The Halo universe is about to get a whole lot bigger, and we’re not just talking about the upcoming release of Halo 4. After years of keeping fiction and storytelling in mostly digital cut-scenes, 343 Industries is taking the opportunity to produce a live-action web series detailing Master Chief’s impacts before and after the events of the next title.

The first official teaser trailer for Halo 4: Forward Unto Dawn has been released, and won’t take long to grab fan attention.

The Forward Unto Dawn (named for the damaged ship the Chief and Cortana took refuge upon at the end of Halo 3) web series was previously revealed to feature the series’ main protagonist, but include characters from the UNSC’s prolific Orbital Drop Shock Troopers, a.k.a. ‘Helljumpers.’

The official teaser trailer again emphasizes the importance of the ODST to the web series’ fiction, which is unsurprising to those already familiar with any of the Halo novels or comic books. The Helljumpers’ unique dedication to military training is almost as potent as that of the Spartans themselves, which should lead to plenty of both drama and combat involving the two squads.

The exact plot and details of how the web series will tie into the events leading up to, and extending beyond Halo 4┬áhaven’t yet been revealed, but hopes are high. With an extremely promising strategy for releasing the Spartan Ops alongside yet another CG series, 343 seems to have found time to develop more content than usual in support of the newest title.

Halo 4 Forward Unto Dawn Trailer

The live-action Forward Unto Dawn series looks to be somewhat darker in tone than the footage shown at E3 2012, focused on the UNSC Infinity and its unfortunate fate. But then, all that really needs to be shown to get fans on board is evidence that five episodes featuring a real, live Master Chief. The brief glimpse in the teaser trailer should more than do the trick.

There’s no question that this live-action series will once again revive demand for the Halo movie that Microsoft refuses to let perish, which might be just what they’re counting on. With each new live-action marketing campaign developed under the Halo license, accolades and awards pour in, and fans are once again left scratching their heads as to why a Battleship movie is deemed a better investment than a film based on John-117.

We can’t provide any answers, but count on the new series raising all the same questions once it’s released. Hopefully the quality will be high enough to grant the film project some momentum. If not, there’s still 75 minutes of content on the way. It represents “the largest investment” in live-action film-making from Microsoft to date, so let’s hope it’s worth it.

Halo 4: Forward Unto Dawn will be released via Halo Waypoint and Machinima in October leading up to the launch of Halo 4 on November 6, 2012.

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