I just came back from Ender’s game and feel a little shell-shocked. That’s good, because that’s how I felt after reading the book for the first time. Ender was publicized as a kid’s movie, and the reviews I read were mixed, as I think people wanted to see the entire book visualized on-screen. (To me, that’s boring. Example 1: the super long Pride and Prejudice). Nothing about it was childish, though.
Watching the xenocide happen, as I knew to expect, made my mind fly back to Star Wars and hearing Ben Kenobi say “I felt a great disturbance in the Force, as if millions of voices suddenly cried out in terror and were suddenly silenced.” The death of the bugger homeworld hit me much harder and more personally than watching the death of Alderaan did, because I felt the connection to Ender’s feelings.
Ender’s loss of innocence strikes home, because it’s a significant part of growing up. Parts of us die and are broken constantly, and we try to cling to our previous ideals. It may be that they are right or that they are just comforting, but losing those parts of ourselves is always hard.
To me, that’s why the Cross is so comforting. We are given new life and the ability to live boldly and differently. Even after our hearts are changed, our natural state constantly works to destroy pieces of us, and others participate in that destruction. Jesus offers us the chance to participate in our own healing. Like Ender, we are given opportunities to love and give ourselves to others, and in that process, our hearts are healed.
While maybe the movie didn’t do the book justice or it left out a few things I liked, I came away feeling satisfied. Card’s unfilmable book translated better than I would have ever imagined.