So what changes to the story can we spot in the Halo Series trailer? The trailer for Halo the Series dropped last night along with a release date of March 22nd. We’ve already posted the trailer after it released but I wanted to have a look at what story changes we can note from this trailer. We’ve always known that Halo the Series is not canon to the games and books. That of course means we cannot guarantee that the story will occur in the same manner in the show.
As a fan who has read all the books and played all the games there are definitely a few things that I can spot straight away. However let’s start with what looks to be the same.
Familiar Story Beats
The basic premise we are presented with in the trailer certainly matches the games and books. It looks like Humans are being experimented by the Covenant. Why the Covenant are so keen to wipe out Humans I will leave for the show to explore, but one assumes similar motivations here. Once again, Humans are well and truly out matched both in numbers and technology. However, the Spartans are the one weapon which seems to give Humans an advantage.
As for the Spartan origin story, it’s hard to say for sure, but it looks to be the same. Clearly the Spartans were still recruited as kids, still experimented on, and clearly still the brainchild of Doctor Catherine Halsey. In this show Halsey is played by Natascha McElhone and you see her as the one talking about John and the other Spartans in this trailer. Additionally the tech the Spartans use from guns and armor all looks pretty accurate to the game and books also.
However there are also quite a few differences already we can see. So what changes to the story can we spot in the Halo Series trailer? For a start, the most obvious change I can see is the Human who seems to be working with the Covenant to exterminate the Humans. Yeah, I’m not quite getting that one, this blonde girl seems to be infiltrating a Human ship and bringing with her Lokgolo worms. The Lokgolo look quite similar to how they appear in the canon, but why would the Covenant want or need a Human to work for them?
We also so far have not seen any glimpse of the Prophets, the ruling class of the Covenant (Scratch that apparently they were seen briefly in the teaser).
My worry is that the show has reduced costs by making the Prophets Human like here. However I certainly hope I’m wrong on that front. The most reasonable explanation is the one I presented above, that the Prophets are using this girl for some reason, I just can’t think why?
There also seems to a a change in Master Chief himself. I get the feeling form the trailer that the Spartans are controlled like robots until John touches that Forerunner relic. That’s certainly different to how John is portrayed in the games. There is a point in Halo 4 where John does undergo some changes, but they don’t really affect his personality or willingness to follow orders. Chief is just one of those soldiers that invariably is still alive once the command structure is wiped out and therefore has to go it alone a lot. If anything it’s Cortana who is the far more rebellious natured of the pair in the current canon. Interesting for sure.
There were also a few design issues which definitely caught fans attention. The most importnat of these was the design of Cortana, who now looks like a digital Human. You can see a comparison shot between the show above, and game Cortana’s below. I’m sure you can work out which image is which, the second one also shows how Cortana’s design has changed a little, but still very much looking like a digital construct. Ultimately I don’t think this is anything to get annoyed over, it just seems easier to render actress Jen Taylor like this for a show. Still, the fans will be fans.
Perhaps far more worrying is the amount of 21st Century tech we can see in this trailer alone. For a start we see someone using an AK-47. Now I can kinda excuse this one with some convoluted head canon about people manufacturing simple weapons from old designs. However the shot of the Chevy truck which is a current model and would be like 5-600 years old, is a bit jarring. Really this far in the future the 21st Century tech should be a bare minimum, especially for a car.
One hopes the show isn’t filled with moments like these to ease up on the budget. If there’s one thing Halo the Series doesn’t need it’s a stingy budget that cuts corners on the design. However, I know at least one non Halo fan who saw this trailer and thought it looked amazing. That’s a good sign. Paramount + wants Halo the Series to appeal to fans of the games. However they also want non-fans of the games as well. That as with all adaptations is a tricky task to get right. Frankly, I am expecting a lot more changes than the trailer showed. It’s a slight worry for this fan of Halo. However I am just pleased someone is finally doing this as it should have happened years ago.
What changes to the story did you spot? Was there anything we missed in the Halo the Series trailer? Sound off below.