Fans of science fiction know that the genre is best when using outlandish futures and otherworldly monsters to tell something profoundly true about our own world – our own enemies. In the world of Halo 4, Master Chief and the rest of the UNSC will be traveling to far off worlds, and delving into the history of a brand new race in order to decide the future of mankind against threat both old and new.
But before humanity’s soldiers were spilling alien blood in waves of green and purple, the UNSC had their hands full just keeping human colonies from tearing one another apart. That’s the fight that Thomas Lasky (Tom Green) and his fellow cadets will be training for in Halo 4: Forward Unto Dawn, and the newest preview, entitled ‘Lecture,’ provides a glimpse at how hard it is to keep people together when Earth is little more than a memory.
The last batch of Forward Unto Dawn previews took a closer look at the students that will be making up the majority of the cast at Corbulo Academy of Military Science. But the actual principles behind military tactics that these cadets, these future officers expected to lead, will need to be taught by those who’ve experienced them firsthand. Much of that wisdom will be coming from General Black, played by Mike Dopud (Caprica, SGU Stargate Universe). While briefly seen in previously released set photos, the newest preview shows that Black will be playing a key role in the early career of Thomas Lasky. And with Lasky’s role in the future of Halo potentially extending beyond Halo 4 (or all the way up to Halo 9) that role carries serious weight.
The extended trailer for Forward Unto Dawn showed that Lasky will frequently question the legitimacy of the UNSC’s war against the insurrectionists who, in many cases, are sure to have legitimate issues (no government is perfect, and spread beyond multiple planets, even less so). Considering how uninterested Lasky appears in the above preview, Black is sure to have his hands full. Nevertheless, that doesn’t mean viewers won’t be able to enjoy a closer look at the kinds of military planning and tactics that shaped the likes of both Jacob and Miranda Keyes throughout their time in the Halo franchise.
Lasky might find the military’s perspectives on the intricacies of colonial governance a bit boring, but all that talk of humanity united by more than a common home takes on new meaning when the Covenant arrive at the Academy’s front door. Had the alien threat kept their distance – or just waited a few more months – then Thomas Lasky might have scrubbed out, and not gone on to become a Commander aboard the UNSC Infinity. But you now how the Covenant are. As it stands, their bold attack sent Lasky and the Master Chief, John-117, hurtling toward the Forerunner world Requiem. What they find is still cloaked in mystery, but the events of the series are sure to come back with even greater significance.
Master Chief’s ability to turn a potential conscientious objector into a decorated war hero isn’t that much of a surprise – this is the Chief we’re talking about. His personal story and motivations will be greatly expanded upon in Halo 4, but it will be just as interesting to see how the Chief and Lasky will change over the three decades that separate the events of the web series from those of the next game. Hopefully, Lasky will be learning some important lessons in the field, as well as the classroom.
Halo 4: Forward Unto Dawn will be released via Halo Waypoint and Machinima starting October 5, leading up to the launch of Halo 4 on November 6, 2012.
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