When they are introduced, the Unas appear to be stronger physically than humans but otherwise have similar capacities - they have gripping hands, for instance, and can clearly make tools. Since the body is just the vehicle for the parasite, why would the Goa'uld not stick with the Unas? What was it about humans that made them the clear choice for all Goa'uld after they were discovered?

  • The Unas have pretty good healing capacities even without parasites, that would seem to make them attractive hosts (obviously not in the aesthetic sense). Nov 16, 2021 at 12:37
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    @jo1storm indeed they could. That was the reason behind their name in the series, where "Unas" was understood to be something like "first ones" or "first hosts". The idea was that they evolved on the same planet as the parasites Nov 16, 2021 at 14:32
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    Unas are stronger and more resilient, but it probably comes at a cost of requiring more energy to feed and repair. They potentially are less numerous than humans, who are already scattered everywhere, so as a potential labor force and pool for hosts, humans offer a lot better options. Also, Goa'uld scavenged technology from the Ancients, which means humans are a lot more optimized for using that tech. Nov 16, 2021 at 16:09
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    @just_happen_to_know, actually, the human population was "scattered everywhere" because the Goa'uld put them there. Presumably, they could have just as easily done the same with Unas. Nov 17, 2021 at 0:12
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    Note that they didn't often take the beefiest humans as hosts -- they often chose slender, delicate and strangely beautiful. Nov 17, 2021 at 5:05

2 Answers 2


According to the Stargate Wiki:

"humans proved to be a much more suitable host-race for the Goa'uld, as human bodies were easier to repair, and human hands and voices offered much greater expressive and tool-using abilities; the Unas as hosts were phased out."

It seems like this is explained in the episode Thor's Hammer.

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    Also, humans have far more variety in appearance - something which appealed to the vanity of the Goa'uld.
    – Omegacron
    Nov 16, 2021 at 20:46
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    @Omegacron Is that true? Or is that a matter of our human eyes being better at picking out differences between individual humans than between individual Unas? Nov 16, 2021 at 23:14
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    I wonder if "easier to repair" refers to the Ancient healing technology that was created for a species related to humans, i.e. not compatible with Unas. Anyone have any examples of healing technology or its Goa'uld derivative working on non-humans?
    – user19087
    Nov 17, 2021 at 1:22
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    @WillihamTotland Funnily enough, there's recently been a study that finally actually tested the phenomenon where people think all blacks/asians/whatever look the same - and they found that nope, it's not racism. Humans of European descent are much easier to distinguish from each other, even to non-Europeans. Among other animals, the ability to distinguish individuals is incredibly rare - it only evolves in an environment where that kind of thing is useful, and that mostly centres around animals doing favours to each other (and cheating, of course).
    – Luaan
    Nov 17, 2021 at 16:18
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    @WillihamTotland The Unas are distinguishable, but nowhere near to the extent the humans of Stargate are, visually. And it seems that either the Goa'uld prefer slender hosts by some quirk of their evolution, or they take after their host in this as well - we know from the Tok'ra that a lot of the host actually does affect the parasite. Even if that wasn't the case, the Goa'uld love power, and would certainly choose the hosts that are the most conducive to that - in violent societies, they'd presumably choose big, imposing hosts (like the Asgard holograms); in more orderly, beautiful.
    – Luaan
    Nov 17, 2021 at 16:22

They chose humans because they ruled by impersonating gods of human cultures. The Unas are a primative species and could not be used as slaves or support civilizations; whereas the humans could function as an entire economy even if at a non-technological level.

Humans would most likely have rebeled against an Unas as God figure. Moreover, the Jafa were modified humans as well. Though we don't know if the Unas could have been suitably modified as well.

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