If you’ve been keeping up with us over the course of this week, then you may have noticed a slight bump in the Ender’s Game hype. Odds are, now that we’re now less than two months away from director Gavin Hood’s big budget adaptation of Orson Scott Card’s celebrated 1985 science fiction novel, we’ll be seeing a ton more from the film, and with increasing frequency as we approach the November 1 release date. As if to prove this point, there are now a handful of new propaganda themed posters for us to examine as we head into the weekend.
Summit Entertainment handed these new posters over to Hero Complex, and they tie into one of the overarching marketing strategies Ender’s Game has employed: propaganda. These aren’t the first images or one sheets we’ve seen that play upon one’s patriotic duties. In the film, Earth was attacked by an alien race called Formics. Though the human race was able to emerge from this conflict on top, it was a costly victory, and if not for the heroics and strategic innovation of one man, Mazer Rackham (Ben Kingsley), all would have been lost.
This is a scenario the powers that be do not intend to let happen again, and they go out in search of a new leader, a new Rackham. They’re looking for a new kind of tactician, someone instinctual, with a mind uncluttered by rote, standard strategy that has proven ineffective. Who fits this bill better than children, and the military takes youngsters and puts them in Battle School, a military academy in space, hoping to find the next great military innovator. One of their prime candidates is Andrew “Ender” Wiggin. Young, small, and shy, he nevertheless possesses a brilliant strategic mind, with a fresh approach, and a merciless demeanor.
Given the state of the world in this particular future—with an overarching feel dread and expectation of inevitable disaster—it’s easy to imagine these posters posted on public walls and in the windows of recruitment centers. Nothing a government likes playing on more than widespread public fear, real or not, and what better tool to find new troops? And in this instance, they’re definitely playing up the us-or-them angle, appealing to citizen’s survival instincts.
Ender, at least in the book, isn’t driven by patriotism, or even a quest for glory. He’s a weird kid, one who has never fit in anywhere, and the story is, at the core, about his quest to find a place in this world. It isn’t easy, and even when he finally finds something he’s good at, it alienates him from those around him his own age, and his instructors keep piling hardships on top of him, trying to find his breaking point.