Follow TV Tropes


Film / Stargate

Go To
An adventure across the universe.

"It's not 'Door to Heaven', it's... 'His Stargate'."
Dr. Daniel Jackson, doing a Conveniently Precise Translation of Egyptian hieroglyphs

An action-adventure film, released in 1994, that later bloomed into the Stargate-verse.

In 1928, a strange circular device is uncovered in Egypt. Cut to the present day, where it somehow ended up in possession of the United States military. With the mind of the unorthodox, absent-minded archaeologist and linguist Daniel Jackson (James Spader), they manage to figure out how to use that ancient device. What they learn is that this "Stargate" opens a wormhole, leading to a desert planet.

A recon team led by Colonel Jack O'Neil (Kurt Russell), and with Jackson along to reopen the gate from the other side, finds an Egyptian-style pyramid and primitive human society. While Jackson is struggling to identify the correct symbols to get the team back to Earth, the Sufficiently Advanced Alien Ra (supposedly the same entity as the Egyptian god of the sun) appears on a humongous pyramid-like starship, using the alien pyramid as a landing pad. Declaring his intentions to eliminate the Eartheans, it forces the team to cooperate with the natives to free them from Ra's tyrannical control.

Originally, two feature film sequels were planned, but they were scrapped by director Roland Emmerich and producer Dean Devlin in favor of Independence Day. A lot of back story was written for the movie and the supposed sequels, which was eventually released in the form of several tie-in novels. However, when the sequel series Stargate SG-1 was handed to Jonathan Glassner and Brad Wright, the new producers threw out most of this behind-the-scenes backstory, while keeping the majority of the actual on-screen Canon intact.

The TV series it spawned was very popular and went on for 10 seasons — it is the third-longest-running scifi seriesnote  after Doctor Who and Smallville. The planet where this movie takes place was named "Abydos" in the series and other material, so if you are new to this movie and haven't seen the series and you see that name listed on this page or a subpage, it means the planet in this movie.

This film also has significance in that it was the first movie to get its own promotional website.

This movie provides examples of:

  • Activation Sequence: When the Stargate is first activated, the activation of the chevrons is specifically shown, and when Daniel figures out the final one we are treated to the glowing water of an active Stargate for the first time.
  • Absent-Minded Professor: Daniel.
  • Accidental Marriage: Sha'uri is given as a gift to Daniel. After he turns her down sexually, he thinks this is the end of it. Once he knows their language though, he hears Skaara refer to him as her husband and finally puts two and two together.
  • Agent Peacock: Ra's host is rather effeminate — although Ra himself is just hitching a ride.
  • Aliens Speaking English: Notably averted — the only time in the entire Stargate franchise (at least until Stargate Universe) that this trope is not in effect — with Ra and the local humans speaking an Ancient Egyptian dialect throughout the film. Interestingly, the language isn't subtitled until Daniel learns how to speak it.
  • All Animals Are Dogs: The Mastadges. Oddly enough, the one that dragged Daniel through the sand was actually played by a dog in that shot.
  • Ambiguous Gender: Ra's true form isn't human, and Ra's gender is unknown. Jaye Davidson was cast to provide the ambiguity.
  • Ancient Astronauts: Ra was an extraterrestrial interplanetary explorer. He also built the Pyramids to be landing platforms for his spaceship, while possessing a human body to serve as his host (humans, it seems, are easily repaired by his medicine). Other humans were enslaved to mine the mineral used for his technology.
  • And Starring: "And Jaye Davidson" (as Ra).
  • Artistic License – History: Naturally, even aside from the aliens, the film premise depends on this. Jackson claims the Pyramids are much older than Egyptologists have found them to be, the evidence for them being made for the Pharoahs was forged and that Egyptian culture sprang up without precursors. Obviously this is not supported by the real evidence for this. The film itself portrays Jackson's theories as laughed at, though naturally he turns out to be right nonetheless. He is genuinely correct that Budge has long been debunked however. Hilariously though, while this is clearly fictional, it has precedence in Egyptian history. Countless pharaohs actively rewrote their own history to take credit for past events now attributed to their predecessors. The best case is Ramses the Second (Ozymandius for those familiar with Percy Shelley) whose countless achievements were either claimed by other pharaohs either claiming to have accomplished them or have simply been Ramses.
  • Artistic License – Linguistics: Realistically the Abydonian language would've evolved far more dramatically in the ten thousand years since they were last on Earth, to the point where it would sound nothing like Ancient Egyptian. For example, just going back one thousand years we have Old English, which sounds nothing like Modern English.
  • Artistic License – Military: While the film's treatment of the military is far from accurate or flattering in general, there is one military error that could have been corrected by anyone with a little military experience. At one point O'Neil calls Kawalski, his second in command, "Lieutenant". Not only that, he's credited as "Lieutenant Kawalski" in the credits. The problem is that his rank insignia are a pair of silver oak leaves, which he wears throughout the entire movie in plain sight. Those silver oak leaves mark him as a Lieutenant Colonel, a considerably higher rank than Lieutenant. Possibly filmmakers Emmerich and Devlin were simply unaware that you don't call a Lieutenant Colonel "Lieutenant" unless you want him very, very, angry at you. If you don't want to use his entire rank (and have enough standing yourself that you even get to decide that), you'd call him "Colonel." Alternately, they enforced the trope after finding that using the full title in dialogue was unwieldy, but using the shortened form was deemed confusing for audiences. "Demoting" Kawalski to Major would have resolved this, but it may have been that the costumes had already been made by that point. Most likely, Kawalski was always intended to be a lieutenant, and the mistake was in making the costume; it would be odd to have two command-level officers on such a small team.
  • Artistic License – Space:
    • Not only are the three moons too close to the planet, but they look exactly like our moon.
    • They're also all in alignment (all on the same side of the planet at once) — the tidal forces on that planet would be insane.
    • You can't — or at least shouldn't — use constellations for coordinates for a transportation system that can exist for thousands of years. Stars move, just not much during our own lifetimes.
    • While we're on the subject, constellations are not "points in space" as Daniel Jackson claims. If anything, they are directions in space, from Earth, and there's no real way to turn six directions into a point in 3-dimensional space.
    • The TV series uses this as a Hand Wave to explain why they never found any other gates until they thought to make the dialing computer take stellar drift into account. Apparently the DHD network as shown in the series does this automatically, so the symbols wind up being more like a phone number than coordinates.
    • Most galaxies don't have names — and certainly not ones "on the other side of the known universe".
    • The clear "map" they have the tracker move across when they open the Stargate makes no sense at all — the first issue of all being that it is 2-dimensional.
  • Author Tract: The writer really was into the whole "aliens built the pyramids" theory, so the whole movie could be seen as a theory about how and why.
  • Back from the Dead: Ra has a kind of medical "coffin" capable of reviving people who are recently deceased (and presumably it's also the source of his immortality, as he's been alive for over ten thousand years).
  • Background Halo: Ra invokes this trope with a classical Sun Disk carried on his shoulders.
  • Badass Bookworm: Daniel Jackson. Within a few months of work he decrypts the true meaning of the inscription he's working on (despite being purposefully kept out of loop), then manages to crack a dead language with a few hours of coordinated effort. He also is a surprisingly effective combatant for a Non-Action Guy.
  • Bad Boss: Ra does not tolerate failure from his subordinates - fatally so.
  • Beard of Sorrow: It's downplayed, but when the military visits O'Neil at his home, he's unshaven and contemplating suicide over the death of his son. He shaves and cuts his hair by the time we next see him.
  • Berserk Button: To O'Neil, untrained kids handling firearms. Understandably.
  • Big Bad: Ra, an Ancient Astronaut using his advanced knowledge to enslave two planets, putting on a God Guise and ruling his subjects with an iron fist. Any sign of opposition is resolved by killing scores of people. His reaction after finding out how far Earth went on its own? Trying to nuke it out of oblivion simply because.
  • Black Dude Dies First: It takes a surprisingly long time for the bodies to start dropping, but the first one to die onscreen is Lt. Brown.
  • Blatant Lies:
    Officer: Once on the other side, you would have to decipher the markings on their gate and in essence, dial home in order to bring the team back.
    General West: Based on this new information, I don't see how we could do that.
    Jackson: Well, I could do that.
    General West: Are you sure?
    Jackson: Positive.
  • Bold Explorer: The recon team sent through to explore the worlds on the other side of the Stargate.
  • Book Burning: Implied in the backstory. Ra banned literacy on Abydos to prevent its inhabitants from rebelling as their Tau'ri brethren had. The Abydonians manage to keep secret knowledge of hieroglyphics, however.
  • Brand X: In the film, the gate is located inside a Cheyenne Mountain analogue. SG-1 ironically Retconned it to actually be Cheyenne Mountain.
  • Chekhov's Gift: The lighter. There is a reflection when he gets it, and later they reflect the sunlight to let Daniel know they have a plan.
  • Chekhov's Gun:
    • Two of them — the pendant and the bomb.
    • The pyramid with the three moons over it turns out to be exactly the symbol Daniel is looking for.
  • Children as Pawns: When Colonel O'Neill manages to seize a staff weapon and turn on Ra, he's unable to take the shot, because Ra has surrounded himself with children who worship him and would gladly die for him.
  • Collapsible Helmet: One of the most iconic examples, with the scene where the Horus Guards, Anubis and Ra reveal their faces.
  • Constellations as Locations: Played With. The titular gate uses constellations as reference points for a three-dimensional coordinate system (six constellations, one for each side of a cube, plus one non-constellation symbol for the starting point). The gate on Abydos has completely different constellations though, and Daniel has to find the coordinates for Earth for the expedition to go home. Stargate SG-1 and subsequent TV series quickly discard the "unique constellations" aspect and treat the symbols on the gates as a simple entry code for different planets, with extragalactic travel using seven constellation symbols and a point of origin (and extra power).
  • Conveniently Close Planet:
    • Averted in the movie — the Earth-like planet is in a completely different galaxy.
    • Played straight in the TV series — the location was Retconned to within our galaxy, and the closest planet to Earth with a Stargate.
  • Cool Old Lady: Catherine Langford. Starting out as a little girl very interested in her father's Egyptian archaeology, she educates herself thoroughly on the subject as she grows up, and earns plenty of money, all so she can get her hands on the Stargate and solve the mystery her father never could. She rescues Daniel when it looks like his career has been torpedoed and convinces him to join her team. And when the military take over the expedition, she is quite ready and willing to stand up to them, even the general.
  • The Cuckoolander Was Right: Daniel Jackson is first showing being laughed at and his audience walking out when he completely rejects the Egyptological consensus on the origin and antiquity of ancient Egyptian culture during a lecture. It is heavily implied that he's living on the cusp of poverty due to his eccentric theories (it's most probably because he can't get a good academic job). When he travels to the other planet and sees the pyramid, he sighs "I knew it", his theories fully vindicated (although even he didn't explicitly claim aliens were behind ancient Egypt).
  • Culture Police: Written language has been banned on Abydos for millennia (though there is a wall of hieroglyphics that's somehow survived for all this time), and when Daniel Jackson tries to write something to communicate with the locals, the person he's writing to immediately erases it in fear. In-universe, this is explained as Ra not wanting them to learn about and follow the examples of those who rebelled against the Go'auld on Earth.
  • Cunning Linguist: Daniel Jackson.
    • Played for Laughs when the team first meets the people of Abydos and O'Neil tells him to communicate with them. All Jackson can manage is a nervous "Hi" before the natives see his Ra amulet and assume he's an emissary. Later on it's played completely straight where he learns their language in less than a day with some help from Sha'uri.
      • He does note, however, that he can only learn it so fast because he can already speak ancient Egyptian. On Earth it hasn't been a living spoken language in millennia, as Daniel notes, and at first he doesn't realize they're even speaking Egyptian until he hears some words that sound similar. At this point he merely has to learn where Sha'uri's people's dialect diverged in pronunciation from the ancient form, rather than learning the whole language from nothing. This would be equivalent to only reading Shakespeare, then learning modern English soon after first hearing it.
      • Of course, it's all Artistic License – Linguistics anyway. As mentioned earlier, it hasn't been a spoken language for millennia. Even the languages it evolved into (Middle Egyptian, Demotic, and Coptic) have been extinct for centuries. We can barely hazard a guess at any pronunciation filtered through multiple different languages and even then only with certain letters. And the language spoken by the Abydosians would be evolved over thousands of years from ancient Egyptian.
  • Curiosity Killed the Cast: While his kin panicked and fled the approach of Ra's arrival, the human boy whose body the false god would come to possess went in the opposite direction, right towards his doom.
  • Cynicism Catalyst: Colonel O'Neil originally left the military and went basket case because his son accidentally killed himself with O'Neil's own gun. He only joins the mission to the alien planet (from which there is little chance of returning) because he's downright suicidal, and it was a suicide mission for him.
  • Darkened Building Shootout: That building being the temple of the Stargate.
  • Deadly Dust Storm: As the team is spending their first night on Abydos, a large sandstorm comes up, forcing those not at the village to take shelter in the pyramid where the Stargate is. And then Ra shows up.
  • Death of a Child: Used as the backstory; O'Neil's son died of a fatal gunshot wound suffered because he was playing around with O'Neil's service pistol.
  • Death Seeker: Jack O'Neil, after his son accidentally shot himself. He agreed to go with the team because it was a suicide mission for him, though he changes over the course of the film.
    Daniel: You had accepted the fact that no matter what happened, you would not be going home? Don't you have people who care about you? Do you have a family?
    Jack: I had a family. No one should ever have to outlive their own child.
    Daniel: I don't want to die. Your men don't want to die, and these people here don't want to die. It's a shame you're in such a hurry to.
  • Deus ex Nukina: O'Neil reveals that he has orders to use a nuclear weapon on the Stargate should they find anything that might not be friendly on Abydos. The weapon is then captured by Ra, who intends to arm it and send it back through the gate to Earth with a shipment of Naquadah (called "Stargate material" here), which would increase its destructive potential a hundredfold. During the climax, the newly-enriched bomb is beamed aboard Ra's ship.
  • Didn't Think This Through:
    • Daniel just assumed the cover stone with the symbols needed to dial the Stargate back to Earth would be nearby when they came through (in fairness, the symbols used to dial Abydos were conveniently with the Stargate on Earth). He also didn't know what the seventh chevron (the point of origin) was going to be (see also Idiot Ball). The fact that he didn't tell anyone this really pisses off the guys he came with.
    • The military didn't really give Daniel time to think this through, using Conflict Ball. They pressure him into a snap judgement, merely asking if he can get them back despite the fact that he knows as exactly as much about the destination as the military does — practically nothing. Of course if they would have thought this through the movie would be lacking, and Tropes Are Tools.
    • Ra didn't think to block or deactivate his teleporter rings, which allows Daniel and Jack to teleport the Naquadah-enriched bomb onto his ship, killing him.
  • Distant Prologue:
    • The movie begins in 1928, where a team of archaeologists and workers uncover the gate.
    • Exaggerated in the Extended Cut which shows Ra's pyramid-ship showing up on Earth for the first time thousands of years ago.
  • The Dragon: Anubis holds the most authority out of Ra's guards, and goes toe to toe in a fight against O'Neil in the climax.
  • Dramatic Alien VTOL: When Ra's ship descends on the pyramid.
  • Dramatic Gun Cock: There's a LOT of this going on, especially for elite military men, and often with weapons that were already fully loaded and chambered (in the first encounter with the Anubis guards under the temple, the same guns get cocked over, and over, and over).
  • Early-Installment Weirdness: To the TV series. In the movie, Abydos is clear in another galaxy. In the show, it's so close to Earth that it's one of only two planets shown that can be reached through the Stargate without compensating for stellar drift.
  • Empty Quiver: Ra plans to send the nuke back through the Stargate.
  • Energy Weapons: The staff weapons of Ra's personal guard.
  • Engaging Chevrons: The Trope Namer, although not an example in this film (it was the TV series that did it). invoked
  • Enhance Button: After the probe is sent through the gate, they need to get a better look at the images it recorded, involving multiple sweeps with sharpening software.
  • "Eureka!" Moment: Daniel finally figures out that the symbols aren't hieroglyphs, but star constellations, when he sees a picture of Orion on a guard's newspaper and recognizes the shape as one of the symbols.
  • Everything in Space Is a Galaxy: Gate coordinates are defined by constellations, and yet the world of Abydos lies in the Kaliem galaxy. This was later retconned by the TV series to be within the Milky Way, where it handled the distances involved much better.
  • Evil Sounds Deep: Ra especially, but his guards are also in the James Earl Jones vocal range. The TV series would later reveal that members of Ra's species are capable of speaking in their human host's normal voice, but typically choose to use this deeper voice in order to intimidate both their enemies and their own human slaves.
  • Floating Head Syndrome: See the poster on this page.
  • Give My Regards in the Next World:
    Jack: Give my regards to King Tut, asshole! (portal cut)
  • Glowing Eyes of Doom: Ra, often.
  • God-Emperor/God Guise: Ra uses alien technologies to pose as one. The Abydosians believe it to be true, but the humans from Earth aren't fooled for even a second.
  • Grand Theft Me: Ra, as a dying alien, stole a human's body to achieve immortality via his technology.
  • The Greys: Ra's true form is depicted as such in Stargate. The official explanation from the Stargate SG-1 showrunners via the Stargate RPG is that the Goa'uld calling itself Ra was inhabiting an Asgard prior to taking over a human host.
  • Hoist by His Own Petard: Attempted by Ra, who plans to use Earth's own nuke against us. Actually pulled off by the heroes, who use the teleport rings and Anubis's controller to give it back to him, seconds from detonation.
  • Humans Advance Swiftly:
    • While Ra's been living the same lifestyle for thousands of years, Humans have been busy.
    • Averted by the Abydosians, who have been purposefully halted in their technological development by Ra to prevent them from deducing his status as a fake god and revolting against him.
  • Humans Are White: Strongly averted. The Abydosians are all clearly of non-white descent, which is really the only way it would make sense given that Egypt was where Ra got them from (although the actors' ethnicities aren't Egyptian, ranging from black to Indian, though in fairness ancient Egyptians likely had varied looks, including red hair).
  • I Was Just Joking: Meta-example: Jaye Davidson did not want to act again after The Crying Game, so he demanded a million-dollar salary, thinking it would be unreasonable. He got it.
  • Idiot Ball:
    • The Stargate program only calls Jackson because evidently no one there knows how to use brute-force methodology. They had the first six symbols already. It literally should have taken them less than a day to try out all the combinations and establish a lock. They repeat this error later in the film, in which Daniel finds that the seventh symbol has been worn off and needs to figure out through alternate means (admittedly, that method would be difficult under pressure from Ra's forces).
    • Knowing how Daniel identifies the 7th symbol on Earth, (recognizing it as a pyramid with the sun over it), finding which of the symbols on Abydos is the 7th one should be easy - it's also a pyramid, this time with the planet's three moons. In fact it should be even simpler for Daniel as this symbol actually has the vertical line from the apex of the pyramid to the top moon, which Daniel expected to see between the Sun and the Pyramid on Earth's gate.
    • As Siskel & Ebert point out in their review, the leaders of the Stargate program take Daniel at his word that he can bring them back...without asking him how. So of course, once on the other side, when they ask Daniel to take them back, he says he can't because they don't have the coordinate symbols and that he just assumed they'd be there.
  • Imported Alien Phlebotinum: The Stargate.
  • Improvised Weapon: O'Neil uses the Ring transporter to kill Anubis.
  • It Won't Turn Off: In the climax of Jack tries to deactivate the nuke he brought in secret on the other side of the gate just in case. The timer doesn't stop. He takes out the arming device... and the clock is still ticking down. Ra, tempering prior with the nuke to send it back to Earth, rigged in such a way it can't be disarmed, or at least not within the 6 minutes they have left. The bomb is ultimately send via the ring teleporter to Ra's ship, as he's flying away from Abydos.
  • Jerkass Has a Point: Jackson and Kawalski both call out O’Neil for bringing a nuclear device with him and not telling them about it, but Jack counters it was a precaution against a hostile force trying to use the Stargate to get at Earth (which is precisely what happens). He also tells them that none of it would matter if Jackson was able to get them back like he told them he could.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Jack O'Neil is a right ass for most of the movie, but it's only because his son died.
  • Language Barrier: The Tau'ri Stargate team is unable to communicate with the Abydonians due to them speaking a derivative of Ancient Egyptian, whose script is known but not its pronunciation. Daniel Jackson is quickly able to learn the language after discovering a wall of hieroglyphics and having Sha'uri walk him through the pronunciation.
  • Last of His Kind: Ra, supposedly. Not so much in the series.
  • Leaving Audience: The audience at Daniel's lecture laughs at him and walks out after he admits that even though he is certain that the 4th Dynasty Egyptians did not build the pyramids, he has no ready explanation as to who did. He wasn't aware they've all left and thought it was lunch time.
  • Let's Get Dangerous!: Daniel acquits himself pretty well in combat, especially when he turns the weapon meant for executing his team on Ra and his guards, allowing him and the team, save for Freeman, to escape back to the village.
  • Lost Colony: The humans were originally transported from Earth by Ra.
  • Lost Language: The Abydonians speak an Ancient Egyptian dialect, and Daniel Jackson, being an Egyptologist, is able to communicate with them once he figures out the pronunciation.
  • Magic Countdown: In SPADES. As O'Neil tries to disarm the nuke, the timer has 45 seconds left to detonation. Then the villagers arrive on the horizon, charge the pyramid/temple complex, and defeat the 2 Horus guards outside. Ra witnesses this and decides that it is time to beat a retreat, possibly also realizing that the nuke has not been sent through the Stargate to Earth anyway and therefore will wipe out his pesky opponents for him, along with him if he sticks around (a moment of Fridge Logic there, but what the hell). Ra puts the sunroof up on the pyramid ship, takes off, and manages to achieve AT LEAST a low orbit by the time Jackson and O'Neil use his portal to send the nuke from the temple to the ship above. When the nuke arrives, there are still 6 seconds left on the timer. This must be the longest 39 seconds in film history. The brilliant bit is, everything moves so fast that the audience doesn't have time to question what point the countdown must be at — we are just rooting for the heroes to beat the clock!
  • Mistaken for Special Guest: The team is mistaken for Ra's emissaries because of Daniel's pendant.
  • Mysterious Benefactor: Catherine Langford is this to Daniel—sending a car to fetch him right when he needs it (humiliated, in the rain), summoning him to her darkened apartment, and offering him a job translating a lost language on an unknown artifact. Played with in that she doesn't stay hidden in the shadows during this meeting, at Cheyenne Mountain she's actually a visible member of the team (albeit merely overseeing), and Daniel even recognizes her when they meet. The job she summons him for, though, does remain mysterious, at least until after he cracks the code.
  • Nepharious Pharaoh: The film uses the general imagery, although the bad guy was the god Ra.
  • No Sense of Humor: Colonel O'Neil. Used for a joke in the television series, whose Colonel O'Neill actively distinguishes himself from the movie version.
    SG1!Jack: It's "O'Neill," with two Ls. There's another Colonel O'Neil with only one L, and he has no sense of humor at all.
    • Although one could argue that considering that he starts the film as a suicidal mess, his sense of humor returning at the end of the film is him finally letting go of his own personal demons. Likewise, he often seems quietly amused at Jackson's antics and during his interaction with Skaara and the Abydonian kids, so it's clear he's not always The Stoic.
  • Nuclear Option: They send O'Neil in because they know any nuclear deployment will be last ditch and suicidal.
  • Nuke 'em: Daniel finds out about the plan, which would kill all the locals to seal the gate.
  • Only Mostly Dead: Daniel Jackson.
  • Pet the Dog: About the only time any of the military members of the team treat Jackson with any kind of sympathy is after he first exits the Stargate, covered in frost and disoriented from the transport process. Even so, they probably only give him said sympathy because they just dealt with that themselves moments before. It's definitely justified, given that right after this, he admits that he made some really dumb assumptions about being able to get them home again, and has stranded them.
  • Planar Shockwave: While Praxis came first, this film featured the effect in most of its trailers, giving it considerably more public exposure.
  • Portal Cut: Please keep your hands, feet, and head inside the Ring transporter at all times.
  • Portal Slam: They ended up trapped on Abydos because they couldn't get the gate working due to not knowing Earth's address.
  • Pre-Mortem One-Liner: "Give my regards to King Tut, asshole!"
  • Prepare to Die: Ra is no longer amused...!
  • Pretty Boy: Ra is well-groomed and slender. Even more so when compared with just about anyone else and especially the soldiers sent to his planet.note 
  • Product Placement: Even alien ox-monsters love 5th Avenue bars. Which hadn't been popular for quite a while at the time of the film's release, so maybe Hershey's were hoping for a revival? (Didn't work so much.)
  • Protected by a Child: Ra has a whole group of children trained to do this.
  • Reality Has No Subtitles: Ra and the local humans speak an Ancient Egyptian dialect throughout the film. The language isn't subtitled until Daniel learns how to speak it.
  • Relocating the Explosion: Daniel and Jack do this with the phlebotinum-enhanced nuke, using the ring teleporter to send it to Ra's ship at the last second.
    [Looking at the bracelet activating the ring teleporter]
    Both: I've got an idea!
  • Scientist vs. Soldier: While archaeologist Daniel traveled through the titular stargate to learn about what's on the other side, Colonel Jack O'Neil was sent through with a nuke, with orders to use it against anything that could pose a threat.
  • Shell-Shocked Veteran: Jack is sent specifically to stay behind and detonate the bomb if something goes wrong. They know he has suffered tragedy and has nothing to live for.
  • Shown Their Work:
    • Kurt Russell gets a detail of military etiquette right that some people who actually were in the military often forget (or choose to ignore): you don't salute civilians. When the young rebels salute him, he clearly appreciates the gesture and wants to return it, but doesn't until his own men salute him so that he can salute them in return. Of course, he's also the one that made the aforementioned "calling a Lieutenant Colonel a Lieutenant" mistake.
    • Daniel learned the language once he was able to get the vowels right. Egyptian hieroglyphs don't include the vowels, and thus have to be mostly guessed by linguists.
    • The snide little shout-out to Egyptologist E.A. Wallis Budge. Budge was a Victorian Egyptologist who wrote extensively on hieroglyphics, but his translations as well as his interpretations of Egyptian religion and culture were unfortunately all too influenced by his Victorian attitudes. This essay explains why the line is appropriate and accurate, if you're interested, here's some recommended reading. The remark will fly right over the heads of 99% of the audience, but will have any Egyptologists watching rolling in the aisles.
      Daniel: Well, the translation of the inner track is wrong. Must've used Budge. I don't know why they keep reprinting his books.note 
    • If researching conspiracy theories counts, Daniel drops an obscure ancient-astronauts talking point during his failed lecture, when he claims that Colonel Vyse faked his discovery of Khufu's name inside the Great Pyramid. This theory was proposed in 1980 by Zecharia Sitchin, an ancient-astronauts theorist who more notably invented the Nibiru conspiracy theory.
  • Sickly Neurotic Geek: Daniel. His allergies act up when traveling. He's apparently allergic to sand, considering the lack of vegetation on Abydos for there to be pollen from. He could just have sensitive sinuses in general however. Thus not only are they getting sand in them, they're drying out. Ow.
  • Swap Teleportation: This is how Anubis's teleporter works: whatever is inside the rings on one end gets swapped with whatever is inside the rings on the other end. If only part of you is inside the rings when it activates, well...
  • Tastes Like Chicken: The desert lizard thing the locals eat, according to Daniel. And you should see him trying to convey this to a group of people whose language he doesn't speak and who have never seen a chicken.
  • Tastes Like Friendship: Daniel, basically when meeting anything.
  • Tele-Frag: How Anubis is killed. See Pre-Mortem One-Liner, above.
  • Teleportation with Drawbacks: Due to fixed locations for entrance, and sometimes exit: the Stargate and the not-quite-Star Trek ring transporter.
  • Tempting Fate: "It's OK, it has a harness! It's domesticated!"
  • This Is My Boomstick: The staff weapons are much more powerful here than in the series.
  • Training the Peaceful Villagers: Heavily downplayed. The oppressed natives are cowed through fear of Ra's power, but once they see evidence that Ra and his minions aren't actually gods and they can be challenged, they are quite ready, able, and willing to fight back. A few quick lessons on how to operate human weaponry and they're all good to go.
  • Vocal Dissonance: Ra, whose teenage vocal chords somehow produce the voice of the ancient alien monster he truly is (it's probably due to his technology).
  • We Will Use Manual Labor in the Future: Though not the future exactly, apparently despite living millennia Ra has never found any better way to mine the mineral he uses for his technology than having human slaves do it with simple tools of the kind you'd use in ancient Egypt.
  • What Are Records?: Besides simply looking cool, the idea behind the gate spinning to encode its coordinates was to draw the analogy with a rotary telephone for the viewership. This made sense in 1994, but in later media from The 'Verse it has become The Artifact.
  • What the Hell, Hero?:
    • Daniel gives O'Neil one when he sees the nuclear bomb; O'Neil's team joins in once they find out what the plan with the bomb was.
    • O'Neil countered this that it wouldn't be the case if Daniel knew the coordinates to Earth so he and the team would return to Earth while O'Neil stays behind to use the bomb.
  • Weird Moon: Not only are there three large moons which are always over the pyramid on Abydos, but all three of them look exactly like our moon.
  • Weird World, Weird Food: The natives of an Egypt-like desert planet, who are mistaking the visiting earthlings for gods, treat them to a huge banquet, for which the centerpiece is a large lizard. Daniel tries a piece and declares that it Tastes Like Chicken. This shows that while the natives might have a similar culture to Ancient Egypt, it's still a different planet all the same.
  • Wolverine Claws: Anubis wears sharp metal claws which he attacks the soldiers with.
  • The Worm Guy: Daniel Jackson embodies this trope.
  • You Didn't Ask: The team are not happy when they find out that Daniel admits he can't get them home, meekly explaining that he'd been under the assumption that the tablets with the address to dial home would be located near the Gate.
    Kawalsky: "Find it?" What do you mean "find it?" You didn't say about finding anything?!
    Daniel: Well, I assumed the tablet would be here, right here?
    O'Neil: You assumed?
    Kawalsky: You're a lying son of a bitch! *knocks Daniel over* You didn't say a word about FINDING ANYTHING!
  • You Have Failed Me: One of Ra's henchmen blunders. Ra punishes him by frying his brain with a hand device.


Stargate First Activation

With Daniel's 7th symbol, the SGC can finally make Earth's Stargate dial out.

How well does it match the trope?

5 (6 votes)

Example of:

Main / CoolGate

Media sources: