At SXSW I was able to do a lot of cool things with the help of Paramount+ and their PR team. The Producers and Cast truly had a vision that they wanted to create with the new series. It will be available streaming this Thursday March 24th on Paramount+. I'm a huge Halo fan and have been fan from the very start of the franchise. The only reason why I even owned an Xbox, was to play the very first Halo Game. From there, they had me hooked on the character of Master Chief and the world they had created. I even played their spinoff games and even read some of the books that explored the world of Halo. Master Chief is an iconic hero that I looked up to, even though he is not a real person. The franchise always explored the themes of hope, survival and heroism within the stories. These themes have always interested me. This property is beloved by millions and rightfully so. The fandom is large because of their creativity in storytelling. There has been talk about making a live action version for quite some time now. Now it has finally arrived! I do have to say as a fan who's waited so long, that it has been worth the wait. This new series will surely gain new comers as well and does great fan service to those who are already a fan.
I was able to check out the first two episodes at SXSW. Within the pilot episode and the followup episode, there is so much that happens. First, we get introduced to the live action version of a familiar place that fans will recognize from the games. Without skipping a single moment, I already felt like I was in the Halo universe. In the first episode we get introduced to some new characters, one of which is Quan, who is played by Yerin Ha. She is a total badass who honestly goes through a lot of physicality and emotional trauma at the start. Her character is very well established and early enough to start caring for her. A new hero that many people will really enjoy. The dreaded Covenant, which is the alien villains, quickly attack her village and the action kicks off hard. Big battle scene and action pact moments filled the screen. I was smiling that they were able to pull off the look and feel of the Halo characters we all know and love. The special effects aren't perfect, but the aliens look exactly what they look like within the game. That being said, this is probably one of the best adaptations from video game to live-action. Everything from their outfits to even the sound effects, seem to have been pulled directly from the game. It may seem weird at first, but you get used to it pretty quickly. Once the action begins, we soon get the introduction to our live action Spartans and the leader Master Chief. Let me tell you that this group is the best of the best and it shows in the series. They do not mess around and they are great warriors. It blew y mind seeing what they were able to accomplish with the action scenes shown in episode one.
I do want to talk about Master Chief, played by Pablo Schreiber. He does the character justice and I absolutely love the direction they are going for. We finally see the iconic character take his helmet off. This was something many fans were worried about and disagree with. The helmet removal is essential in what we need from his character in the series. Pablo is the perfect casting for Master Chief. He brings the human element to character. Something that is needed to have the viewers really latch onto and connect with. The best parts of the two episodes had nothing to do with the action, but more so the great conversations he has with Quan. They are the perfect duo to go on this space adventure with. Their dynamic with one another feels grounded and I think that's the part where this series is really going to prevail. We even get to explore a lot of great and fantastical places within the first two episodes. The world of Halo is massive and I think they got the look and aesthetic perfectly. Story is both engaging and mysterious enough to get viewers hooked. From these two episodes alone, I can't wait to see what they do next. Halo is refreshing and familiar that will have fans and newcomers overjoyed. I had a blast watching it. Make sure to check it out! Below is a video of the roundtable interview I was a part of.
Click here to watch the interview with the Producers and Cast!