A coming-of-age story, Forward Unto Dawn follows a cadet, Thomas Lasky, at a twenty-sixth century military training academy as it is attacked by the Covenant, an alliance of alien zealots. Lasky is unsure of his future within the military but feels pressured to follow in the footsteps of his mother and brother. Lasky and his surviving squad mates are rescued by the Master Chief and, after the death of his romantic interest, Chyler Silva, Lasky is inspired by the Chief to take initiative and aids him in saving the remaining cadets.
Forward Unto Dawn received a Streamy Award and several of the crew received awards for their work editing, producing and filming of it. The series also won a Motion Picture Sound Editors Golden Reel Award for sound editing. Reviewers were impressed by the special effects and action-packed second act, but found that the plot was too slow in the first half and most of the characters were under-developed. The series was also nominated for a Primetime Emmy Award for main title design.