The Formics were an advanced space-faring alien species. Although they were officially named Formics (from the Latin word for ant), the aliens were nicknamed Buggers by humans due to their insect-like appearance. The Formic race was made up of Hive Queens, male drones, and workers. The whole species shared a hive mind, so that the loss of individual workers did not concern them.
The Formics killed hundreds of millions of humans during the first two invasions of the Formic Wars in the belief they were simply scouring the non-sentient life of Earth, to be replaced with the native life of their homeworld.
During the Third Invasion of the war, Ender Wiggin used the Molecular Disruption Device on the Formic Homeworld, destroying the planet and all the Hive Queens on it; thus almost killing off the Formic species in its entirety.
Before their demise, they hacked the Mind Game in Battle School in an attempt to communicate with Ender Wiggin. Although they failed to talk to him, the interaction led Ender to discover a Hive Queen cocoon on a planet they had colonized, named Shakespeare by the humans. The Formics had left the Queen there, trusting Ender that he would take it with him on his voyages, and attempt to find a world where their species could be reborn.
BiologyEditThe Formics bore similar physical characteristics with a species of insects native to Earth, ants. This led to a pejorative term, Buggers, being used to refer to them more often than Formic during the time of the Third Invasion.
Formic workers were about four feet tall and had six arms. They had a main skin tone of red, with orange and green throughout. While they appeared insectoid, they had fine wisps of short hair covering their body, similar to the hair on a human's arm.
Even though they had antennae, they seemed to be vestigial in that they had no use for touch, sound, smell or taste. Autopsies by human scientists after the First and Second Invasions showed that the Formics had an internal skeleton, but also retained an exoskeleton.
Each worker had subtle variations to its appearance. Their mental functions were directly controlled by Hive Queens. The worker did the construction, repair, fighting, and other efforts necessitated for keeping the hive healthy.
Hive Queens Edit
Hive Queens were around three meters in length, with large compound eyes, and a reddish-brown skin tone. Similar to ants, Hive Queens possessed wings in their youth in order to move to new areas, but these atrophied in later life. They physically retained the wings, but they were no longer functional.
When a Hive Queen cocoon was laid, a worker had to be fed to the fertilized egg. The Hive Queen was given an intelligent Philote, an Aiúa, only after its birth, and the mind of the entire population of Formics was absorbed by the newborn queen. Once the Queen had control over the Formic workers, they would instantly act with what she willed for them to do.
While drones could have been mentally controlled by the Hive Queens, they also helped exercise her control over the workers. They possessed wings for flight and spent most of their life physically attached to a Hive Queen. Unlike workers, they did not die immediately when their Hive Queen died; instead, they would attempt to seek a new Hive Queen to mate with.
- Main article: Formic Wars
Originally, the Formic Homeworld was divided between rival and constantly warring nests, each controlled by a single Queen, fighting against all of the others without any alliances. Even a newly hatched Queen would fight its own mother to the death. Formic civilization truly began when one mother Queen managed to coax its daughter into not fighting it, to put an end to the senseless slaughter and benefit from joining forces. Automatically, this made their faction stronger than all of the others, as no two queens had ever allied before. In turn, each of the new Queen's daughters convinced its own daughters into working together, until after several generations the descendants of that first forward-thinking Hive Queen had eliminated all of the other nests and spread across their homeworld.
The First Invasion Edit
The Formics made a disastrous first contact with humanity in what would become known as the First Invasion. The Formics did not comprehend that any species could be sentient if it did not possess a hive-mind, assuming that a hive-mind was a prerequisite for sentience. On the colonization fleet's way to Earth, a Formic scout ship separated and accelerated ahead to reach the planet before the rest of the fleet, intending to terraform it. By the time the scout ship had reached Earth's orbit, the Formics had destroyed hundreds of civilian mining ships, asteroid colonies, and weigh stations. Upon their arrival, the Formics sent landers full of terraforming crews down to China and killed millions of humans thinking they were simply animals; this became known as the Scouring of China. The First Invasion was devastating and human infrastructure throughout the solar system took massive losses. After the humans managed to destroy the Formic scout ship, the rest of the colonization fleet rearranged itself for war against what they saw as the uncommonly aggressive native life of Earth.
The Second Invasion Edit
During the final battle of the Second Invasion, Mazer Rackham managed to destroy the Hive Queen's ship, killing her and ending the war, as the workers no longer had a mind to control them. To the Formics, this was a terrible event; a Hive Queen had never been killed before. From this action, the Formics realized that humanity was sentient, and became horrified at the hundreds of millions of deaths they had caused. Therefore, the Formics decided not to send another fleet to colonize Earth.
Unfortunately, this realization came too late, as humanity had already begun to respond to the seemingly genocidal intentions of the Formics. Immediately following the miraculous defeat of the Formics in the Second Invasion, every available warship was sent out by the International Fleet to attack the Formic's own planets, driving towards their homeworld. Due to relativistic effects, many years passed on Earth while the human fleet traveled to the Formic's home planets. Finally, they launched the "Third Invasion" -- an invasion of the Formics by humanity.
The Third Invasion Edit
Ultimately, under the leadership of Ender Wiggin, the International Fleet defeated the Formic's fleets and arrived at their homeworld. In the final battle, Ender deployed the Molecular Disruption Device against the planet itself, completely destroying it and nearly the entire Formic race in what would later become known as the Xenocide.
However, foreseeing this course of events, the Formics had hidden away a Hive Queen cocoon on Shakespeare, a colony world they knew Ender would later visit. When discovered, the new Queen communicated to Ender the history of her race, and their mistaken attack against Earth. Ender then set out on a relativistic journey to distant worlds looking for a suitable place for the Formics to have their species reborn.
Rebirth of the Formics Edit
Three thousand years passed while Ender searched, until he arrived at Lusitania. There, the Hive Queen began a new Formic colony, resulting in the planet becoming home to three different species: the native Pequeninos, humans, and Formics.
Ender's Game (Film) Edit
During the film's opening scene of the Second Invasion, the Formic fleet moves like a swarm of insects, with no distinct pattern and a vast number of ships. When Mazer Rackham destroyed their central ship, which housed a Hive Queen, all the other ships stopped moving and fell down to the planet's surface below.
At Ender's school on Earth, in the science laboratory where he was bullied, there seemed to be posters and diagrams of Formic anatomy, and there were numerous jars of preserved Formic organs and body parts. In fact, Ender beat Stilson with a preserved Formic limb.A scene was shown of the Formic Homeworld, with starships lifting off into orbit. Mazer explained that they were becoming overpopulated, contained on one planet, and were collecting water from comets. Ender ambushed and destroyed a Formic fleet while they were collecting water from a field of asteroids and ice.
Near the end of the movie, Ender asked about the strange design of Eros, and an officer replied that it was tunneled and carved out by Formics. After destroying the Formic Homeworld with the Molecular Disruption Device, Ender rushed out of the human base into a strange structure, finding a single egg, and a lone Hive Queen. The Queen was considerably larger than Ender, with a face reminiscent of an ant's, insect-like limbs and two huge wings.
In the original novel Ender's Game, the term 'Formic' was never used, only the pejorative of Bugger. In Ender's Shadow the name of Formic was first used, interchangeably with Bugger. Later books use 'Formic' almost exclusively, as the more scientific term. This led to odd scenarios in the continuity of the books, such as characters referring to them as Buggers in Ender's Game, chronologically next as Formics in Ender in Exile, and again as Buggers in Speaker for the Dead and Xenocide. The film adaptation of Ender's Game uses 'Formics' exclusively.
Weapons and Technology Edit
Doilies were small, flat, bioluminescent organisms fired from the Formic jar guns. Weblike in structure, they resembled an intricately crocheted doily. However, encircled about in a clear gel as thick and sticky as tar, doilies were weapons of death. The gel acted as an adhesive when the doily struck its target. Then, upon impact, the doily released a peroxide polymer that reacted violently with the adhesive gel. The result was a contained and highly directional explosion, tearing apart a human’s spacesuit and all the bone, skin, muscle, and organs inside it.
- ↑ 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 Earth Unaware
- ↑ 2.00 2.01 2.02 2.03 2.04 2.05 2.06 2.07 2.08 2.09 2.10 2.11 Ender's Game
- ↑ 3.0 3.1 3.2 Shadows in Flight
- ↑ Ender in Exile
- ↑ 5.0 5.1 5.2 Speaker for the Dead
- ↑ 6.0 6.1 6.2 6.3 6.4 6.5 Xenocide
- ↑ 7.0 7.1 7.2 Earth Afire
- ↑ 8.0 8.1 Earth Awakens
- ↑ 9.0 9.1 9.2 9.3 9.4 Ender's Game (Film)
- ↑ Ender's Shadow
- ↑ The Swarm