I recently re-watched the original Stargate movie, and I may have missed it...but how did the SG team dial Earth from Abydos? I didn't recall them having found a DHD.


It's glossed over, and never shown. Based on the conversation between O'Neil and Jackson, Jackson was supposed to align the symbols, implying it was a manual dial. Jackson just needed to know the symbols needed, and order of them.

As has been shown in the SG-1 series, all that is needed to activate the Stargate is to manually rotate the ring, and a sufficient power source. SG-1 also explains that most worlds have a Dial Home Device. These are both Season 1 events, so its clear that the ideas were thought out to explain discrepancies between the Movie and the Series.

The novelization explains it in the same manner. The Stargate is completely manually dialed, as the inner ring moves freely. The SGC setup simply moves the inner ring, and there is no direct computer connection. It is all passively sensed.

In the end, the actual means of how it is done does not matter to the plot.

  • I kind of thought the manual dial was what they resorted to, but they still would need a source of power? Aug 25 '14 at 2:38
  • 1
    @BartSilverstrim the power source requirement was added in SG-1 the series. The movie does not go into much if any technical detail of the operation of the Stargate aside from 7 symbols in order needed.
    – user16696
    Aug 25 '14 at 2:46
  • In the SG-1 episode Torment of Tantalus they manually dial by rotating it by hand, while using the MALP as the power source to the gate. It appears that the original dialing (before the movie) also was done by hand: gateworld.net/gallery/albums/sg1_season1/…
    – Mufasa
    Aug 25 '14 at 15:36
  • @Mufasa true, which is different than the novelization, where the inner ring can be moved by hand with just enough effort to overcome the inertia of its mass, and once the symbols are locked, the wormhole forms. No power needed at all. In SG-1, it needs power to allow it to move, as well as for the stargate to form a wormhole.
    – user16696
    Aug 25 '14 at 22:06
  • @Mufasa In that episode they use lightning to power the gate. Nov 9 '19 at 13:29

In the movie it was entirely glossed over, so there is no in-universe explanation if you only consider the movie.

The SG-1 pilot very quickly established that Abydos has a DHD, however.

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