Archive for November 7th, 2013

The boy who would be savior: Meet Ender Wiggin, the tortured young hero of ‘Ender’s Game’

November 7, 2013

By Matthew E. Milliken
Nov. 7, 2013

The marvelous science fiction film Ender’s Game is all about confronting the Other — the menace presented to us by external figures and forces. But it is also about its protagonist’s confrontation with the darkness within himself.

The eponymous Ender Wiggin is a prepubescent boy, perhaps 12, who is being groomed to command humanity’s starfleet. Wiggin’s destiny, perhaps, may be to direct Earth forces in their battles against the Formics, buglike aliens who killed millions in an invasion some 40 years prior to his birth.

A brilliant but poorly understood sacrifice by pilot Mazer Rackham is credited with turning back the invading forces. Now the International Fleet has staked its hopes on finding a young man or woman who fits a certain profile — capable of processing vast amounts of information intuitively and instantly, skilled in the arts of war yet not deriving pleasure solely from the act of violence.

Wiggin’s older brother, Peter, was dropped from Fleet’s youth training program years ago for being too aggressive. The family’s middle child, Valentine, was dropped for being too compassionate. As Col. Graff, the head of Battle School, explains to Ender, humanity’s hopes rest upon the youngest Wiggin striking just the right balance between those two extremes.

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