Stargate (film)

Stargate (film)

Infobox Film
name = Stargate

caption = Theatrical release poster
director = Roland Emmerich
producer = Dean Devlin
writer = Roland Emmerich Dean Devlin
starring = Kurt Russell James Spader
distributor = Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer/Carolco
released = October 28, 1994
runtime = 121 min.
country = United States
language = English
budget = $55,000,000 (est.)
gross = $196,567,262
music = David Arnold
amg_id = 1:132284
imdb_id = 0111282
followed_by = "Stargate SG-1"

"Stargate" is a 1994 science fiction/action film, directed by Roland Emmerich and written by Dean Devlin and Emmerich, with a soundtrack by David Arnold.

It is the beginning of the franchise of the same name. It was originally intended as the first of a trilogy of films, but creators Emmerich and Devlin moved on from developing the sequels and produced "Independence Day". Instead, it inspired the television series "Stargate SG-1", which concluded its ten-year run in 2007, as well as its spin-offs, "Stargate Atlantis" and "Stargate Universe", and other related media.


*Col. Jonathan "Jack" O'Neil: Kurt Russell
*Dr. Daniel Jackson: James Spader
*Ra: Jaye Davidson
*Skaara: Alexis Cruz
*Sha'uri: Mili Avital
*Kasuf: Erick Avari
*Lt. Kawalsky: John Diehl
*Lt. Feretti: French Stewart
*Gary Meyers: Richard Kind
*Barbara Shore: Rae Allen
*Catherine Langford: Viveca Lindfors
*Major General West: Leon Rippy


In 1928 in Giza, Egypt, a colossal coverstone is uncovered, which houses a stone ring underneath it. The expedition commissioner’s daughter takes an amulet inscribed with the symbol of Ra from a work table at the site.

In the present day, Egyptologist Daniel Jackson is approached at a symposium by an old woman wearing the Ra necklace and is offered the chance to translate Ancient Egyptian hieroglyphs that may prove his theories that the Pyramid of Khufu wasn't built in the 4th Dynasty. Curious, Jackson accepts before being given tickets to an Air Force installation.

At a U.S. military installation inside Creek Mountain, Colorado, Jackson meets the old woman, who introduces herself as Catherine Langford. Jackson correctly translates the hieroglyphs on the coverstones, which reads: "A million years into the sky is Ra, Sun God. Sealed and buried for all time, his Stargate." Formerly retired Air Force Colonel Jonathan “Jack” O'Neil then arrives to take command of the project and declares all information regarding it classified.

Jackson makes an accidental breakthrough after noticing that star constellations on a newspaper are identical to the symbols on the coverstone. Later at a meeting, Jackson reveals his findings and theorizes that the constellations on the coverstones are coordinates for a location within space, while the seventh symbol represents "a point of origin".

The stone ring, identified as the Stargate, is revealed to Jackson, who identifies the seventh symbol after looking at the symbols on the Stargate. The seven symbols are then entered into the Stargate, which opens a wormhole. A probe is sent through the Stargate and is tracked to a location in the “Kalium Galaxy” on a planet on the other side of the universe. The probe sends back images on the planet it is on before the wormhole disconnects. The images sent by the probe reveal that the world it was sent to has an atmosphere similar to Earth and that the Stargate on that planet has a different set of symbols on it, making a return to Earth impossible unless the symbols on the other Stargate are translated. Jackson convinces the military to send a team through the Stargate and let him go with them, as he will be able to translate the symbols on the other Stargate.

O’Neil leads a team to go through the Stargate. Langford gives Jackson the necklace she picked up in 1928 as a good luck charm. The Stargate is reactivated and the team, including Jackson, goes through it. On the other side, the team finds themselves inside a pyramid, which they exit to reach outside. After Jackson reveals he can’t dial home without the coordinates for Earth, O’Neil orders the team to set up base camp and returns to the pyramid to assemble a hydrogen bomb. Outside, Daniel notices tracks and follows them back to a domesticated alien beast, a Mastadge, [" [ Gateworld Omnipedia] ". ""] only to get caught in its reins and dragged off to a nearby village where humans are mining, with some of the team following. The team approaches the villagers, who assume them to be gods sent by Ra and bow before them. O’Neil tries to offer friendship to a boy named Skaara, but in fear, the boy runs off to get his father Kasuf, the tribe’s leader. The team is forced to stay in the city after a sandstorm hits it. At the base camp, the other members of the team head into the pyramid for shelter.

Jackson attempts to communicate with the locals by writing, but discovers that this practice is forbidden. A young woman, Sha'uri, is presented to him as a gift (and unbeknownst to Jackson, a wife), the villagers believing he is the leader because of his Ra amulet. Sha’uri shows Jackson catacombs full of hieroglyphs after he attempts to communicate with her. Jackson learns that the language of the people is a dialect of Ancient Egyptian, which he can understand fluently because of his research background.

Meanwhile, a huge pyramidal craft lands directly on top of the pyramid. The team members still inside the pyramid are attacked and captured by an unknown entity. Before the last man is killed, it is revealed that the entity has a jackal head, similar to the Egyptian god Anubis

In the city, O’Neil locates Jackson, who manages to translate the hieroglyphs. The hieroglyphs reveal that the Egyptian god Ra was actually an alien lifeform, the last of his kind, who was attempting to extend his own life. Ra traveled to Earth and encountered humans, whom he enslaved with his advanced technology. Ra used a young boy as a host body and appointed himself ruler of Earth. Humans were transported from Egypt to the other planet through the Stargate and used to mine the mineral on which all of Ra’s technology is based, including the Stargate. The humans on Earth rebelled when they discovered Ra was not a god and buried the Stargate. Fearing the same thing would happen on this planet, Ra outlawed reading and writing to prevent the humans there from learning the truth. After explaining this to the others, the team locates a center stone similar to the coverstone on Earth that has symbols from the other Stargate on it, with the seventh symbol eroded away. O’Neil then orders the team to return to the pyramid.

The team leaves the city the next day to return to the pyramid, and Skaara and his friends secretly follow them. Going back inside the pyramid, now housing the pyramidal craft on top of it, the team is attacked by a creature modeled after the Egyptian god Horus. O’Neil notices that the bomb has disappeared. Suddenly, nine rings descend from the ceiling and deposit two Horus creatures and an Anubis creature, which promptly capture O’Neil and Jackson, who are taken into the pyramidal craft.

O’Neil and Jackson are escorted to the throne room, where they meet Ra, who reveals he has the hydrogen bomb. It is brought in by child servants of Ra.

During a critical scene, Ra motions to his guards. Each presses a hidden stub and their armor retracts to reveal they are mere humanoids and not gods. They are lackeys of Ra, possibly the grown up version of the children. Each guard is revealed to be human, and finally Ra's armor retracts and morphs into his face. The guards kneel to their god.

O’Neil attempts to disarm the guards and kill Ra, but relents when Ra uses his children courtiers as a human shield. Jackson is killed during the altercation. After O'Neil's surrender, he is thrown into a dungeon with the captured team members. Jackson is regenerated with the same sarcophagus Ra uses to revitalize his host body. Jackson then returns to the throne room, where Ra reveals that he intends to send the bomb, with its destructive capability enhanced by the mineral, through the Stargate in retaliation for the rebellion on Earth. Ra states that he will kill Jackson and everyone who has seen him unless Jackson kills the rest of the team to show the people that he is their one true god.

In the catacombs, Sha'uri reveals to Skarra and his friends the translated hieroglyphs and the truth behind Ra, telling them that they should not live as slaves anymore. The boys readily believe her.

The people in the city gather before the pyramid craft to witness the execution of the people from Earth. Skaara signals to Jackson that he and the rest of his friends have recovered the team's weapons. Jackson then shoots at Ra while the kids fire into the air to create a distraction. O’Neil, Jackson and the rest of the team flee Ra's ship and take shelter in a cave with the boys. Jackson confronts O’Neil about the bomb, and O’Neil reveals that he was given orders to destroy the Stargate if any threats were found. Jackson reveals Ra’s plan to send the bomb back to Earth, and O’Neil declares he’s going to stop it. Jackson wonders why O’Neil would be willing to throw his life away; O’Neil reveals that his son accidentally shot himself with O'Neil's gun.

Later, Jackson prepares some food at a campfire and is laughed at by the locals, who mention that "husbands don't do this work." He realizes that Sha'uri, the young woman given to him, is his wife. Sha'uri feels that she wasn't wanted, but Jackson proceeds to demonstrate to Sha'uri that he wants her very much. The next morning, Skaara draws a picture of the people's victory against Ra, which depicts three moons over a pyramid. Jackson realizes the picture represents the seventh symbol needed to reactivate the Stargate.

Ra's guards search for the escapees by keeping an eye on the locals coming in and out of the city. A guard locates Jackson and is shot dead by O’Neil. Jackson reveals the truth to the locals about their ‘gods’ and pushes the stub on the guard’s mask to reveal his face as the armor retracts. The people who saw Ra and his guards as gods now believe otherwise. Later that day, the team poses as a mineral shipment caravan that is to be delivered to Ra, to get inside the pyramid and escape with the bomb. The bomb is sent down to the Stargate so that it will be sent through with the mineral when it arrives.

After they reach the pyramid, O’Neil, Jackson, Sha’uri and several locals infiltrate the pyramid and defeat the guards, but most of the team are blocked outside the pyramid and are attacked by Ra's aircraft. O’Neil, Daniel and Sha’uri make it to the Stargate, although Sha’uri is shot and killed. O’Neil sets the timer on the bomb to seven minutes. Just then, the transporter rings activate and Jackson uses them to transport onto the ship with Sha’uri’s body. Anubis transports to the planet in Jackson’s place and fights O’Neil.

Jackson uses the sarcophagus on the ship to revive Sha’uri. The two of them then attempt to beam down using the rings, although Ra attempts to stop them. On the planet, O’Neil activates the transport rings over Anubis’ head, decapitating him, which transports Jackson and Sha’uri down to the planet. When the team runs out of ammunition, they surrender to the guards, who land their aircraft and prepare to kill them; but then the locals, lead by Kasuf, overpower Ra’s guards and save them. Ra decides to retreat and prepares his ship for takeoff. Inside the pyramid, O’Neil discovers that the bomb cannot be turned off due to tampering. O’Neil and Jackson then decide to transport the bomb to Ra’s ship, which has now left orbit. Ra watches impotently as the bomb detonates, destroying the ship and himself. The people are now free, and the team is able to return to Earth.

Jackson decides to remain on the planet with Sha'uri and help the locals build a new society. O’Neil returns to Earth with the rest of the team, a changed man given a purpose and a new reason to live. Jackson gives O'Neil Langford's amulet and instructs him to tell her it did bring him luck. The film ends with O’Neil returning to Earth through the Stargate.


Dean Devlin and Roland Emmerich always envisoned "Stargate" as the first part of a trilogy of films, but parts two and three were never developed. At Comic-Con 2006, 12 years after the original film was released, writer/producer Dean Devlin stated that he was in early discussions with rightsholders MGM about finally bringing the final two parts to the screen. [" [ Quint chats with producer Dean Devlin about FLYBOYS, ISOBAR, GHOSTING and the STARGATE sequels] " (22 August 2006). "Aint It Cool News"]

According to Devlin, the second film is intended to be set around 12 years after the original, with Daniel Jackson making a discovery that leads him back to Earth and to the uncovering of a new Stargate. The second movie would supposedly use a different mythology from the Egyptian one which formed the background to the original movie, with the third movie tying these together to reveal that "all mythologies are actually tied together with a common thread that we haven't recognized before."" [ Devlin Announces Plans for Stargate Sequels] " (20 July 2006). ""] Devlin stated that he hoped to enlist original stars Kurt Russell (Col. Jack O'Neil) and James Spader (Dr. Daniel Jackson) for the sequels. The actors have reportedly expressed an interest in participating in the project." [ Comic-Con 2006: Devlin on Stargate Sequels] " "IGN"]

The movie trilogy would not directly tie in to the Stargate SG-1 TV series. Of the relationship between the movies and the TV series, Devlin said "We would just continue the mythology of the movie and finish that out. I think the series could still live on at the end of the third sequel. So we're going to try to not tread on their stories." Plans for sequels to the original film are unrelated to the development of two straight-to-DVD movies being made as sequels to the Stargate SG-1 TV series.


Stargate has a MPAA Rating of PG-13 for sci-fi action violence. It is rated 14A in Canada for violence.


"Stargate" received mostly poor reviews gaining a 43% rating on review collection website Most of the negative reviews focused on the overuse of special effects, thinness of plot and excessive use of cliches with Roger Ebert going so far as to say, "the movie "Ed Wood", about the worst director of all time, was made to prepare us for Stargate." However the positive reviews stated that it was an "instant camp classic", and praised the film for its special effects and entertainment value, [cite news | first=Stephen | last=Farber | url= | title=StarGate | publisher=MOVIELINE | date= | accessdate=2006-08-22] with Chris Hicks of the "Deseret News" calling it "Star Wars meets Ben Hur". [cite news | first=Chris | last=Hicks | url=,1257,1736,00.html | title=Movie review: Stargate | publisher=Deseret News, Salt Lake City | date=1994-10-28 | accessdate=2006-08-22]

The film received a warmer reception from the public, grossing $71.5 million at the US box office and $196 million worldwide. [cite web|url=|title=Box Office Mojo: Stargate (1994)]

Coverstone hieroglyphs

These are the hieroglyphs that were on the inner track of the coverstone found on top of the Stargate. Daniel Jackson deprecated the original translation, saying it was wrong because it relied on the work of E. A. Wallis Budge.

"time a million years into the sky is Ra sun god"G17-Aa1-G17-X1-S20-O32-N35:I9-N29:D21-S29-T19-A24-Q6:A55-I9:N35-I10:X1-N16:D21-G21-V28-V28-N5:N23
"sealed + buried coffin forever to eternity for all time"S29-N14-D58-O32-N35:Z2-S29-D58-G1-N14:N5-Z2:I9"door to heaven stargate"

Novel sequels

Using some of Roland Emmerich's notes, Bill McCay wrote a series of five novels, continuing the story the original creators had envisioned, which involved the Earth-humans, the locals and the successors of Ra. See "Stargate literature".


The soundtrack was composed by David Arnold and played by the Sinfonia of London [ [ Sinfonia-Of-London.Com ] ] and conducted by Nicholas Dodd. It was the second motion picture Arnold had composed and the first major motion picture. At the time of Stargate's production, David Arnold had recently started to work in a local video store in London. Once Arnold got the job, he spent several months in a hotel room working on the soundtrack, spending more time rewriting the music and improving it as delays were being created due to film companies trying to get the rights to release the film. []

The Soundtrack listings are:

# Stargate Overture
# Giza
# Unstable
# The Coverstones
# Orion
# The Stargate Opens
# You're On The Team
# Entering The Stargate
# The Other Side
# Mastadge Drag
# The Mining Pit
# King Of The Slaves
# Caravan To Nagada
# Daniel and Sha'uri
# Symbol Discovery
# Sarcophagus Opens
# Daniel's Mastadge
# Leaving Nagada
# Ra - The Sun God
# The Destruction of Nagada
# Myth, Faith, Belief
# Procession
# Slave Rebellion
# The Seventh Symbol
# Quartz Shipment
# Battle At The Pyramid
# We Don't Want To Die
# The Surrender
# Kasuf Returns
# Going Home

Running Time: 65 minutes.

targate: Deluxe Edition Soundtrack

In October 2006 a Deluxe edition was released, which included seven new tracks which added an additional 8 minutes of audio bringing the running time up to 73 minutes.

The new tracks added are:

# Wild Abduction - Track 02
# Bomb Assembly - Track 11
# Eye of Ra - Track 16
# Execution - Track 28
# Against the Gods - Track 30
# Transporter Horror - Track 34
# Closing Titles (Intro) - Track 37

Differences between "Stargate" and "SG-1"

Although the original Stargate film possessed a rich backstory and universe (created and developed through official production notes, scripts, and a subsequent novel and graphic novel series), it was largely ignored and disregarded when MGM, which lost key rights to the original film after its home video release (such rights are now owned by Lionsgate), but did own the rights to the franchise in general, took Roland Emmerich and Dean Devlin's product and handed the reins to a new team of creators (Brad Wright and Jonathan Glassner) for the television series "Stargate SG-1". This new team introduced many new concepts and changed many aspects of the film's backstory.


External links

* [ MGM official site]
* [ StarGate - The Motion Picture Fansite]
* [ - The Stargate Website Directory]
* [ Producer comments] from GateWorld. Visited May 14, 2006.

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