I came upon a thread on Halo Waypoint’s forums that was discussing the merits of Spartan Commander Sarah Palmer as she is being portrayed in the comic book, Halo Escalation.
The discussion goes on for 9 pages, so I’ll save you that. I came in on it when the discussion turned toward her making the decision that would allow for the Human/Elite/Brute delegation to escape, yet having to sacrifice Demarco and other Spartans as a result of that decision. What follows is my reply from that point:
I think it was a waste to kill off DeMarco. However, given that it seems 343 wants Thorne to take over after Chief, it makes sense.
As for Palmer, she’s the Spartan IV’s commander because she is one of the first and has the most experience as a Spartan IV.
Recall the lines she says to the Spartan VIs who had just come onto the Infinity. It seems most of the Spartans on the Infinity are pretty new at being Spartans, with a few other having actual experience.
So in that respect, 343 defaults to Palmer as their leader.
Now, regarding her outbursts, female chauvinism, etc., THIS is why Halsey did NOT want to use adults. They come with “baggage”. Decades of real world experience follows you, no matter what. Taking the Spartan IIs as 6 year old kids, they have had little experience. This allows for them to be “brainwashed” into being the perfect (or as close to it as possible) solider. They follow orders, they work as a team, they do not belittle each other and for the most part keep their emotions in check.
Having adults become Spartan IVs smacks all against what Halsey’s Spartan program was trying to accomplish. Otherwise, Halsey could have just searched for and recruited the best of the UNSC into service as Spartans.
This all said, I do like the direction that Palmer is going in Escalation. I would really like to see her have a proper novel. One that really fleshes out her origin. Initiation tried to do that, but had to hurry through it due to page count of the comic itself.
What I’d like to see written in a novel is how she came to be in the UNSC in the first place, how/why she became an ODST and any specific events that might have made her a hardass. From there, tell the story of Initiation, but much more fleshed out.
Should she become Chief’s new sidekick? No. She’s already a leader of Spartans. If she became Chief’s sidekick, that would be a demotion of sorts. We also have to consider, is Chief ready to have another person in his life, so soon after Cortana’s death? Going by the Halo XBOX One trailer, I’d say no.
/end my reply on Halo Waypoint
So to pose the question again… To like or not to like Sarah Palmer?
At this point, I’m still on the fence, but now leaning much toward liking the character. I’d have preferred her character to have been sorted out through the games, rather than comic books or a novel, but we can’t go back now. So telling her story in a novel would be a decent way to let we Halo fans get to know her better.
If you want to have a read of all the NINE pages (and massive walls of text), feel free to go the the thread on Waypoint HERE.