Earth Awakens questions and comments

Discuss all things pertaining to the EnderVerse milieu.
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Earth Awakens questions and comments

Postby xandersnow86 » Wed Jul 02, 2014 3:05 pm

Just finished Earth Awakens and haven't found any discussion boards on it, if they exist please link me to them.

I liked the book, and am an avid Enderverse fan, but instead of wasting time with praise, let's just jump straight into my questions.

1) I want to know why the Formics were eviscerating people. It isn't clarified in the book, so I'd like to hear peoples theories or i've somehow missed the definitive reason in some other book i'd like to know please. My theory is that the worker Formics are checking to see if the people have some sort of special organ that only queens have. Having not found it, they would likely be confused about the seeming freewill of the individual humans. The organ thing is mentioned by Victor, and also in Shadows in Flight. Can anyone explain this to me?

2) Ukko Jukes character arch seems a bit muddled to me. They spent a long time convincing us that he was a terrible father to Lem, then a while convincing us that all of Lem's notions were due to misunderstandings, then at the end he pulled that dirty trick with the email that doubly ruined Lem's love life. So he was a villain toward his son in that respect after all. Furthermore, it seems he knew about the Formics coming via the parallex system and chose not to say anything such that he could pull off the long elaborate plan to eventually maneuver himself into the hegemon position. So he was at least indirectly responsible for the deaths resulting from the Formic invasion due to his not allowing earth time to prepare. So in that sense he was a definite bad guy. No real question here except why did they bother making him look like a good guy at all? Seemed strange to me.

3) Let's talk about the Formics, I still don't really understand them. It's quite hard to believe they didn't know that they were essentially trying to exterminate another sentient species, perhaps to their knowledge the only other one in existence. But it seemed to me that throughout Ender's thousands of years with the hive queen they had come to an understanding that it was all a misunderstanding and the queens didn't realize what they were doing. How could this be? This was something that bothered me in Shadows in Flight that it seemed to reveal that the queen did know the whole time that she was enslaving other sentient beings (the workers/mates) and also that they really did come to understand what the humans were long before the war ended. So was she just lying to Ender all those years? I thought they mind-melded, was Ender so grief stricken that he was fooled, and so genuinly fooled that his notion of the truth, as written in The Hive Queen was able to convince all of humanity as well? Seems unlikely. I guess the second formic war might reveal more. But if anyone cares to explain the Formic point of view to me, I would appreciate it.

4) Lastly, a nitpick. There were like a hundred typos in this book. Get a new editor next time. It detracts from the experience.

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Re: Earth Awakens questions and comments

Postby chriswen » Sat Jul 19, 2014 10:36 pm

2) Yeah, what type of character is Ukko? Is he evil? But you also must understand that Lem also doesn't understand his farther fully. But now he's Hegemon. Does he have good intentions, or does he just want war?

And then there's the test, it seems he is really devious but maybe its just a mistake. But there will be horrible consequences. I'm interested in what Lem will plan to do with the mess.

3) It's hard for them to understand that they were exterminating another sentient species because they have no way of communicating. And they don't have a way to understand that humans were sentient.

The formic workers were not sentient. It was the queens that were sentient and controlled the formics. That's why you could say the formics were a sentient species.

It would be hard for the Hive Queens to understand that each human being was had a separate mind and will.

The queens were controlling the workers/mates but I thought if they didn't have any control they wouldn't have much intelligence. (Except for some).

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Re: Earth Awakens questions and comments

Postby craigdchilds » Fri Aug 15, 2014 4:54 pm

I really did not like the First Formic War trilogy. A lowpoint for the series. But I will attempt to answer your questions:

1) I think the Formics were confused by humans. They didn't consider us sentient beings because we lacked the basic ability to communicate telepathically. From their viewpoint, telepathic communication was the very essence of intelligent life. They never considered there might be another way to communicate through speech, radio, etc. But they noticed, on the other hand, at times we acted almost like sentient beings, able to coordinate our efforts in a very limited way to defend ourselves from their attack.

The Formics were searching for whatever organ Queens have that gives them sentience and intelligence and ability to "speak". They eviscerated every body they came across because they thought it might be possible some humans were non-sentient workers and others were sentient queens. (Victor and Imala missed this when they were talking about the eviscerations. They assumed if the Formics were looking for an organ they would have quit looking after the first few people didn't have one.)

2) Ukko was neither villain or hero. In fact, you can make that case that only Lem and Ukko were "believable" characters in these books, because they did both good and bad things. Most of the other characters were either "all Good" or "all Bad".

I don't think Ukko knew the Formics were coming; both Ukko and Emidala pointed out the telescopes weren't programmed to look for objects that didn't follow orbital patterns.

Ukko wanted to defeat the Formics, but he wanted to do so in a way that made himself look good so he could become Hegemon. He was even willing to let Victor and Imala die, so it could be his drone strike that killed the Formics. He didn't want Lem's plan to succeed and steal his glory.

Lem interpreted everything his dad did as manipulative and evil, but Lem was so angry, he failed to notice even when his dad did something good.

3) After the Second Invasion, the Formics realized we were sentient, and they felt an unendurable guilt. That's why they didn't try for a Third Invasion. When Ender led the human fleet to their homeworld, they fought back to defend themselves, but the Queens did not flee the home planet for the safety of other worlds. Instead, they knew if Ender won, they needed to sacrifice themselves and hope Ender would resurrect their race one day in the far future.

Queens are much stronger than drones, but the drones do have some intelligence and free will of their own. Queens suppress this drive. In Shadows in Flight, this is referred to as their "dirty secret." Queens excuse this behavior as necessary for their society, much in the same way slaveowners try to excuse the practice of slavery. It doesn't make them completely evil. They were genuinely horrified when they realized what they had done to humans.

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