At the end of the Ender's Game film, Ender discovers a Formic Queen about 20 feet or so from the human base on the former Formic planet.

This part really confused me, so I was wondering if it was better explained in the original book or something. Earlier in the movie, Colonel Graff said that they cleared out all the aliens from the planet.

If they had some way of knowing for sure, then why didn't they notice the queen? If they had no way of knowing for sure, why did assume all the aliens were gone?

  • 11
    In the original book, Ender leads a group of colonists to a nearby earth-like world called Shakespeare. On it he discovers a concrete structure with the egg inside. The idea that Ender would find the egg on Eros is an invention of the film.
    – Valorum
    Commented Oct 24, 2015 at 21:27
  • 7
    Quite frankly, there were at least four hours' worth of movie in that one book alone, not to mention the rest of the franchise. Nothing in that movie makes any sense because they cut everything that could possibly have helped, in favor of giving the adults prominence which was not in the book. (To be fair, cutting the Peter/Valentine subplot makes a certain amount of sense.)
    – Kevin
    Commented Oct 24, 2015 at 21:41
  • 3
    @Kevin Actually, the movie was relatively close to the original novelette. The novel Ender's Game was a rewriting to bring up enough backstory to allow Card to write the sequels (which have very little to do with the core of the novelette, the battle room). They also took some material from the novel, but the bulk of it is just the novelette. I'm pretty sure they only took the parts from the novel to setup some back story for sequels as well :)
    – Luaan
    Commented Nov 5, 2015 at 9:27

1 Answer 1


In both the movie and the book, Ender spends quite a lot of time playing a fantasy game (though the book goes into a lot more detail). In the book, the game is described as a highly sophisticated psychological analysis engine. The giant scenario is meant to screen out suicidal tendencies; the cadets are supposed to stop coming back after a while. Ender's repeated returns to the area are disturbing to the brass at first, but when he gouges out the giant's eyes and gets past the scenario, they are totally shocked. The game begins going in completely new directions with him, adapting itself and growing to fit his needs. At one point, it manages to grab pictures of Peter and Valentine off the internet, which freaks Graff and co. out even more, since it's not supposed to be doing that. Eventually, it is revealed that the Formics have been communicating with Ender via the game. That's why he found the egg in the castle-like structure from the game.

The major difference from the movie is that the Formics hid it on a totally different planet from Eros. The humans didn't get there until after they were already quite sure the Formic species was extinct. The structure was also recognizable by Ender and Ender alone. They positioned this whole thing just far enough away from a reasonable settlement site so that it would not be thoroughly examined, but close enough that Ender could plausibly find it if he were looking. Since the structure has a natural(ish) appearance, nobody else would have noticed, except perhaps for Graff and the other adults who had been monitoring Ender in Battle School.

At this point, Ender is an adult, renowned and beloved by most of the population. He is helping scout a potential sister to an existing colony (on the same planet), when he encounters the structure. He is trusted enough that he is able to more or less unilaterally move the second colony elsewhere without anyone seriously questioning it, and he begins searching for a homeworld for the Formics. That leads into Speaker for the Dead and the rest of the main book series.

  • This was written largely from memory, so if anyone has any corrections, please let me know so I can fix it.
    – Kevin
    Commented Oct 25, 2015 at 1:31
  • Small one--the sequel is 'Speaker For the Dead' not 'Speaker of the Mind'. Commented Oct 25, 2015 at 2:00
  • 1
    @DVK I read the ending of Ender's Game as Ender traveling on the first ship to the to-be-founded colony. It only mentions the old war ships exploring bugger worlds. I haven't read those later books, so I don't know if they're more explicit on that matter. Anyways, my main point was that Ender only discovered the egg years later, when looking for a nice location for another colony on that planet and didn't have to convince anybody to choose a different location than they intended to. Commented Oct 26, 2015 at 17:51
  • 1
    Ender went scouting in a helicopter and it mentions the distance being big enough for separate governance but close enough for trade. It certainly sounds like the spot was at least several hundred kilometers if not more from the colony, which easily explains why nobody else found it. Commented Oct 26, 2015 at 18:02
  • 1
    Apparently the Chapter of Ender's game I referred to has been lucased and Ender in Exile (the basis of @DVK's comment) takes precedence as far as canon is concerned. Commented Nov 30, 2015 at 12:43

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.