Just rewatched Stargate Universe and something they said at the beginning of S1 confused me: They stated that the stargates seeded by the seed ships and the one on board Destiny were "less advanced" than the Milky way or Pegasus models. What makes the Destiny gates "less advanced" is the fact that they can't dial beyond a certain range; they can only dial "planets in range" which usually only number in the 1-4.

We know this isn't a power issue - the ship can fly through a star after all, pretty sure it can compete with a Naquadah generator to power a gate. Destiny's stargate can dial the nine chevron address to Earth if it has enough power.

So, the less advanced gate can't connect to stargates a few hundred or few thousand light years away, but can connect to a stargate several billion light years away? What could possibly make those gates be so primitive yet so equally advanced? Shouldn't destiny be capable of dialing the entire galactic network, just like any other gate we've seen before SGU?

  • Asking for thoughts is a surefire way to get your question closed as primarily opinion based. Take a look at our How to Ask page to get an idea of how to ask a good question. – Edlothiad Jan 18 '18 at 22:27
  • Rephrased my question; better? :) – Frenchmassacre Jan 18 '18 at 22:47
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    The new question is better, great that you took the time to improve it! It's okay to delete old stuff if it's not clear; you don't have to just tack it on at the end. There's a history page where people can see old stuff if they want. I edited your question to be more focused. If I took out some vital information, feel free to rollback my edit. – Thunderforge Jan 18 '18 at 23:12

Batteries Not Included

The ability to dial a nine-chevron address is less about the gate itself than the power source. Even with a "more advanced" Milky Way gate trying to dial out to Destiny, they still needed to supplement the power provided by the DHD. Humanity has come up with some good ways to provide alternative power (and control) to a stargate, but a DHD is always best for normal use cases.

Stargate SG1 established that the transmitting gate provides the power source to initiate and open a wormhole. Seeded gates lack a power source. They take instructions (and presumably power) from the handheld drone controller. It may be a very powerful device, but clearly cannot match a DHD (or Puddle Jumper), let alone Destiny herself or an Icarus-class planet.

Destiny manages this limitation by only allowing people onboard to visit gates within range of the capabilities of the remote dialer. Otherwise, they'd be unable to gate back to Destiny. Coincidentally, the remote dialer is powerful enough to jump from gate to gate within that basic range.

They Build Them Better Than They Used To...

There may also be a power management issue involved. Normally, gates are seen to be able to store and absorb an absurd amount of energy, including taking a severe pounding from weapons fire. By contrast, a single shot from a drone wrecks a seeded gate (in SGU 2x17: "Common Descent"). At the very minimum, this indicates they are physically more fragile and hints that they may be "electrically" less resilient as well. After all, they're intended for temporary use - in fact, some of them may never be used at all.

  • "Stargate SG1 established that the transmitting gate provides the power source." that is not always the case, there have been instances where the receiving gate provided power. it seems that either gate can provide the power as long as the wormhole is both active and in use (the transmitting gate only needs the power to initiate the wormhole) since the Stargate's are in permanent contact with destiny, I'd assume they have their own power source.. + the remote seems to be little more than a remote to me.. – Frenchmassacre Feb 14 '18 at 18:02
  • I do like your second explanation though, that would make sense. Since they are "cheaply built" they can only handle so much power and destiny refuses to send people to a gate with no way of return except gate hopping. Would have been nice for this to have been confirmed by bypassing destiny's safety to get a team back from a planet using a gate hop. – Frenchmassacre Feb 14 '18 at 18:03
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    @Frenchmassacre you are correct in that power can be drawn from the receiving end as well, but only after a wormhole has been established. To do the initial dialing you can only power it from the dialing end. Given that they need huge capacitors for the power system, one can conclude that the main power consumption is during the dialing and when the wormhole is established, and that maintaining the wormhole afterwards requires a lot less power. This is of course until the 38 minute window, after this huge power is required to further maintain the wormhole (for unknown reasons). – bjorn Feb 17 '18 at 11:49

Being advanced doesn’t always mean having top capabilities. Advanced usually is more related with a trade off between cost, effectiveness and function.

A satellite phone is more convenient than mobile phones and you may think of them as being more advanced as you can just call from everywhere not like mobile phones but current mobile phones are way more advanced than old satellite phones and still some times you don’t get a signal. That doesn’t make the old satellite “more advanced” it makes the new ones a good trade off in the terms above.

New apple MacBook are unable to read cds or dvds and that doesn’t make them less advanced than 2007 models.

The stargate on the Destiny has a very specific purpose (it’s a satellite phone) and provides a functionality other don’t, probably with a huge impact in cost. The ones on the milky and Pegasus galaxy are more advanced but limited to the usage they were intended to have, as part of a static network with little changes. As such, they can establish and operate over huge distances without problem or degradation and requiring relatively little energy (at least from the ancients point of view).

  • I disagree with your sat phone analogy, a sat phone is a completely different technology that can "hook in" only because there is a device in the middle making the conversion. Staying on the phone analogy, Destiny's Stargate can only do two things, long distance like calling Australia from the US or local calls like calling the neighbours. A gate which can do both extremes, call Australia or down the street, should be able to dial any gate within it's power range. – Frenchmassacre Jan 18 '18 at 22:57
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    It was meant as an example, not as a comparison of capabilities. The sat is way more expensive to use, operate and produce. Star gates are wormhole forming devices... different class of problem. The main point is each one was design to do very specific things, Milky Way stargates were simply not design to support dial while moving because it wasn’t needed, not because they are less advanced. – Jorge Córdoba Jan 18 '18 at 23:02
  • @Frenchmassacre - You also have to keep in mind that it is possible to gate into the gate ships. Sure there was no one there when "we" got there, but it is very likely that the Alterans were coming and going from those ships at first quite a bit to make sure they were on track, no issues, and updating software. Maybe Destiny's primary gate (and only that gate) was continuously being upgraded and improved until the Alterans were satisfied that it would be able to handle the long distance traffic and etc. Maybe it was only advanced in that one key area. Once there you can improve other stuff. – Odin1806 Jan 21 '18 at 17:46
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    @Odin1806 Where did you get this info? unlike destiny the seed ships are not known to have gate addresses or a debarkation area for the gates they have on board. Even when we saw the seed ships Stargate's ("Awakening"), i saw no way for a person to cross any of those gates safely for himself or the nearby gates or ship equipment. – Frenchmassacre Feb 14 '18 at 19:19
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    @Frenchmassacre - I meant the destiny class ships, not necessarily the seed ships. Once on the destiny class ships they could go to one or all the planets to update the software on all the planted gates... though I would not think it to be too much of a stretch for the seed ships to have them as well. That would make maintenance and etc. easier if you needed to do something. Sorry for the confusion... :) – Odin1806 Mar 1 '18 at 22:31

You're confusing the gate on Destiny with the planet-side gates. The Destiny expedition can likely dial out to any gate in the galaxy that Destiny is currently in. The only problem is that they can't get back, because the planet-side gates have no external power supply and therefore can't dial very far, which is why it's so important that anyone who’s on the planet gets back to Destiny before the clock runs down.


We may be operating under false assumptions. Perhaps Destiny's gates were intended to be less resource intensive being only partly made of naquada and easier for the seedships to make but never the oldest design.

Unfortunately the Stargate franchise has two incompatible "canon" continuities, (some of the) books and the comics from American Mythology. I can't speak to the books but without going into spoilers the comics contradict dates given in the TV series.

In fact those comics seem to place Destiny's launch well after the date given in SG1 for Atlantis' departure so it calls into question the idea that the Destiny style gates predate the Milky Way and Pegasus versions. This might explain why some capabilities seem more advanced than in gates that supposedly came after.

I'm not convinced of this myself as the American Mythology comics are loaded with poor proofreading. Typos you'd expect from autocomplete in a text, Roman numerals like "IV" and "VI" being used interchangeably... 90% of which is in the SGA continuation rather than SGU but it's enough to wonder if the retcon of Destiny's launch date wasn't just another typo, like 1,000,000 instead of 100,000,000.

But one interesting detail in these sequel series is that even the other types of stargates share the range limitation of Destiny style gates if cut off from the rest of the the gates in their network. This actually fits well as part of the explanation of how Earth was only able to dial Abydos and Ernest's planet without a DHD, before getting the Goa'uld and Ancient address lists.

But it at least seems plausible that these seedship gates would've been built diferently for the specific demands of Destiny's mission regardless of whether they came first or last.

  • IIRC, SG1 made it quite clear that the reason for that was because they didn't know any other addresses, and because those were the only ones that worked without correcting for stellar drift. Without drift compensations (which the DHDs have), outside a certain distance you're punching in coordinates to empty space and will never get a lock. Without the address book, you're punching in stars at random hoping they have a gate... and they did also find some gates that way. – Matthew Aug 27 '19 at 16:51
  • That's true, I'm just pointing out that the comics (one of the canon continuations) specifically shows that Pegasus gates revert to the range limits of Destiny style gates when "the network" is compromised in a situation with similar effects to Avenger 2.0, with or without valid gate addresses. That situation was approximated by the Earth gate without a DHD and so out of contact with the DHD network. This reduces the difference between gate systems, undermining the assertion that we can easily tell which was first. – John LA Aug 27 '19 at 23:23

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