Sunday, November 3, 2013

An Ender's Life

I just left the theater after watching Ender's Game so if you haven't seen it or read the book, SPOILER ALERT........

The movie is about a boy in a post alien attacked world (the humans won the fight). Ender along with many other children are being trained to hopefully defeat the aliens once and for all. There is a quote in the movie by Orson Scott Card that informs the entire plot "In the moment when I truly understand my enemy, understand him well enough to defeat him, then in that very moment I also love him."

The whole time the children are training mercilessly they are indoctrinated with the idea that they are humankind's last hope. When asked about his concern for Ender's mental and emotional well being Harrison Ford's character says "what does it matter if there's nothing to go back to?" A final battle simulation is the climax of the movie. If Ender and his team pass, he will be given a chance at the real thing. When the simulation starts, the enemy is doing nothing although they clearly see the human troops. Ender considers whether or not they are waiting trying to communicate somehow but when pressed, he attacks. The battle ends with a particle weapon destroying the alien planet. It's then revealed that this was in fact the real deal and the alien species have been wiped out.

Guilt stricken Ender says that had it been for real, he would have made an attempt to communicate first because why hadn't they attacked earth again when they clearly had the means. I don't feel like explaining how this last bit occurs but it will suffice to say that Ender finds the dying alien queen on the planet his base is on and promises to find a new home for the growing queen in her little pod.

I found the end of the movie analogous to my life and somewhat emotional. I was raised with a very narrow view of the world and life. The ungodly and their ways were clearly evil and not to be triffled with. I tried to live their "simulation" only to find that I was in the shit. When I finally had the chance to understand some of the "aliens" around me I discovered that most of the time when you understand someone, despite how annoying they may be, you love them. I've fucked up and have to live with it and will spend the rest of my life trying to put the pieces back together.

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