Star Wars: Rebels, Twin Suns – A Narrative Appraisal

I feel like I’ve done my ‘geek cred’ something of a disservice by failing to write about Star Wars in the three and a half years that I’ve been running this blog…

That largely stems from the fact that I simply don’t feel that I have much in the way of unique or interesting things to say about Star Wars that a billion other people haven’t articulated in a billion different ways. Discourse and analysis about Star Wars is as ‘lived-in’ as its setting, so I don’t really think that I have a whole lot to add to that unending cacophony.

However… every once in a while there’s a landmark moment in Star Wars that nags at me to do some sort of write-up because it really hammers home why I love this series.

Twin Suns, the latest episode of Star Wars: Rebels, was one of those moments. Continue reading

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On Halo 4 and ‘The Chosen One’

One of the more divisive aspects of Halo 4’s story was a particular line spoken by the Librarian to John that has seen no end of discussion over the years.

“You are the culmination of a thousand lifetimes of planning.”

Many have taken this line as being indicative of 343 Industries taking a more Messianic turn with the character of the Master Chief, forcing the overused Chosen One cliche where it has no business being – and that’s a totally fair interpretation when the game’s description quite literally states “the Master Chief returns to confront his destiny” (though, we should always be wary of the ways in which generic marketing blurbs naturally tend towards simplification).

Halo 4 does indeed deal with ‘destiny’ and the trope of the Chosen One, but I’m going to argue that it’s not quite handled in the way many seem to think it is…hf535 Continue reading

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Halo Wars 2 – Campaign Impressions

Yes, the folks at 343 Industries decided to give me an early copy of Halo Wars 2 (the Ultimate Edition, no less) – which, as you would probably expect, I am ecstatic about!

It’s been eight years (eight long years) since the original game launched Halo into the RTS genre for consoles, which, at the same time, sort of brought the series back to its roots from its earlier iterations as an RTS title. As I’ve previously discussed, I really love the original Halo Wars, and having fully played through the campaign for the sequel now I’m excited to share some of my thoughts on the next chapter of the Spirit of Fire’s journey.

WARNING: This post contains spoilers for some aspects of the first four missions, including two cutscenes – both of which have been prominently featured in the game’s marketing since it was announced, so these are only minor. There is also brief mention of the Phoenix Logs, as well as vague tonal/thematic statements about the game as a whole. All images used are from officially released trailers and previews.atriox5 Continue reading

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Mendicant Bias – The Thirteenth Child

“One thought for all eternity,” said Mendicant Bias. His tone sounded almost wistful. Now the lights were fading, flickering, going dark. “Atonement.”

The tomb turned as black as night. The machine’s final words spread across the false desert and echoed moments later from the false mountains. Bornstellar, Riser, Trial, Chant, and all the rest watched silently as the rest of Mendicant Bias, locked in eternal exile, was covered by sand. [Halo: Rebirth, The Trial of Mendicant Bias]

With the eight year wait for Halo Wars 2 now approaching eight days, heralding the long-awaited, long-theorised return to the Lesser Ark, I felt it was time to return to a bit of theorycrafting regarding a character who has been at the heart of some of the Halo universe’s biggest mysteries and galaxy-defining events.

The so-called “bastard child” of the Didact and the Master Builder, the thirteenth child of the former, whose true name is spoken but never heard. It begs a question for us to ponder that we might unknowingly have the answer to…

Who and what is Mendicant Bias?mult181 Continue reading

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Two Corpses, One Grave – On Halo 3 and the Gravemind

Ah, Halo 3… This is something that I have seldom talked about beyond a few vague mentions in the past. Not for any particular reason, though it’s probably worth noting that I don’t have what one might call the most popular opinion when it comes to the story of the final game in Bungie’s original Halo trilogy.

Since it’s Halo 3’s ten-year anniversary (blimey!) in just under eight months, I thought that this would be a good opportunity to dive into a topic that I’ve been sitting on for about two years now.

That topic is Halo 3’s portrayal of the Gravemind, focusing on three main areas:

1 – What are some of the positives and negatives regarding how it was written?

2 – What were some of the complexities of the character that Bungie cut (that can still be evidenced in hidden dialogue files)?

3 – What was the Gravemind’s actual plan and how does it tie in with IRIS, Halo 3’s Terminals, and the Forerunner Saga?gravemind Continue reading

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Human Weakness – Ruminations On Cortana

Remember how I said that I was intending to write more positive Halo pieces?

Well, I started out on the right track. I went back to older fiction with the intent of looking for some lore to analyse and discuss, thinking that Evolutions would be a good bet (as it has been for me in the past where I’ve written about specific stories like Soma The Painter)…

And then I started rereading Human Weakness.

Before I knew it, I was compiling a copiously large list of quotes that so beautifully encapsulated Cortana’s arc – the set-up for Halo 4 – and a clear set of contradictions to her characterisation in Halo 5. I also happened to have a half-finished post already in the works about Cortana, a one year retrospective on Halo 5’s first birthday that I ditched in-favour of the rumination on Reach, so this just naturally came together.cm1 Continue reading

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Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare – A Narrative Appraisal

What’s this? A non-Halo post?

Yes, once upon a time, I did not write exclusively about Halo, which ended after September in 2014 – shortly following the one year anniversary of this blog. It’s been almost three and a half years for me now, a good two of those years have been solely focused on one particular franchise… so I thought that, with it being the new year ‘n’ all, now was the time to branch out again.

This doesn’t mean that my Halo content will be decreasing at all, but sometimes there will be something else that comes along that I want to talk about.

Today, it’s Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare. And, oh boy, there’s a lot to talk about!

(As this is an analysis of the campaign, here’s your obvious spoiler warning – no detail is held back here.)cod0 Continue reading

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