Paramount’s Halo TV adaptation debuted last week, and for the most part the reaction to the show’s first episode seems to be pretty positive. Adapting any video game for another medium is a difficult and arduous task. However, to do it with a series that’s been around for 20 years with a dedicated fanbase that’s been busy enjoying the first installment of that lineage for six years is next level, and it’s been so good so far for the team behind.
There was one thing about the first episode of Halo that not everyone liked, and it’s pretty big. Master Chief removes his helmet, revealing the Spartan’s face which, in this case, is actor Pablo Schreiber. This is probably not what Master Chief looks like in games. In fact, no one knows what Master Chief looks like in the games. That’s why removing the helmet from the start in the TV adaptation is such a controversial decision.
The creators of the Halo games heard the headset discussion and addressed it in a recent blog post, and what they have to say actually makes a lot of sense. The post acknowledges that this was a decision that those who created the series had to grapple with for some time. It was called a mission statement by the creators and not just a twist in the series to kick things off and get people talking right away.
Point 343 attempts to hammer home is the reason the face of the Master Chiefs has never been revealed in the games is because it wants the player to take on the role of the Spartan, at least in part. “The games themselves have primarily been a player projection space, where you Step into the boots of humanity’s greatest hero while playing with him and see through his eyes,” the post read. “Television, of course, is a totally different medium…the participatory, interactive aspect that defines the game isn’t there, which brings its own challenges and opportunities for telling a great Halo story.”
The creators of the Halo show have been very clear in explaining that it will not follow the same timeline as the games and will instead tell its own story. It will, however, include many elements that those who have played the games will be familiar with. It’s been described as “adjacent canon”, which will likely make more and more sense as the first season progresses.
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