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Cortana, Covenant, and 6 more Halo facts to know for the show

Catch up on 20 years of Xbox history.

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After two decades of Xbox games, Halo is making the leap to streaming TV in March 2022. Whether you’ve played the series or just seen the TV show’s trailer, a refresher on the Halo universe will get you ready to tune in.

Here are 8 key details you need to know about Halo before its first season.

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8. Is Halo set on Earth?

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No, Halo isn’t set on Earth, but our pale blue dot does exist in the Halo universe. The show’s human characters are either from Earth or are ancestors of those who left to colonize other planets.

7. Where does Halo take place?

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The action in Halo’s first season mainly takes place on planet Madrigal. The planet, a human colony far from Earth, has been mentioned in the game series, but the show makes it much more important.

6. When is Halo set?

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The Halo TV series is set in what’s called the Silver Timeline, separate from the Halo games’ canon. It takes place just as the alien civilization known as the Covenant begins to attack human settlements, in the year 2525.

5. Who are the Covenant and what do they want?

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The Covenant is not a single alien race; It’s a coalition of many species united by a religious fascination with artifacts of ancient beings called Forerunners. They’re waging a genocidal holy war against humans, who they see as a threat to their faith.

4. Who or what are the Spartans?

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Spartans are genetically enhanced supersoldiers created through various military projects throughout the Halo timeline. They were first deployed to fight a secessionist movement in human colonies and later became integral to the war against the Covenant.

3. Who is Master Chief?

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Master Chief, also known by his Spartan designation John-117, is the star of both the Halo video games and TV series. He’s an especially accomplished Spartan, regarded as a hero by humans and a demon by the Covenant.

2. Who is Cortana?

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Cortana is Master Chief’s AI companion. Created by a UNSC scientist, she becomes a key figure in the Covenant war. In both the Halo games and TV show, she’s played by Jen Taylor.

1. What is the UNSC?

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The United Nations Space Command is the military arm of the united Earth government, though it assumes full control of the government in the game timeline. Essentially an authoritarian dictatorship, it tries to maintain goodwill through heavy propaganda.