From what I recall from the movie, Daniel only finds the seventh symbol... however when he explain they give way to show him the star gate and they put their sequence in the dialing computer. This proves the dialing computer was prepared to dial 7 chevrons.

It’s also stated they’ve also tested the 6 previous symbols in the order they appear on before, one has to assume only to fail when they insert the 7th, making them aware of the fact you can, at least dial 7th chevrons.

With 39 chevrons on the gate and 6 already locked in, that leaves 33 to try to get a lock. Those are not that many not to go and simply try one by one so... how come nobody brute forced the thing?


1 Answer 1


It would appear that it simply didn't occur to them to try a seventh symbol. It wasn't on the 6 symbol cartouche and while the dialling program system appears to be working after a sixth symbol, nothing then happens.

Jackson wasn't brought in specifically to find the seventh symbol, he was brought in to decipher the capstone and, hopefully, work out what was wrong with what they were doing.

CATHERINE: While we didn't realize the symbols were star constellations, it was obvious to us that they match symbols written on the star gate. Problem was, we never knew about the seventh symbol
Stargate: Draft Script

When it comes to it, the gate developers need to add a custom space for the extra symbol, something that they didn't realise they needed because they didn't realise that the symbols represented anything more than a (6 digit) code to be entered.

Gate Engineer: Programming seventh symbol into the computer

In the TV series, we learn that the dialling program is actually far more sophisticated than a device that simply turns the wheel and gives the gate power. There are a very considerable number of inputs and outputs, some of which they understand and some of which are baffling. I think we can assume that Col. West thought that Jackson would offer some insight into why their program was failing, not that the dialling symbols themselves were incorrect.

That all being said, the writers of the show were happy to acknowledge that this wasn't especially clear and wasn't a particularly well written aspect of the film.

Stargate SG1: 200.

  • 3
    Plus, the computer was able to dial an 8th Chevron easily enough (barring the issues supplying enough power to the gate) when O'Neill needed to go to Othala. We can then assume that the size of the address stack is not a hard limit - either change a parameter or, at worst, change a constant and recompile the code. Fortunately, not something that involves rewriting the entire computer system! Commented Dec 13, 2019 at 7:23
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    @Chronocidal - Evidently the code was expanded to include (if needed) an 8th symbol, and presumably more (if needed) which seems a logical thing to do if you'd already discovered a need to go beyond the original 6
    – Valorum
    Commented Dec 13, 2019 at 7:51

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