I rewatched the Stargate movie recently, and it got me wondering about what I've been missing with regards to the TV series that have been spun off. I enjoy reading people's opinions on which series is better, but I'm curious about what I'll be getting myself into when I start watching the episodes. Is there any link between the movie and the shows, other than the namesake?

  • I've protected this question as it seems to be attracting very low value answers from drive-by users.
    – Valorum
    Mar 3, 2018 at 18:01

8 Answers 8


There's a loose link. Some variation on the events in the movie preceded the first episode of SG-1. There have been several jokes that suggest that the O'Neil in the movie isn't the O'Neill of the show, however, the O'Neill of the show was on Abydos. The planet Abydos is on the other side of the universe in the movie, but is in the Milky Way in the show, relatively close to Earth. The Abydosians spoke a variant of Egyptian in the movie, almost everyone in the galaxy speaks English in the shows, and the Abydosians get more proficient in it each time they appear. The Stargate on Abydos in the movie has different symbols than the Earth gate, but in SG-1 all the gates in the galaxy have the same symbols, except for the point of origin. In the movie the Stargate just connects Earth to Abydos and back. In SG-1 they generalized the idea into a galaxy-wide network of gates. In the movie they don't show how they dialed the gate on Abydos, the shows invented the Dial Home Device (DHD) to simplify this.

If all you've seen is the movie, and you haven't sat down to watch any of the shows, start with SG-1. The first episode of that picks up where the movie left off, and the first season will familiarize you with the basics of the Stargate universe. Stargate Atlantis started airing at the same time as season 8 of SG-1, so they're happening at the same time, but with minimal interaction between the two shows. Stargate Universe started after Atlantis ended, and can be watched after you've started Atlantis if you want to be up to speed (they recently had an Atlantis regular show up on Universe for an episode).

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    Just a warning. If you watch the first episode on DVD, then the first episode is not family friendly. There's only one scene, near the end. The rest of the series is family friendly, so... Apr 13, 2011 at 15:12
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    According to Wikipedia (en.wikipedia.org/wiki/…), it looks like if you get a copy released after July 2009, it might not have the nude scene, but any release prior to that will. Apr 13, 2011 at 15:20
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    @PearsonArtPhoto Oh no don't let children see breasts Aug 25, 2014 at 11:42
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    @Brythan Oh no! Pubic hair! That's scandalous. Sep 26, 2014 at 22:37
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    And while "In the movie the Stargate just connects Earth to Abydos and back." is what is shown in the movie, there is no really hard proof of it. As a matter of fact, the fact that you have to dial at all to open a connection speaks strongly in favour of more than just two gates. Jul 3, 2015 at 13:46

There are definitely several links. Here's a few of the main ones:

  • Daniel Jackson
  • Jack O'Neill
  • The pyramid-shaped starships
  • The teleporter rings
  • The resurrection chambers.
  • The Goa'uld (They aren't mentioned by name in the movie, but they do exist)
  • Use of Egyptian Mythology
  • The staff weapons
  • Abydos, and several of the people from Abydos (Sha're, Skara, and Yasuf, among others).
  • Major Kawalski from the original SG team is featured in the pilot and second episode and has some minor cameos in certain episodes.

Just for completeness, here's some major differences:

  • In Stargate SG-1, most people speak English. In the movie, most people speak Goa'uld, which is a variant of ancient Egyptian.
  • The actors who play all of the common characters are different, only Yasuf and Skara are played by the original actors from the movie.
  • The stargates on each planet had a different set of symbols in the movie. In SG-1, they share the same set of symbols, for the most part.
  • The movie seems to take place in another galaxy, while the TV series indicates that Abydos is relatively close to Earth, only 25,000 light years.
  • The personality of O'Neill in particular is very different, the movie he is a much harsher person than the TV series.
  • Daniel Jackson seems to have fewer problems with allergies in the TV series than the movie.
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    The change in O'Neil is not wholly inappropriate - at the time of the movie, he was at an enormously low point in his life. The O'Neil of SG-1 is supposedly more true to his actual personality (of course, this information is biased, as it comes from the TV show).
    – Jeff
    Apr 13, 2011 at 16:03
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    As he mentions several times over the course of SG-1, it's O'Neill, two L's! ;)
    – user1027
    Apr 13, 2011 at 16:10
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    Ferreti turns up a few times in the early seasons as an SG team leader... Daniel's allergies are played with at the start but were quickly dropped as they just became annoying
    – HorusKol
    Apr 14, 2011 at 3:56
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    @Keen: In the movie, it was O'Neil (one 'l'), in the show he made a point of it being 2. In one episode he made the point, "Two 'L's, there's another O'Neil with one L and he has no sense of humor whatsoever."
    – Jeff
    Jan 25, 2014 at 15:57
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    @Jeff - I always took that scene as a bit of a lampshade - alluding to the fans making a fuss over the typo/change.
    – Robotnik
    Jun 3, 2015 at 2:13

As it's been said, the link is tenuous. It's almost better to think of the show as happening in a slightly different universe from the movie - there are some significant changes which don't really go against what the movie said or showed, but do go against what it implies.

They share the same basis, and the events of the movie ARE considered to have occurred prior to the start of the series. The characters of the series would likely, if they watched the movie, consider it a dramatization of their (revised) official reports on the mission.


Another difference not mentioned in the answer above is the nature of the Goa'uld:

  • In the movie, IIRC, Ra is "the last? member of a dying race". In the show, he was just one of the Bad Guys.

  • In the movie, it looks like Ra, looking sorta like a real quadrupled (gray man stereotypical alien), "merged" with the host body, seemingly like a ghost? This is based on the scene where the nuke blows up Ra's ship in the end of the movie. In the series, Goa'uld are parasite snake-like creatures living inside hosts' bodies.

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    The movie shows Ra's true form as being a grey-style alien. I think the Stargate wiki reconciles this as him having taken an Asgard host prior to the human he inhabits in the movie.
    – user1027
    Apr 13, 2011 at 16:30
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    @Keen - didn't know that - thanks! As far as retcons go, it beats having no retcon but it's kinda weak - Goa'uld's prior hosts should not influence how Goa'uld looks inside the host. I'm gonna bundle it to (yet another) unreconsilable difference between movie and TV series. Apr 13, 2011 at 16:34
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    I've always chalked it up to there being no one present to observe the explosion (who survived, at least) and they thus had to use conjecture to fill in the actual description (in keeping with the 'movie is a dramatization of their reports' aspect of my answer)
    – Jeff
    Apr 13, 2011 at 16:50

There are also no Jaffa in the movie, they seem to use humans as slaves rather than the Jaffa as the guards have no head tatto. But they do in the first season of SG-1. So the Jaffa don't come into play till the pilot episode.


Ernest Littlefield wasn’t Catherine’s husband; he was her fiancé. In 1945 her father had told her that Ernest had died in an explosion at the lab. It wasn’t until the government declassified some files that Daniel and the rest saw the film showing Ernest going thru the gate. Daniel got the gate address and they went and found Ernest some 50 years after he went thru to the planet they called Heliopolis.

  • This appears to be an attempt to comment on another answer
    – Valorum
    Mar 3, 2018 at 17:59

Also - in the Movie Catherine mentions they never got the gate working prior to Daniels help with the symbols, in SG-1 however it is stated that Catherine's husband went through the gate years before Daniel joined the program. There is even an episode in Season 1 where they find him years after his disappearance.

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    Catherine wasn't aware of that so she wasn't lying
    – er-han
    Oct 23, 2017 at 13:51

Settled with my loose theorys after seeing some of the later episode's of sg1 perhaps Ra in the movie could have been partially ascended hence the glow and possession.maybe the creature you see being vaporised is a form he attempts to take to escape.meaning he might not be truly dead and is floating around in space disembodied. Or he is not a goa'uld but the other system Lords think he is and he's playing them like fools like they play humans,would explain the lack of jaffa too after all they would sense he wasn't goa'uld. just a thought :)

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    This does not seem to address what link there may be between the movie and the show.
    – Adamant
    Nov 2, 2016 at 19:41

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