“Ender’s Game” was published in 1985, and in the decades since author Orson Scott Card said that the project was unfilmable. Yet director Gavin Hood seems to have done the impossible by finally bringing the classic science fiction story to life in an effects-heavy film.
“Hugo” star Asa Butterfield plays the titular Ender, while sci-fi alum Harrison Ford portrays his mentor, Commander Hyrum Graff. During an interview at San Diego Comic-Con 2013, Ford opens up about why he thinks “Ender’s Game’s” story remains a conversation worth discussing almost three decades after it was initially released.
“I think because young people are very curious about the future and their place in the world and how they’re going to fit in and their utility to their culture, and they’re very suspicious of the older generations and the uses to which they’re going to be put, and curious about their future and anxious about their future,” he explains. “This movie deals with all of those issues and more.”
Card used the sci-fi world of “Ender’s Game” to touch on other politically charged topics, and in many ways the novel can be seen as a commentary on drone warfare. “I think it was prescient in recognizing it as a potential issue in the future because of what was written 25 years or so ago,” Ford says. “I don’t think it’s a metaphor.”
Ford is no stranger to the world of science fiction moviemaking, especially considering his role in the original three “Star Wars” movies. He says that he doesn’t find one era of sci-fi moviemaking any better or worse than the other.
“The complexity of the effects that can be generated and the capacity, the reality of the look of the film is much more sophisticated,” he says of modern sci-fi movies. “It’s always the same fun. It’s making stuff up. ”
When asked what Graff would be as a mentor to some of his other iconic characters like Indiana Jones and Han Solo, he answers, “A mentor to? Oh, I can’t wrap my head around that. All these characters are different kinds of characters in different kinds of movies.” Ford similarly wouldn’t talk about what he thinks Han Solo would be up to in the present day, saying, “I can’t — you got me. I don’t do this type of question easily.”
“Ender’s Game” hits theaters on Nov. 1, 2013.