Forget the helmet discourse. Should Master Chief fuck? It’s a question that has haunted Halo fans since John-117 got it on with human Covenant agent Makee in the first season of the Paramount+ TV series. However you may feel about this video game hero having sex for the first time in franchise history while Cortana watches on (I’m not making this up), Halo star Pablo Schreiber is taking a very clear stance on the matter.

“The decision to make the connection between Makee and John a romantic connection was a huge mistake,” Schreiber told SFX magazine (via GamesRadar) ahead of Halo season 2, which premieres next month. “I felt it was a huge mistake at the time and I argued against it and fought against it. But I am who I am. I don’t write the scripts. I only give my opinion. It wasn’t listened to.”

This romance subplot was very unpopular with most of the fandom to say the least and the butt of many Halo jokes not involving Craig the Brute in the years since. In fact, the TV series has faced quite a bit of backlash from fans since the show aired in 2022, particularly for the many ways it ignores established franchise lore. Although the first season takes place before the start of the video game series, it doesn’t actually exist in the same timeline, which gave the creative team carte blanche to tweak things to better fit the story they’re telling.

“From the very beginning, it was clear that in order to let the story evolve and grow the way it needed to, in order to really go deeply into these character arcs, we would need to make some changes,” executive producer Kiki Wolfkill explained to Den of Geek in 2022. “Sometimes it was even just a perspective change. Sometimes it was something you just didn’t get a view into from the game or even the books. We knew we needed to let the story breathe on its own.”

But to some viewers, the changes showed a foundational misunderstanding of how Halo works and what makes it great. Where the games never had John-117 step out of his iconic armor for sexy time, the show featured Schreiber out of costume almost as much as it had him in it and knocking aliens around. The helmet debate has actually popped up again ahead of the show’s second season, thanks to a new poster that shows Master Chief posing with his helmet off.

Here’s another new poster for Halo Season 2. The Halo series Instagram account shared images of other characters without their helmet btw. #Halo

— Rebs Gaming (@Mr_Rebs_) January 16, 2024

Schreiber actually defended the show’s choice to show Master Chief’s face for the first time back in 2022, telling IGN, “When you play a first-person shooter, the way that a character is developed is very different than what’s necessary when you’re making long-form television… To go on this journey with your protagonist, you’re not going to be able to bring an audience along in a long-form story without having access to a character’s face, which tells you what they’re feeling, how they think about everything. That access to a character’s emotional life, over the course of time, is what makes you empathise and connect with a character.

“I’m sorry, but it’s the only choice for long-form storytelling in television. What I would say to anybody who disagrees with that, I totally respect that opinion. But it’s a pretty basic place to start when you’re talking about making a television show of quality.”

The Mandalorian quite literally showed this is untrue. Reach, deep, meaningful stories and character development can be told with a character wearing a helmet

The original Halo games done by Bungie never had MC show his face and he became one of the most icon characters ever 🤔

— Anthony Vaccaro (@vaccaro3d) January 14, 2024

Choosing an actor who thinks helmets are icky and goes out of his way to never wear one to play MASTER CHIEF is one of the things that makes me wonder if the Halo show is some kind of deliberate franchise sabotage

— Lumpy (@LumpyTheCook) December 19, 2023

Fans have correctly pointed out that there are many other famous masked characters in pop culture who have been able to communicate real emotions despite very rarely showing their faces, such as Darth Vader and the Mandalorian. There’s also the video game version of Master Chief himself, who has appeared in six mainline games featuring quite a few heart-wrenching moments, like John and Cortana’s farewell in Halo 4, as well as plenty of comedic moments, such as every time Master Chief jumps off something or crash lands somewhere. You can tell what Chief is feeling under the helmet no problem.

The discourse will surely continue and intensify when Halo season 2 hits Paramount+ on Feb. 8. You can catch up on what happened in the first season before then by reading our ending explained here.

The post Halo TV Series Star Finally Addresses the Show’s Most Controversial Plot Choice appeared first on Den of Geek.

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