It is my impression from what little I know of Stargate is that their method of teleportation does something like warp space: there is no disassembly and reassembly of objects and beings and this avoids in the latter case many philosophical issues such as whether the reassembled being is really the original (and given that sometimes two beings end up existing simultaneously in Star Trek, I think we know the answer is "no"). Am I right about Stargate? That is, you walk in one side and somehow the intermediate space of even many lightyears is traversed?

EDIT: It appears to me that someone using a Stargate perceives the experience as normal transportation, just walking or if in a ship, traveling in that. Is that correct?

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    This Stargate wiki page says "the dialing gate converts the traveler into its most basic components (sub-atomic particles) and transmits it, while the receiving gate reassembles the transmitted matter back into its original form". Not clear if the episode citations at the end of the paragraph are for this claim though. The transcript of "A Hundred Days" here has a line that after an accident, "Wormhole physics" implies "ordinary matter won't even reintegrate".
    – Hypnosifl
    Dec 11, 2021 at 21:52
  • Oh, I see that wiki article I cited has more details (and more episode citations) in the "Matter transmission" section later on. See for example the transcript of "48 Hours" here which says Teal'c's "energy pattern" was retained in "crystals" that were needed to "reintegrate" him on the other side.
    – Hypnosifl
    Dec 11, 2021 at 21:55
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    There are 3 types of teleportation in Stargate, the Stargate itself, ring transports and Asgard (and Ancient) beam tech Dec 11, 2021 at 21:57
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    A stargate is more computationally complex than it appears. For example if it was a simple wormhole if you stuck your hand in it would be on the other side. In stargate your whole body needs to walk in and it is smart enough to know when that is. Then it transmits the information to the next gate and let's you walk out in one piece. For the record I think Star Trek made teleportation vastly more complicated than it needs to be. A gadget than encourages your wavefunction to be somewhere else would be plenty rather than computationally tracking every particle. Dec 11, 2021 at 22:00
  • @lucasbachmann There's one episode of SG-1 where a jaffa is heading through the gate, he's through but the staff weapon he's holding isn't fully through when the gate shutsdown. The gate hasn't reached the end of the 38min window Dec 12, 2021 at 6:58

1 Answer 1


It's a great question! Your impression is certainly the way the Stargate was supposed to work, but, the writing team needed a variety of different elements to have some consistency throughout the Stargate series', and because of this, the Stargate itself ends up being nearly identical in its' transportation function as the transporters from StarTrek. The obvious exception being, well, obvious.

An object enters the Stargate, is then disassembled into it's most basic parts, stored as a series of data and transmitted via worm-hole to the receiving gate where it is then reassembled. That is not how the Stargate was originally presented, but it is the presentation that eventually became canonical.

The Stargate was supposed to "shunt" an object through a worm-hole to the receiving gate without disassembly and reassembly. If that were the case - if the creators had stuck with that idea - then you would be correct, it would eliminate the moral quandaries presented by the transporters from Star Trek. Since they didn't, it's still present in Stargate. In fact, the notion of mass copying (granted of a wave form rather than a physical object), is a lynch pin in one of the two-part episodes very late in the original series run.

TL;DR to the edit: It's uncertain. It is unclear from footage in any of the Stargate series whether or not the experience of the individual is that of simply "stepping through", mostly because it is inconsistently displayed. On the one hand, you have people stepping in on one side and stepping out on the other, implying that they "feel" like they're just walking through. On the other hand (and used significantly less often because of budgetary concerns), you have an individual stepping in, the "worm-hole effect" graphics display, and then they step out on the other side, implying that the individual does experience some sort of event during the transition.

  • Do you know for sure that the original intent didn't involve Trek style disassembly? If you look at the movie clip here where we see Daniel Jackson's POV as he steps through, it does look as if he's disassembled.
    – Hypnosifl
    Dec 12, 2021 at 0:33
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    – Community Bot
    Dec 12, 2021 at 0:57
  • Yes. There's conversational elements in the original series' first season which indicate that the only method being employed is that of worm-hole travel. Now, this could be written off as in-universe lack of understanding, however, later interviews with cast and crew also make this statement. Refer also to interviews on the YouTube channel "Dial the Gate" Dec 12, 2021 at 5:15
  • @Hypnoscifl I agree. Even if SG1 did something new it actually is consistent with how things were visually presented for wormhole travel. Likewise the movie says Ra was a parasite- so even though we didn't see snakes in stomachs in the movie- SG1 was actually consistent. Dec 12, 2021 at 6:17
  • @Hypnosifl OTOH from what I remember of the movie the people emerge from the stargate covered in frost and looking very cold. If you're going to deconstruct and then reconstruct during a journey that doesn't;t make sense to me.
    – Peter M
    Dec 12, 2021 at 16:00

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