Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Ender's Game - YA Adaptation of a Sci-Fi Classic

When my 9th grade English teacher decided to abandon the curriculum during our fourth term we were all a little skeptical.  Tossing aside Bram Stoker, she decided she’d rather read Orson Scott Card and thus we blasted off into space with the sci-fi classic Ender’s Game instead of trudging through nineteenth century Transylvania.  The book was INCREDIBLE.  Not only was the story captivating and intensely well written, but Card’s concept is strikingly original.  So naturally, when I heard the film was being made I was beyond ecstatic and my enthusiasm for the movie only grew when I heard the great Harrison Ford would be playing Colonel Graff.  After all was said and done however, the film turned out to be an attempted YA adaptation of what is truly a sci-fi classic which was a little disappointing.  The film focuses on Ender Wiggin, a young boy genius in the future who is selected to train with other young prodigies in an attempt to ready themselves for an attack on an alien race known as the Formics.  The aliens attacked earth 50 years earlier in an attempt to colonize the planet but were stopped by the great hero Mazer Rackham.  Now, decades later, it is up to these young children to stop the Formics once and for all.  Ender is consider by Graff and the other commanders to be the most likely to succeed at stopping the aliens and as he progresses through his training it becomes ever clearer than young Ender will be the one to save them all.  Starting off with the new “launchies” Ender is a natural from the very beginning.  He quickly ascends the ranks to join the Salamander Army, one of several teams who compete in zero gravity matches to practice strategy and leadership.  Ender sets himself apart from the older Salamanders rather quickly and soon is given his own team, the Dragon Army to command.  After continuing to excel, the moment of truth is upon them and Ender moves on to advanced battle simulations, the last phase of his training.  While the movie was great, it was nothing compared to the book.  Characters like Ender’s friends Bean and Petra have such minimal roles in the film after being pivotal in the book and much of the backstory is largely brushed over.  In the end, the movie was a successful adaptation albeit one that didn’t do justice to the novel.  Definitely watch the movie, and if you like it and are intrigued, READ THE BOOK!  It will not disappoint, and with ten other books in the series you’ll get to see a lot more.

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