First, let me start off by stating that I am one of the… Grizzled Ancients of the Halo fan-community. Once, I too was a giddy, excited fanboy gorging on expanded fiction, and posting like it was going out of style, my voice once echoing throughout Bungie’s forums (and beyond) to the point I was bequeathed with the title Exalted Mythic Member…
Now I find myself a crotchety old miser, floating and sputtering about the dust, and the echoes of other voices, with their own resonating opinions on what has become of our beloved saga. In my relatively silent rapancy, I formed my own hypothesis on this saturation of data from the makers new wardens: “343 Industries.” How quaint.
And now my friends, an even more ancient evil awakes. Time for me to offer my proverbial “Two-Cents.”
Forward Unto Dawn:
The title isn’t quite as dead a giveaway as you might think. Honestly my first-impression of this series could be summed up by calling it: Degrassi meets Halo. Chock-full of cliche “dramatic haircut” sequences, and linear plot development, I found the first two episodes to be a rather sour tasting smoothie consisting of redundant plot paths, and predictable arcs.
As far as casting – I found it difficult to believe in these scrawny kids running around in full UNSC combat kit and not keeling over and dying. They looked like they’d be better suited chilling at the food-court than traipsing about the inner colonies fighting insurrectionists. Then, a friend pointed out something which dissolved this entirely. “They’re training to be officers.” He said with casual dismissal. Then it all made sense. To me, Corbulo feels more like a UNSC boarding school than a Military Academy. Then again, with a galactic civil war plaguing the colonies, younger candidates made more sense. Suddenly the young skinny cadets felt more visceral, and truly illustrated how dire the situation was.
Also, the show is breathtaking visually. Following the benchmark set by the live action trailers of the past, 343 has blatantly put allot of love into filming this series. The Special effects are nearly on-par with what I would expect from a Hollywood project. The acting quality hasn’t disappointed, but more accurately it took me a while to warm up to it. The set-pieces are brilliant, especially the Space-Tether, which plays a more prominent role in episode 3.
The third episode is what really brought me into the series in a way I hadn’t felt since I first read The Fall of Reach. I’ll keep things spoiler-free for those who have not had a chance to watch it – But I can say with confidence that they have picked up the pace, and that this show is shaping up to be one hell of a series that any Halo-fan, or any fan of Science Fiction would enjoy. I found the characters to be much better grounded, and the drama was less typical, and grew more suitably grim. And of course in Halo-tradition it was ended with one spicy cliffhanger.
But the million dollar question, burning in every other story-geek’s mind remains. And that is: “How does the Master Chief fit into all this, and from a canon perspective will it work?” 343 has already muddied some of the established storyline with Legends, and merely brushed it off casually.
Fanboyism aside, whether or not this satisfies my anal retentive story expectations, Forward Unto Dawn is a great series that overall, has set up their characters, and story rather well, albeit they’ve stepped on a few movies, and books toes in the process… But frankly tell me who hasn’t now-a-days. Go check it out, if you haven’t already.
Thanks for reading folks.