The Problem of Stilson

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Should Stilson's death be left in the film?

Yes
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No
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This doesn't matter
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Total votes: 61

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The Problem of Stilson

Postby Bevis » Sun Oct 29, 2006 8:08 pm

An important aspect to Ender's character is the guilt he carries with him over everything he's done to hurt someone. Particularly taking down Stilson. Talk of an EG movie always makes me nervous because I can't imagine a mainstream hollywood film with one 5 yr old beating the tar out of (later to be revealed killing) another 5 yr old ever seeing the light of day. Yet this act seems too significant to me to be left out.

Should it be replaced with something less jarring to mainstream audiences?

I'd rather see it left in myself.

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Postby mr_thebrain » Sun Oct 29, 2006 8:40 pm

I think if it's done right, it would almost be therapeutic. What with the rash of school shootings and child violence things along those lines. I also think it’s important to leave in just to explain Ender’s character. It’s important that he’s not a hero; just the main character. Not to mention that I really hate it when Hollywood dumbs down or makes something pretty just to get a lower rating. I sincerely hope that Ender’s Game is rated R. I hope that it doesn’t trivialize the negative things Ender does. I don’t want to see him larger than life, I want to see him as what he is: a scared child forced into an unrealistic situation, with unrealistic expectations upon him.

Bah, you all know the story and the reasons Ender did the things he did. You all know that the deaths in the story are important. It could be argued that the deaths are unimportant to the overall story. I disagree. I feel that they are important to the development of Ender’s character. In turn Ender’s character is important to the development of the story.
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Postby Mich » Sun Oct 29, 2006 8:43 pm

I agree it should be left in, as it has an important impact on Ender's psyche, as well as being final proof that he is "the one," which is another important aspect of observation of Ender: they love him because, not in spite, of the fact that he kills other kids.

However.

As you've already pointed out, a little kid, be him 5 or 9, killing another little kid, be him 7 or 11, is not something to show in a movie that isn't supposed to go above a PG-13 rating. Time constraint is what I thought of when I first heard about this cut, though. I mean, sure, you can have his death in there, but if you want to have the psychological impact actually play a part into the movie, you have to have at least two more scenes that deal with Stilson's death. I don't think that it would be a serious problem, in Hollywood book adaptations, to work it out.

Edit: And I knew that, as I was typing, someone was already putting up another post. Curse you!
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Postby mr_thebrain » Sun Oct 29, 2006 8:47 pm

heh, sorry. :P
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Postby eriador » Mon Oct 30, 2006 2:00 am

Stilson's death serves two important roles. The first is the impact on Ender's psyche, which has been discussed, but the second is that it proves that Ender is "the one." If he hadn't killed Stilson, Graff wouldn't have picked him. Yes, it's a very important part of the story and should be left in.

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Postby neo-dragon » Fri Nov 03, 2006 6:56 pm

I don't actually think that it's necessary to have both the Stilson and the Bonzo killings, and Bonzo is definitely the more important of the two. So...

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Postby puppets » Sat Nov 18, 2006 7:30 am

i voted no. keep stilson out, or instead of showing it, maybe hint at it, have ender have nightmares in black and white, or something, of stilson shoving him around, oh stilson picking on him, and of stilson lying on the ground not moving. flashback scenes would make it more acceptable if you dont show it actually happen, only problem is it would probably confuse those who have not read the book.
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Postby Bevis » Sat Nov 18, 2006 8:22 pm

I'd say that technique would defintely confuse people who've never read the book. I'd rather it was cut completely than only elluded to.

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Postby VelvetElvis » Sat Nov 18, 2006 8:25 pm

I think it should be left in. I've seen worse in movies.
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Postby Ua Lava » Thu Dec 28, 2006 8:30 pm

Leave it in. Ender needs to feel guilty for something. He needs something to make him feel like he is Peter, otherwise that part of the Fantasy Game is meaningless. Breaking Bernard's arm won't cut it, nor will fighting the guys the the Battle Room. Those events only fan the flames that is lit when Ender kills Stilson.
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Postby luminousnerd » Thu Dec 28, 2006 8:36 pm

I think if it's done right, it would almost be therapeutic. What with the rash of school shootings and child violence things along those lines. I also think it’s important to leave in just to explain Ender’s character. It’s important that he’s not a hero; just the main character. Not to mention that I really hate it when Hollywood dumbs down or makes something pretty just to get a lower rating. I sincerely hope that Ender’s Game is rated R. I hope that it doesn’t trivialize the negative things Ender does. I don’t want to see him larger than life, I want to see him as what he is: a scared child forced into an unrealistic situation, with unrealistic expectations upon him.

Bah, you all know the story and the reasons Ender did the things he did. You all know that the deaths in the story are important. It could be argued that the deaths are unimportant to the overall story. I disagree. I feel that they are important to the development of Ender’s character. In turn Ender’s character is important to the development of the story.
It can't be rated R. Then Orson Scott Card himself wouldn't be allowed to see it as he is a devout mormon and the mormons are strictly against seeing R-Rated movies. Seems a bit further than silly to me, but whatever.

Anyway, there's no reason for it to be R. Even if they have the whole scene of Ender kicking the s*** out of both Stilson and Bonzo, it would only be PG-13 unless they went over the top with unnecessary blood (which would be really lame imo)

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Postby mr_thebrain » Thu Dec 28, 2006 8:38 pm

someone with the name luminousnerd should know enough about sci fi and it's authors to know that OSC even pisses off his fellow mormons. i highly doubt that he cares too much about pg-13 and R. i also must note that he doesn't really have much to say on that matter.
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Postby luminousnerd » Thu Dec 28, 2006 9:01 pm

someone with the name luminousnerd should know enough about sci fi and it's authors to know that OSC even pisses off his fellow mormons. i highly doubt that he cares too much about pg-13 and R. i also must note that he doesn't really have much to say on that matter.
Eh, since he's writing the script he's got more say than usual.

Not sure what you mean by him pissing off fellow mormons...actually, it's quite common for them to claim it was God's blessing on Card and basically credit mormonism for his success.

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Postby mr_thebrain » Thu Dec 28, 2006 9:28 pm

not really. the script will eventually get handed to someone else. and perhaps another person yet again. then the studio and director and blah blah blah. by the time it's made, it could be NC17 or X for all card can do.
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Postby luminousnerd » Thu Dec 28, 2006 9:41 pm

not really. the script will eventually get handed to someone else. and perhaps another person yet again. then the studio and director and blah blah blah. by the time it's made, it could be NC17 or X for all card can do.
Not likely. Card, I believe, still has legal rights over it. He'd still have to approve any script that's made. He was a lot smarter than most authors whose books are being made into movies, but the result is it takes longer.

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Postby mr_thebrain » Thu Dec 28, 2006 10:04 pm

i thought a production company bought the movie rights...

can't remember the name of the joint though.
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Postby luminousnerd » Sat Dec 30, 2006 6:28 pm

Here's Card's thoughts:
...the Stilson episode is cut entirely from my script of the movie, replaced by a much milder episode between Ender and Peter.
As for the incident with Bonzo, it is still in the script, but very carefully handled so that neither the nudity nor the violence are carried to a level that would affect the rating of the film.
...there is no reason or need to shock or offend...
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Postby Bevis » Tue Jan 02, 2007 11:25 am

damn the man

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Postby BonitoDeMadrid » Fri Jan 05, 2007 9:35 am

Man, by the way you talk about it, the book/film looks like the next-generation Lord of the Flies -_-

Anyway, I agree with OSC (Rhymes :) ), because Stilson's death isn't that important, and can be replaced by a fierce battle between Ender and Peter.

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Postby Bevis » Fri Jan 05, 2007 10:49 am

The quote refers to it as a much milder episode not a fierce battle.

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Postby Fish Tank » Sun Jan 07, 2007 4:21 pm

Also there is no "Bugger War" the entire movie is now an epic game of Candy Land.
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Postby hive_king » Sun Jan 07, 2007 10:04 pm

I think by much milder, he means Ender doesn't kick a kid to death. That doesn't mean it won't be brutal.
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Postby Andorbal » Mon Jan 08, 2007 10:07 am

Star Wars Ep. III handled the young Jedi massacre pretty well: It was brutally shocking, but not gratuitous. You knew what was about to happen, and what eventually did happen, but your mind did all the work.

So for Ender, they could show a look in Ender's eyes or something, then show a punch or kick coming at the camera, then cut to black for a few seconds.

I guess what I'm saying is that you could include the scene without turning it into a scene from Fight Club.

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Postby SaintDrogo » Wed Feb 06, 2008 7:39 pm

Ender wasn't completely invited into battle school until they saw not only a) what he did without his monitor, and b) why he did it. If they left out what he did and why, ie, Stilson's death, they'd have to re-write his invite and change the story.

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Postby Darth Petra » Thu Feb 07, 2008 9:11 am

I think it should be left in. That was part of what drew me into the book: "Whoa, the main character just totally destroyed someone". I think the incident sort of kickstarts and sets the mood for the whole book. It should be a brutal movie. Why should they dumb it down?
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Postby mazer » Fri Feb 08, 2008 7:15 pm

I agree it should be left in they should find away to make it less gruesome than how it happened in my head

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Postby SaintDrogo » Sat Feb 09, 2008 7:52 am

Put it from Stilson's point of view. The little bugger went unconscious. There! Now you witness less actual violence.
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Postby BeansBrother » Fri Mar 14, 2008 6:33 pm

I agree with mr_brain. If they leave out the violence, just because it is a book, like other movies (*cough cough* Eragon *cough*), then it will suck, like Eragon did. But, if they leave in all the violence, but do NOT add more to it, then I think it would be an excellent movie, and maybe have a rating of R, but probably just PG-13.
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Postby John Locke » Wed Mar 19, 2008 6:46 pm

Stilson's taunting and subsequent death defined the instability he suffered from. He was haunted by the vision of Stilson at battle school, defining how he acted, how he thought, and what he turned into.
The video should be carefully done, though. Stilson should only be seen bleeding as Ender walks away. As a child, his character should not be seen dead.
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Postby CandyMoon » Tue Apr 22, 2008 3:55 pm

I think they should leave it in. Like some of you I think it is a very important part. It really helps Ender become well... Ender.

But--

They don't need to go over the top with it. Maybe just have a few kicks and punches, then when Stilson falls do the ground, have the screen go dark and maybe hear a few bones cracking. Then skip to the next scene. That should get the point across, without it being to violent. And besides, I don't want it to be rated R. Then my friend and I would have an awfully hard time getting in...

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Postby John Locke » Wed May 21, 2008 11:39 am

I agree totally, Candymoon.
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Postby randomicicle » Tue Dec 30, 2008 12:08 am

I can't believe he decided to change Stilson's death for an argument between Peter and Ender. Not only because it's practically a turning point of the plot (since it was pointed out several times, if it weren't for that, Ender would've stayed on Earth and lived a happy child's live), but also because it has so much importance later on. You can read ender in exile and I believe the final motivations for Ender to do what he did was mostly out of guilt for Stilson's death over Bonzo's. Because he knew Bonzo wanted to really hurt him badly, whereas Stilson was probably way too young to really realize or conciously know the damage he might inflict.

Other than that, I'd hate the whole idea of making Peter more evil than necessary. We all know people who don;t read the books but watch the movie won't ever know how he changed, his motivations, his own story. And not only his, but all the other characters. Maybe not even realize Bean's role on the whole story.

Knowing something like that is going to be cut off from the script because of the rating makes me wonder if the Bugger War will end up looking like a big light in the screen and Ender post-trauma as if it can be cured with a couple of ice creams.

Definitely bummed
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Postby The Polish Boy » Thu Dec 10, 2009 4:37 pm

I think Ender killing Stilson is a really important part of the story. It affects Ender's personality and is part of the reason he was accepted into Battle School.
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Postby PetraArkanianDelphiki » Wed Jan 06, 2010 9:29 pm

It should be left in. It won't really matter about the blood and gore, since with all the swearing, it'll probably rated R anyways. Take a lesson from France, hell, they even put nude kids in children's movies.
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Postby ptr.arkanian » Sun Jan 31, 2010 3:50 pm

one of the most contraversal qualities about Ender Wiggin is that he is not all good. Stilston's death is the first time as a reader you experience Ender's violet side which later leads to many events that would not have been understood as well if you did not understand Ender's contraversial qualities. Stilston's death not only should be, but must be, left in the film
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