With only 17 days til the launch of Microsoft's Halo 5: Guardians, fans thought they'd seen it all when it came to trailers. I mean since announcement, we've seen trailers showcasing the broken hero Master Chief, the new team of Spartans led by Spartan Locke, the dichotomy of the incredible HuntTheTruth series, and a number of live-action sequences that could bring grown men to tears. But today, I am pleased to tell you we have yet another addition to the long list of trailers - 'Believe' - which you can watch above! Now, time for the breakdown.
A Battle of Beliefs
That's the line to sum up the trailer - a battle of beliefs. The trailer shows both sides of the same coin - one from Chief's perspective, and one from Locke's. But through this dichotomy we get an excellent idea of where each side truly stands in the plot of Halo 5: Guardians, as well as the justifications each has behind their actions.
The trailer opens up with Blue team witnessing the arrival of one of the Guardians - one of the primary antagonists of the upcoming game - as the Master Chief says "From the beginning, Spartans were a weapon of last resort." It then cuts to Osiris team fighting the Guardian while Locke says "We are the shield between human kind and danger." This theme of back and forth dialogue and jumping scenes is used throughout the whole trailer, but what does it actually mean? Well, from the opening dialogue, it seems to mean one thing, or more so, ask one question; What defines a Spartan? While the Chief views the need for Spartan as a "last resort," Locke seems to be blinded by his new power, claiming that "they are the shield that protects humanity." But it gets darker.
We then see Blue team raising their weapons as the Ward Eternal approaches (who is MASSIVE), only to see Chief lower his weapon as he says "We were built for combat, and raised for war." Then, it cuts to Locke and team Osiris jumping into battle as he says "My target is clear...my mission, justified." Now this is very interesting because, from the opening sequence, we can tell Locke's justification is that he believes himself to be humanities shield, whereas chief states they were meant to be basically killing machines, yet LOWERS his weapon. So the man bred for war isn't going to fight, yet the "shield" jumps into battle as if he were a sword? This is interesting and shows that both characters seem to only know what they "were," but not what they are "becoming."
Then comes what might be the most important line in the trailer - "Spartans never die, but equipment can be retired." And what scene does he state this in? Why none other than the one where he "sees" Cortana as she tells him "the reclamation has begun." This is monumentally huge, and I cannot stress that enough. Think about Halo 4 - Cortana posed Chief with the biggest moral dilemma of his career - is he man, or machine? He was bred to be a machine of war for ONI and the UNSC, and never saw himself as anything but. Yet here, we hear him clearly say that their is a difference between SPARTANS and EQUIPMENT, saying the latter can be retired. This is referencing how ONI views him and the rest of the Spartans; as equipment to use at their disposal and, once "defective" or "obsolete," gets retired, like equipment. This is different from their propaganda that "Spartans never die," which Chief blatantly references, making us realize one truth; Chief knows he is viewed as equipment by his "creators," but knows in his heart one truth - Spartans, what he is, never die.
We then cut to Locke and his team doing the craziest jumps and runs I've ever seen and hear the dialogue "Spartans never die...and we never stop." So while Chief is question what it means to be a Spartan to himself, Locke seems to be following the predisposition that Spartans are pure war machines, and when they have mission, they keep going til it's complete. He is a fresh product of ONI propaganda and believes what they're saying about the Chief, not even so much as questioning it and asking himself what he believes in his heart. This implies on truth; Spartans, in government eyes, are weapons to be used by ONI, and Chief seems to labeled a traitor simply because he won't follow that stigma any longer.
We then cut to Blue team approaching a battlefield littered with fallen Elites from the arbiters faction as we hear Locke speak, saying "My mission is warranted." Did ONI just execute some of the arbiters troops to frame the Master Chief? It appears that way - and we all know ONI is willing to lie and commit any sin to cover up their dirty laundry.
Staying with the same scene, Blue team raises their weapons and moves out through the battlefield, with Chief saying "I've made my choice...my path is clear." From the rest of the trailer, we know Chief is referring to his moral decision on what it means to be a Spartan. He has decided that it is not what ONI and the UNSC want him to be, but what he wants to be himself - and he will follow this path no matter where it leads him.
It then shows Blue team again but in the opening cut scene we saw, showing them ignoring the arrival of the Guardian on Chief's orders and they walk towards a structure entrance as Locke says "Our gravest threat is believing in a hero." Interesting to note he says this right as Fred looks at Chief for what to do about the Guardian, to which responds by lowering his weapon and walking towards the structure entrance. Blue team follows him, doing the same. They are believing in him, and it seems like Locke (while he is referencing humanity as whole) is actually speaking about the rest of Blue team and how the biggest threat they face may be believing in Chief. He truly believes Chief is not the hero he was, but is now a traitor, and from previous trailers we know that ONI relayed to Locke how "sad" and "dangerous" it is that, with his heroic prowess, these other spartans are following his lead, making them part of the "threat" Locke has been sent to exterminate.
The Ending And Its Meaning
This is another huge part of the trailer, as it sums up the beliefs of Chief and Locke and basically shows why their opposing one-another.
Chief: "I believe in completing my mission at all costs." (seeing Blue team on a mission)
Locke: "I believe in protecting humanity." (seeing the destruction of Sangheilon, the covenants final stronghold)
Chief: "I believe great threats require great sacrifice." (seeing the Ward Eternal)
Locke: "I believe in taking down a traitor." (seeing Chief)
And then it cuts to #HuntTheTruth, the true theme of Halo 5: Guardians. Basically, the ending shows us that Chief is following his mission, which appears to be stopping the Ward Eternal or at least has something to do with him, while Locke seems concerned with only one thing; finding and eliminating the threat known as the Master Chief. This shows that Chief see's the villain as the Ward Eternal, but Locke sees Chief as the villain. The moral dilemma of what being a Spartan means coupled with this final perspective shows us that Locke is defined by his orders from ONI; he is a puppet of their will. Chief is defined by doing what he thinks is right, and is no ones puppet to his knowledge. But, from Locke's perspective, Chief seems to actually be the Ward Eternal's puppet - and this may be true. We won't know until launch.
I hope you enjoyed the breakdown and follow my page for constant updates and news!
Halo 5: Guardians releases October 27, 2015 at midnight!