1. The Battle School ship. I mean, it’s perfect.
The whole center of the battle school, the hub of the wheel, is battlerooms. They don’t rotate with the rest of the station. That’s how they do the nullo, the no-gravity— it just holds still. No spin, no down.
2. The Battle Room. It completely matches the picture I’ve had in my head all these years.
‘And above all, the Battle Room’
‘War games. All the boys are organized into armies. Day after day, in zero gravity, there are mock battles. Nobody gets hurt, but winning and losing matter.’
3. The school’s military environment (and the flash suits).
“Flash suits!” he called. It was a battle. Ender’s fourth game.
4. The bugger fleet. Both alien and powerful.
The buggers may seem like a game to you now, Ender, but they damn near wiped us out last time. They had us cold, outnumbered and outweaponed.
5. The vid footage from the Second Invasion.
The only thing that saved us was that we had the most brilliant military commander we ever found. Call it fate, call it God, call it damnfool luck, we had Mazer Rackham.
6. All of the props, especially the desks (personal computers of the future).
He settled down to the serious business of designing a security system for his own desk, since the safeguards built into the system were obviously inadequate. If a six-year-old could break them down, they were obviously put there as a plaything, not serious security.
7. The army emblems and uniforms. It’s reassuring to see that the movie preserved each army’s colors and symbols from the book.
There was a uniform in the locker. Not the pale green of the Launchies, but the orange-trimmed dark green of Salamander Army. It did not fit well. But then, they had probably never had to provide such a uniform for a boy so young.
8. The Command School simulator.
And for pleasure, there was the simulator, the most perfect videogame he had ever played.
9. Viola Davis as Major Anderson. I was originally skeptical about this casting decision, but it looks like she’s going to do a great job.
As you will quickly learn, the officers in command of this school, most notably Major Anderson, who runs the game, are fond of playing tricks.
10. Dragon Army! The ragtag group of soldiers (including Bean!) and grey, orange, grey on the wall perfectly match the book’s description of Ender’s first meeting with his army.
Dragon was assigned the colors grey, orange, grey; Ender changed into his flash suit, then followed the ribbons of light until he came to the barracks that contained his army. They were there already, milling around near the entrance.
11. Mazer Rackham. I’m still slightly on the fence about the face tattoos, but the book states that he’s Maori and Ben Kingsley seems to have an on-point interpretation of Rackham’s character.
It was Mazer Rackham, a little-known, twice-court-martialled, half-Maori New Zealander whose Strike Force broke up and finally destroyed the bugger fleet in the action around Saturn.
12. This powerful (and important) scene with Ender and his sister Valentine. It’s very reassuring to see this moment (and Valentine) in the trailer.
So that’s why you brought me here, thought Ender. With all your hurry, that’s why you took three months, to make me love Earth. Well, it worked. All your tricks worked. Valentine, too; she was another one of your tricks, to make me remember that I’m not going to school for myself.