Five Long Years
- "Halo Wars is set in the year 2531 right as UNSC forces retake a planet called Harvest from the alien Covenant. The story of Halo Wars is told through the eyes and ears of the crew aboard Spirit of Fire, a UNSC support vessel. As the ship approaches the planet Harvest to begin a dangerous and urgent mission, Captain Cutter reflects on the long and bloody battle to retake Harvest from the Covenant..."
- — Ensemble description of the trailer
- Cutter: "Captain's report: February 4th, 2531. Five years - five long years. That's how long it took us to get Harvest back."
Several Marines run through a battlefield and kill a group of oncoming Elites. A Marine is killed when a nearby wall explodes and he is engulfed by debris and plasma. The surviving Marines recover quickly and start to move forward.
- Marine: "Go, go, go!"
They confront a lance of slowly advancing Elites on the other side of a wall of debris. A few of the Marines yell out as they arrive. One Marine quickly joins in and starts to fire upon the Elites, only to be shot by a plasma bolt to the chest.
- Marine: "I've been hit!"
- Marine: "Keep firing!"
Three Marines fire their weapons. The camera then cuts to a shot of several Pelican dropships arriving with several Warthogs racing through the drop zone. Marines then charge out of one of the landed Pelicans. There is a cut to a Marine hitting an Elite from behind, so that he falls down and is shot dead by another Marine. Then it cuts to a panorama, showing nine Marines cheering and a Warthog overlooking the battlefield; a destroyed city with a burning CPV-class heavy destroyer in the distant sky, presumably shot down by UNSC forces.
- Cutter: "At first it was going well."
Fade to black
- Cutter: "Then setback after setback..."
An Elite pierces a Marine with his energy sword. UNSC troops are overwhelmed by plasma fired by Elites and Banshees. The camera then cuts to a scene where three Elites jump over a crumbled wall, the two in the background wielding plasma rifles, the one in the foreground activating two energy swords.
- Cutter: "Loss after loss..."
Two Covenant destroyers begin to glass Harvest.
- Cutter: "Made what was going to be a quick and decisive win..."
A surviving Marine attempts to crawl to safety when an Elite approaches and stabs him with his energy sword.
- Cutter: "Into five years of hell."
Camera turns toward the skies and another ship appears and activates its energy weapon. White follows.
- The Marine who is strafed by the Banshee utters the famed Wilhelm scream as he dies.
- The Pelicans have the Legendary symbol on the nose of their fuselages.
- A screenshot from this cinematic, showing Marines celebrating the destruction of a CPV-class destroyer, is seen in Halo 2: Anniversary on a UNSC billboard.