‘Halo’ Season 2 Needs to Introduce This Game Character

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The Big Picture

  • Halo Season 2 appears to be prioritizing accuracy and faithfulness to the source material, bringing in essential characters and significant events from the games.
  • One character noticeably absent so far is Sgt. Johnson, who adds emotion and humanity to the Halo games.
  • Sgt. Johnson’s presence would give the show levity and humor, and his likable personality and friendship with Master Chief could take the series in exciting directions.


After being almost universally chastised by fans of the massively popular video games, Halo seems to finally be prioritizing accuracy and faithfulness to the source material ahead of Season 2. This is seemingly apparent through the recent reveals that important characters from the lore like James Ackerson (Joseph Morgan) and significant events from the games like “The Fall of Reach” will be making an appearance in the sophomore season. These elements are all great steps in the right direction, but there are still some characters from the games that feel noticeably absent from Master Chief’s (Pablo Schreiber) story so far.

One of those characters is the confident, hilarious, and lovable Sergeant Major Avery Junior Johnson (David Scully), who has been with the Halo franchise since its inception. With Master Chief (voiced in the games by Steve Downes) being the infamous loner he is, it’s impressive that a seemingly average human like Johnson can break through that ultra-strong helmet of his to become his best and closest companion. He may not have a suit of super armor or an AI companion, but Sgt. Johnson injects the Halo franchise with a level of emotion and humanity that no other character has been able to bring to the table since.

Halo

Aliens threaten human existence in an epic 26th-century showdown.

Release Date
March 24, 2022

Creator
Steven Kane, Kyle Killen

Main Genre
Sci-Fi

Seasons
2


Who Is Sgt. Johnson in the ‘Halo’ Games?

Avery Johnson has been fighting with Master Chief since the beginning.

Sergeant Johnson on the cover of 'Halo: Contact Harvest'
Image via Tor Books

Sgt. Johnson made his first appearance in the Halo games right alongside Master Chief in the franchise’s debut entry, Halo: Combat Evolved. It’s no secret that the Halo games take heavy inspiration from other forms of science fiction media — an example being the cloaking Sangheili Elites, who share several similarities to the Yautja of the Predator franchise. Johnson adds a reference to the Alien franchise to the equation, as his look, personality, and propensity for smoking cigars feel directly inspired by Sergeant Apone (Al Matthews) from Aliens.

Like many marines in the Halo universe, Sgt. Johnson’s career as a soldier began when select human factions across the Milky Way galaxy decided to rebel against the United Nations Security Council. As described in the prequel novel Halo: Contact Harvest, Johnson is a Chicago native whom his aunt raised, and while he longed to serve his country and humanity, he had qualms about going to war against humans who just want a better life. He didn’t have nearly the moral apprehensions when the cult-like extra-terrestrial threat known as The Covenant declared war on humanity. During one mission against The Covenant, Johnson would eventually meet John-117, AKA Master Chief, and the two have become inseparable ever since.

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After they escape the Covenant invasion of Reach, the events of Halo: Combat Evolved see Johnson, Chief, and the entire UNSC crew of the “Pillar of Autumn” space cruiser stumble upon a massive space structure known as a Halo Ring. The surface of the Halo Ring seems to be that of a utopia, but the heroes soon learn the Ring has a very dark purpose when they discover a parasitic race of organisms called The Flood. The Rings are intended not just to destroy The Flood, but all other life in the galaxy, which is something that The Covenant seeks to utilize for their own. Thankfully, with the help of Johnson and his dedicated squad of Marines, they destroy the Ring.

Sgt. Johnson Is Vitally Important in ‘Halo 2’ and ‘Halo 3’

He also has the most emotional death in the trilogy.

The story is only just getting started, as tensions continue to rise in Halo 2 and Halo 3. The Ring in the first game was just one of many, and the rest can still destroy humanity. It’s clear that humanity is going to need help in stopping The Covenant, and Johnson ends up being instrumental in finding unlikely allies. In Halo 2, Johnson encounters a Sangheili Elite known as The Arbiter (Keith David), who was previously in charge of protecting the Halo destroyed in Combat Evolved​​​​​​. They understandably start as enemies, but when The Arbiter learns that the true purpose of the Rings will destroy his people, he and Johnson become allies. This ends up being the first step in the Sangheili race, one of The Covenant’s most powerful factions, rebelling against the cult.

The final battle of the Human-Covenant War occurs in Halo 3, where Johnson proves beyond any shadow of a doubt that he is a tried and true hero. Johnson, Master Chief, and The Arbiter fight a war on two fronts, with The Covenant on one side and The Flood on the other. Eventually, the battle is just seconds away from ending, as Johnson prepares to destroy The Ark — an installation that controls all the Halo Rings. Their victory is cut short when a formerly friendly robot called 343 Guilty Spark (Tim Dadabo) betrays the heroes and mortally wounds Johnson. Chief and Arbiter destroy Guilty Spark, but Johnson’s injuries are too great. Even as he is dying, Johnson knows that The Ark needs to be destroyed. Asking for some explosives, Johnson delivers what could be the most iconic last words in any video game:

“Send me out… with a bang.”

Sgt. Johnson Is a Big Part of ‘Halo’s Emotion and Levity

The show could use an emotional core like Johnson’s character.

Something that Paramount+’s Halo show sorely lacks is levity and humor. We’re not saying the series should be a comedy by any means, but the show just comes across as very melodramatic and dry at points. It’s missing those lighthearted character moments that made the sequences of games like Halo 2 so memorable. Just a little hint of levity and humor can go a long way in making a story’s stakes relatable and exciting, and that’s something that Sgt. Johnson could effortlessly provide with his infectious charisma and incredible one-liners.

That’s not to say Johnson should be nothing more than a joke factory, either. It’s his likable personality and silver tongue that ends up solving so many conflicts in the original Halo trilogy. Master Chief and The Arbiter were once bitter enemies, but Johnson’s empathy and friendship with both of them leads to one of the most powerful alliances in the story. With Halo Season 2 seemingly leading to a more accurate rendition of the show, introducing Sgt. Johnson as an integral character now makes more sense than ever.

Halo Season 2 premieres February 8 on Paramount+.

Watch on Paramount+



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