Yesterday I got to see the movie Ender’s Game. Although quite a bit had to be left out in order to make the story into a regular feature-length film, I felt that what was depicted was fairly true to the original, or at least in keeping with it. The visual effects were impressive and brought to life – and up to date – the things that the novel itself got us to imagine. There are spoilers in what follows.
I liked that Ender articulated so directly his response to Col. Graff’s statement that humanity’s winning was what matters. Ender suggested rather that “How we win matters.”
There was no direct exploration of religion in the film, but there were hints not only in Alai’s saying “assalamu alaikum” and in Mazer Rackham’s statement that he had Maori markings on his face because his father was Maori and this allowed him to “speak for the dead” – a nod to the role that Ender himself takes on in the novel and its sequels.
Of the things that were cut, the omission of the regret of the Formic queen expressed at the end was what I regretted most. It emphasized more clearly that these “buggers” were sentient beings and that Ender saving the species was not merely an expression of his regret, but a result of a very difficult but ultimately successful communication between two species each of which found it hard to believe that there was anything genuinely sentient and worth preserving in the other.
If you saw the movie, did you enjoy it, and how did you feel it rendered the novel upon which it was based?