The Halo TV series hinted at the emergence of a popular game character in the show’s premiere, and I couldn’t wait to see how or what the live-action rendition of the character would be.
If you’re wondering who I’m talking about, it is Dr. Halsey’s Cortana. In Episode 1, Admiral Parangosky commands Halsey to shut down the operation because of the illegal methods with which Cortana would be tested.
However, Halsey, being the scientist with plans of her own, ignores the orders. But, what exactly is Cortana, and what significance will it play in the series?
In Episode 2, Cortana is revealed to be the Artificial Intelligence that can house the universe’s knowledge. Dr. Halsey calls it the next step in human evolution that can upgrade the Spartans and make them error-free.
The UNSC committee discusses the various issues prevalent in the galaxy. The biggest of the concerns includes Master Chief, aka John, going rogue. Dr. Halsey takes this as the opportunity to introduce her vision of AI-monitored Spartan soldiers.
The Artificial Intelligence’s name is Cortana. The head scientist of the UNSC briefly explains how Cortana can be a replacement for the Spartans’ brain, essentially making them weapons that only the controller of Cortana can control.
However, there’s a problem. The committee asks Halsey if the successful creation of AI and deployment in the Spartans would involve testing it on ‘biological substrates derived from the illegal flash-cloning of humans.’
While Halsey concedes, the head of the committee says that Admiral and herself can take care of the technicalities. The arc ends with the Doctor opening up Cortana’s pod and telling her how they will be doing great things together.
However, what remains to be seen is if Halsey had any other motives behind her Cortana program. After all, she’s always worked independently, and her ideas, vision, and goals don’t necessarily align with that of the Admiral or the UNSC.
Cortana in the show is redesigned from the ones in the Halo game franchise. The AI was far less human-like in the games and merely a blue-ish hologram that spoke to Master Chief. However, in the show, there is a person playing the role of the significant character.
While the show makers received flak for redesigning Cortana, the creative team stood by what they created. They justified that the character’s design has evolved through the years and needs to progress further with the changing environments.
Even Jen Taylor, who has voiced the character in the games, said that playing the character in the live-action rendition will be different. She explained how Cortana’s goals and purposes are very different from those in the games and was excited to do things slightly differently than usual.
The first two episodes in the show have built enough intrigue around this AI, and I can’t wait to see how its arc develops in the upcoming episodes.
Halo is an American live-action sci-fi television series based on the Halo video game franchise. It is developed by Steven Kane and Kyle Killen for Paramount+.
The series follows a 26th-century war between the United Nations Space Command and the Covenant, a theocratic-military alliance of several advanced alien races determined to eradicate the human race.
The series stars Pablo Schreiber, Natascha McElhone, Charlie Murphy, Jen Taylor, Shabana Azmi, Bokeem Woodbine, Kate Kennedy, Natasha Culzac, Yerin Ha, and Bentley Kalu.