I think you have to feel sorry for anyone who has to go to Comic Con and front for Ender’s Game this weekend. The can of worms that the author of the original book Orson Scott Card following the U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling on the Defense of Marriage Act is still fresh, and naturally, the cast of the upcoming movie has asked to answer for Card’s comments on the subject.
The scene was the press room at San Diego Comic-Con Thursday afternoon, and the player was acting legend Harrison Ford. Now, Ford can be somewhat prickly, but when asked about Card’s comments, and whether or not the author’s opinions influenced his decision to be a part of the film, he was very eloquent.
After deadpanning, “Is that question for me? That’s great,” he continued, “I think none of Mr. Card’s concerns regarding the issue of gay marriage are part of the thematics of this film. He has written something that I think is of value to us all [in] considering our moral responsibilities. I think his views outside of those that we deal with in this film are not an issue for me to deal with, so I have really no opinion on that issue. And I am aware of his statements admitting that the question of gay marriage is a battle that he lost, and he admits that he lost it.”
After a pause, Ford added, “I think we all know that we’ve all won, that humanity has won. And I think that’s the end of the story.”
When asked about the more specific themes of the book, Ford assured fans that when they see the movie they’ll recognize that the deeper moral lessons of the novel have been kept intact.
“This movie I think is very prescient, and I think the novel was very prescient, in recognizing something that we now have as a reality in our lives, which is the ability to wage war at a distance — and to do the business of war somewhat emotionally disconnected from it,” he explained. “So the morality of that military commander, and the military command structure — the morality of a society which raises a military and wages war — are the moral concerns of this film. They are something we are wrestling with daily in our lives.The issue of having interplanetary warfare is a science fiction aspect of it, but what gives it such emotional tone and reality is that these are the concerns of our everyday lives.”
There’s been a lot of talk about protests by LGBT groups concerning the film, and while I don’t think Ford doused that fire entirely, I think he spoke well and reminded everyone that Ender’s Game has nothing to due with gay marriage or civil rights, and deals with a whole other bailiwick and that perhaps we should keep Card’s comments, both inside and outside the particular text, as separate issues.
Ender’s Game opens November 1st. We’ll have more from Comic Con as it develops.