Master Chief Just Another Victim

First I'll say this: I liked District 9.

However, I never really thought Neill Blomkamp was really the best choice to do the Halo film, and reading this quote in his interview with Rotten Tomatoes only confirmed it for me:

But the flip side is that the reason I wanted to do Halo in the first place, and the reason I was so energised to do Halo, is that creatively I love it. I totally love the universe of Halo on every level. Not only is it this epic space saga but Master Chief is such an awesome character. This guy - whether he knows it or not - is a victim of this military-industrial complex. It's a totally compelling world to be involved in.

I can easily see where Blomkamp gets that interpretation.

At the same time, that's not Halo. That's not the story we saw in the Halo games, and it's not the story we saw in the novels.

It's actually closer to the story in Marathon, although the source of the victimization there isn't the amorphous "military industrial complex" but their avatars, the three AIs aboard the colony ship Marathon, and the alien species that Durandal puts humanity into contact with, and later foments revolution among (the slaver Phfor and their slaves, the S'pht).

If the subtext of a Halo film by Blomkamp would have been that, when all is said and done, Cortana was "honored to serve" with the Master Chief because she was programmed to, and that the Master Chief saved Earth and humanity from the Flood, from the Halo array, and from the Covenant because he was a victim, then I think it's just as well that film never got made. Not everything needs to be made ironic.

A film based on a theme like that would be interesting to watch, and I'd like to see it, whether directed by Blomkamp or someone else.

A film based on the Halo games might also be interesting, and if it looked good I'd also consider going to see it.

I just don't think these two things have much in common with each other. Blomkamp's admittedly accurate, but undeniably cynical interpretation of the Chief's motives is a bitter baker's chocolate I want nowhere near my chunky peanut butter Halo.

PS: Another podcast episode due out very very shortly, although it does look like I might miss the deadline of getting the last episodes out before ODST drops by a few hours. The last two episodes are mercifully short (at least compared to the two-plus hour endurance test that was The Covenant.

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