The foreword to Ender’s Game is perhaps the most engaging portion of the entire novel. Orson Scott Card revised the foreword of the 1985 novel to clarify a few notions that caused readers to have some minor complaints. In the foreword Mr. Card admits that he does not have a grand understanding of physics, mathematics or other scientific notions that most science fiction works are based upon. Instead Mr. Card received a liberal arts based education and utilized the American Civil War as a palette to construct the marvelous story of Ender’s Game. Because of this approach readers are more focused on the characters and their situations, rather than getting lost in a futuristic world. Notwithstanding that Ender’s Game does indeed have terrific action and descriptions of a future world that would visually rival Minority Report and Blade Runner.
Andrew “Ender” Wiggin is the main protagonist and extraordinarily gifted child whom has earth’s fate (no matter how cliché it sounds) in his hand. Ender is chosen by the International Fleet (IF) to defend against an insect-like race of Aliens derogatorily referred to as “Buggers”. The human race encountered the Buggers while traveling through the universe utilizing near speed of light travel. Before Ender is sent off to this elite military academy, the reader is introduced to his family. His parents are simply written to be caring and concerned about their son’s commissioning into the IF. Typical. But Ender’s siblings are very well developed. Valentine is a courteous and protective older sister whom constantly defends Ender against the malevolent Peter. Peter is constantly degrading Ender (despite knowing his little brother’s courageousness and intelligence), and even goes as far as to threaten homicide. I will not give away the ending, but Peter is so much more than an asshole sibling whom ends up having a change of heart at the end of the story. Let’s just say Peter is able to save the day on Earth, while Ender is in cosmos battle and kicking ass and taking names against the Buggers.
The International Fleet training sections of the novel is going to be the hardest part of the novel to portray on screen. This is because the training is with live weapons at zero gravity. This is also the longest portion of the novel, and if not done skillfully will become rather redundant to the audience. Robert Orci and Alex Kurtzman (the writers of Lost, Fringe and the 2009 Star Trek) are onboard as producers. With the latter movie in mind, I cannot help but think that the zero gravity sequences will be reminiscent of the Vulcan scenes involving a young Spock being ridiculed by his fellow full Vulcan blooded douche bag classmates.
The cast is stellar:
Asa Butterfield (Hugo) Ender Wiggin
Hailee Steinfeld (True Grit) Petra Arkanian
Abigail Breslin (Little Miss Sunhine, Signs, and Zombieland) Valentine Wiggin
Harrison Ford (do I need to list?) Colonel Graff
I am a little unsure about Gavin Hood as the writer/director. His Wolverine: X-Men Orgins was very lack-luster. I know that this is probably because he is writing about a comic book character that does not have the depth of Batman or Ironman. Nonetheless I am overall optimistic for the potential of this superb novel to make a great movie. 2012 may have the more anticipated movies, but with this adaptation, Man of Steel and Paul Thomas Anderson’s The Master making their debuts, 2013 is going to be very noteworthy.