Master Chief Feels Different in the Full Halo Trailer

Paramount Plus’s extremely expensive looking Halo has a full trailer! Nearly a decade in the making, the video game adaptation starts streaming in March—and the new trailer gives a much deeper look at the world and characters, and the ways in which the series is not the game.

Halo the series takes place in the “Silver timeline,” which is not quite the same as the games’ timeline. As Franchise Creative Director Frank O’Connor explained in a long blog post at 343 Industries:

Basically, we want to use the existing Halo lore, history, canon, and characters wherever they make sense for a linear narrative, but also separate the two distinctly so that we don’t invalidate the core canon or do unnatural things to force a first-person video game into an ensemble TV show. The game canon and its extended lore in novels, comics, and other outlets is core, original, and will continue unbroken for as long as we make Halo games.
To be clear: these will be two parallel, VERY similar, but ultimately separate timelines whose main events and characters will intersect and align throughout their very different cadences.

There’s a lot more detail in the post, which went up a few days before the trailer arrived, presumably to prime fans to expect some changes. But some things, of course, don’t change, like the helmeted presence of Master Chief (American Gods‘ Pablo Schreiber). He’s joined by a handful of other Spartans: Kai-125 (Kate Kennedy), Riz-028 (Natasha Culzac), and Vannak-134 (Bentley Kalu), along with Natasha McElhone as Dr. Halsey, the creator of the Spartans and Cortana, an AI played by Jen Taylor (who also provides the character’s voice in the games).

The trailer’s summary is very vague: “Dramatizing an epic 26th-century conflict between humanity and an alien threat known as the Covenant, Halo the series will weave deeply drawn personal stories with action, adventure and a richly imagined vision of the future.”

That richly imagined future seems to draw from a lot of other beloved SF properties; there are visual similarities to Star WarsDuneStarship Troopers, and many more, though the series’ tagline—”Find the Halo, win the war”—made me think immediately of Heroes‘ “Save the cheerleader, save the world.” (Also, a Phil Collins cover? Really? Okay, sure.) There’s certainly a lot of drama in the contrasts between weapons and hope, Spartans and humans, humans and aliens, control and freedom.

Halo premieres March 24th on Paramount Plus.

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