Ender's Game (2013 Film)

Discussion in 'Science Fiction & Fantasy' started by Starbreaker, Feb 20, 2013.

  1. Starkers

    Starkers Admiral Admiral

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    Saw this last night. I've never read the book but have to say I really enjoyed the film.

    It was clear a lot of story had been either cut out or compacted, but despite this I thought it was intelligent and I liked the fact that it was quite brutal (compared to the sanitised lameness of something like the Hunger Games) and the actor playing Bonzo didn't bother me, I think it would have been cliche to have the bully be a much bigger guy, bullies come in all shapes and sizes.

    I liked that it managed to show both sides of the argument and I thought the acting was of a high standard. Butterfield was maginificent, and that's the best I've seen Harrison Ford in a long time...kinda gives me (a new) hope for Star Wars VII

    But if they'd called them buggers all the way through the film it would have just made me giggle...
     
  2. aelius

    aelius Commander Red Shirt

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    It is probably the best adaptation of difficult material they could have gotten, but they changed enough of the background story to completely change the meaning of the story.
    In the book, humanity was fighting a desperate war for survival, in the movie we were pissed they attacked us once so we tracked them down and wiped them out.
    A story that was supposed to be an examination of how far people will go to survive, asking what actions are justifiable to save your species. What rules and even mores are you willing to throw aside.
    And instead we got another "aren't humans evil" and "look what the warmongering military does to children" movie.:rolleyes:
    I mostly enjoyed the movie because of the way they managed to get as much of Ender's struggle being shown as they did. They externalized as much of his thinking as they could through his discussions with Graff and that let the audience in on his thought processes. It was necessarily compacted to fit into a movie, but it worked.
    If they had simply not felt the overwhelming need to make the humans the bad guys it would have actually been a very good adaptation.
     
  3. Starkers

    Starkers Admiral Admiral

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    I dunno, even though we'd only been attacked once the film did a good enough job of detailing how scared humanity were of the Formics returning that I thought their actions made sense within that context, especially given we'd only just survived the first encounter.
     
  4. Guy Gardener

    Guy Gardener Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    20 years ago a planet without water sent a scouting party off to find water.

    They went past Europa, and a dozen other bodies with massive water reserves and tiny gravity wells.

    Bah!

    Fighting bullies was not the model the kids should have been using for their battle games.

    They should have been studying Bum fights, or anyone else who fights for food.
     
  5. aelius

    aelius Commander Red Shirt

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    Yes, humanity was scared. But the speech from Graff to Ender at the end made it plain it was a just in case scenario. "End all future fights", as the line from the movie goes.
    In the book humanity was being pushed back to Earth by an implacable foe that refused all communication and was methodically exterminating every human colony it found. Under those circumstances there is great incentive to do ANYTHING to survive. That was the justification the IF used for their monstrous treatment of the children.
    In the movie that massive pressure was just not there. I mean come on, the giant time constraint they were under was "Our fleet will be in position to exterminate the bugs soon, we really need to find a commander for it".
    Really...:rolleyes:
    That is hardly a case for genocide. I actually don't blame the humans in the movie. They did have good reason to be frightened. I am simply annoyed that the people making the movie felt the need to muddy the waters by making Graff and the IF seem like they were going overboard without sufficient cause.
    Just because it all turned out to be a misunderstanding by the Formics that led to the war doesnt mean you have to make humanity seem like warmongers for defending themselves in the only way they knew how.
     
  6. tighr

    tighr Commodore Commodore

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    From the perspective of the Formics, they did not view humanity as sentient, and the planet Earth certainly contains more water than Europa or any other small body in our system... especially in it's liquid form. They didn't see Earth as hostile.

    Once the Formics realized humans were not only sentient, but each individual human was it's own sentience, they went away and never returned.

    When Ender was fighting the Formics, he wanted to not only win every battle but do it with a minimum loss of resources. He didn't know those were real people, but it's what he would have done if he knew it were real.

    There's a great line during the climax in Ender's Shadow where Bean realizes that the Formics have finally learned the lesson that humans value each and every life and don't view themselves as expendable, but learned it too late... just in time for that lesson to be used against them. They fight conservatively because they don't think Ender would take the ships into the planet and sacrifice the entire fleet. In fact, that's exactly what Ender does, and it's how he's able to win the final battle.
     
  7. CorporalClegg

    CorporalClegg Admiral Admiral

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    Card did riff on this dilemma pretty extensively and fairly well in Xeno and CotM (provided one could pick it out of all the garbage). Maybe they were just trying to shoehorn it into the film?
     
  8. Guy Gardener

    Guy Gardener Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    Books have time to get it right, movies don't.

    Morally it was inhuman not to open a dialogue.

    Meanwhile some of us went through this "water" thing when that last V remake was making it's rounds. But even though it's not the amount of water it's about the gravity, how much force/power is required to lift these resources into space.

    http://solarsystem.nasa.gov/planets/profile.cfm?Display=Moons&Object=Jupiter

    Why send a 78 billion dollar weapon, when you could have sent 78 billion dollars of bottled water?
     
  9. aelius

    aelius Commander Red Shirt

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    I viewed the water thing as they were looking for habitable planets with plenty of water to settle a colony on.
    Any other interpretation is silly.
    I wish Hollywood wasn't so silly...
    And besides, how would we know they were looking for water anyway. We hadn't been able to communicate so much as a basic idea with the Formics yet somehow we know they were looking for water! No, you see Graff saw this old show called V, or maybe W, or even VW, where aliens came to take the water. When Ender asked why they came he just threw that out there to scare the poor kid.:eek:

    And why send a 78 billion dollar weapon, when you could have sent 78 billion dollars of bottled water? The weapon is way cooler...:cool:
     
  10. Guy Gardener

    Guy Gardener Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    78 billion dollars of bottled water is a weapon.

    That's a lump of ice the size of a small moon (Or only maybe Greenland if it's Fiji Water rather than generic water... Gods imagine the damage 78 billion dollars of tap water could reak?) ramming into the side of their planet.

    They designed a fleet to take on another fleet, but the kid said fuck it, lets take on the planet.

    If they had talked to the Engineers to design Planet Busters instead of articulate drone fighters, the final engagement would have been completely different and succinct.

    Until Churchill got really drunk one night half way through the first act of WWII and said "Fuck it, lets just kill them all" which sanctioned Germany's civilian population as viable targets, the Luftwaffe was almost civilized in their disciplined surgical attacks on military assets up to that point.
     
  11. tighr

    tighr Commodore Commodore

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    In the book, during that final battle Ender had command of 20 ships with 4 fighters each, for a total of 20 ships and 80 fighters.

    On top of that, they were the oldest possible model of ships, because they were launched first due to the homeworld being so far away.

    So I'm not so sure they "designed" the fleet to take on another fleet.
     
  12. Guy Gardener

    Guy Gardener Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    Books are not the movie.

    Ender got to another frontier planet in hours.

    They have star drives.

    If those ships were junkers, then inflation is a fat bastard, that $78 billion in new currency is 20 grand in old dollars.

    From what we saw of the battle 20 years ago, Earth had conventional technology analogous with what we have in reality... All their space technology must have been adapted from the wreckage of the repelled fleet 20 years back....

    Odd how they can reverse engineer all that from what what they found but ignore al the cultural data that must have been evident from the debris even if the drones were practically mindless.
     
  13. publiusr

    publiusr Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    F-22 to starships in 20 years ? Orion pulse ships maybe... Scott Lowther' at up-ship.com is working on time-lines to get us from 1968 to 2001 A Space Odyssey.

    I can see it leading to a space station with Super Nexus (uranus, Neptune boosters)--but that underground base is pushing it.
     
  14. Guy Gardener

    Guy Gardener Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    It depends on how easy it is reverse engineer environmental control technology from the scrapped enemy fleet?

    If artificial gravity, heat and recycling air turns out to be really easy, so that space stops being so alien, they could be strapping stardives onto RVs and camper vans.
     
  15. publiusr

    publiusr Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    We can wish...
     
  16. tighr

    tighr Commodore Commodore

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    Underground base was made by the buggers; they stole that, too.
     
  17. darth_ender

    darth_ender Lieutenant Junior Grade Red Shirt

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    This precisely summed up my issues with the movie. I liked it, but it missed several things, which you well enumerated here. My addition to it would be the attempt to compress the story in a very poor way: moving Command School from the Asteroid Belt to the Formic colony world. First, to get there as quickly as they did would require faster-than-light travel, which is prohibited by our known laws of physics and even an important aspect of the Enderverse. Even traveling at maximum speeds close to the speed of light, time dilation occurs which causes time to pass far more quickly for those cruising the stars than those on worlds. Yet, neither of these physics issues is noted in the movie, which makes it incompatible with any of the sequel stories.

    Even more critical if we are looking at the movie as a standalone story independent of any of the sequel books, it makes it clear that we were defeating the Formics all along. We ran them off all their colonies. We had them trapped on their homeworld. All of Ender's battles must have been simulations, except for the very last. In the book, Ender himself was the one pushing them off their various worlds, as all the battles were real.

    While you are right here as well, they did show the fleet's impending arrival in "28 days." I thought that was a foolish thing to do as well, as it implied that the real battles were very soon. It would have been wiser for them to leave that part ambiguous. The whole book we think the International Fleet is preparing for the next invasion, and only at the end do we realize that we are the next invasion. In the movie it's obvious the whole time that we were the aggressors the whole way through. Makes the xenocide even more despicable on our part, as it looks far more avoidable than in the books.
     
  18. Guy Gardener

    Guy Gardener Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    Has any anyone been substituting aliens for homosexuals?

    Clues to how he fights against his enemies in the real world.

    "I kept kicking him even after he was down because I wanted to win the next battle, and all future wars."
     
  19. DarthPipes

    DarthPipes Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Yeah, I had a problem with that too. Although my problem was putting the 28 days thing made it seem like they were rushing Ender's training even more instead of giving the illusion he'd been there more than a couple of weeks. It felt like that in the movie.
     
  20. Guy Gardener

    Guy Gardener Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    They must have said "28 days" while I went to the toilet.

    I didn't underatand that there was a ticking clock, in fact I thought that humanity had fought them back to their homeworld and were refusing to accept any definition of surrender from the alien scum.

    But if that Justification tracks, then Tarkin was allowed to blow up Aalderan because the Rebel Alliance was about to gleefully topple the Empire.