The Book vs. The Film
Ender’s Game was written by Orson Scott Card published on the 15th January 1985, while the film adaptation was released in 2013. They follow the main protagonist Ender, his family, brother Peter and sister Valentine and his trials in military school. Children are trained from an early age to protect the earth, as, over the last couple of decades, Earth has been fighting off an alien invasion. Ender quickly is seen as the warrior who can change the war into Earths favour as he has the balance of empathy and brutality his brother and sister did not have. His trials consist of isolation and persecution throughout, along with the pressure of being the best earth has to offer.
The Book – Ender’s Game by Orson Scott Card
The book focuses a lot more on the family than film does, as Peter and Valentine have a big side story playout throughout the novel. As the novel takes a time frame of a couple of years, Peter and Valentine begin to infiltrate the media through there writing, both using pseudonyms as they are too young to be taking seriously. Valentine writes as Demontheus and Peter writes as Locke. Peter’s main goal in doing this is so he can come into power later on in life which he does as Ender and Valentine inhabit another planet.
Before Ender goes on to live his life on another planet with his sister Valentine, he is thoroughly tested and manipulated by the I.F. (international fleet). He is putting into isolating circumstances and with the odds against him. Once in essesstially military school, he tested every day with mock battles in which he commands a team in zero gravity. He changes the game and easily becomes the best soldier in there. Because of his brilliance, he is sent to command school in which the intensity is increased due to the last man to kill one of the aliens’ fleets Major Rakham, begins to train Ender with mock simulations. He bats it out the park every time leading to his final battle simulation. Again he completes it with the whole world watching. This is where the twist comes in as the mock simulations have actually been real and he has annihilated an entire species. It also comes to light that Ender has killed to people leaving Ender regretting what he has done.
The Film – Ender’s Game by Gavin Hood
The film stars Asa Butterfield as Ender Wiggan, and similar to the book follows his life through military school showing his simulations and mock battles. The film focuses more on just Ender’s life and the people he gathers as his team for fighting the alien. Petra played by Hailee Steinfeld gaining a greater role in the film as she plays Ender’s friend and love interest. In the book, she is just his friend and only teams up with for a short while. Valentine played by Abigal Breslin role is decreased, along with Peters, although Valentine is seen more than Peter. Valentine plays the voice of reason to Ender as she does in the novel, but the emotional connection they have is not portrayed that well. She doesn’t seem as important to ender as she does in the book.
The ending also differs, after Ender realises he has destroyed a whole species, he flies to one of the planets he has destroyed and finds the queen who is weak. She gives him an egg in which he hides from everyone. Ender plays a computer game throughout and this is what leads him to find the queen. In the book, he only interacts with the queen through thought, as he goes onto writing about their species in a book he calls ‘The Voice for the Dead’.
Which one is Better?
The original novel offers more than the film with its vivid descriptions and enhanced backstories. The novel can stand alone, as it begins the Ender series. The film is good with its great cast that includes Harrison Ford, however, it just doesn’t offer the same imagery as the book.
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