In the tie-in of SG-1 and Atlantis, they had to use a ZPM to power the gate, and use an eighth chevron to travel to the Pegasus Galaxy. It was (so I thought) common knowledge that they could only travel to gates within our own galaxy unless they had met those requirements.

Now, I recently rewatched the movie, in which the probe traveled to the Kaliam Galaxy, or as Catherine put it, "the other side of the known universe." So, why the limitation on the TV show? And why were they able to travel back to that planet in the first episodes?

3 Answers 3


This seems to be an example of retcon. Whilst in the film the planet Abydos was in the Kaliam Galaxy, in the TV series this was changed, and Abydos was said to be the closest planet to Earth (with a stargate), and therefore in the Milky Way.

I imagine that the reason they changed it for the TV series was so that they could have storylines with the Asgard, the Ori and Atlantis, without the teams being able to travel back and forth at will. This is only speculation though so I'll look into it further.

See Differences from the series.


The simple answer was that the probe that calculated the distance (obviously via star constellations) was very confused. It had only traveled a few relative light years (Abydos is quite close!) but misinterpreted the sky as being in another galaxy. LOL, oops!

Think about it! It was the first time non-Sol constellations had ever been triangulated by their civilization. Mistakes happen ;-)

  • 2
    I like this answer because Murphy's Law.
    – Ernie
    Commented Jul 20, 2015 at 18:29
  • So I was watching Stargate (1994) today, 20 August 2020, and I sought out an answer for this question again. I read this answer and I was like, "Hey! That's exactly what I was thinking!!" Then I saw that it was me who's answer I was reading, almost exactly 5 years later! Commented Aug 20, 2020 at 10:35

The answer is quite simple: The energy rate required to go to another galaxy is too high to be achieved with anything less than ZPM levels of power. Now, as it has been pointed out, there was a very large retcon of Abydos's location for the show.

However, this is not the only way to travel between galaxies: There is the McKay/Carter Intergalactic Gate Bridge.

This was designed to facilitate travel from Pegasus to the Milky Way by making sure that each gate is only dialing a local gate, and thus being able to transport from one galaxy to another without the outrageous intergalactic fees high energy rate.

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