An International Fleet ship in the Third Invasion.

The Formic Wars were a series of conflicts between the human race and the Formics.[1] The wars began when the hive-minded Formics sent a colonization fleet to Earth,[2] not knowing that sentient life already existed on the planet. Not recognizing the humans as sentient beings, they attempted to terraform the world to their own needs.[1] The humans defended themselves, and managed to destroy the scout ship that was sent ahead of the main fleet.[2] However, the rest of the fleet eventually made it to the solar system, giving the humans another fight for their lives and their planet. Mazer Rackham destroyed the mothership housing the Hive Queen, ending the Second Invasion.

To prevent Earth from ever being attacked again, the humans sent an invasion fleet to the Formic Homeworld and other Formic colonies to destroy their alien adversaries. The invasion fleet was commanded by Ender Wiggin. Wiggin ended the Formic Wars when he used the Molecular Disruption Device on the Formic's homeworld, almost destroying the species in its entirety.[1]

First Invasion

The First Invasion began when the Formic colonization fleet launched a scout ship into the Solar System and began disrupting human communications due to their periodical gamma plasma exhaust bursts. These bursts later destroyed the mining ship El Cavador, Weigh Station 4,[3] most of the ships and structures in The Belt, and the asteroid city of Kleopatra.[4]

First Invasion

A wave of destruction caused by the Formics.

As the Formic ship dropped into orbit around Earth, the humans assumed the aliens had peaceful intent, and sent a United Nations ship to greet the Formics. The Formics launched a gamma plasma burst at the ship, subsequently destroying it and several other cam ships. Moments later, three massive spherical landers, each a kilometer across, separated from the Formic scout ship and streaked toward South China. Captain Mazer Rackham and his crew, deployed in China to train Chinese pilots to fly the experimental HERC aircraft, witnessed the impact of the landers and provided medical aid to injured villagers in the area. While doing so, the lander opened up to expel thousands of Formic fighters and troop carrying aircraft. The Chinese military managed to shoot down a few aircraft, while taking massive casualties in return. Mazer discovered that each troop carrier contained dozens of Formic soldiers. Each of these soldiers had a container containing a yellow chemical agent and a misting device. When sprayed, this chemical quickly killed surrounding plant life, essentially a defoliating agent used by the Formics to defoliate the land of Southern China.[4]

The Chinese then launched a failed offensive against the Formics inside their borders. Meanwhile, the United States launched a failed space attack against the Formic scout ship by scrounging together any ships that were capable of battle in their fleet. [4]


A photograph from the First Invasion, later used as propaganda by the International Fleet.

Mazer and the Mobile Operations Police used Chinese drill sledges to dig under a Formic lander and plant a nuke inside, subsequently destroying it. Meanwhile, Victor Delgado had infiltrated the Formic scout ship and learned how to neutralize it. While Victor was inside the ship, Ukko Jukes launched an offensive using glasers and vanguards, which were mostly destroyed by the Formic gun turrets, but the attack did manage to disable some of the guns.[4][2]

The effects of the Formics' terraforming gas on humans.

A plan was put together, and Victor, Mazer, and the MOPs permeated the scout ship again and turned the gamma plasma nozzles around, giving them a way to kill every Formic inside. As they attempted to leave, they met Formic resistance. This alerted the Formics on Earth's surface to their presence, and every troop carrier returned to the landers. The landers launched back into space, while Imala Bootstamp piloted her fighter towards the Formic scout ship, attempting to trigger the motion activation of the gamma plasma nozzles. They fired, but they were turned around to face the inside of the ship. The gamma plasma quickly killed all the Formics inside, but there was nobody to shut it off in order for the humans to enter the ship again. Captain Witt O'Toole sacrificed himself by entering the ship and turning off the gamma plasma. Mazer and the MOPs re-entered the ship and used the various devices on board to destroy the incoming Formic landers.[2]

Out beyond the Kuiper Belt, the rest of the Formic colonization fleet reorganized itself, preparing for battle against the hostile lifeforms on the planet ahead.[2]

Second Invasion

The Second Invasion began when the entirety of the Formic colonization fleet entered the interior of the Solar System and engaged in warfare with the humans. In a battle around the rings of Saturn, Mazer Rackham noticed a weak point in the seemingly random formation of the Formic ships. He fired one of the two missiles his ship had at a certain Formic spacecraft, destroying it and killing a Hive Queen.[5]

The Formic ship containing a Hive Queen.

As it was destroyed, the other Formic fighter ships stopped functioning as all their pilots became brain-dead, for they no longer had a Hive Queen to control them.[1] Afterwards, the humans began to launch ships to the Formic Homeworld, as well as sending Mazer into relativistic flight so he would still be alive when the ships reached their destination and teach the next great strategist to destroy the Formics.[5]

Third Invasion


A Formic ship being destroyed while harvesting water.

The Third Invasion, also later known as the War of Xenocide or the Formic Xenocide, was the third and final major conflict of the Formic Wars. Instead of the Formics attacking Earth, as in the first two invasions, the Third Invasion saw the International Fleet attacking the Formic homeworlds.[1]

The Hegemony, in the wake of the Second Invasion and wary of a potential third Formic attack on Earth, decided to take the initiative and attack the Formics before another Formic invasion could be organized. Over the course of decades, the International Fleet launched hundreds of warships at relativistic speeds toward known Formic colonies and staging areas, including their homeworld. Using reverse-engineered Formic technologies, the International Fleet was able to coordinate all of the ships in the invasion fleet from the relative safety of their base on Eros in the Solar System.[1]

The aftermath of the use of the Molecular Disruption Device.

While waiting for the invasion fleet to arrive, the IF created special leadership training programs, designed to take advantage of the creative abilities of children, in an attempt to find an intellect capable of commanding such a force. After some 60 years of searching for the ideal candidate, the IF discovered and cultivated Ender Wiggin to lead their attack. Wiggin was able to match the Formic's considerable strategic and tactical abilities and, with help from his lieutenants, was able to deploy strategies that the hive minded Formics could not possibly adapt to. Wiggin won battle after battle, and eventually defeated the Formics by using the Molecular Disruption Device on their homeworld, destroying all the Formic Hive Queens but one.[1]


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 1.6 Ender's Game
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 Earth Awakens
  3. Earth Unaware
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 4.3 Earth Afire
  5. 5.0 5.1 "Mazer in Prison"

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