The idea of Human ascension doesn't quite vibe with me well because there isn't much sense in having vast technologies without the social responsibility or defined morality to make use of them.
I think Halo is simply to turn into a power fantasy. There has been substantial detail in the narrative about how humanity must be given all this powerful technology and how it must ascend to be the next superpower and essentially rule the galaxy by decree through having the right to enforce the Mantle of Responsibility. There has, by contrast, been absolutely no discussion in the narrative about any of the required and equally huge societal changes that must occur within humanity in order for any of this reclaimer nonsense to have any glimmer of credibility. Instead it's all about the power and the prestige that humans will have, and nothing about the limitations of that power, the boundaries of that prestige and the responsibilities and costs of having those two things.
Do we honestly see the UEG and ONI choosing to sacrifice themselves to save alien species? I don't think they would. I think they'd rather burn the galaxy to save themselves, even if such a thing were not possible.
Will humans use their power to create a galaxy of opportunity, or will they use it to benefit themselves at the expense of everybody else like the Forerunners did? I'm having trouble believing that humans exclusively wielding the gavel won't result in another Ecumene. The UNSC's treatment of colonies that want to secede is a stark warning against them being allowed to become a galactic superpower imo, because it shows how deeply entrenched hegemony and centralized governance are within the mindsets of those who walk the halls of power there. I certainly don't anticipate ONI ceasing their efforts to make every other species grovel at human feet through any means necessary, whether that be through the creation and utilization of gruesome biological WMDs or through stoking conflicts that kill and displace billions.
And yet, all of this Reclaimer stuff is only occurring in the narrative because the Librarian decided that humans should be the Forerunner's heir and because her AI after-essence decides that this is still an appropriate thing to do. The Librarian, who is supposed to be concerned about the greater notion of life in the Milky Way, wants to give the keys to the galaxy to a species that is basically completely unfit for that position based on everything we know about them. Choosing a single species is a very, very poor idea for this Mantle or Responsibility nonsense, but if one was to do it then said species should not be deeply entrenched within a culture of circumstantial xenophobia, militarism, authoritarianism, and centralized and hegemonic government with zero accountability. Why in the world would anyone want to reward this type of culture with unlimited power? That is a question I think needs to be addressed, because the credibility of this entire series is missing until it's addressed imo.
It's all about the power and the prestige. That's all that's important in Halo with regards to this Mantle stuff. No one cares about how utterly arrogant this Reclaimer stuff is in the proposition that we, humanity, should and ever could know what is best for a galaxy of many alien cultures many of which are thousands of years older than us. How delusional do people have to be to buy into this? It also just reeks of ethnocentrism in the way that humans are treated as god's gift to the galaxy; race based theories of nationalism in how humans alone must uphold the Mantle, and how the UNSC keeping other species at arms length and enforcing near total loyalty to itself among humans doesn't even seem to be so much as a small problem for the LIbrarian's AI, and echoes of the White Man's Burden in how it is humanity's duty to enforce some sort of environment on the galaxy through the necessity of there being something enforced on it in the first place - and how only humans are capable of doing that.
Whoever is directing this narrative is insane. I'm sorry, but I can't think of any other word to describe how completely detached from reality one would have to be in order to write a narrative like this. It's completely crazy.
Quote: How can ONI be prevented from using such advances for nefarious means
There's nothing to stop them. According to Halo: Helljumper, the Forerunner's possessed the knowledge to wage a genocide so complete that they could destroy every last DNA strand of a species. And now this knowledge will fall into the hands of ONI.
what would stop the Innies from getting hold of them,
Nothing either. They could create a Grey Goo that would convert the mass of a planet into replicators using a seed smaller than a pea. Forerunner technology would likely give them worse ideas than that.
And then there's the question of what kinds of suppression ONI could develop from these technologies that would ensure complete submission within the masses of humanity towards their rule.
how would other races feel with a race previously on the verge of genocide being a sole galactic power?
Imagine you had a classmate that you didn't really get a long with; he called you nasty names and you did the same back, and you got into fights often. Imagine that you got consistently better grades than he did, but then one day you were ill, you couldn't sleep, couldn't study well the night before and subsequently you ended up getting a slightly lower mark than he did on the next test. Imagine then that your teacher moved him up to a higher class based on that test alone and you stayed the same despite having a better track record of attainment. Next, imagine that he is then made into a school captain despite the nasty things he has said and done to you personally (Which you are also guilty yourself of doing to him). You might feel a little resentful.
The elevation of humanity onto a pedestal that it does not deserve by any metric likely creates a scenario where the other species will feel resentful. Intrinsic to the very idea of having bearers of the Mantle of Responsibility is the idea of the Worthy and the Unworthy; those worthy to hold the Mantle and those who are not. Or maybe it could be simplified to just those who hold the Mantle versus those who don't, emphasizing that the difference is about possession rather than worthiness. There's probably always going to be a degree of tension between those two groups, because the situation in the case of Worthiness implies that one side is inferior in some way to the other. In the case of possession, tension may arise from one side coveting the Mantle that the other side currently possesses. So in humanity being worthy of the Mantle, or in merely possessing the Mantle, it means that all the other species are either unworthy or cannot possess the same prestige as humans. That means that there will be tension between them, unfortunately. This would be a corrosive poison that would destroy any credible foundation that would be needed to weave a peaceful cosmopolitan society. It's elevating one group above another unjustly, and the troubled history between the two groups makes it a whole lot worse. Then, to make matters even worse, it is imposing this tension across racial lines by making each of these groups a species - meaning that it will align with the more traditional prejudices and xenophobia that occurs between different species.
As the Human-Forerunner war showed us, this ended up being a disaster. The Librarian is a sinister moron.
I'm aware of the thread but haven't paid much attention as it would take another decade if not two of directly building upon the plot via Forerunner-Human foundation which was immediately scrapped after implementation. Honestly, it seems the same issue (I had at least) with Bungie's lack of defined direction is happening with Halo 3 which means this is absolutely on Microsoft.
I don't think 343i have much, if any, creative freedom given the number of plot threads they have left dangling and the sharp turns they have made in the narrative between Halo 4 and 5. Due to that I don't really make a distinction between them and Microsoft anymore.
While there are instances were it seems progressive advances are being made between Humans and Xeno's it is almost always para-military in nature nothing aside from Kig-Yar and Humans interacting through trade. Do we even have trading with the Sangheili to any capacity? There seem to be insignificant pieces pointing towards eventual cultural homogenization within the novels whereas games depict nothing more fighting between the Covenant not Covenant. Barring Halo 4 we've essentially been fighting the Covenant for nearly 20 years real time with the war lasting 29-31 years in-universe,which is utter lunacy. At some they'll have to acknowledge mindlessly fighting Covenant isn't going to create a sustainable franchise especially with the novel universe being far more expansive.
I guess Legacy of Onyx can be viewed as progress in relations if one squints their eyes hard enough and overlooks some fundamental problems the novel seems to raise about the prospect, but by and large inter-species relations are zero-sum and point-scoring exercises; everyone thinks that gains can only be made through expense to the other rather than mutual benefit; there is no trust; there are no meaningful emotional connections that could form the basis of anything like a friendship; and unhealthy competition and judgemental nitpicking with the goal of "one-upping" the other is all that most conversations and thoughts tend to consist of.
In other-words the exact same boring content they've been writing since 2011. Legacy of Onyx departs the most from this nauseating repetition, but it seems to point out how all the young people from each species tend to stay away from each other and how each species lives in their own neighborhoods and don't really intermingle outside of societal commitments like work and education.
I Honestly don't understand how Thel can have a positive view of Humanity at this point either considering the UNSC has forces to help end his war overnight, i think that would make things even considering his forces saved us from genocide.
What Thel thinks largely doesn't matter, unfortunately. Thel himself is barely even relevant anymore. 343i/Microsoft have more or less killed off his character by merely burying it underneath huge spans of time where nothing has been done with it. What was left was buried by the Infinity, ONI's stupid antics and the general consensus within the setting that humanity are unstoppable, which rendered him politically irrelevant within the setting. It wouldn't surprise me if they got away with killing him off soon because it feels as though he has actually become obscure. Nothing has been done with his character other than a few action cameos and mystical talks with Locke in Halo 5. His character development has been arrested since Halo 3; we don't know anything about him or what he thinks after all these earth shattering changes that have occurred in the setting and we know nothing about what his ambitions are. He's just not relevant anymore, which is very sad because he was easily one off the series' most intriguing and well written characters. I bet there are a lot of new Halo fans in the new generation who came on board with Halo 4 and 5 who don't know or care who the Arbiter is, which can't bode well for his character.