Plot Changes? Sacrilege!

You knew they would change something, didn't you? If the idea had been to just replay the story exactly as the game presented-- game play included-- they could have just strung the cutscenes together and called it a day. Who knows, perhaps a good portion of the ten million Halo fans in the world would have paid money to see cinema-quality renders of their beloved game.

However, that isn't the way the Halo film is being done. Given that there's a lot of interesting things in the Halo universe to present, and only a few hours in a typical cinema release to show them, it's inevitable that some things won't make the cut, and some things that do will be... different than you remember them.

Wait For It... So it shouldn't be a shock to anyone that moments after escaping the lifepod wreck, early in what would be the level "Halo" in the game, the Master Chief is attacked by Covenant vehicles. In the game, those vehicles are Banshees. In the script we've been looking at over recent days, it's Ghosts.

This isn't a major plot point, of course. Nothing substantive really changes as a result of exchanging one vehicle for another, and one could argue that this sequence, as written, is more dramatic than the average encounter at this point in the game. Since you've no rocket launcher at that point, the easiest way to take out the Banshees is with a pistol or an assault rifle-- neither of which would make a particularly interesting encounter that would also be believable.

There aren't any Ghosts in that level at all in-game, and as a player you wouldn't even see one until level five, Assault on the Control Room. Perhaps the writer felt that it was too long to wait. It also goes without saying that in Halo 1 you can't board Ghosts as the Chief does in this sequence; but there's no reason why the writer has to restrict himself to the limitations on character actions that are solely the result of game play mechanics, especially outdated ones.

I Smell Barbecue A far meatier exchange, if you'll pardon the pun, occurs when an Elite encounters a downed lifepod and instructs his minions to burn the human flesh because it "is sacrilege". The nature of the Covenant's conflict with humanity is never fully explained. The Prophets cite blocking access to sacred sites as a motivating factor, but that hardly seems fair given the Covenant's usual methods for accessing them. Here, it seems to be not just what humanity has done, but their very existence-- hence the phrase "all this flesh is sacrilege"-- that is the sticking point.

I think there are still unanswered questions about how Humanity fits into the Forerunners' plans for the Halo installations, and how that role is perceived-- or misperceived-- by the Covenant rank and file as well as the leadership. I also applaud the writer for not backing down or unduly exaggerating this essential point in the story on political correctness grounds in the post-9/11 environment. The Covenant are consistently portrayed in the books and the novels as religious zealots; their religion is the driving force behind their culture. If this aspect of the story remains, no doubt it will become a point of discussion and of comparison regarding current conflicts in the world today. It's refreshing to see that rather than the approach taken to Doom, in which many details were changes for seemingly no good reason at all, that the core of Halo's story is being preserved as originally envisioned in the first game.

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Echoes's picture
Echoes
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Joined: 01/25/2005
Noice :)

mmm..can't wait for the movie now. It looks quite faithful to the main storyline.

Although, I would mind if somehow a copy of the script made it's way into my e-mail (EchoesOfThought@gmail.com) *cough,cough*

Oh, and for one reason or another, I can't see comments on this site.

narcogen's picture
narcogen
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Joined: 05/26/1999
Re: Noice :)

Echoes wrote:
mmm..can't wait for the movie now. It looks quite faithful to the main storyline.

[snip]

Oh, and for one reason or another, I can't see comments on this site.

The site caches pages-- it may take a few moments before comments you post are visible.

Anton P Nym's picture
Anton P Nym
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Joined: 08/06/2004
"Sacrilege" is indeed consistant

Even in Halo 1, Cortana's quote when the lifeboats are being shot ("They really don't want us on that ring.") drives home that Humans are NOT permitted to sully Forerunner artifacts with their presence... at least, according to the Covenant anyway.

Inserting the Ghosts and the boarding scene is a nice touch actually, granting those who picked up at Halo 2 a nod.

-- Steve'd have more to say, but a shift-change and Christmas shopping has turned the brain to jellied zombie-repellant.

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narcogen
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Re: "Sacrilege" is indeed consistant

Anton P Nym wrote:
Even in Halo 1, Cortana's quote when the lifeboats are being shot ("They really don't want us on that ring.") drives home that Humans are NOT permitted to sully Forerunner artifacts with their presence... at least, according to the Covenant anyway.

Inserting the Ghosts and the boarding scene is a nice touch actually, granting those who picked up at Halo 2 a nod.

-- Steve'd have more to say, but a shift-change and Christmas shopping has turned the brain to jellied zombie-repellant.

I don't mean to suggest that the use of the term "sacrilege" is a huge change. Obviously, we know that the Covenant's major motivation for just about everything they do is religious in nature, including their beef with the human race.

I just thought the construction "all this flesh is sacrilege"-- referring to objects being sacriligious, rather than act, was interesting. The focus being on the flesh, rather than any action undertaken by humans, seems to indicate that the Covenant's position is truly implacable; it's not just that humans are on the ring, it's that they exist... at all.

Anonymous's picture
Anonymous
idea..

well I think the covies do burn bodies cause in the heretic lab after the ride the big elevator kinda thing down with all the flood they elite says "we should have brought weapons to burn these bodies...etc" so they must have weapons to burn bodies i mean they didnt just come up with that on the spot so anyone wanna play with a covie plasma flamethrower in Halo 3... oooo me me me!
later,

narcogen's picture
narcogen
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Re: idea..

Quote:
well I think the covies do burn bodies cause in the heretic lab after the ride the big elevator kinda thing down with all the flood they elite says "we should have brought weapons to burn these bodies...etc" so they must have weapons to burn bodies i mean they didnt just come up with that on the spot so anyone wanna play with a covie plasma flamethrower in Halo 3... oooo me me me!
later,

Yes, but to be honest, at that point I thought they were burning the bodies for a practical reason-- to prevent the bodies from being used as Flood hosts.

At the portion of the Halo script referenced, the Flood have not yet been encountered on Halo.

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