Stargate is an American film and television franchise, based around military and science-fiction themes. The franchise has become immensely popular and generated three films, three TV shows, an animated series, and a web series. That’s not to mention the comic books and video game spinoffs as well. The chances are you’ve probably seen at least something Stargate related, or, at least, you have a friend who has.
The beauty of science-fiction is not just the cool themes and spaceships we get, it’s also a lot to do with the world building as well. Creating a universe in which everything is based, and links together is a great achievement. It also makes the franchise much more interesting, and this is one of the big appeals with Stargate.
The premise of the Stargate universe is that a Stargate is a ring-shaped portal that can send people to other worlds and dimensions. When one is found on Earth, the US government tries to control it, and the military uses it for space travel and exploration. There are Stargates spread across multiple galaxies and worlds, which allows for missions and exploration in the farthest reaches of space. The Goa’uld are a sinister and omniscient alien race that seem to rule over most of the planets dialed by the Stargate in one form or another.
Film & TV
For the most part, Stargate films and TV shows are set predominantly on Earth, with the teams then heading out to other galaxies and planets to complete an array of missions or explorations. The first movie was released in 1994 and starred James Spader and Kurt Russell. It was an unexpected success and led to the first TV show, Stargate SG-1, starring Richard Dean Anderson, which ran from 1997-2007. Since then there have been two other movies which were straight-to-DVD, as well as two spinoff TV shows – Stargate Atlantis, and Stargate Universe. In 2017 there was a web series released called Stargate Origins. All of these explore different aspects of the Stargate world.
Stargate Universe was the last TV series to air, and that ended in 2011 – so far there are no further plans to make more TV shows. Brad Wright, who developed and created Stargate SG-1 has said there are no plans in motion to continue the same story. However, there have been whispers that Warner Bros. might be looking to release a remake of the original movie, though progress on that looks to have stalled for now. It could be a case that the web series becomes a success and a new show is commissioned. But, for now, we will need to make do with the existing franchise as it is. Still, there is plenty of meat on the bones, and sci-fi fans will definitely feel sated by the franchise.
Stargate is a hugely popular series, not least because its premise of space travel and the discovery of new worlds and cultures appeals to us all. The shows and films also explore the themes of xenophobia, multiculturalism, the dangers of technology, and the consequences of decisions people make. The concept of choice and free will also play a big part, and many of the stories include very real and relatable characters, all of which helps to make Stargate such a popular franchise.