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Film / Stargate: The Ark of Truth

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Warning: Spoilers for Stargate, Stargate SG-1 and this movie follow.

The Ark of Truth is a direct-to-DVD Finale Movie concluding the Ori arc of Stargate SG-1.

After Daniel Jackson receives visions of an artifact that can end the war with the Ori in one strike, SG-1 decide to travel to the Ori galaxy in the hope of locating the device before their ship is annihilated by the massed army of the Ori. The Ark needs to be used on just one Prior to instantly strip Adria (who succeeded the Ori killed by the Sangraal) of her power, and one was stupid enough to waltz straight into Stargate Command and let himself be captured. It's a simple plan, nothing can possibly go wrong, right?

Wrong! Thanks to IOA agent James Marrick, who almost dooms both galaxies by an untimely release of a Replicator on the Odyssey. That, as well as the fact that the one definite weakness of the replicators they had (Ancient-infused O'Neill's disruptive wave generator gun) was programmed out of its system.

But other than that everything's going exactly according to plan.

The movie was followed by a second SG-1 movie, Stargate: Continuum.

This film provides examples of the following tropes:

  • And Starring: Michael Shanks continues to be credited as "And Michael Shanks as Daniel Jackson", as he had been since Season 7.
  • Art Evolution: Meta example. After having switched over to HD video beginning with Season Eight, SG-1 returned to shooting on 35 mm film for Ark of Truth and Continuum (both because of the larger budgets and to play up the cinematic aspect of the Direct-to-Video Movies).
  • "Ass" in Ambassador: A Prior comes to the SGC to demand Earth's surrender to the Ori while SG-1 are away searching for the Ark.
  • Big Bad: Adria, who has become the leader of the Ori after the previously ascended all died.
  • Call-Back: Near the end of the movie, Sam visits an injured Cam in the hospital and brings him macaroons. This is a call back to the end of Line in the Sand where Cam brings macaroons to an injured Sam (who turns out to hate the cookies.)
    • When entering the Supergate, there is a shot of SG-1 passing through the event horizon and being broken down for travel. The camera focuses on Daniel Jackson, and the scene mirrors his first journey through the Stargate, where he was also being de-integrated, in the first film.
    • Among the first things Cam says upon taking command of the Odyssey is "Weapons to maximum," clearly making an in-character reference to the episode 200.
  • Circling Monologue: Adria again.
  • Clipped-Wing Angel: Replicator Marrick's final form goes down without a fight due to Samantha Carter and the other SGC members managing to activate the self-destruct code for the replicators on the ship at the last possible second.
  • Continuity Nod:
    • Dakara is still devastated and has been abandoned following Adria's attack during "Counterstrike".
    • Mitchell brings up the Pegasus Galaxy mission during Carter's briefing on destroying the Supergate. Carter rules out trying to block the Supergate that way again, reminding Michell they were lucky to avoid the Wraith attack last time.
  • Continuity Overlap: The film opens shortly after the end of SG-1, but is set just before the Stargate Atlantis Season 3 finale "First Strike".
  • Cosmic Deadline: The Ori are massing their fleet for an overwhelming final attack on Earth. SG-1 must find and use the Ark of Truth to convince the Priors to call it off.
  • Determinator: After being badly wounded and left for dead, Teal'c walks miles from a forest, over several mountains, to the city of Celestus to save Daniel and Vala.
  • Deus ex Machina: The Ark itself, implausibly convenient and never mentioned in the show before. Of course, the plotline was supposed to be a complete new season, but then the show got canceled. That might explain why they easily found an artifact they were supposed to look for during 15 episodes or so. The nature of it is also justified, as SG-1 was led to the Ark by an ascended being, the closest thing this series has to a god, and mass brainwashing the Ori followers was the simplest way to end the war.
  • Distant Prologue: The film begins with a flashback depicting the ancient Alterans discussing the what solutions to take against the Ori and the armies they are raising to destroy them, and deciding that using the Ark of Truth to brainwash the Ori would make them no better than they are.
  • Drama-Preserving Handicap: Each time the Odyssey is surrounded by the Ori and being blasted, rather than shoot back with their Asgard beam weapons, which had previously been shown to be capable of destroying an Ori ship in a few shots, the Odyssey crew is currently busy with some other crisis happening within the ship.
  • Early-Bird Cameo: This one's an interesting case. Stargate Atlantis character Colonel Abraham Ellis and the Apollo have a brief cameo as the SGC mobilizes for the Ori armada's invasion of the solar system. Ellis first appears in the Atlantis' Season 3 finale, "First Strike", which was filmed about the same time as the DTV. However, while The Ark of Truth didn't come out until a year later, it's set before Ellis arrives at Atlantis. So from a chronological standpoint, it is an early-bird cameo.
  • Flash Back: The very first scene, and then an additional one along the way.
  • Godzilla Threshold:
    • Marrick defends the IOA plan to resurrect the Replicators because Earth has been on the losing side of an intergalactic war with the Ori for the better part of a year. The problem is that as soon as the Replicators have finished consuming the Ori fleets and their planets, they will do the same to the Milky Way.
    • Even the Ark itself is this, given the ethical issues involved in brainwashing people even if they don't have another way to stop the Ori army. In defence of the Ark, Vala's words suggest that it can only make people believe something that is already true, suggesting that it requires actual evidence to make people believe rather than just changing their minds.
  • Grand Finale: Since the series was canceled without a chance for a proper one.
  • Hate at First Sight: During their fight, Mitchell admits as much to Marrick. Considering the latter aided in resurrecting the Replicators to sic them on the Ori, it was fully justified.
    Cameron: I knew you were an asshole the moment we met.
  • Heel–Face Brainwashing: What the Ark of Truth ultimately can do. The ethical problems of it are raised, but ignored due to lacking a better option.
  • Heroic Second Wind: Teal'c demonstrates just how badass he truly is by traveling what's implied to be hundreds of miles, on foot, with a near-fatal back wound, to the City of Celestis.
  • Hoist by His Own Petard: IOA Agent James Marrick recreates a Replicator, hoping to use it as a weapon against the Ori, much to the dismay of SG-1. He is later consumed by the Replicators and turned into a Meat Puppet.
  • I Cannot Self-Terminate: Replicator Marrick wishes to have his life ended but cannot do it himself due to being a Meat Puppet for the Replicators.
  • Idiot Ball: Seriously, IOA, what the hell were you thinking when you came up with the whole Replicator idea?
  • Instrumental Theme Tune: Mostly carried over from the original movie, but with a new ending.
  • Leitmotif: Naturally, the SG-1 theme is reused by composer Joel Goldsmith. However, thanks to the larger budget, he was able to do David Arnold's full Stargate overture (though Ra's theme is swapped out for the Ori theme) for the first time since the original movie.
    • Other leitmotifs carried over from the series include the themes for the Ori, Mitchell, the Ascension theme, and the Replicators.
  • Lethally Stupid: The IOA, represented by James Marrick. Their plan to fight the Ori causes significant death on the Odyssey, nearly ruins the main cast's already desperate mission, and comes within a hair of spelling death for every sentient being in two or three galaxies.
  • Mook–Face Turn: Tomin, and then the Doci when exposed to the Ark, and all Priors.
  • The Movie
  • My God, What Have I Done?
    • The Doci after being exposed to the Ark.
      • Doci (in Ancient) "Forgive me, I was blind, but now I see."
    • Tomin earlier in the movie, leading to a moment with Teal'c, whose backstory is very similar to Tomin's.
      Teal'c: One day others may try to convince you they have forgiven you. That is more about them than you. For them, imparting forgiveness is a blessing.
      Tomin: How do you go on?
      Teal'c: It is simple. You will never forgive yourself. Accept it. You hurt others, many others. That cannot be undone. You will never find personal retribution. But your life does not have to end. That which is right, just, and true can still prevail. If you do not fight for what you believe in, all may be lost for everyone else. But do not fight for yourself. Fight for others, others that may be saved through your effort. That is the least you can do.
  • My God, You Are Serious!: Carter and Mitchell's stunned reactions when Marrick reveals the IOA's 'Resurrect the Replicators to kill the Ori Galaxy' plan.
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero: Arguably; SG-1 may have eliminated the rest of the Ori with the Sangraal, but now Adria is able to draw on the power of belief that was once distributed across all of the Ori and contain it to herself. Lampshaded by Daniel, who acknowledged in "Dominion" that he was worried about this very outcome.
  • No-Holds-Barred Beatdown: Replicator!Marrick to Mitchell.
  • Oh, Crap!: Mitchell and Carter when they see Marrick made a Replicator.
  • Outrun the Fireball: Done so over the top it looks like a parody, which it probably was. Simultaneously subverted by Replicator Marrick being charred to a husk.
  • Reverse Psychology: Daniel uses it to get Tomin's Prior to open the fake Ark.
  • Riddle for the Ages: Whoever the IOA approached to program the data crystal Marrick uses to recreate the Replicators. Marrick refused to answers Carter's demand and the film never touches on it again.
  • Schizo Tech: The ancient Alterans: before leaving the Ori galaxy, they were living in what was apparently a medieval-level town, but were able to build an intergalactic starship, a device that brainwashed anyone who looked into it, and had preliminary sketches for the Stargates.
  • Shout-Out:
    • At least to Star Wars ("Millions of years ago, in a distant galaxy...")
    • And Terminator, complete with Suspiciously Similar Song to the theme music (the "skeleton" of Replicator Marrick).
    • And then there's the first actual order (see Call-Back above) Cam issues upon taking command of the Odyssey: "Make it go."
    • The majority of the film could be see as a downplayed Whole-Plot Reference to Star Trek: First Contact, given that the team is split in half for a good chunk of its run. Specifically, Sam and Cam dealing with the Replicators infesting the Odyssey bears a lot of similarity to Picard dealing with the Borg infiltration on the Enterprise.
  • Speak Ill of the Dead: Despite SG-1 wiping out her brothers and sisters, Adria isn't exactly mourning them or trying to avenge them. After all, with them dead, she's now the sole recipient of the Ori's power.
  • Shut Up, Hannibal!: When a Prior comes to the SGC to demand Earth's surrender, Landry basically says this in response, observing that the Ori have left Earth this late in their invasion of the galaxy because they know they wouldn't actually have a chance against the Tau'ri directly.
  • Small Role, Big Impact: The Alteran scientist Amelius. While he only appears in this film, his two flashback scenes show Amelius not only created the Ark, but more importantly, he was also the Alteran who first conceived what became the Stargates.
  • Sole Survivor: Adria confirms that she is the last of the Ori after the Sangraal destroyed the rest.
  • Summon Bigger Fish: This backfires horribly. Marrick, on the orders of the IOA, plans to unleash replicators on the Ori ships, wait for the replicators to destroy the Ori, and then deactivate the replicators. Sam and Cam think this is a terrible idea; they're right.
  • Take a Third Option: The Alterans, faced with the prospect of submitting to or being wiped out by the religious extremist Ori, decided instead to leave their home galaxy altogether.
  • Too Dumb to Live: IOA agent James Marrick, and by extension, the IOA as a whole. The sheer stupidity that went into the idea that they not only knew how to deal with the situation better than the people who'd been doing this sort of thing for years, and thinking that they could use the Replicators without suffering any ill consequences.
  • Took a Level in Jerkass: Adria wasn't exactly a nice person before her Ascension. But taking on the mantle and full power of Ori has only made her even more of a megalomaniac and ruthless.
  • Traveling at the Speed of Plot: The time on the spaceship fighting the replicators seems to take less than a day, however Teal'c goes on an epic journey through mountains on foot in that same span of time.
  • Wham Shot: Amelius' notebook as the Alterans prepare to depart their galaxy. The open pages show the early schematics and sketches of what the audience knows will eventually become the Stargates and Stargate Addresses.
  • You're Insane!: Mitchell's reaction to learning of the IOA's 'Kill the Ori Home Galaxy with Replicators' plan is that they're nuts.

Alternative Title(s): The Ark Of Truth