The Halo Trilogy – A Deeper Look

04 October 2007 | Uncategorized

Part 1: Theme Overview

One of the characteristics that make Halo such a phenomenal game series is its story. Unlike a lot of action games and shooters, Halo’s story is not simply about the UNSC vs. the Covenant. It is about humanity’s struggle with religious zealots with vastly superior technology. While there are many intricacies within the grander story, the real fear and threat to humanity is in the faith and goal of the Covenant’s religion and it’s Great Journey. This conflict in a video game actually parallels a lot of the current fears in present day society in regards to terrorism. At least in the present day, the US and other Nations don’t have to worry about the threat of these extremists having superior technology.

While the Covenant regards Halos as religious sacred structures, the Halo narrative tells us otherwise. They are in fact weapons capable of wiping out all sentient life in the galaxy. Unlike real life, the Halo narrative verifies that the religiosity of the Covenant is misguided and wrong. While there are parallels between Muslim extremists and the Covenant, it should be very clear that Islam and all the religions of the world are as correct as the next religion. The real threat in both real life and the Halo series is not the religion, but the zealots and extremists who follow their beliefs blindly and literally.

There is nothing wrong with the Covenant’s belief in “The Great Journey,” in fact most of our own religions have similar ends (Heaven, Nirvana, etc.). The problem is in humanity’s (and in this case the covenant’s) capacity to understand the divine. Clearly the Covenant prophets have misinterpreted certain aspects of Forerunner technology, documentation, and history. This fact is highlighted by the Elites enlightenment and the resulting Covenant civil war in Halo 2. For the first time, the Elites question their religious hierarchy and instead of accepting these questions and pursuing their answers, the Prophets cast out the Elites. Perhaps if the Prophets listened to the Elites’ questions and worked towards the truth of their religion, there would be no need to ‘finish the fight’.

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