Not being able to dial home from another gate was a core plot point of the movie, in fact more than half of the movie was spent with Daniel Jackson trying to work out the gate address to get the team home.

So how come in the Stargate SG-1 TV series does this knowledge appear to be widely known? Every time an SG team depart to a planet, dialing home is simply a case of entering seven symbols on a DHD and entering their iris code?

Why is it that since the movie every SG team seems to instinctively know the address to get home?

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    They already knew the first six symbols for Earth address (see the movie). And perhaps the DHDs had the seventh indicated in some way.
    – Xantec
    Jan 16, 2013 at 15:06
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    At the very least the point of origin (seventh symbol) changes every time they go off world, as they're going to different planets - the plot of the movie demonstrated it took Catherine Langford's team over two years, and Daniel Jackson several more weeks on top of that to work out just the seventh symbol to dial Abydos - followed by the entire movie trying to work out the symbol for the point of origin for Abydos - if the seventh symbol was indicated in some way Daniel Jackson wouldn't have spent the whole of the movie trying to work it out!
    – user7013
    Jan 16, 2013 at 15:18
  • Except that the SGC gate did not have a DHD in the movie, so if the DHDs do indicate the 7th symbol Catherine Langford et al and David would not have known.
    – Xantec
    Jan 16, 2013 at 15:24
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    @Xantec The DHD's center automatically dials the last symbol. The only reason that the SGC needed to work it out was because they don't have it. Jan 16, 2013 at 15:26
  • 1
    Did the Abydos gate have a DHD in the movie? I don't recall them showing how exactly they dialed back to Earth in the movie.
    – Xantec
    Jan 16, 2013 at 15:39

1 Answer 1


This is one of those details that differs between the show and movie. In the movie, all the symbols on each of the two gates are unique. They show constellations in the sky over the gate's planet. So the Abydos gate has Abydos constellations, not Earth constellations. In the show, all gates have 38 identical symbols, with a 39th unique symbol which is the point of origin.

If we were to imagine an alternate version of the film's events having played out where the TV show's rules were in place, once Jackson determined the address for Earth while on Abydos, then that same address could be used by every SG team in the future, they simply need to memorize the first 6 symbols, and then dial whatever their gate's point of origin symbol happens to be. That's how the gate system works in the show. The first 6 symbols in the 7-symbol address are essentially the coordinates for the destination gate. Then the last symbol is the gate's unique point of origin symbol.

It's a given that everyone who goes through the gate has Earth's coordinates memorized, as otherwise they would be stranded.

  • Deleted prior comment; your "alternate version of the film's events" paragraph has me confused. I thought they did continue to use the address for Earth found on the Abydos cartouche, with only the point of origin changing... (By plot/dialogue, at least. I wouldn't doubt the prop used having been remade/changed between the movie and series)
    – Izkata
    Jan 17, 2013 at 0:26
  • @Izkata Because what we saw in the film isn't exactly what happened prior to SG-1. Something very similar to the events of the film happened, but it wasn't exactly the same. As I mention above, the Abydos gate in the film didn't have the same symbols as the Earth gate, it had Abydos constellations on it.
    – user1027
    Jan 17, 2013 at 1:09
  • Of course, in the movie, Abydos was on the far end of the universe, not the far end of the galaxy, so that changed as well.
    – BBlake
    Jan 17, 2013 at 14:11
  • I rationalised it as some gates had localised glyphs, maybe the ancients built custom gates for their outposts or gave up after making the first few. The position on the DHD would remain the same so although the glyphs didn't make sense every SG team member would remember 1 o'clock outer ring, 9 o'clock middle ring etc....
    – Arcath
    Apr 24, 2017 at 10:33
  • I played a Stargate simulator a few months ago and even with Earth's address literally written down on a piece of card in front of me it took forever to dial up the DHD. The glyphs are so hard to parse and find! Respect to SG teams. Although I imagine at least the glyphs are usually in the same place so you'd get used to it. Nov 7, 2018 at 10:52

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