The whole premise of the Stargate franchise began with the feature film Stargate, released theatrically on October 28, 1994 by MGM. It was directed by Roland Emmerich, written by Emmerich and Dean Devlin and starred Kurt Russell, James Spader and Jaye Davidson.
An archaeological dig is taking place in Giza, Egypt in 1928, where Professor Paul Langford discovers an artifact, a large metal ring with symbols all along the edge with nine chevrons, that has been protected by coverstones. His young daughter Catherine acquires an amulet.
After becoming the laughing stock at one of his seminars, where he proposes unpopular theories about the building of the Egyptian Pyramids, Dr. Daniel Jackson, a radical, young, down-on-his-luck Egyptologist, is confronted by Catherine, now an old woman, about a job decoding Egyptian Hieroglyphs for the United States Air Force.
Meanwhile, Colonel Jack O'Neill has just been recalled to active service. O'Neill has recently experienced the death of his son, who accidentally killed himself with his father's gun. Consequently, O'Neill has become sullen and morose.
Predictably, thrilled at having achieved employment, Jackson travels to Colorado to accept Catherine's proposal. Inside a former nuclear missile silo, he is presented with the coverstones. He finds the translation of the hieroglyphs on the inner tract is wrong and corrects it, discovering the portion translated as "door to heaven" really reads "Stargate."
Over the course of the next two weeks, Jackson puzzles over the mysterious seven symbols in the center of the Cartouche. Due to a chance incident, he discovers that these seven symbols are not words to be translated, but star Constellations. When explaining his findings to Major General W. O. West, he states that the cartouche charts a course to a point in deep space with seven symbols—six for the destination and one for the point of origin.
West decides to show Jackson the artifact discovered in 1928—the Stargate itself. After Jackson quickly discovers which symbol on the gate is the point of origin, the gate is activated, creating a wormhole between it and another gate "on the other side of the known universe." An initial probe is sent through the gate, revealing the planet on the other side can support human life.
The military is planning on sending a reconnaissance team, headed by O'Neill, through the gate, but the symbols of the gate on the other side are different. Jackson volunteers to go along so he can realign the Stargate on the other side, so the team can return to Earth. West okays the mission and Catherine gives Jackson her amulet so he can bring it along as good luck. The team steps through the gate and comes out in an Egyptian temple of the desert planet.
However, the team is in for an unpleasant surprise when they discover Jackson doesn't know how to realign the Stargate, lacking the proper order of alignment or the planet's point of origin. Jackson believed another cartouche would be waiting right on the other side with this information, but this was not the case. Most of the men become very angry with Jackson when they discover they may not be able to return home, but unflappable O'Neill seems to accept this fate in stride and begins setting up a Mark III Nuclear warhead near the Abydos Stargate.
Meanwhile, Jackson has a run-in with a local beast of burden called a Mastadge and is dragged across the desert. The team splits up with one half, under the command of O'Neill, heading after the hapless archaeologist while the others, commanded by Lt. Louis Ferretti, stay behind at the temple. After catching up with Jackson, O'Neill and the others discover, just over a nearby hill, a group of primitive people mining Naquadah, the same mineral the Stargate is made out of.
Upon spotting Catherine's amulet, which has the Eye of Ra on it, the people immediately begin worshiping the travelers, believing they were sent by the god Ra. The people take the team to their primitive walled city, which protects them from a coming sandstorm. O'Neill's team remains at the city overnight while Ferretti's forces are forced to retreat inside the temple due to the storm. Meanwhile, Jackson is unknowingly married to Sha'uri, the daughter of their patriarchal leader Kasuf, while O'Neill befriends Kasuf's son Skaara.
In the middle of the night, an alien spacecraft lands on a pyramid behind the temple and several armored guards round up Ferretti and the rest of his team. Sha'uri, meanwhile, leads Jackson to a room filled with writings. He discovers that the people of Abydos are ruled by an alien being posing as the god Ra. Ra, he discovers, has achieved immortal life inside a human body and forces the Abydonians to mine Naquadah for his technology.
Lt. Charles Kawalsky finds another cartouche with the return coordinates in the same room. However, the seventh symbol has worn off and is now indecipherable. Convinced they will be trapped on Abydos forever, the team head back to the temple, but O'Neill and Jackson are captured and brought before Ra. Ra presents them with the bomb O'Neill planted and Jackson is horrified to discover what the colonel had been planning. O'Neill attempts to kill Ra, but he is overpowered and Jackson is killed in the struggle.
However, Jackson awakens in a Sarcophagus and encounters Ra, who tells him that he plans to send the nuclear bomb back to Earth with a dose of Naquadah, increasing its power 100-fold. Furthermore, Ra tells Jackson to kill his comrades before the Abydonians, validating Ra's position as their god. If Jackson refuses to do this, Ra will kill him, his comrades and, evidently, all the Abydonians.
At a large public event, Jackson begins to grudgingly carry out the executions. However, Skaara reveals that he and the other Abydonian children have firearms from the team. At the last moment, Jackson turns his Staff weapon on Ra and fires. The team and the kids retreat into the desert to hide from Ra. Jackson forces O'Neill to reveal his orders involving the bomb and explains Ra's plan to the others. When he finds Skaara sketching a drawing of their successful escape from Ra, Jackson discovers the point of origin for Abydos.
The Abydonian youngsters and the team advance towards the temple, but Jackson, O'Neill and Sha'uri are trapped inside. Kawalsky, Ferretti, Skaara and the others are trapped outside, where they are assaulted by two Death Gliders. Inside the temple, O'Neill sets the bomb for seven minutes. When Sha'uri is killed by a guard, Jackson uses the Transportation rings to go aboard Ra's ship and bring her back to life with the sarcophagus.
After Jackson and Sha'uri escape off Ra's ship, O'Neill attempts to disarm the bomb, but discovers that it has been rigged. Meanwhile, Kasuf leads the rest of the Abydonians down on Ra's forces and Ra, realizing the Abydonians are rebelling against him, makes his ship lift off. In an act of desperation, O'Neill and Jackson send the indisarmable bomb aboard Ra's ship with the Transportation rings. The bomb goes off, killing Ra and destroying his ship.
O'Neill and his men return to Earth, but Jackson chooses to stay behind with Sha'uri. Before O'Neill leaves, Jackson hands him Catherine's amulet and tells him to tell her that it brought him luck. O'Neill agrees and, after bidding farewell, steps through the Stargate.
1928; 5th Avenue; Abydos Mission; Abydos pyramid; Ancient Egyptian; Cartouche; Cat; Cheops class warship; Chevron; Chicken; Cigarette; Coffee; Common cold; Constellation; Coverstone; Creek Mountain; Cuneiform; Dialing computer; Egypt; Egyptologist; Event horizon; Famrir; F.R.E.D.; Giza; Glasses; Glyph; Great Pyramids; H&K MP5A3 submachine gun; Hieroglyphs; Khufu; Kaliam; Kara kesh; Mark III; Marriage; Mastadge; Matter stream; Middle East; Nagada; Naquadah; Nile; Nuclear warhead; Park Plaza Hotel; Point of origin; Pyramid; Ra's cat; Ra's Mask; Staff weapon; Sandstorm; Sarcophagus; Sphinx; Sunblock; Transportation rings; Tut; Udajeet; Colonel Vyse
Catherine: Why are you here, Colonel?
O'Neill: I'm here in case you succeed.
West: So you think you've solved in two weeks what they couldn't solve in two years?
O'Neill: Your job here is to realign the Stargate. Can you do that or not?
Jackson: I can't.
O'Neill: You can't or you won't?
Jackson: I can decipher the symbols on the Stargate but I need an order of alignment. Those coordinates were marked on tablets back on Earth, there's must be something like that here. I just need to find it.
(O'Neill walks away, visibly upset)
Kawalsky: "Find it"? What do you mean "find it"? You didn't say about finding anything.
Jackson: Well, I assumed the tablet would be here, right here.
O'Neill: You assumed?
Kawalsky: YOU'RE A LYING SON OF A BITCH! (knocks Daniel over) YOU DIDN'T SAY A WORD ABOUT FINDING ANYTHING!
O'Neill: Kawalsky, set up a base camp down here. Organize our supplies.
O'Neill: You've got your orders.
O'Neill: I'm on Planet 'X' lookin' for a dweeb who wears green fatigues. He wears glasses.
(puts his hands around his eyes)
O'Neill: He has long hair.
(puts his hand to his head and brings it down)
O'Neill: And he...
(pretends to sneeze)
(clucks like a chicken)
O'Neill: Chicken. Chicken! Yes, Chicken Man!
Jackson He's leaving, turn it off!
O'Neill: I'm trying to, I can't disarm it.
O'Neill: I can't stop it, they got it rigged!
(The room shakes and O'Neil and Daniel suddenly look at each other, Anubis' ring control and back at each other)
O'Neill and Daniel: I've got an idea!
O'Neill: Give my regards to King Tut, asshole.
O'Neill: I'll be seeing you around... Doctor Jackson.
The "Ultimate Edition" DVDEdit
Scenes added to the "Ultimate Edition" DVD:
- The film opens on Earth in 8000 BC and shows Ra being taken from his village, before fading to the original opening at Giza in 1928. This scene was cut from the theatrical release and instead added into the scene where Dr. Daniel Jackson explains how Ra found Earth and took over a human body. In the "Ultimate Edition" DVD, footage from this scene is used twice.
- In the scene at Giza, fossils of two guards that presumably attempted to come through the gate after it was buried are found in the rock beneath the exhumed Stargate.
- Later, Major General West and Colonel O'Neill view the fossils from Giza in a secret chamber at the Stargate base, and talk about how the potential presence of these unidentified creatures "complicates things". O'Neill then reminds West that that is why he is going on the mission, because they have "opened a doorway to a world we know nothing about".
- On Abydos, an added scene shows Lt. Kawalsky and the other soldiers attempting to contact Earth via radio, with no success.
- When the gates to Nagada are sealed, O'Neill and his men attempt to leave, starting a fight with the locals when they attempt to stop them. Daniel, Kasuf and Skaara manage to calm the situation down. Skaara then takes On'Neill onto the walls and shows him the approaching sandstorm, after which O'Neill tells his men that they will be staying.
- At the pyramid, Lt. Ferretti and the other soldiers discuss how the sandstorm is unlike any they have ever seen on Earth.
- Daniel follows the young boy inside Ra's ship and witnesses Ra getting dressed.
- The first battle at the pyramid is slightly extended at the end, and afterwards we see the survivors attempting to flee through the night and struggling against another sandstorm.
- A brief shot while the team is holed up in the caves shows one of them feeding the Mastadge.
- Stargate began as two separate films that Roland Emmerich and Dean Devlin conceived separately. Emmerich's film, Necropol: City of the Dead, was about a space ship being buried under the Great Pyramid of Egypt and Devlin's unnamed film was to be, in his words, "Lawrence of Arabia on another planet." The two films were combined to become Stargate.
- No Dial Home Device is ever shown in the film, making it unclear how Dr. Daniel Jackson managed to redial the gate. This issue is apparently solved in the novelization of the movie, written by Dean Devlin & Roland Emmerich. In this book, the inner circle of the Stargate device is described as freely slid by hand. In fact, the novelization implies that all the dialing computer at SGC does is to mechanically slide the inner circle by means of two rubber wheels clamped to the lower side Stargate device, and complement the operation with exclusively passive sensor data (radiation readings, etc.), meaning that no real data interface is present between the computer and the Stargate device.
- The notion humans originated from Earth and were taken to other planets as slaves by Ra is a bit of ironic humor, as in reality Western anthropologists believe that humans originated in Africa, and it was in fact people from Western nations (Americans particularly) who took people from Africa as slaves.
- Though it is heavily implied, the film, contrary to popular belief, never actually states that Ra was the last of his race or that he built the Stargates.
- Ra seems to be certain what world the travelers had come from, which is based on the fact that, in the film, the Stargate only went to one planet. However, it is possible that he could have determined it through torturing the captives.
- When the team enters the gate on Earth, the blast doors are closed over the control room in the shots in the gate room, but in cutaway shots of the control room, the blast doors are open.
- The stars in constellations only appear to be close to each from the point of view of Earth, so a constellation cannot be considered a single "point" in space. But it's possible, that the points in space are only fictive points for calculation and the constellation-symbols only represents the part of the sky, where the point is located.
- The subtitles contain some grammatical errors. For example, "God" is capitalized when it's not being used as a proper noun, and, when Ra explains how his minerals will "increase your weapon's destructive power," there is no apostrophe in "weapons" making it plural rather than possessive. The latter was corrected in the "ultimate edition" DVD.
- In the opening scene with the discovery of the gate in 1928, the language spoken is actually Swedish, though with a rather mediocre pronunciation.
- In a bit of irony, one man at Jackson's lecture jokingly speculates that men from Atlantis built the pyramids. Though false, Atlantis would later become the center for Stargate: Atlantis and the 'men from Atlantis' were determined to have built the Stargate.
- Stargate has the distinction of being the first film to have an official website.
- In the Stargate movie, the base where the Stargate was located was Creek Mountain, Colorado. It is possible they are one and the same place but the name changed between the movie and SG-1.
- Dean Devlin stated during the audio commentary of Stargate Ultimate Edition that the Stargate had to be repainted a few times.
- "Originally, the Stargate was painted black, and it looked like a giant tire. So we had to have it repainted at the last moment."
- —Dean Devlin
- In an alternate reality visited by Daniel Jackson in "There But for the Grace of God", Jack O'Neill likewise led the first mission through the Stargate to Abydos with the intention of detonating a nuclear warhead. However, the Daniel Jackson of that reality was not involved in the mission. As with his counterpart in the prime reality, O'Neill was willing to commit suicide following the recent death of his son Charlie O'Neill. Ra was likewise killed during the mission, though it is unclear if his death occurred under the same circumstances as in our reality. Ra's death indicated to the Goa'uld that the Tau'ri were a significant threat to them, resulting in Apophis' devastating attack on Earth in 1998. In another alternate reality featured in "Point of View", it was Doctor Samantha Carter rather than Daniel who figured how to activate the Stargate.
- When the team leaves the Abydos' pyramid, Dr. Daniel Jackson states that the pyramid is identical to the Great Pyramids, which is not true, mainly because of the pyramid's temple (in the movie is like the Karnak temple pilon and, actually, the real pyramid has a squared shaped temple) and the pyramid's interior, again, completely different.
- Kawalsky's rank insignia is 'Lieutenant Colonel' when he is referred to as 'Lieutenant' throughout the film.
- Feretti is listed as Lieutenant in the credits, but wears a uniform with the stripes of a Technical Sergeant. This can be very clearly seen at 1:10:09 of the Ultimate edition, just before the Sarcophagus opens.
- The camera crew is clearly visible reflected in the dark sunglasses Colonel Jack O'Neill and the rest of the team wear in the beginning of the movie. This is most noticeable in the Blu-ray release of the movie due to the higher resolution video.
- Shadow sizes and directions vary in the desert scenes.
- You can see Kurt Russell's shirt is already cut before the guard scratches him on the back in the last fight scene.
- When Jackson and his team first enter the city, his pendant is tucked under his shirt, but in the next shot out of his shirt, then in the next shot, tucked back into his shirt.
- As O'Neill tries to defuse the nuclear warhead, Jackson's mouth doesn't move when he asks "How much time do we have left?" and O'Neill's doesn't move when he answers "forty-five seconds."
- In the first attack on the village, after Kasuf is knocked down by an explosion, a ship swoops down from the sky and the model's cables and guide wires can be seen.
- The pace at which the bomb's timer ticks down changes several times.
- When Jackson and O'Neill are brought before Ra and the guards knock them to their knees, the guard that "hits" O'Neill completely misses his knee and he does not fall until the Staff weapon is already past his knee.
- When the Transportation rings are coming down on the last warrior and Ra screams, his fillings are visible.
- When Jackson first picks up the dead Sha'uri, her legs are exposed. A brief moment later, they are covered.
- When O'Neill arms the bomb, he flips the toggle switch up from its downward position. Later, when he tries to disarm the device, the switch is down again and he once more flips it up. The bomb's switch could have been broken or designed to return to that position.
- When the team first exits the pyramid, Jackson presses his hands against the "solid" stone wall as if testing it for stability. The wall can be seen moving when Jackson presses it.
- During the desert battles, crowds of immobile mannequins are visible in the background.
- When O'Neil kills one of the guards in front of Kasuf, the guard had previously been beating the workers with his staff. Although the staff is shown to be rigid in battle scenes, here it wiggles and recoils after striking the worker, obviously made of rubber so as not to injure the actor playing the worker.
- When Jackson is explaining the six point theory on the white-board, the shape of the cube and the six points vary noticeably between shots.
- When Jackson and company encounter the guards in the pyramid, he is not wearing his glasses, however, in the next shot after the guard shoots at the others outside, we see Dr. Jackson with his glasses on.
- When O'Neill is thrown into the watery prison cell, the second-in-command's dog tag jumps about between shots.
- When Jackson reaches the other end of the Stargate for the first time, his face is all sweaty. In the next shot his face is completely dry.
- Right before the team goes into the Stargate for the first time, Catherine Langford gives her necklace to Jackson. Shortly after, there is a shot of Catherine watching them go, and you can clearly see the necklace still around her neck.
- The three "moons of Abydos" seen above the pyramid are obviously images of Earth's moon, merely re-sized and rotated relative to each other.
- The symbol for Orion that Jackson identifies using the newspaper changes. In earlier shots it does not look like the symbol Jackson draws but when he goes over to the cover stone to compare the symbols they suddenly match. (Orion's arm and bow appear to make the symbol easier to recognize).
- It is clear that the cat's mouth does not move the last time the cat meows on-screen.
- When the team first gets to the village from the mine camp, Lt. Brown takes a picture of the town. If you look closely, you can see that the shutter on the camera is still closed.
- In the opening scene, depicting a car from the 1920s, the sound effect of the horn is obviously of a dual-note horn from a modern car.
- The candy bar that Jackson gives to the village leader isn't melted but still crunchy even after hours spent in the desert in his shirt pocket and being dragged through the sand by the yak-like creature.
- When Ra looks out into the desert and states "The caravan is coming", we see the caravan moving in the distance, approaching the two obelisks near the pyramid. The shadow of the obelisks is at about 10 o'clock (with the caravan at 12). The scene then shifts momentarily to seeing the caravan approaching the obelisks from much closer to the obelisks. The shadow of the obelisks now point down, towards 7 o'clock.
- Jackson at one point refers to the writing as "hieroglyphics," which no self-respecting Egyptologist would ever do. "Hieroglyphic" is an adjective. An Egyptologist would call the writing either "hieroglyphs" or "hieroglyphic writing."
- When one of the recon team are first dragged before Ra's Sarcophagus, just as the two servant guards kneel, it can be seen that the rectangular section is open on the sarcophagus.
- When the villagers assist in the Earth group's break for freedom, they seem to have quickly gained an understanding of how sub-machine guns are operated, without anyone's help. While the principle of "point and pull the trigger" is pretty obvious and could quickly be discovered, there is the issue of the safety catch, which would no doubt have been enabled while the weapons were stored. Linked to that, it would appear that O'Neill's soldiers all stored their weapons with the magazines inserted and the guns cocked - something no soldier with any sense would do with a weapon being transported. However, Kawalsky had to get a gun from a storage box, load and cock it despite the fact that they were already loaded and cocked in the cases.
- When Jackson's suitcase is thrown down the hill near the pyramid, the contents are on the ground, but the suitcase clearly has not been opened.
- When Jackson enters the lab with the cover stones, he is carrying his luggage. In the next shot of him, his luggage is nowhere to be found.
- The movie uses the Eye of Horus symbol (which is a left eye, representing the moon), and continually refers to it as the Eye of Ra (which is a right eye, representing the sun).
- When Daniel first sees the newspaper image of Orion, the heading is "Orion Upclose", and the back page has a heading "Ancient Mystic Predicts Death of Trees Eminent". Up close is two words and Imminent would seem a more appropriate word than Eminent.
- Won Saturn Award for "Best Science Fiction Film"
- Won BMI Film Music Award (David Arnold)
- Won Golden Screen
- Won Universe Reader's Choice Award for "Best Science Fiction Film"
- Won Universe Reader's Choice Award for "Best Special Effects in a Genre Motion Picture" (Jeffrey A. Okun)
- Won Universe Reader's Choice Award for "Best Supporting Actress in a Genre Motion Picture" (Mili Avital)
- Nominated for Saturn Award for "Best Costumes" (Joseph Porro)
- Nominated for Saturn Award for "Best Special Effects" (Jeffrey A. Okun and Patrick Tatopoulos)
- Nominated for International Fantasy Film Award for "Best Film" (Roland Emmerich)
- Nominated for Hugo for "Best Dramatic Presentation"
The original movie had different actors playing some of the key roles than in the later series as well as some characters who never appeared in the series.
The following credits are incomplete.
Casting by April Webster, C.S.A.
Music by David Arnold
Digital and visual effects supervisor: Jeffrey A. Okun
Special creature effects created by Patrick Tatopoulos
Costume designer: Joseph Porro
Edited by Michael J. Duthie and Derek Brechin
Production designer: Holger Gross
Director of photography: Karl Walter Lindenlaub, BVK
Co-Producer: Ute Emmerich
Executive Producer: Mario Kassar
Written by Dean Devlin & Roland Emmerich
Produced by Joel B. Michaels, Oliver Eberle, Dean Devlin
Directed by Roland Emmerich
Unit Production Manager: Donald Heitzer and Ramsey Thomas
First Assistant Director: Steve Love
Second Assistant Director: Kim Winther
Associate Producer: Peter Winther
Visual Effects Supervisor: Kit West
Digital Visual Effects Producers: Jeffrey A. Diamond and Michael Van Himbergen
Conceptual Design Oliver Scholl
Stunt Coordinator: Andy Armstrong
- Main article: Stargate: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack
The Stargate: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack was released on November 8, 1994.
- ↑ Dean Devlin & Roland Emmerich, Stargate (Signet, 1994 ISBN: 0-451-18410-6), 266 Image
- ↑ Ibid., at 64 Image
- ↑ 3.0 3.1 Jack O'Neill's name is spelled with only one "L" in the original movie, but with two in the series. Also, his wife's name is spelled without an "H" in the series.
- ↑ 4.0 4.1 Although two of Ra's guards are credited as "Anubis" and "Horus" (referring to their helmets which are in those shapes), when brought into the continuity of Stargate SG-1, they are really Jaffa guards and not as credited.
- ↑ Louis Ferretti's name is spelled with one "R" in the movie, but two in the series.
- Stargate canon, for discussion of the inconsistencies between the original movie and the ensuing series.