Ender’s Game: Harrison Ford on “Significant Changes” in Sci-Fi Since Star Wars

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It appears it did not take much convincing for Harrison Ford to head out into space for the first time since Star Wars. “That's the easy part. It doesn't matter to me whether I go back to outer space or not. The job's the same, and I don't have any sort of genre preference," Ford said to Movie Fanatic. "I'm looking for a good story, good character, whether earthbound or not.”

Ender's Game Stars Harrison Ford

Ford read the script about a world where our youth are the ones out there fighting an alien force, before he discovered the blockbuster YA book. "I thought it was an interesting subject that I hadn't seen in film. I saw an interesting character that was responsible for supporting some questions about responsibility and the military and about relationships between young people and [that institution]," Ford added.

The legendary actor looks forward to what was teased in the Ender's Game trailer not only getting people to talk, but also uniting generations. "A lot of questions will be raised in this one. I think it's a really good family movie. I think young people are likely to drag their parents to this movie, require answers from them about what's going on here and the other way around," Ford said.

"I think parents may wish to bring their young people to this movie as well. The themes are responsibilities, individual responsibilities. The leadership capacities, what the military does to create leadership capacity, but this is a strange situation here. We're talking about a world government meeting the threat of an alien invasion."

It is a different sci-fi landscape since Ford shot Star Wars and its space scenes. "The technology now, there have been many significant changes that impact you as a performer in shooting space sequences. The techniques to create the visual elements have changed enormously," Ford said.

Harrison Ford Asa Butterfield Ender's Game

“When we were making Star Wars, they were putting together spaceships out of plastic model kits of cars and boats and trains and gluing them all together, and putting them on a stick and flying them past the camera. And it worked! Add a little music, and you believe that big spaceship coming over your head.”

Ford also warns that just because you can create effects on the computer that the technology must always be kept in check for the glory of the film as a whole. “You can, with a few more key strokes, generate such a busy canvas that the eye doesn't know where to go. You lose human scale on an event. You're just wowed by the kinetics and the visualization,” Ford admitted.

“But you, often in those cases I feel, lose touch with the human characters and what it is that they would feel and how they might feel. And I think that's still the most important part. So I think you have to be very careful with effects, that they don't overpower the story with a visual element."

Ford has built a career with roles that have been intriguing and engaging, such as his one in Ender's Game. Is it still easy for him to find those roles at this point in his career? "I like the collaborative process of filmmaking which is all simply to say that I love my work, and I would continue to look for things that have the potential to be engaging and successful,” Ford said.

Ender's Game Stars Harrison Ford as Colonel Gruff

Ford does have certain elements that must be in place, and he echoed his recent comments about doing Indiana Jones again.

“What I always look for in the Indiana Jones films was that we advance the notion of the character, the audience's understanding of the character from each film to the other in an ambitious way. So Indiana Jones' father would appear. Indiana Jones' long lost love and the son he never knew would appear,” he added.

“All of that made it very much more interesting to me. So the potential, I think, to build on the audience's knowledge of a character, you can take advantage of that, I think, if you're ambitious."

Ford, to many in his Ender's Game world, is an icon. That moniker does zero for Ford. "Icon means nothing to me. I don't understand what it means to anybody, actually. It seems like a word of convenience, and it seems to attend to the huge success of certain kinds of movies that I did. But there's no personal utility in being an icon," he said.

"I don't know what an icon does except stand in a corner and quietly accept everyone's attention. I like to work, so there's no utility in being an icon."

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Ender's Game Review

Ender’s Game finally gets the sci-fi spectacle movie treatment, decades after the book series debuted. The Ender’s Game DVD...

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Ender's Game Trailer

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