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In the tie-in of SG-1 and Atlantis, they had to use a ZPM to power the gate, and use an eighth chevron to travel to the Pegasus Galaxy. It was (so I thought) common knowledge that they could only travel to gates within our own galaxy unless they had met those requirements.

Now, I recently rewatched the movie, in which the probe traveled to the Kaliam Galaxy, or as Catherine put it, "the other side of the known universe." So, why the limitation on the TV show? And why were they able to travel back to that planet in the first episodes?

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2 Answers 2

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This seems to be an example of retcon. Whilst in the film the planet Abydos was in the Kaliam Galaxy, in the TV series this was changed, and Abydos was said to be the closest planet to Earth (with a stargate), and therefore in the Milky Way.

I imagine that the reason they changed it for the TV series was so that they could have storylines with the Asgard, the Ori and Atlantis, without the teams being able to travel back and forth at will. This is only speculation though so I'll look into it further.

See Differences from the series.

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I hear the original creator is looking to reboot the movies because he hates the tv series so much. I'm sure it will spark many more discussions on the movie vs tv series differences. –  BBlake Feb 11 at 18:00
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@BBlake I liked the original movie (as well as the show), but he's missed his window for sequels, and reboots are always god-awful. I don't know if I'd hate a reboot more than SGU or not, definitely a coin toss there. –  John O Feb 11 at 18:55
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@BBlake if you're talking about Roland Emmerich, I wouldn't put too much stock into those rumours. He often comes out and says that he's interested in rebooting the movie franchise, but the publishers/producers never back him. It's just him saying what he would like to happen, not what's going to happen. –  Moogle Feb 12 at 0:16
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Stargate is likely the only half-decent thing Emmerich has ever done, so he'd likely relish the opportunity to ruin the one creative success he's ever had. Can't let people think he knows what he's doing, even for a second. Bad for his reputation. –  James Sheridan Feb 12 at 6:44
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@Moogle I'm inclined to go with "Kalium" because it's an actual word. Elsewise, Wikipedia itself uses "Kalium", "Kaliem", and "Kaliam" on different pages in reference to Stargate, so someone would have to find the actual script, I think. –  Izkata Feb 12 at 23:57

The answer is quite simple: The energy rate required to go to another galaxy is too high to be achieved with anything less than ZPM levels of power. Now, as it has been pointed out, there was a very large retcon of Abydos's location for the show.

However, this is not the only way to travel between galaxies: There is the Rodney/McKay Intergalactic Gate Bridge.

This was designed to facilitate travel from Pegasus to the Milky Way by making sure that each gate is only dialing a local gate, and thus being able to transport from one galaxy to another without the outrageous intergalactic fees high energy rate.

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