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Ain’t It Cool News has posted their set visit report and in it they provide us with the scene where Ender is assigned Commander of Dragon Army.

“[Y]ou have a habit of upsetting your commander.”

Ender replies “I find it hard to respect someone just because he outranks me, sir.” At this, Graff leans back in his chair, giving Ender his full attention, rocking back and forth slightly.

“That puts you in a difficult position, doesn’t it? You don’t like taking orders from Bonzo… perhaps you’d prefer to give them,” says Graff slyly, kind of like a parent about to unveil a Christmas present. Ender is confused. “Sir?”

Graff: “How would you like your own army? Dragon Army.”

Ender: “Sir, I’ve never heard of Dragon Army.”

Graff: “We discontinued the name four years ago. No Dragon Army ever won a battle.”

Ender: “Why not a new name, sir?”

Graff: “Because we already have the uniforms.”

Ender: “Who will be in this army?”

Graff: “Misfits, like yourself. Outcasts who might just be brilliant with the right commander.”

It should be noted that this is his transcript of the original scene he saw and that later takes may have changed it. Still a cool look into Ender’s promotion into Dragon Army, though! He also mentions the scene that we see in the trailer that Khylin Rhambo confirmed on EnderCast was with him and Hailee Steinfeld.

I didn’t spend much time in the Battle Room set, but I did see Hailee Steinfeld film a scene with Khylin Rhambo, who plays Dink Meeker. It’s one of Ender’s gambits where one person from his army is sacrificed and used as a human shield. In this case Dink is frozen into place and Petra (Steinfeld) takes his flash gun and fires John Woo style as Dink hugs her, protecting her from enemy fire.

In order to get this shot they had to get on a weird little contraption that the wire team called the lollipop. Imagine a bar stool seat attached to a long stick with one affixed wire attached at the middle. Hailee sat on the seat, Dink on the bar, his arms over her shoulders and her legs wrapped around his waist with both her arms shot out under his shoulders firing away as they float away from the enemy gate.

Dink whispers “Did you get him?” Petra smiles and says, “Oh yeah.” He’s looking behind her and sees their momentum is taking them on a crash course with a star and they both cringe, anticipating the impact.

Read his whole report here, including an amusing interaction with Harrison Ford.


  1. salaamender says:

    So, I wrote my own Ender’s Game screenplay for fun and also to bolster myself against all the things I know I am going to be disappointed in when I see this movie.

    Here is how I wrote this scene. I like mine better, mainly because I feel that Gavin is overwriting his dialogue. Also, I don’t like how Graff is asking Ender what he wants. No. Graff tells Ender what to do in the book and in mine. And most importantly, I don’t think the sarcasm and the antagonism of Graff’s character comes through at all in this bland scene he penned.

    But I would be curious to hear what others think. I know I sound cocky, but I really like mine much better. If you like mine and wand to read more of my script, let me know. If you are already annoyed and offended, just stop reading now.

    The formatting is jacked up, but all the content will remain the same.


    Anderson leads Ender down a dim hallway to a door.


    These are your new quarters.


    What is this?


    We’re making you a commander.


    Ender Stands before Graff.


    I’ve never heard of Dragon Army.


    It was retired for a while due to superstition.
    They never won a battle.


    That’s encouraging.


    We’ve assembled your army. No
    trades. Don’t want you having an unfair advantage.

    Ender looks over the roster.


    But these are all new launchies.

    Graff’s smile is infuriatingly smug.


    You aren’t going to break me. Sir.
    I’ve been through plenty of terrible things in this hell hole already.

    Graff leans forward, his eyes steel
    bullets, his hands clasped in a pyramid.


    My dear, Ender. The terrible things
    are only about to begin.

    • If you don’t like that Ender isn’t fully controlled, I read in another set visit report that they didn’t feel they could completely dominate the soldiers since they were older. If you have little 6 year-olds, it’s a little easier to have complete control, but a 10 year-old will have a bit of defiance in him already, so the strategy of molding that person would change.

      • salaamender says:

        He was almost ten when he was given Dragon in the book, so I think that logic fails. Also, the line where Ender says “I find it hard to respect someone just because he outranks me.”

        Welcome to the military?

        Also, wasting time on “Why not a new name?” “We have the uniforms.” and this kind of nonsense really rubs me the wrong way. There is so much beautiful, amazing dialogue in the book that can be directly ported over. I have done my best to do this, while it seems Gavin has done his best to change everything he possibly could.. Why fix what ain’t broke? I find most of his dialogue baffling.

        Gavin’s dialogue, so far, lacks that punch that really comes across in OSC’s original dialogue and which I have tried to stay true to.

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