“Jack, I think this is a map of a vast network of stargates – stargates that are all over the galaxy.”
—Doctor Daniel Jackson, Stargate SG-1, “Children of the Gods”
In 1928, an archeological dig in Giza, Egypt, unearthed a giant ring and cover stone that had been buried for nearly 10,000 years. Decades later, disgraced Egyptologist Daniel Jackson discovered that this ring was a gateway to another planet, Abydos. However, the stargate was also a doorway to danger, having been buried to stop a powerful alien being from enslaving ancient Egyptians in the guise of the god Ra. Thus, the Stargate franchise was born. That first step into the cosmos revealed a vast network of stargates throughout the galaxy and beyond, while introducing Ra’s species, the parasitical Goa’uld, who sought to subjugate all inhabited worlds. Earth established a program with the mandate to explore the vast array of planets on the other side of the stargate, while seeking allies and technical assistance in fighting the Goa’uld and freeing those already enslaved.
What began as an exciting adventure film in 1994 has endured as a multimedia franchise spanning multiple Stargate television shows (SG-1, Infinity, Atlantis, Universe, and Origins), as well as an expanded universe of licensed literature. The mythos has explored not only alien civilizations and customs, but also the human condition, politics, and morality. Unauthorized Offworld Activation: Exploring The Stargate Franchise, an upcoming Sequart anthology that I co-edited with Joseph Brandt Dilworth Jr., gathers essays from subject-matter experts examining these and other themes through an insightful and scholarly lens. Work on the book is nearly completed, so here’s a sneak peek at the contents to give you an idea of what you can expect:
Snakes on a Train: An Introduction
Taking the Space Out of Deep Space
Inhabiting This Human Form: The Metaphysical Personhood of Ra
The Furlings: From Paradise Lost to Lost Opportunity
Star Gods: Do They Live Up to Their Hype?
Ancient Astronauts and Project Stargate: The Mythology Behind the Franchise
Faith and False Gods: Religion in Stargate SG-1
To Infinity and Beyond the Pale
Francis Bacon’s New Atlantis and the Ideals of Modern Science in Stargate Atlantis
Lonely at the Top: The Underused Leaders of Atlantis
Keith R.A. DeCandido
A Wolf in Sheep’s Spacesuit: Nicholas Rush and the Dark Side of Stargate Universe
Stargate Merchandise: Why Isn’t There More Stuff?
Mark L. Haynes
Fear and Loathing in Cheyenne Mountain
Vivid Determination: The Power of Women in Stargate
Personnel Changes in the Stargate Universe
Gates, Galaxies, and Globalization: SG-1 and Science Fiction in the Digital Age
Same Gate Time, Same Gate Channel: Resurrecting the Brand (Twice) with a Serial Flair
Chevron Seven Locked: An Afterword