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The Formics were an advanced space-faring alien species. Although their scientific name is officially Formics, they were nicknamed Buggers by humans due to their insect-like appearance. Their advanced technology was adopted by humans after the Formic Wars. The Formic race is made up of Hive Queens, their drones, and the workers. They share a hive mind, so the loss of individual units does not concern them. They killed millions of humans during the First and Second invasions in the belief they were simply removing the non-sentient indigenous life of Earth, to be replaced with their own, which led to the Formic-Human War.

During the "Third Invasion" of the war, Ender Wiggin fired the Molecular Disruption Device at the Formic Homeworld, destroying the planet and all the Hive Queens on it; thus almost destroying 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 on a planet they had inhabited, 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.

The Formics re-created their civilization 3,000 years after their destruction on the planet Lusitania.



The Formics were a species that bore similar characteristics to insects; more specifically the Earth native, ants.

Workers Edit

With a main skin tone of red, with orange and green throughout, a Formic worker was about four feet tall, and had six arms. While they may appear insectoid, they had fine wisps of short hair covering their body, similar to the hair on a human's arm.

Even though they have antennae, they seem to have no use for touch, sound, smell or taste. Autopsies by human scientists after the First and Second invasions showed that the Formics, unlike Earth insects, do have an internal skeleton, but still retain an exoskeleton.

Each Formic had subtle variations to its appearance. They were directly controlled by the Hive Queens. The worker did the construction, repair, fighting, and other efforts necessitated for keeping the hive healthy.

Hive Queens Edit

Hive queen

A Hive Queen in the Ender's Game movie.

Hive Queens were the commanding intelligences behind a nest, and are capable of telepathic communication among the rest of the Queens. The Hive Queens were the only Formics capable of laying eggs, after mating with the male Drones.

When a Hive Queen egg 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 are absorbed by the newborn queen.

Similar to ants, Hive Queens possess wings in their youth in order to move to new areas, but these atrophy in later life. They do physically retain the wings, but they are no longer functional.

Hive Queens had a highly adaptive immune system, which worked effectively enough to keep them from medical research and kept them safe from the Descolada.


While drones can be mentally controlled by the Hive Queen, they also help exercise her control over workers. They possess wings for flight and spend much of their life physically attached to the Hive Queen. Unlike workers, they do not die immediately when their Hive Queen does; instead, they attempt to seek a new Hive Queen to mate with.


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-queen 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 daughter-queens convinced it's own daughter-queens 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.

First Invasion

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 their way to colonize Earth, the Formics destroyed hundreds of civilian mining ships, as well as a Weigh Station. Upon their arrival, the Formics sent terraforming crews down to China and killed millions of humans thinking they were simply animals; this became known as The Scathing of China. The First Invasion was devastating and the human space fleet 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 particularly aggressive native animals of Earth. During the battle, Mazer Rackham managed to destroy the Queen's ship, killing her and ending the war, as the workers no longer had a controlled mind. From this clearly intelligent military action, the Formics realized that humanity was sentient, and became horrified at the millions of deaths they had caused. Therefore, the Formics decided not to send another invasion fleet.

Unfortunately, this realization came too late, as humanity had already begun to respond to the seemingly genocidal intentions of the Formics. As soon as seemingly miraculous defeat of the Formics in the Second Invasion was finished, every available ship was sent out by the International Fleet to attack the Formic empire, driving towards their homeworld. Due to relativistic effects, many years passed on Earth while the International Fleet traveled to the Formic home planet. Finally, they launched the "Third Invasion" -- an invasion of the Formics by humanity.

Ultimately, under the leadership of Andrew "Ender" Wiggin, the International Fleet defeated the Formic fleets, and arrived at their homeworld. In the final battle, Ender deployed the Molecular Disruption Device device against the planet itself, completely destroying it and the entire Formic race in what would become known as the First Xenocide.

However, foreseeing this course of events, the Formics had hidden away a Hive Queen cocoon on a colony world they knew Ender would visit. 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. 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.

Film (Ender's Game) Edit

During the film's scene of the Second Invasion, the Formic fleet truly moves like a swarm of insects, with no distinct pattern and a vast number of ships. When Mazer Rackham attacks their main, central ship, which presumably houses the queen, all the other ships stop moving and fall.

In Ender's Ground School, in the science laboratory where Ender is bullied, there seem to be posters and diagrams of Formic anatomy, and there are numerous jars of preserved Formic organs and body parts. In fact, Ender beats Stilson with a preserved Formic limb.

A scene is shown of the Formic planet, with numerous workers constructing large nests and colonies like ants, and spaceships lifting off. Mazer explains that they are becoming overpopulated, contained on one planet, and are collecting water from comets. Ender ambushes a Formic fleet when they are collecting large pieces of ice orbiting around a planet, destroying the fleet.


The structure where Ender finds the Queen egg,

Near the end of the movie, Ender asks about the strange design of Eros, and an officer replies it was tunneled and carved out by Formics. After destroying the Formic home planet with the Molecular Disruption Device, Ender rushes out of the human base into a strange structure, finds a single egg, and a lone Hive Queen. The Queen is considerably larger than Ender, with a face reminiscent of an ant's or an insect, insect-like limbs and two huge wings like a queen ant.

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