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Re: What if...
Date: 9/11/14 8:15 pm
In Response To: What if... (Quirel)

: ... Chyler Sylva survived the events of Halo: Forward Unto Dawn , served
: through the Human-Covenant War, and became the leader of the newly-formed
: Spartan Branch? What if Commander Sarah Palmer was instead Commander
: Chyler Sylva?

: I think that Chyler would have been better in Sarah Palmer's role because she
: had a modicum of backstory to justify her brash, gung-ho attitude.
: Palmer's a blank slate. Chyler was a supranationalist who detested the
: organizations that opposed the UNSC, an opinion that would have been
: calcified by the Covenant's relentless assault.

: Then there's the dichotomy between the lessons Lasky and Sylva would have
: learned from Corbulo Academy. Lasky saw the Chief as a hero, and learned
: that there are forces worth fighting (or whatever his character
: development was supposed to be about). Sylva, if she survived, might have
: seen the Spartans as soldiers who could stand up to the Covenant. And as
: she served during the War, troops under her command would have been
: slaughtered again and again because the Covenant have the weight of
: numbers and technology on their side, and there's not enough Spartans to
: shift the balance.

: So, thoughts? Would Sylva have been a better character than Palmer in Halo 4
: and the comic series?

Your premise is an interesting one I'd never thought about. I'd preface it with saying it feels a bit simplistic to assume Silva would have stayed on the same path we saw her (I also think you're overstating her mindset a bit.) She reminds me of a lot of college kids--fired up and ready to change the world. But mindsets change, and maybe combat would have hardened it, maybe it would have softened it, we dunno. Your idea about wanting to be a Spartan based on the outsize role they played in their survival is interesting too.

As for Palmer's role, I don't think switching it would have mattered if the execution was the same. The hatred of Palmer is something I've personally never really gotten. Some of it is probably just "this woman is telling me what to do!" sexist bull from the worst of video gaming. A lot of it is probably that she was against Halsey in Spartan Ops, that she exemplifies the differences between the Spartan IIs and IVs, and that she reacts to things more than creating an impression based on her actions. Not seeing her out in the field for the vast majority of the game probably influenced that. That she got a lot of repetitive dialogue in Spartan Ops didn't help.

Given that the best stuff we've gotten with Palmer is the stuff in Escalation, I think part of the problem is that Chris Schlerf and Brian Reed seem to have pulled her in different directions. Brian Reed was responsible for Initiation, Halo 4 Spartan Ops, and Spartan Assault, and I'd say from that selection he's not writing Palmer to be an effective interesting character (I don't think whether she's particularly likable has much to do with it.) Spartan Assault was particularly egregious because it laid on the "Palmer saved us!" flavor text between missions, and that felt like a redundant telling when the game should be showing. She didn't get dialogue or real personality for most of it, or in Halo 4, so she gets dragged down by the deficiencies of Spartan Ops more than anyone else.

But there are no bad characters, just bad executions of characters. These aren't problems with Palmer, they're problems with writing. So I don't think subbing in Silva would help in this area. On the other face of the coin, I think her death in Forward Unto Dawn worked and benefited the story because it ties into Lasky's personal growth.

Messages In This Thread

What if...Quirel9/11/14 3:33 pm
     Re: What if...Joe Duplessie (SNIPE 316)9/11/14 7:04 pm
     Re: What if...munky-0589/11/14 7:58 pm
     Re: What if...davidfuchs9/11/14 8:15 pm
           Re: What if...Mixmasterchief9/12/14 1:19 am
                 Re: What if...Archilen9/12/14 6:45 am
                       Re: What if...Avateur9/12/14 1:26 pm
                             Re: What if...Quirel9/13/14 3:04 pm
                                   Re: What if...Archilen9/15/14 10:47 am
                                         Re: What if...Quirel9/15/14 2:16 pm
                                               Re: What if...Archilen9/15/14 3:32 pm
                 Re: What if...Quirel9/13/14 4:09 pm
           Re: What if...Quirel9/13/14 3:46 pm
     Re: What if...Archilen9/12/14 6:07 am
           Re: What if...Quirel9/13/14 3:58 pm

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