It’s Day 5 of the Mogadorian Fighter Challenge, and we’re descending on the right side of our bracket! The latest anti-Mogadorian contenders: Ender Wiggin of ENDER’S GAME and Capt. Kara Thrace, a.k.a. Starbuck, of BATTLESTAR GALACTICA.
Rob: This doesn’t strike me as a pilot battle, because Ender was, yes, a pilot, but he was primarily a tactician and a…strategician.
Dan: A strategist?
Rob: Shut up. Ender does well tactically, fighter to fighter, but his main strength is the strategic level, overseeing an entire battle, and Starbuck doesn’t seem like she can compete in that arena.
Dan: Well, you’re talking to a huge BSG fanboy here, so let me assure you that every time they need a big plan, Adam always goes straight to Starbuck. From the first season prison riot to the final episode assault on the super Cylon base, Starbuck has the plan. She’s very capable in both types of combat. Furthermore, while Ender is kind of renowned as the greatest strategist ever, all the later books like Ender’s Shadow show that the real genius was Bean, and Ender’s job was primarily as a leader.
Rob: I think that if you look at the rest of the books, I’m totally going to vote for Starbuck. In this situation we’re looking at a battle, at fighting enemy aliens, and Ender is too weighed down with the whole “Speaker for the Dead” thing. He’s not a reliable soldier because he feels too much guilt about what he did to the last group of aliens he killed.
Dan: Even before he killed them, they had to trick him into fighting them in the first place. And now that he’s done it he never wants to do it again. Whereas Starbuck, to the point of horrible self-destruction in her personality, is very much an “I’m the gun, point me anywhere” kind of person. I’m absolutely going for Starbuck in this matchup.
Rob: I know this one’s going to be controversial, but I really think, looking at the full canon of Ender books, Ender’s not the guy we need to fight our aliens.
Dan: Even in the first book, Ender’s not going to be a brilliant strategist without Bean backing him up, and he’s not going to put the plan into motion without General Graff pulling the strings behind the scenes. Starbuck’s the opposite: she’ll come up with a plan, and she’ll carry it out.
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