A lookback on Squadron 1337 – Season 1

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If you’ve been an avid readers of The Outbreak these last few months, then you are aware that May 29th saw the conclusion of the first season of Squadron 1337.

This has been a long time coming…a lot longer than many readers will realize.

The first three episodes of Squadron 1337 were actually written more than 5 years ago. This was not too long after I concluded writing on the Our Attempt at RvB/RBG franchise; which was essentially a carbon copy of Red vs Blue.

Eventually, my brother Carter and I decided we would try recording in Halo: Reach’s Forge Mode, as the ability to capture game footage and change camera angles made filming a machinima in Halo much, much easier.

Utilizing the specs and capabilities of Halo: Reach, I began writing the reboot to my original franchise, and from the ashes arose Squadron 1337 (LEET).

I won’t delve too much into the details of the original franchise. If you’re curious, read this article I wrote for GTA Gamers a couple of years ago.

Story and Character Arcs

Going back and reading the past episodes, I will admit there were several plot holes and continuity errors. And I did my best to course correct, but seeing as how many of these episodes were written over a five year span, there were bound to be some inconsistencies.

There are a couple of arcs I would like to draw attention to in this bit. I’ve tied them together as story and character arcs because I feel many of the story arcs were derived from actions or events triggered by the individual characters, and there are a couple of individuals whom deserve the spotlight.

Innes

The concept surrounding the cop-out death of Innes at the tailend of Episode 3 was conceived in the heat of the moment. Without even realizing it, I sent Innes off on his own quest, much like I had done in the original story I had written.

In the original story, Innes and Dex set off on an adventure, and wound up getting kidnapped and meeting the soldiers that would become the Green squad.

I really enjoyed how Innes slowly blended in with the Greens. While it’s clear that Orion is meant to be the team leader, it was Innes in the original storyline who takes on the role of Green team leader after turning his back on the Blues following an harsh conflict with Leeroy.

Innes grew from a simple prisoner to an exceptional asset, and while it may not seem obvious to the readers, he may as well be considered a member of the Green army.

Orion, Duncan and Digit

Squadron 1337, while an original story, includes rebooted concepts and characters that were introduced in the original OAARVB/RBG machinima. For example, the original Green squad characters Orion, Duncan and Digit were actually written as androids built in the likeness of Master Chief to serve as brainless killing machines to that story’s main antagonist.

However, the one thing I liked about these characters was their team dynamic. While I’ve always envisioned Orion as team leader simply based on his armor colour, Duncan has shown exceptional capabilities and intelligence that would make him a great squad leader.

In working with these two characters, their traits tended to blend together as one cohesive unit, with Duncan providing logistical and tactical advice and support, and Orion playing the voice of the team. by giving orders and taking action on Duncan’s plans.

Digit, of course, has always been the odd man out. He could give Dex a run for his money in terms of intelligence and oddball personality. He’s simply not mature enough to understand the gravity of the situation he’s been thrust into, either that or he’s simply blocked that burden out of his mind in favour of bringing a more light-hearted approach to the battlefield.

Captain McCloud

The original Captain McCloud was the main reason for the change in pace and direction of the original story. He was the first character that was an original concept and not co-created by my friends.

Captain McCloud presents the Reds and Blues with their mission. In Squadron 1337, he is the Captain, assigning and delegating orders. He is the brains of the operation, and it is his duty to keep everyone in line.

McCloud’s story doesn’t kick-start until his former squad mate Ruby reaches out to him about the cop-out death of their once former squad mate-turned rogue assassin Gordon Grady.

Lincoln

Lincoln and I share a personal connection – I provided the voice of Lincoln in the first three filmed episodes. When Lincoln was originally conceived, I imagined his personality mirroring Sarge from Red vs Blue. Overtime, Lincoln began to mirror my personality.

In Squadron 1337, the turning point for Lincoln came following his suspension from duty. The ripple effects of his suspension would be felt on both the Red squad, whom were now without a squad leader, and to the Blues.

Leeroy

Leeroy became the Blue squad leader following the “death” of Innes. The entirety of his arc was spent not only reeling from Innes’ death, but coming to terms with his newfound responsibility.

Following Lincoln’s suspension, Leeroy comes to learn that he is now the top-ranking soldier on Squadron 1337, aside from Captain McCloud, who had taken leave with meet with Ruby on Trisantos.

Leeroy and Lincoln would eventually receive Lieutenant status when Squadrons 1337 and 1268 merge.

Gordon Grady

Gordon Grady was the main antagonist of RBG-(Z), the final season of my original screenplay.

This version of Gordon Grady is a blend of two characters – one obviously being Grady himself, and another character named ‘Raine’, who was conceived as a former agent-turned-rogue in the original story.

I really enjoyed bringing Grady back from the dead. I feel like his presence carries a wealth of heaviness and allows for the ‘big bad’ to share a personal connection with our strong protagonists McCloud, Ruby and Santos. I look forward to seeing what dastardly schemes Grady pulls in Season 2.

What’s Next in Season 2 / Conclusion [SPOILER ALERT]

In the final episode of Season 1, Innes and the Green squad tried and failed to fight off Gordon Grady’s forces, and were taken prisoner, along with Larry, the alien Construct.

We saw the merger of Squadrons 1337 and 1268 into one faction: Watchtower; led by co-captains McCloud, Ruby and Santos.

Lincoln and Leeroy were promoted to lieutenants of their Red and Blue armies. While the merger may prove to be smooth for the Blues, it’ll be the Reds that may have some growing pains as new character Franklin may turn out to be a thorn in their sides.

The episode ended in a cliffhanger: with Squadron 1337 learning that Innes is in fact alive, and in possession of an alien artifact. His life, and the lives of the other Green soldiers, could be spared if one of the Watchtower captains gives themselves up.

But what will this mean? Could this mean the death of McCloud, Ruby or Santos?

This, and other questions will be answered in Season 2! Stay tuned for more details, and thank you to everyone who stuck around till the end.

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