genre as, because all I see are weird swarm/alien bee-ships, and a little kid using an Mega-Xbox-Kinect (Oh I get it, a GAME okay) to control giant laser beams that are blowing up a planet maybe? And somehow that’s a heroic thing, I think? Plus there’s someone in it named Asa Butterfield, which I swear to god I’ve named an old Dungeons & Dragons character of mine before. Along with Jakk Hornsblood and Magnus Graverock, but that’s neither here nor there. Plus did you see Ben Kingsley’s weird face tattoo? If I didn’t inherently love SF and everything about the genre, I would assume this was a bunch of weird nonsense of The Last Airbender proportions. Then again, Avatar was the biggest hit movie of all time, so what do I know? All I have to go off of is the synopsis give to the film from press releases anyway.
“After an alien race called the Formics attacks Earth, the International Fleet prepare for the next invasion by training the best young children to find the future leader to lead the International Military. Ender Wiggin (Asa Butterfield), a shy but strategically brilliant boy, is pulled out of his school to join International Fleet and attend the legendary Battle School. After easily mastering the increasingly difficult war games, distinguishing himself and winning respect among his peers, Ender is soon ordained by Colonel Graff (Harrison Ford) as the military’s next great hope, resulting in his promotion to Command School. Once there, he’s trained by Mazer Rackham (Ben Kingsley) himself to lead the military into a war that will determine the future of Earth and the human race.”
There’s also this preview trailer, which I guess is a trailer for a trailer, which is a thing they do now. How incredibly redundant that is I suppose is up to your personal choice, but I find it utterly dumbfounding.
The only thing worth seeing in that preview was hearing how Asa Butterfield pronounces his name, which hilariously sounds like “Butts field”, which is now going to be a town in my next Dungeons & Dragons game. But enough about my Dungeons & Dragon’s games. This is about ENDER’S Game, (Ooooh segue master!), and if you like Ender’s Game and can ignore how much of a douche OSC is, I suppose you’ll be psyched for this. I’m reserving a cautious “Meh”, just in case it ends up being a weird, homophobic, terrible polemic.