A short history

In the beginning...

It all starts in 1994 when a movie is released, listening to the name 'Stargate'. The plot:

A huge metallic ring was found at Giza (Egypt) in 1928. More than 60 years later, an archaeologist finds out that this ring is a device to travel to a distant planet. He calls this device the 'stargate'. A military team is assembled and they travel through the stargate to the planet Abydos. On Abydos, they find out that the people are enslaved by a powerful false god. So, the team tries to liberate the people from this false god and they succeed. The entire team returns to Earth except the archaeologist, he stays on Abydos.

How did it continue?

Three years later, a brand new series started: Stargate SG-1. The series goes about a team of explorers - called SG-1 - that is travelling to other worlds through the stargate. In doing so, they've encountered several races and cultures on other worlds. Some of them more technologically advanced, others less. They've made a lot of allies, but also some enemies. In 2004, after seven seasons, the series was split.

In 2008, after only five seasons, Stargate Atlantis was cancelled. Fortunately, the show will go on with a series of Atlantis movies. Together with the news that Stargate Atlantis was cancelled, the creators of Stargate had given a green light to a brand new series: Stargate Universe. The series did premiere with a 2-hour movie in the fall of 2009. SCI FI describes the show as follows:

After unlocking the mystery of the Stargate's ninth chevron, a team of explorers travels to an unmanned starship called the Destiny, launched by The Ancients at the height of their civilization as a grand experiment set in motion, but never completed. What starts as a simple reconnaissance turns into a never ending mission, as the Stargate Universe crew discovers the ship is unable to return to Earth, and they must now fend for themselves aboard the Destiny. The crew will travel to the far reaches of the universe, connecting with each of the previously launched Stargates, thus fulfilling the Destiny's original mission. Challenges will arise though as the ship comes into range of Stargates placed centuries ahead of the Destiny and the crew is unable to control the ship's navigational schedule. If someone is left behind, there is no way to go back for them, adding to the drama of encountering new races, enemies and adventures.

My point of view

I do like both series, but my preference goes to Stargate SG-1. I think that's because of the evolution. If you look back to some episodes of the first season, there's a big difference with the ones of the last season. In the first season, SG-1 was like a bunch of noobs. Totally no experience, no technological goodies, unprepared for most missions, etc. So that's a big difference with the last episodes where SG-1 is like the elite team of the stargate universe. They even travel by vessel to other planets.

The future...

As described above, Stargate SG-1 and Stargate Atlantis will live on through a series of direct-to-DVD movies. On the other hand, the first 10 episodes of Stargate Universe were great. So let's hope that Stargate Universe is even more awesome than the previous two series.

More about the stargate

The stargate is a huge metallic ring, made of an alien material 'naquadah'. This ring has 39 symbols and they each represent star constellations. To travel to a distant planet, you need a combination of seven symbols. Six symbols are needed to form a three-dimensional location in space (imagine a cube with its six sides). A seventh symbol is needed to serve as the point of origin. Each planet has its own unique point of origin, so this makes the amount of possible combinations (38×37×36×35×34×33) = 1,987,690,320. However, not all of these addresses have a stargate, in fact, random dialing is largely futile. When a correct address is dialed, the gate will be activated and a wormhole will be established between the two planets. Everything that enters the stargate, is transmitted as energy and reconstructed at the other gate. A stargate has a maximum life span of about 38 minutes, after which the gate is shutdown.

Dialing a combination of seven symbols is the normal procedure. But during the Stargate SG-1 series, it was revealed that an eight symbol could be used to travel to another galaxy. However, this requires an incredible amount of power, and so it was only used on special occasions. Right now - with Stargate Universe in production - the ninth and final chevron will be used to travel to the Destiny (see above).

For more information and technical specifications about the stargate, please visit Wikipedia.

Stargate stuff

Stargate may not be that popular as Star Wars or Star Trek, but there also exist games and goodies.