Fangirl Friday: Ten reasons why I love Stargate SG1

Come with me through the jump, as I tell you just a few reasons why I love Stargate, and why you should, too!



1. The original movie - the thing that started it all


 This action adventure scifi was directed by Ronald Emmerich and written by Dean Devlin in 1994. and it celebrated it's 20th birthday last year.  In the movie, an interstellar teleportation device, a Stargate is found in Egypt in the early 20th century.


When the Air Force finally finds out how to turn the Gate on (with the help of a young archeologist Daniel Jackson) they realizes it's a gateway to another planet, called Abydos populated with humans resembling ancient Egyptians who worship the god Ra.


US air force sends a team through the Gate, lead by colonel Jack O'Neil, to explore this new planet.


Incidentally, MGM and Warner Bros announced they're doing a reboot of the original movie, but this time Roland Emmerich will be able to fulfill his original dream of making it a trilogy.

The show Stargate SG1 started airing in 1997., produced by Brad Wright and Jonathan Glassner and the first episode builds on the events of the movie and it starts a year after the events of the movie. After Apophis comes through the Earth Stargate Jack and his team go back to Abydos and we learn that the Gate leads to other places, not only just the one, as it was originally thought.


2. The Gate  - Also known as the greatest prop ever. :D










As I mentioned above a stargate is an interstellar teleportation device. The stargate network was created by the race called the Alterans (later Ancients),  to simplify their travels and explorations through the galaxy. A stargate generally has nine chevrons and is usually accompanied by a dialing device DHD. It takes seven to make an address that connects two planets in the Milky Way.


Eight chevron address connects planets from two different galaxies,

Atlantis' stargate

and a nine chevron address takes you to the ship that creates stargates. 

SGU stargate
(the gate is beautiful, the show is shit, imo)

Once a connection is made it creates a wormhole that only goes one way, with radio signals as the exception; they can go both ways. But the reason it's the greatest prop ever is in all the myriad of ways it can be used as a plot device. It can be used for time travel, being stranded inside the gate, not being able to keep the wormhole open for long, not being able to close the wormhole, there's no DHD on the other side and the team is stranded, the gate is once even used to blow up a sun.

And it looks super cool too! :D


3. Aliens

Stargate would be nothing without the numerous and varied alien creatures and cultures it gives us. From the flashy, gold loving, overdressed, power hungry, egotistical, megalomaniacal parasites Goa'ulds (and their warrior slaves the Jaffa)


                                                                          System Lord Apophis

through the wise practical (cliche looking little grey men) Asgards,


Supreme Commander Thor

the mysterious hippie looking Nox,



and never actually seen Furlings, to the ascended Ancients who wield tremendeous power but aren't allowed to use it on our plane of existance (a rule that gets broken frequently one way or another),
Morgan Le Fay

the Ori (the douchebag version of the Ancients)

The Orici
And many MANY more. 

4. Villains 

The most memorable villains were the Goa'ulds – snake looking amfibious parasites who need host bodies if they want to walk the surface. They have genetic memories, so every Goa'uld knows what all the ones before him knew. This way they steal and appropriate various technologies and advancements as their own – like they did with the stargate network. 

 


 Queen Quetesh
(Stargate Continuum)









When they landed on earth they found that humans were perfect hosts and perfect slaves, so they transported a bunch of them all across the galaxy using both the stargate and their ships – hence a lot of humans on a lot of other planets.

Then there were the replicators,


replicarter
don't worry, daniel dies all the time. it's his ~thing~

artificially created spider-looking robots that self-replicate from available material (ANY material will do) and they eventually evolve into highly intelligent but cold and calculating humanoids.

The third most prominent villains of the show are the already mentioned Ori – also ascended humans, like the Ancients, only these guys are a super evil religious cult that feeds of the belief of its followers and they want to rule everything ever.

 Prior of the Ori, preaching the Origin.

5. Mythology  

The cornerstone of the plot is Earth mythology with the premise that most of  the mythological ancient gods were actually aliens that at one point or another in ancient history appeared or even lived on Earth. Greek, Nordic and Egyption gods are the ones that were used the most, using such characters as Apophis, Osiris, Anubis, Cronos, Nirrti, Thor, Loki, Freyr... etc. Arthurian legends are more prominent in the final two seasons.  

 Turns out Merlin was actually an Ancient. 

Even the legend of Atlantis turns out to be a real thing and actually spawns the first spin off show. The use of these known mythological beings makes the stories the show tells very relatable, but the twists on the well known myths makes it new and fresh.  The real details keep the show bound to Earth and to the audience while always maintinaing the strong scifi element. It even uses the ~theory~ that the pyramids were launching pads for alien spaceships as a fact. 

All Goa'uld ships are in the shape of a pyramid and the general setting and costumes used are very evocative to ancient Egypt. They also use sarcophagus', however it is used for regenerative purpouses, it keeps their host bodies young and healthy for as long as possible. 


6. The technology 

It wouldn't be scifi without various wonderful and often impossible gadgets or inventions. I already talked about the best one – the stargate itself – but the gate is not the only cool piece of technology on the show.  Like the quantum mirror, for example – touching this mirror takes you to one of a million possible alternate realities. Goa'ulds often use hand devices as an energy weapon either to blast their enemies away, or slowly torture them by specifically exposing the brain to the energy.  
Osiris torturing Daniel. Must be Tuesday.

Honestly, there are a million different gadgets the teams comes across. But for me the greatest technologically advanced things of the show are the space ships, the zpm's and the naquadah reactors. But mostly the space ships though!

the Ori warship, aka the super toilets of doom

 Anubis' ultra mega awesome warship. The baddest bitch.

◄Asgardian science ship Beliskner. Nerds.


However, what I like most is that even though Stargate Command gets some technological advances from it's allies, most of the times they use our own current weapons and devices and knowledge. The creative team took the extra time to work closely with military advisers so that everything related to the Stargate program’s base, uniforms, and ranks mirrored real life. God knows they bitched about Sam's hair a lot. Like, A LOT. But anyway, all that leads to the team making a lot of mistakes but it also makes the stories more realistic, in the context of the show.


7. Characters

Stargate is very much an ensemble show. The heart and soul of the show is the team – SG1 – and it's members; Sam, Jack, Daniel, Teal'c, (for a short time Jonas in s6 while Daniel is gone, and for the last two seasons after Jack leaves – Mitchell and Vala join the team).

This group of extraordinary people achieve extraordinary things episode after episode, season after season.It is important for the characters to be compelling and relatable otherwise there's no point. These guys start as a group of practical strangers, and grow to be best friends (in front and behind the camera ).

Sam Carter is the exceptionally smart scientist that comes into the team eager to prove herself both as a soldier and as a scientific expert.  Jack O'Neill is the leader. Air Force officer with a troubled past but not hung up on it anymore. He is always there to keep things in check and to offer his opinion and sarcasm. :D Daniel Jackson is the sociopolitical nerd, brilliant linguist and an archeologist, who originally broke the code for unlocking the stargate. Over the years Daniel learns and grows and becomes more confident but always willing to help and fight. Teal'c is the stoic renegade Jaffa soldier, on a quest to free his people from the false gods. Jonas is basically Daniel-lite but from another planet, Mitchell is Jack-lite, and Vala is.... well, Vala. :D All of them are driven and shaped by some personal event or tragedy from their lives, which gives them depth and dimension as characters.

As they work together they start trusting one another's abilities, their characters rubbing off one another and influence each other. Always saving each others lives, sacrificing themselves for the greater good, saving the galaxy more than once, and saving Earth on a daily basis. :D One of the best parts of watching this show is watching these people interact with one another, the banter alone is worth it. :D


8. Sam Carter

Nuff said!

9. Comedy and Tragedy

Stargate is very good at comedy, very very good. The deliveries and timings of jokes are perfect. But it's always interwoven with enough plot and action and seriousness that it could never be called a proper comedy show.

While Window Of Opportunity (aka the groundhog day episode, aka the funniest episode ever) is hilarious for like 90 percent of it, there is nothing funny about the reason for the event. Then there is Meridian or Lazarus Rising or Need that deal with very real problems of loss and addiction and while they too have some comedic relief moments, they are mostly sombre and.. well, sad as hell.

One of the very best things about Stargate is that it doesn't take itself seriously. It's full of snark and irreverence and very often pokes fun at itself. Most notably through the 100th and 200th episodes (where they poke fun at the whole scifi genre). 

Vala being burnt alive and then brought back to life.

Daniel's wife, Shauri, dies in his arms.

Jack goes a little crazy while reliving the same day all the time.

The farthest golf stroke during the loooooongest day!

10. tropes tropes tropes  

Wormhole Extreme - plausible deniability was never so funny
Stargate kicks ass at tropes and fulfilling almost all of them: alternate realities, tv shows based on the Stargate program, switching bodies, rapid aging, aliens taking over our heroes' bodies, alien drugs (various kinds, from hilarious to super sad), accidental hostage situations, groundhog day episode, that one time they turned into cavemen, Daniel dying like... six times, so many pop culture references, racing in an alien space race (and losing because the other guys were cheating bastards), alien induced amnesia, jumping through dimensions, miracle pregnancies (though I'm not much of a fan of those myself), meeting your own clones, earth morality vs. alien morality... etc etc. AND IT'S AMAZING!


And it is over, but never forgotten! 



 

Comments

  1. Ohhh great post Shau! thank you for a wonderful reminder, I was a devoted fan of the show. Love your post!

    ReplyDelete
  2. You were?? I'm sooooo glad to hear that. I love SG.

    ReplyDelete

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