To like or not to like Sarah Palmer, that is the question…

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.


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About Sal

I’ve got tons of experience with Halo gaming and collecting. I feel I have something to offer to the greater Halo fan community. Posts along the way will be about tips and tricks in the games as well as collecting and many more Halo related things. I’ll also repost interesting articles from the official site,, or from fellow Halo fan sites. As I continue this blog, I hope to help gamers who want advice on the games, as well as any collectors with regards to where to find collectibles as well as deals, coupons and so on. You can also follow me on Twitter at:!/HaloFanForLife or Facebook at: Welcome to my blog and I hope you’ll come back again and again. -Sal

6 thoughts on “To like or not to like Sarah Palmer, that is the question…

  1. I pretty much agree with every word you wrote above. She’s rough around the edges but we really don’t know why. Would love to find out more to give us an opportunity to understand her better. She’s a bad a** though, that’s for sure.

  2. As Palmer had such a small role in the Halo 4 campaign (I think 3 or 4 lines), I really didn’t get a feel for what she was like until Spartan Ops. While not a big fan of her in the first half of SpOps, I thought 343 made leaps and bounds in exploring her character in the second half. They have continued to do so in the comics and she is becoming more fleshed out than what she started to be.

    The thing to remember about Palmer, as was pointed out in the comics, was that she was an ODST corporal prior to Jun enlisting her in the Spartan IV program. Throughout the lore of Halo, ODST’s are generally shown to be Type A personalities. They can be brash, arrogant, and generally feel they are the tip of the spear. (see The Fall of Reach, The Flood, Helljumper, and from Halo Legends ‘Babysitter’ for examples of this)

    In addition, she is also a “Mustang”. In military parlance, a ‘Mustang’ is an officer that rose from the enlisted ranks, most often a non commissioned officer, or NCO (corporal or sergeant). I had a few Mustangs that I served under while in the Army and, at times they reverted to acting like an NCO.

    This is what I see in Palmer’s actions and I can understand why she acts the way she does. And once I understood it, I came to like her character more and more. Whether in the game or in the comics/novels, I do hope we get to see more of Sarah Palmer.

    • Very well thought out reply. Heh, all this time and I had never heard of a “Mustang”. Great explanation of it and how that plays into Palmer.

    • I agree with Sal, very well thought out reply. I did not think about the Mustang aspect of it, but that is a good explanation. I just wonder if 343 thought of that when writing/brainstorming her backstory or if they just got lucky. I like the distinction in personality between the different generations of Spartans. Spartan II’s are the quite professionals that never give up. Spartan III’S are the somewhat pessimistic combat veterans who have seen too many hopeless battles. And the Spartan IV’s are the young and very capable new “kids” who have seen some action, but have yet to be true tested. Now if we could just get to truely see all three generations together either in print or in game. I would love to see an ODST-esque game where you played from the perspective of different generations of Spartans (Palmer/Thorne, Tom/Lucy, Fred/Kelly).

  3. All,

    When I was writing my response, I was basing my thoughts off of the Halo: Escalation comic series. In that series it shows Palmer as a Lance Corporal, thus my thoughts on her being a ‘Mustang’.

    However it has been pointed out to me that on on the Halowaypoint Visual Guide that it states that Palmer has spent much of her time as a Lieutenant. After doing some checking I realize I was wrong.

    My apologies to all on that mistake.

    • No worries man. The timeline doesn’t seem right though. She did 10 years before becoming a Spartan. As of Halo 4, the Spartan IV program had not been around that long. So, I really do have to question Waypoint’s accuracy. See, this is one HUGE thing that bothers me. 343 needs to get their crap together when it comes to continuity. We do NOT want this to become like Star Wars. It’s impossible to rationalize continuity with that franchise. (I should know, I’ve been a fan since the beginning. That’s 1977 for you youngsters..)

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