Stargate Franchise Overview


Introduction

Stargate (Stylised as STARGᐰTE) is a science fiction media franchise based on the film written by Dean Devlin and Roland Emmerich.

The franchise is based on the idea of an alien Einstein–Rosen bridge device (the Stargate) that enables nearly instantaneous travel across the cosmos.

The franchise began with the film Stargate, released on 28 October 1994, by Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer and Carolco, which grossed US$197 million worldwide.

In 1997, Brad Wright and Jonathan Glassner created a television series titled Stargate SG-1 as a sequel to the film. This show was joined by Stargate Atlantis in 2004, Stargate Universe in 2009, and a prequel web series, Stargate Origins, in 2018.

Also consistent with the same story are a variety of books, video games and comic books, as well as the direct-to-DVD movies Stargate: Children of the Gods, Stargate: The Ark of Truth, and Stargate: Continuum, which concluded the first television show after 10 seasons.

In 2011, Stargate Universe, the last Stargate programme on television, ended its run. Brad Wright announced that there were no more plans to continue the same story in further productions.

In 2016, comic publisher American Mythology acquired the rights to publish new Stargate Atlantis stories set within the established franchise canon. This was expanded in 2017 to include new Stargate Universe comics as well, resolving the cliffhanger that ended the show.

The predominant story arc thus ran for more than 15 years, including 18 seasons (364 episodes) of programming, and 22 comic book issues as of January 2020. However, a variety of other media either ignore this main continuity or resets it, while maintaining essential elements that define the franchise (mainly, the inclusion of a Stargate device). These include the 2002 animated series Stargate Infinity.

In 2017, the franchise was revived with the announcement of a new prequel web series, Stargate Origins. Episodes premiered on a central “fan hub” for the franchise called Stargate Command, with a first season of ten 10-minute episodes.

Controversy

In 1996, Omar Zuhdi, a Shawnee high school teacher, won a lawsuit against the makers and originators of the original movie, claiming that they stole the plot and story of his 1984 film script Egyptscape, as the basis of the film Stargate (and thus the franchise Stargate).

Outline

Stargate productions center on the premise of a “Stargate,” a ring-shaped portal that enables rapid transportation to other stargates located cosmic distances away.

The story begins when one such device is discovered on Earth. The 1994 film and subsequent television series depict how the device is kept under the control of the United States government, who use it to conduct interplanetary missions by ‘dialling’ the thousands of stargates located in the galaxy, which are the legacy of an ancient civilisation.

The expeditions originally had the goal of acquiring extremely rare resources, new technology and detecting threats; but often face scientific and humanitarian issues and the dilemmas of interacting with different societies. Finally they resulted in a unified United Nation-coalition to better support the constant need to continue the programme to defend Earth from invading aliens.

Combined with the notion that the Stargate is a secret, Stargate productions are notable for presenting no contradiction with reality, being set in the present day on an otherwise normal Earth, and being dominated by human interaction in the galaxy. In the story of the 1994 film, this is explained as being the result of forced deportations by aliens, with the suggestion that most ancient mythologies are the result of aliens posing as gods in the distant past (as in unproven ancient astronauts).

The longest-running series, Stargate SG-1 sets the context having the Milky Way galaxy as a failed state in which Goa’uld System Lords war against each other, due to the death of Ra in the film undermining the existing social structure of the System Lords due to Ra’s status as the Supreme System Lord. Goa’uld used superior technology to pose as gods to the human populations who had been deported from Earth to everywhere in the galaxy (with evidence suggesting that most Goa’uld believe their propaganda); these people are kept in poverty, ignorance and slavery. The US Stargate Command represents simultaneously a higher level of civilisation and a lower level of technology during conflicts. Only a small portion of stargate dial numbers do not lead to planets dominated by the Goa’uld.

Stargate Films

Stargate TV Series

Stargate Documentaries Series

Production & Filming Details

  • Creator(s): Dean Devlin and Roland Emmerich.
  • Original Work: Stargate (1994).
  • Owner: Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer (MGM).
  • Release Date: 28 October 1994 (original film).
  • Country: US.
  • Language: English.

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