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I noticed while reading several articles on stargates that the Ancients had made "upgrades" in their 3rd version of the stargate network (Pegasus) regarding security. The one that strikes me as most odd is the fact that they eliminated the ability for Pegasus gates to be manually dialed (i.e., without the use of a DHD). This feature usually comes in handy in cases of stranded travelers with few technological resources at hand to repair or replace DHDs.

Is there ever a canon explanation as to why this is? If not, what would the best rationale be for this?

  • 8
    I suppose that's for the same reason we eliminated manual dialing in smartphones: Less mechanical complexity, sleeker design, customizable interfaces (remote or local ones). With the same caveat that, since smartphones are more power hungry that traditional portable phones, you can get stranded somewhere without battery even easier...
    – Eureka
    Aug 16, 2013 at 9:13
  • None is hinted at in the show. I don't read the novels or comic books though, so I can't say this is true definitively. Probably have to go with an out-of-universe answer... same reason that Apophis' helmets for his Jaffa looked like bad community theater props, but by the end of the show we were getting nice CGI once again.
    – John O
    Dec 20, 2013 at 22:45
  • Budgeting reasons?
    – Daniel
    Nov 10, 2015 at 20:29

1 Answer 1


It was most likely just the march of advancing technology, and they never really considered it.

The earliest version Stargate we know about are the ones from Stargate Universe. In that one, the Stargate rotated on a pedestal, which was actually integrated as part of the systems:

Stargate from Stargate Universe

The next version created is the most well-known, the type in Stargate SG-1. The mechanics inside the platform have been integrated into the ring itself, which can now work on its own, provided it's propped up somehow:

Stargate from Stargate SG-1

When the Ancients went to the Pegasus Galaxy, there were numerous upgrades - mentioned in the pilot, including the shield that acted like Earth's iris. However, I don't believe the loss of the rotating ring was meant to be one of those features. It was probably viewed as an antiquated limitation that was gotten rid of in this new version:

Stargate from Stargate Atlantis

The most advanced version of a Stargate we've ever seen appeared in Stargate SG-1 5x03, Ascension. It was made by an ascended Ancient, with the most advanced knowledge they ever gained. Like the ones from the Pegasus Galaxy, it has no moving parts:

Stargate made by ascended Ancient

There's even a real-life parallel. These are some typical modern smartphones:


There's one missing "feature" in all of these that the typical "dumbphone" has:


The body of the phone acts as a built-in screen protector.

It's a minor lost feature that no one really cares about. Likewise in the Stargate universe, remote controls existed for even the oldest gates. Normally seen controlling the Kino floating cameras, these doubled as DHDs:

Kino Remote and DHD

So from the Ancients' perspective it was probably considered unlikely that travelers would get stranded, and so the loss of that "feature" wasn't even thought much about - it was just a relic of more limited technology.

  • 3
    The gate made by the tollan's had no moving parts either and was thinner than even a pegasus gate. stargate.wikia.com/wiki/Tollana?file=Tollana_Stargate.png
    – Arcath
    Apr 24, 2017 at 10:09
  • 2
    The Tolan gate is definitely more advanced than Orlin's gate that he made in Sam's basement with stuff he bought online. Given that it was small and one-time use, manual dialing wasn't a high priority for him to add. Dec 31, 2017 at 3:57
  • 1
    Is there ever a episode in SGA that would have needed manual dialing, its possible its still there and you could just push the symbols like a button rather than spin the rings. That would still be an improvement as no moving parts. I don't remember a time where they need manual dialing in SGA so it might just not be shown
    – Matt
    May 26, 2019 at 22:41
  • @Matt there was the time Ford's "Lost Boys" kidnapped the team, hooked then on enzyme and forced them to help attack a hive. Ford removed the control crystal from the DHD. Likewise Michael removed the crystal trapping everyone on the world the Tyranon supervolcano refugees were moved to. Both times they'd do a manual dialout if it was possible.
    – John LA
    Aug 27, 2019 at 4:42
  • @JohnLA Maybe not. The DHD also acts as a power source for the gate, not just as the dialling device. The control crystal is involved in controlling the power supply as well, and in neither of the scenarios you mention did they have a spare power source available. It's mentioned you can sometimes use the residual energy stored in the gate itself (and there is even talk about gates recharging themselves), but those are workarounds that wouldn't be available when someone is actively designing to strand you.
    – Luaan
    Aug 30, 2022 at 10:00

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