Ender’s Game: Movie Discussion
These movie discussions are intended to help you connect your Christian faith to the modern world by:
1. Helping you learn to see echoes of redemptive truth all around you.
2. Challenging you to help other Christians see that their relationship with Jesus cannot be confined to church but must invade our every activity…even our movie-watching.
3. Equipping you to speak Christ into culture by pointing out entry points for significant discussions with non-believers. Many non-believers won’t accept an invitation to come to church, but they will talk about a movie they’ve seen recently…so we want to help you turn that conversation into an eternally significant discussion.
Young Ender Wiggin is recruited to be a military commander, specifically to protect earth from an invading alien army. It is futuristic and science fiction, but more importantly, Enders Game is a movie that tackles some pretty big themes and ideas.
Leadership is a central theme in Ender’s Game. There is no question that Ender is technically the best candidate, but his superiors question his humility and whether or not anyone will follow him. They want to know how he’ll handle anger and rejection and conflict. Will he respond strategically/wisely, or emotionally? Can he make the hard decisions?
Ender’s brother and sister had also been recruited, but his brother was too quick to battle, ruthless, always wanting to fight. His sister on the other hand was too compassionate, she couldn’t ever fight. Ender struggles to find the balance between those two, afraid that he’ll end up like his brother.
- What are some of the things that made Ender a good leader?
- How did Ender respond to bullying?
- How did Ender endear his teammates to himself, even the ones who hadn’t liked him?
- How did Ender show that he was a balance between his brother and his sister?
- Did Ender lead in the way the Colonel wanted him to? How did he differ?
- How would you compare Ender’s leadership to Jesus’? Do you think he led in the way Jesus would have in those same situations?
Understanding Your Enemy
This is a core idea to the movie. Part of what makes Ender so good in battle is his ability to understand his enemies. When he understands them, he knows how to defeat them, but in that moment of understanding, he also learns to have compassion on them. Understanding his enemy makes him love his enemy, which means that a “win” over his enemy is a hollow victory, at best.
Ender does win over the alien army, but in the process, he learns that they weren’t trying to invade at all. They were preparing to defend themselves in the event that man invaded them, but they had no desire to start the fight. The end shows Ender and the Queen of the alien army together. He weeps for her people, knowing he has caused their end, and she is touched by his compassion. In that moment, she is able to understand her enemy as well.
The Bible says that we are to love our enemies (Matt. 5:43-48). Understanding them is a useful part of that process. The Good Samaritan (Luke 10:25-37) is a great example of having compassion on your enemy, learning to understand and relate to your enemy.
The ironic thing is Ender learned that the aliens weren’t his enemy, after all. His enemy was more truly the ignorance and fear of his commanding officers. It’s a good lesson for us all. So often we think a person is our enemy, when our real enemy is our ignorance and our fear, or other people’s bias’s, etc. The Bible supports this way of thinking. Ephesians 6:12-13 says that “our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.” That means that our enemy is usually not who we think it is. If we learned to love and understand our perceived enemy, we may begin to see that we have an actual enemy in common.
- What are some examples of Ender learning to understand his enemy?
- How did it change Ender when he understood his enemy?
- How was Ender’s ability to understand his enemy a good thing? How was it a dangerous thing?
- Who is your “enemy”? Is it possible that your enemy isn’t the real enemy? Could you and your enemy actually have a common enemy?
- How would applying Ephesians 6:12-13 (“our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.”) to the struggles in your life change the way you felt about your enemies and your struggles? Would it change the way you fight your battles? The way you treat people?
- Have you ever been able to understand your enemy? How did it change your relationship or the way they you felt about your enemy when you began to understand him?
By Stacey Tuttle