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In the episode "Full Circle", Anubis fires his superweapon at the planet Abydos, and we see the pyramid explode and the land surrounding it. At the end of the episode, there's only devastated land shown.

Is there any evidence, that is considered canon, which would prove that it was the whole planet which was destroyed? I've seen claims in various places that is what happened to the planet.

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    ... the impression I got was that the team didn't actually visit Abydos, but some transitive or subspace recreation of (a portion of) Abydos. That the planet was completely destroyed, but Oma just popped up a temporary spot for some closure for the team (and the viewers). Sep 28, 2021 at 14:52

4 Answers 4

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Is there any evidence, that is considered canon, which would prove that it was the whole planet which was destroyed?

The canon is pretty much "Full Circle". Oma saved the villagers by helping them ascend and Anubis fires his new super-weapon. Back on Earth the team repeatedly try to dial Abydos without success until they finally make a connection. Skaara explains Abydos was destroyed, and that the Stargate will disappear when they return to Earth.

Since they were able to go back to the planet, It wasn't "Death Starred" into a billion piece, but all life had been wiped out and any new clues to finding the lost city have been nuked as well

EDIT: In universe why would Oma lie?

EDIT: Out of universe answer

Full Circle also setup for Michael Shanks to return as one of the SG-1 core cast as de-ascended Daniel Jackson. From a story perspective they needed a reason why he'd risk being de-ascended.

The writers could have put Earth in danger again, but they'd already done that for several season finales. They also wouldn't be able to demo Anubis' cool new super-weapon as destroying Earth = no more show.

The answer - Abydos! It also conveniently lets them tie up some character stories such as Skaara's. He was a recurring cast member in the first few seasons, but got put on the back-burner as Goa'ulds were defeated, and new villains introduced.

The other choice would have been just to not be able to dial Abydos and have a character come in and say it's been blown up, then have Oma show up and explain what happened, but this breaks the "show, don't tell" rule.

By going back to a desolate planet, the TV lets the audience see the "total devastation" of Anubis' new super-weapon, and shows that Skaara and the others survived. It also clearly wraps several story-lines they likely were never going to explore further.

Out of universe it's all special effects anyway. There's no in-episode hint that what the teams sees at the end isn't "real".

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  • I'm not sure you can point at the same episode that OP saw. We don't see what happened to the planet, only what Oma wants them to see.
    – Valorum
    Sep 28, 2021 at 10:52
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According to Michael Shanks, Abydos was "destroyed" when Anubis fired upon it.

“Well, he ‘ascends,” corrects Shanks. “Abydos is destroyed. The entire village ascends. That’s not Daniel’s plan. Oma Desala does it. She also takes Daniel away while he is fighting with Anubis.”

Stargate SG-1 Cast Interviews: Michael Shanks

I think we can reasonably assume that the surface of the planet was rendered lifeless rather than the planet itself being blown into smithereeens. Anubis' weapon is powerful, but it's not the Death Star.

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What Skaara actually said was:

Anubis destroyed the pyramid. Everyone was killed in the blast.

So it stands to reason Abydos the planet is still there. But since the pyramid and consequently, the gate were destroyed, there was no way to go there via stargate. In essence, one can agree: Abydos was destroyed, but as a settlement, with several thousands of people, located nearby the pyramid. In the movie it is in some distance, in TV show they apparently relocated closer or into the pyramid for protection from the elements, so even if gate itself didn't explode, the Anubis' weapon would still do the trick.

However neither of them, nor in combination - weapon, gate, or both - would be able to destroy the planet. Some widespread damage to the surface, maybe even locally destabilizing the crust, yes. But not destroying the whole planet.

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What do you consider "destroyed"? If you mean "Was the planet turned into asteroids"? The answer is almost certainly a "No"

If you mean "Was the planet rendered uninhabitable to all sentient life (as it is known in-universe" - the answer is probably, although we can't be certain. It has been stated time and again that the explosion of a stargate is akin to dozens of nuclear bombs, but even if the gate wasn't exploded, an energy beam of a magnitude sufficient to destroy a gate would have provided more than enough energy to induce a nuclear winter, if not an atmospheric burn, either of which would be sufficient to eliminate all sentient life.

If you mean "Was the planet rendered uninhabitable to all known forms of life: The answer follows along the above lines, but with a slightly lower probability. Life finds a way and extremophiles do exist, so...maybe/maybe not.

But, this is the last time we see Abydos in the video productions, so, whatever you get out of the explanation provided is what your answer should be. But, again, from a purely physics based perspective, it was probably the entire surface of the planet of that was "destroyed"

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  • Can you provide any evidence for this? Specifically rendering the planet uninhabitable; the attack was relatively localized; can you provide evidence that the effects would be planetary in extent?
    – DavidW
    Dec 17, 2021 at 22:37
  • My edits aren't allowing for good formatting, but it's four different citations, that, when combined support my assertions Dec 17, 2021 at 22:48
  • But do any of those really apply? It's a directed energy weapon; there isn't large-scale momentum transfer like an asteroid strike, there's no fallout because there aren't any radioactive elements in the beam, and a timescale of a year or two for dust to settle wouldn't cause a global extinction. (Recent research has suggested that nuclear winter fears from decades ago were overestimated.)
    – DavidW
    Dec 17, 2021 at 22:50
  • And yet, we see the beam creating a huge dust-storm / cloud when fired at the pyramid, which is absolutely destroyed by the process, so it's still a transfer of energy into a solid mass, and if it was sufficient to create even a shockwave that completely atomized the tents in the village, then it must have enough power to circumnavigate that globe. (Nuclear winter fears from decades ago also assumed nuclear weapons that had theoretical limits on their power) For another reference: businessinsider.com/… Dec 17, 2021 at 22:56

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