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New Halo trailer to Promise Mix of Familiar and New

By Terrence Smith

A new trailer for the long-anticipated Halo series, based on Microsoft’s popular line of video games, books, and comics, premiered during half time of the AFC Championship last week. The series will take place in a separate continuity from the core canon, and follow Spartan super soldier John-117, otherwise known as Master Chief, played by Pablo Schreiber, in the war against the alien Covenant and the race to find the planet-destroying superweapon known as Halo.

The trailer offers some big clues as to what the show has in store for both old and new Halo fans.

Master Chief will have a new student

Quan Ah (Yein Ha: left) on the ground, looking up at a Master Chief (Pablo Schreiber: right) as he offers her a hand up..
Quan Ah (Yein Ha: left) on the ground, looking up at a Master Chief (Pablo Schreiber: right) as he offers her a hand up.

It looks like new character Quan Ah, played by Yein Ha, is going to develop a unique relationship with Master Chief. She appears awestruck at him at the start of the trailer, as he arrives at a settlement under siege by Covenant forces. The Spartans were initially largely kept under wraps in the Halo lore, so they were thought of as mythological creatures like “the Boogey Man.” This would explain why Quan would be fascinated by Chief, and why she would ask him the reason a Spartan would save a random civilian.

In response to this question, the trailer shows Chief kicking over an assault rifle to Quan, as if he is saying “get ready to fight.” Signs point to Ha becoming one of Chief’s partners in battle, and Chief potentially becoming a mentor figure to Quan.

We will see the man behind the armor

Master Chief's bare back with jagged scars.
Master Chief’s bare back with jagged scars.

The initial teaser trailer focused extensively on the body of Master Chief, showing the scar tissue of the augmentations that he and his fellow Spartans experienced in the Spartan-II program, indicating that the show is going to be an intimate portrait of the man beneath the helmet. The new trailer seems to confirm this. One Spartan, Soren-066, played by Bokeem Woodbine, describes the brutal life of a Spartan in training, saying, “What they did to us, it makes you numb,” and shows a snippet of children jogging in military fashion. It looks like the show will take a deep dive into the history of young Master Chief, portrayed by Casper Knof in the trailer.

Chief may go rogue

Master Chief touches a Forerunner artifact overlaid by lights and symbols.
Master Chief touches a Forerunner artifact overlaid by lights and symbols.

Master Chief may end up not being as controllable as his creator and mother figure, Doctor Catherine Halsey, played by Natascha McElhone, boasts that she is. After he touches the artifact that reveals the location of Halo, he says it made him feel different. The design of this artifact resembles technology from the Forerunners, an ancient alien race tied to the history of the Halo weapon. It may have inadvertently created a link between him and the ancient race, which will end up influencing his actions throughout the series.

Cortana (voiced by Jen Taylor)

Master Chief has gone AWOL before in the Halo saga, especially when his AI companion and love interest, Cortana, voiced in the game and series by Jen Taylor. Given that Chief will be getting paired up with her in the series, it is not difficult to imagine Chief developing similar feelings for her, and defying orders so that he can look out for her.

The Covenant will be humanized

Charlie Murphy as Makee.
Charlie Murphy as Makee.

The trailer shows us Charlie Murphy as Makee, a human raised by the Covenant. Judging by the regal garb and imagery of the throne room, she seems to have a high rank in Covenant society. It will be interesting to see a human having sympathy for the Covenant, who in the video games, are religious zealots that believe Halo is a gateway to Paradise. In Halo 2, players got to fight on the Covenant side as the Arbiter, helping to flesh out the Covenant perspective of the war, so Makee may fulfill a similar function for the audience, acting as a proxy for the human viewers.

Halo officially releases on Paramount+ March 24th.

Watch the new trailer below.

Terrence J. Smith has contributed his writing to nonprofits and both print and digital publications. He enjoys all things technology, but remembers to meditate and appreciate the outside world.