EnderThinkingIt: And it’s “Braaaaahm” by a nose

Calculating payouts for our bets on the content of the Ender’s Game Teaser Trailer.

If you missed it, the Ender’s Game trailer hit yesterday:

Last week, I made some predictions (and laid some odds) revolving around certain “Trailer Tropes.” Let’s see how I did:


  • Bullet time (3:2 against) – PUSH
    • We’ll call this one a push. There’s definitely some slo-mo in the Battle Room sequences, but it’s hard to tell if any of it is the slo-fast-slo that I was predicting.
  • Shiny space ships doing battle (2:1 in favor) – YES
    • All sorts of shiny space ships in this one, suggesting a much heavier emphasis on the space battles that make up the back quarter of the book than the Battle Room that takes up the middle half.
    • One surprise was the NON space ships doing battle at the beginning – looks like we’re going to get a little bit of First/Second invasion, at least in prologue form


  • Space ship crumbling (5:1 against) – YES
    • There’s definitely a big space ship (station?) exploding at 1:30, though it’s not the Battle School station (which makes sense), so it’s presumably part of the later battles



  • Character jumping (2:1 against) – YES
    • Lots of Battle Room jumping here
    • BONUS PAYOUT TO USER ERIGION for the “Three Point Landing” prediction



  • Explosions (2:1 in favor) – Oh god, YES
    • Lots of explosions here, from the planes at the beginning, moving right on through a space station and a…planet? Yikes. Trailers nowadays really need to come with a blanket spoiler alert.


  • Wub-wub-wub (5:1 against) – THANK YOU, NO
    • The Gods of trailers did not dissapoint me and add dubstep to what is ultimately a thematically serious movie
  • Braaaaahmmm (3:2 in favor) – YES, YES AND YES
    • The trailer had more Inception-style braaaaaaaahms than you can shake a stick at. I suppose the odds here should have been ever higher.
  • Beeeeoooou (dropping bass note)(10:1 in favor) – YES, but not how I expected
    • I expected this to accompany some sort of slo-mo action, but it was really used as a generic “space-laser powering up” noise


  • Harrison Ford in a walk. There’s a little Ben Kingsley and Viola Davis in there, but that’s all dialogue. The “Voiceover” is definitely Han Graff-o himself.



  • “In a world” (20:1 against) – NO
    • Not really. This shows the difference between 80s/90s (awesome) trailers that would have just said “In a world attacked by aliens, child soldiers blah blah blah”. Now they have to try and make it seem natural.
  • “Only you can do it Ender” (5:1 in favor)  – PUSH
    • This one is close. There is the line “You will be the last” which implies that he’s some sort of chosen one, but it’s less implicated that only Ender CAN do it than it is that Ender WILL BE THE ONE to do it.
  • “Is this all just some sort of GAME to you?”
    • NOPE. Though it’s surprising how little the trailer focused on the “Game” aspect of Ender’s Game and how much it focused on the “real battle” stuff. This brings up questions.


  • No Bean, lots of Petra. This makes sense, given the high-profile of Hallie Stanfield. It looks like she might even have some interactions with Ender when they get to (what I’m assuming) is Command School, so it could be that they’ve decided to beef up that relationship. Orson Scott Card has talked about before that the most difficult part of adapting the book is portraying what’s going on in Ender’s head, and the best way to do that is to have him discuss things with a friend.
  • A few glimpses of the Buggers. These look like pretty standard-issue alien ships and stuff, so I’m not expecting a whole lot



  • Only one glimpse of Val, and it’s of her hugging Ender. I’m assuming this will be the meeting they have at the Lake, so odds are we’re cutting the Val/Peter plot entirely – which is probably to the good. The “Bloggers take over the world” part is neat and was extremely foreward-looking when it was written in the 80s, but will come off as a bit unbelievable now, and doesn’t really do much to advance the main plot line.


  • If you bet $1 on each of the 14 predictions coming true, congratulations – you made $1. (Total payouts would equal approximately $14, there were 13 bets in total) Unfortunately, the OverthinkingIt House Rake is $2, but thanks for playing, and come back real soon! PayPal links are available on the front page.

All in all, I remain cautiously optimistic. The casting seems spot-on, and it looks like they are taking the movie seriously. Even though it’s a movie ABOUT children, doesn’t mean it has to be FOR children. The trailer is pretty spoiler-y, but I’m not sure it gives away that much unless you already know what you’re looking for.

What did you think of the trailer? Sound off in the comments!

9 Comments on “EnderThinkingIt: And it’s “Braaaaahm” by a nose”

  1. Grim_ungainly #

    SO first off, something about spoilers. What if they think that the stuff that can be spoiled is the battle room scenes, which are novel for movies, whereas the later space battles are pretty standard fare, and so they can be spoiled without too many worries. I am holding out hope for plenty of emphasis on battle room stuff, although that might be setting myself up for disappointment.

    Speaking of which, does the battle room look spherical to you? I seem to remember a lot of talk of north wall, east wall, etc. in the books, and it seems like an interesting change to make. The “stars” look phenomenal, though.


  2. Mark #

    I think when you say ‘bullet time’, what you mean is ‘ramping’. Bullet time is most accurately time in the scene completely stopping and the camera continuing to move around the scene (most obvious in Matrix but has been used since). Shifting from normal speed to slo-mo to normal speed in one shot is called ramping (so common now it’s hard to pin down, but 300 had the most obvious examples). You could say that bullet time is a very specific subset of ramping.


  3. fenzel OTI Staff #

    I’d like to take some smug credit in our pre-article discussion for predicting “spaceship thing crumbling to pieces” — people were justifiably skeptical, because, you know, it doesn’t happen in the book. But I knew they couldn’t resist showing off how many pieces of shrapnel they could animate in a 3D environment.


    • Ben Adams OTI Staff #

      You’re right there, though I suspect that will primarily be “Peter as torturer of young-Ender” as opposed to “Peter’s Blog Takes Over the World.”


  4. Lesley #

    Hmmm. But I am not ok with them cutting out Peter and Val’s subplot (if that is indeed what theyre doing). Because priorities. Locke and Demosthenes: The Movie is the one I would pay to see.


  5. An Inside Joke #

    Given the current trend to try to make every single property a franchise, I can’t imagine that the creators of Enders Game aren’t banking on making movies of the sequels, too – and I can’t imagine the sequels making any sort of sense without having established the characterization of Peter and Val – although as the author mentioned, the blogger storyline doesn’t really add anything to the plot. Maybe they’re given something else to do in this movie.


    • Grim_ungainly #

      I suppose it’s possible that the Val/Peter subplot could be taken out, combined with some of the events of later books, and be made into the next movie. Although non-readers might be surprised when “Ender’s Game 2” ends up being a coming of age story with political drama, as opposed to a coming of age story with space battles.


  6. George #

    So considering the supposition that Ender’s Game is all a justification for mass murder based on a superiority complex a la Hitler’s Third Reich, what event is this movie aimed at softening the public’s mindset towards taking into account the current political climate?


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