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Date [ 2013-09-30, 06:00 ]

Coming in November, science fiction novel made into a big screen film.


(Kuala Lumpur =Koreanpress)   by  Ramani Rathir  = Orson Scott Card wrote Ender’s Game way back in 1994. Now in November it will hit the big screen.

Written for children, it has Andrew  Wiggin as Ender, aged nine, But this is no ordinary nine-year old, for he has the intellectual and strategic abilities surpassing even experienced adults.

The story has an army of children training to save Earth from hostile aliens. At one level you have an intricate, gut wrenching and fast-paced plot to keep the aliens at bay. At the other level you are wondering if  Ender can maintain his humanity, a decent one at that, in the face of  adults trying to pull the strings.

Against  the onslaught of a common enemy, all the nations of Earth, friends and enemies, come together to defend it against an invasion of insect-like aliens. This is when military experts believe that gifted children who can think out of the ordinary will be able to save everyone from the evil attack of the aliens.

But this does not come easy, for their search stretches into years. Finally their hope falls on Ender Wiggin. He is a bright-eyedt boy with a natural killer instinct that is tampered with his ability to empathize with the aliens.

He is therefore whisked from his family and sent to a special school where youngsters learn military strategies through computer games and simulated battles. Pre-adolescent students command armies, send them into battles and have their wins and losses tallied for the scoreboard. Wiggin quickly commands a lead amidst fierce competition. He climbs to the top, only to discover it is a lonely position.

Ender's mentors are Colonel Graff and Major Anderson. It is soon clear that they have no hesitation into molding Wiggin into a ruthless soldier who can lead an equally mindless army.But the drawbacks to these two army man is that Wiggin’s has no admiration for his own strength, his utter revulsion at causing harm to others,even if it is in self-defense and the greatest threat to their plans, is Wiggin’s deep attachment to his sister.

However Wiggin makes sure he does not become a pawn in the army men’s games. He wants to succeed but on his own terms and refuses to manipulate his peers to do so. His leadership skills has him recognizing his subordinates' strengths, But most important, his strong respect for them gains their undying loyalty.

The book lends itself nicely to the special effects that are nowadays de rigueur in all science fiction films. So viewers can expect a really entertaining movie. Still at the end, one is wondering do we have to get children in bumping off aliens. Do all of them have to be hostile and take over Earth? How about a film with kids getting on friendly terms with friendly aliens?

abc@koreanpress.com

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