Canon

Fernando Esparza

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Fernando Esparza
A render of Echo 216's pilot
Biographical information

Homeworld:

Charybdis IX[1]

Born:

May 7, 2518[1]

Personal details

Species:

Human[2]

Gender:

Male[2]

Height:

180.3 centimetres (5 ft 11 in)[1]

Weight:

86.2 kilograms (190 lbs)[1]

Hair color:

Brown[2]

Eye color:

Brown[2]

Political and military information

Affiliation:

United Nations Space Command[2]

 

"This is UNSC Pelican Echo 216. Can you hear me?"
— Fernando Esparza tries to hail a friendly signal.[2]

Fernando Esparza is a civilian contractor who worked in engineering on the UNSC Infinity. During the attack on the Infinity by Banished forces, Esparza fled for Pelican Echo 216, commandeering the craft and becoming stranded after the conflict. In May 2560 he had a chance encounter with Spartan-II John-117 after being stranded in the dropship for 6 months around the shattered remains of the Halo ring.[2] He brought the Master Chief aboard the craft shortly before it came under attack. The two became inseparable as they both needed each other, albeit for different reasons.

Biography[edit]

"We lost. Lost everything. There's nothing left for us here. I don't even know where here is."
— Esparza lets the Chief know about their present situation.[2]

At some point in early 2560 Esparza was asleep in the cockpit of his Pelican around Installation 07 when a shaking of the craft and repeated warnings suddenly woke him.[2] Pressure was building in multiple lines but he managed to initiate a protocol which caused the warnings to cease. Just then, however, a piece of debris impacted Echo 216's rear, creating a breach. Esparza rushed to seal it and was successful in doing so, but in the process, he slipped and fell from the box he had been standing on to reach it. When he hit the floor a recording device came out of his pocket and rolled away. This device—containing a recorded message from his wife and daughter—was a small comfort to him over the weeks which followed, during which time he remained stranded in the low-powered Pelican near the damaged ring.[2]

Eventually, after repeated viewings of the same message his recording device lost power.[2] It was almost immediately after this, however, that Echo 216 alerted him to the presence of a signal with a friendly designation. He raced to the cockpit and hailed the signal, but before he could identify himself twice he wiped away frost on the cockpit window to reveal an armored Spartan floating nearby: Master Chief Petty Officer John-117. Bringing the hulking warrior aboard revealed that his armor's survival mode had been triggered. To override it, Esparza rerouted what little power remained to Echo 216 into the armor, and was thrilled when parts of the Pelican's interior which had gone dark from a lack of energy suddenly flared to life thanks to the suit's fusion reactor recharging the Pelican's depleted batteries. Esparza enthusiastically welcomed the Chief back after seeing that he'd reawakened. He also noticed that something appeared to be wrong with the servos the man's gauntleted hands, but before he could locate a tool to check his armor's diagnostics John approached him and asked for a status report. This caught Esparza off guard, but he then realized the Chief may not know about what had happened to the nearby ring and so turned his attention to the cockpit. As the Spartan laid eyes on what remained of it he explained that they had lost everything here—though he added that he didn't even know where "here" was. Then, without warning, Echo 216 was hit by the Ghost of Gbraakon which generated electrical discharges within it and enveloped it in bright light. Esparza panicked at this and signaled to the Chief that he had witnessed this sort of attack before. He advised that they needed to flee, but John disagreed, insisting that he needed a weapon, being given a pistol with only a single bullet left. At that point, Esparza sealed himself within the cockpit while the Spartan took up a position in the troop bay. The Chief opened the rear hatch, lunging himself towards the warship and landing in one of it's many hangar bays.

Almost immediately after fleeing the Spire with the Chief in tow, Echo 216 was shot several times by anti-aircraft cannons, forcing Esparza to make an emergency landing in a shallow stream. The final impact which stopped the dropship's forward momentum knocked Esparza briefly unconscious, but when he came to panic and disbelief seized him immediately. The Master Chief attempted to calm him but with little success. Instead, being berated by Esparza for putting them both in their present predicament. The Spartan decided he needed to eliminate the cannons, of which he'd counted three, and instructed Esparza to remain put with the Pelican until he returned. Doubtful that he would be safe on his own, Esparza protested this. Before hitting the ground he'd spotted a number of Condors and was determined to check whether any of them retained a working slipspace drive which they could use to flee the system. The Master Chief agreed to help him with such a search, but only after he'd first dealt with the cannons.

Later, while attempting to pick up the Chief and The Weapon, Esparza was kidnapped by Blademaster Jega 'Rdomnai and taken to the House of Reckoning, where he was tortured by War Chief Escharum in order to lure the Master Chief into a final confrontation. The Master Chief managed to kill both 'Rdomnai and Escharum and save Esparza. When the Master Chief showed respect to the fallen Escharum, Esparza was shocked and called Escharum a "monster". The Master Chief replied that in the end, Escharum was just a soldier who had died hoping that he'd done the right thing and questioning his choices.

Esparza later picked up the Chief and the Weapon three days after the defeat of the Harbinger. He expressed relief upon seeing them, thinking that they'd been killed, and greeted the Chief with a hug. Prompted by the Weapon, Esparza, who'd only been known as Echo-216 until then, revealed his real name to the pair. The trio then flew off in their Pelican, ready to finish the fight against the remainder of the Banished on the ring.

Personality and traits[edit]

"I'll be safe? Safe?! I haven't been "safe" since I found you! I found you, remember? You were out there on your own and you'd still be out there if it wasn't for me! I thought I was going home!"
— Esparza frustrated with the Master Chief after their Pelican was shot down by anti-air cannons.[3]

Esparza cares deeply for his wife and daughter, both of whom he missed terribly during the prolonged period of isolation he experienced aboard his Pelican.[2][4] Even then, at the lowest point in his life, he demonstrated extraordinary resilience. Despite being out of food and water, and being cold, isolated, over-exerted, and trapped, he did not give up.[5] When he eventually discovered the Master Chief, he felt relief and triumph.[5]

His patience is not unwavering, however. He can be seen snapping at The Master Chief multiple times, irritated that his and the Spartan's motivations do not align.

Nicolas Roye.[5]

Production notes[edit]

"We're not talking a lot about the pilot at E3 this year. But he is a new character to the Halo universe and we're really taking our time to introduce the pilot and bring him in for players in a really careful way; where you get to learn about the pilot and emotionally connect with him throughout this piece. You'll be seeing the pilot more in Halo Infinite."
— 343 Industries studio head Chris Lee speaks to the pilot's introduction.[6]

Details of this pilot's character design, such as the UNSC logo on his flight suit, are meant to showcase the art direction pursued for Halo Infinite—one that draws significant inspiration from the most iconic and historic parts of the Halo franchise.[7] Echo 216 and her pilot were first introduced in the 2019 Electronic Entertainment Expo trailer for Halo Infinite, dubbed "Discover Hope".[2] His resuscitation of John-117 and the life and courage the Chief then brings him were meant to speak to the theme of rebirth.[5] Both Mega Construx and Wicked Cool Toys have produced representations of the character that are available for purchase.[8][9] Wicked Cool Toys' figure comes armed with a CQS-48 Combat Shotgun and an earthen base to stand on.[8]

He is voiced and performance-captured by Nicolas Roye, and the character was named by Roye himself, after his two best friends from childhood.[10]

Gallery[edit]

Concept art[edit]

Pre-release images[edit]

Halo Infinite[edit]

Merchandise[edit]

List of appearances[edit]

Sources[edit]