Stargate Movie Highlights

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Stargate – The Movie

The North African desert, 8000 BC: An enormous pyramid hovers above a tented village. A boy watches as high winds rip the tents away, the terrified people flee, and a beam of light traverses the site.

A dig site at Giza, Egypt, 1928: As Professor Langford looks at some coverstones, his young daughter Catherine sees some artefacts. She picks up a gold medallion bearing the Eye of Ra, hung on a gold chain. The Professor and Catherine watch as the workers raise a huge metallic ring. Beneath the ring is a fossilised creature with a jackal’s head.

Present day: Catherine Langford, now elderly, wearing the Ra medallion, listens to Daniel Jackson speaking on Ancient Egypt. When Daniel insists that the Pharaohs of the Fourth Dynasty did not build the Great Pyramid, there is dissent from the audience. A heckler suggests that men from Atlantis, or Martians, built the Great Pyramid. Soon, virtually the entire audience has walked out.

Later, as Daniel stands in the pouring rain, a USAF airman approaches and takes him to a car where Catherine is waiting. Catherine offers him a job, translating hieroglyphs. It is a chance to prove his theories. When Daniel hesitates, Catherine points out that he has been evicted from his apartment and his grants have run out. All his possessions are in his two suitcases. Catherine hands Daniel an envelope containing travel plans.

Colonel Jack O’Neil, long haired, unshaven, is sitting on his son’s bed, surrounded by the boy’s possessions, holding a handgun. Two USAF officers arrive to tell him he has been reactivated. As the officers drive away, one reveals that O’Neil’s son died; he accidentally shot himself.

As Catherine welcomes Daniel to Creek Mountain, he sees the Giza coverstones. It is to translate the inscriptions on them that Daniel is here. Daniel immediately recognises that parts of the inscriptions are not hieroglyphs. There is a partial translation on a chalkboard. Daniel comments that whoever did it must have used Budge – he doesn’t know why they keep reprinting his books. Daniel swiftly corrects the translation; ‘a million years into the sky is Ra, Sun God. Sealed and buried for all time his Stargate.’

O’Neil, with a military haircut and wearing dress blues, tells Catherine that he is now in charge, and the project has become classified.

Two weeks later, Daniel is out of ideas. He has compared the inscriptions on the cover stones with all known writing styles and found no similarities. He fears he will never be paid. While refilling the coffee maker, he sees the illustration on the front of the nightwatchman’s newspaper; the constellation Orion. Inspiration strikes. The symbols on the coverstones are not writing; they are constellations.

At a briefing, Daniel explains how the constellations on the coverstones form an address by which to chart a course through space. Unwillingly impressed, O’Neil agrees that Daniel can be shown ‘the device.’ As the metallic ring from Giza is revealed, Catherine tells Daniel ‘It’s your Stargate.’

Using the symbols identified by Daniel, the Stargate is dialled. Catherine tells Daniel that it is made of a mineral unknown on Earth. Everyone watches, fascinated, as the Stargate ‘kawhooshes’ and the event horizon forms. A probe is sent through. Images transmitted show another Stargate, but the symbols are different; the mission may have to be aborted. Daniel says that he could decipher the symbols and dial home. O’Neil tells General West ‘He’s full of shit.’ But the General tells Daniel ‘You’re on the team.’

O’Neil looks at the fossil that was excavated with the Stargate. General West tells him ‘We’ve opened a doorway to a world we know nothing about.’

As Daniel packs books and candy bars, Catherine gives him the Ra medallion. It has brought her luck.

O’Neil leads his team through the Stargate. Daniel pauses to gaze in wonder at the event horizon. He emerges on the other side of the wormhole disoriented, cold and nauseous. The team make their way outside. The sun beats down and sand dunes stretch to the horizon. Turning, O’Neil and Daniel see the building they have emerged from – a great pyramid. Three moons hang in the sky above it.

After some reconnaissance, O’Neil orders Daniel to start realigning the Stargate. Daniel says he can’t – the information he needs isn’t there. As O’Neil, inside the pyramid, assembles the bomb, Feretti vents his anger at Daniel, throwing the case containing his books down the sand dune. As Daniel retrieves the books, he sees footprints in the sand. Following the tracks, he finds the mastadge and makes friends by offering it his candy bar. The beast takes off across the dunes, dragging Daniel with it. O’Neil, Kawalsky and Brown follow.

The mastadge leads them to the mine. Prompted by O’Neil, Daniel tries to speak to the workers, but on seeing the Ra medallion he wears, they react in terror, prostrating themselves. O’Neil attempts to reassure Skaara, who runs away, returning with Kasuf. Kasuf greets the team ceremonially. Sha’uri offers water. Daniel responds to Kasuf’s greeting by giving him a Fifth Avenue Bar.

The team is escorted to the city, Nagada. There, Daniel realises the people worship the Sun God, Ra. As a sandstorm approaches, the gates are barred. O’Neil and Kawalsky fear they are prisoners, but Skaara manages to communicate with O’Neil. Feretti and the others seek shelter in the pyramid.

Daniel, O’Neil, Kawalsky and Brown are guests at a feast. The main dish is a reptilian creature which tastes like chicken. Daniel tries to communicate with Kasuf by drawing in the sand; he discovers writing is forbidden here.

Daniel is taken to a private chamber and given a swift wash and brush up by several women. When he is alone, Sha’uri enters. Very frightened, she begins to remove her gown; Daniel gently stops her. He wants her to leave, but Kasuf clearly expects Sha’uri to spend the night with Daniel. Back in the chamber, Daniel and Sha’uri begin to communicate.

The pyramid shakes as a huge spacecraft lands on the top. The men prepare to defend themselves. One by one, they are attacked by something which comes out of the darkness. Feretti, the last man standing, sees a man’s figure with a huge metallic jackal’s head.

O’Neil gives Skaara his cigarette lighter. Skaara reaches for O’Neil’s gun; O’Neil reacts angrily and Skaara runs away.

Sha’uri shows Daniel the wall paintings in the catacombs and teaches him to pronounce the language.

In the morning, O’Neil, with Skaara’s help, tracks Daniel to the catacombs. Daniel tells the story he has learned from the wall paintings; how an alien creature took a boy’s body as a host and was worshipped as the Sun God, Ra. He brought humans from Earth to this planet to work the mines. On Earth, the people rebelled against Ra and buried the Stargate to prevent his return. Kawalsky discovers a cartouche showing the symbols needed to dial home, but the seventh symbol is missing. Without it, there is no way home.

O’Neil orders the team back to the pyramid. Sha’uri watches as Daniel leaves reluctantly. Skaara and the Shepherd Boys secretly follow.

O’Neil and his team see the great spacecraft and enter the pyramid cautiously. As Brown and Kawalsky are attacked, O’Neil races to set off the bomb, but it has vanished. O’Neil and Daniel surrender to the jackal-headed Anubis. They are ringed up to the ship and taken before Ra. As Horus threatens O’Neil, Daniel steps between them, and is killed by a blast from Horus’s weapon.

Gliders attack Nagada, causing many casualties.

Daniel revives in the sarcophagus. Ra describes his plan to send the bomb to Earth, its destructive power increased by his mineral. To demonstrate his authority, he will order Daniel to kill O’Neil and his men – or Ra will destroy the Abydonians. Ra rips the medallion from around Daniel’s neck; there can be only one Ra.

Sha’uri tells Skaara the story Daniel told her about where their people came from, and why they can no longer live as slaves.

The Abydonians, O’Neil and his men are assembled before Ra. Anubis hands Daniel a staff weapon and orders him to fire. Skaara signals Daniel; he has a weapon, retrieved from Base Camp. Daniel turns and fires on the Guards, and the Shepherd Boys fire their weapons. In the confusion, the prisoners escape, Daniel and O’Neil fleeing on a mastadge.

O’Neil and Daniel become lost in a sandstorm. The Shepherd Boys find them and take them to caves where Sha’uri, Kawalsky and Feretti are sheltering. Daniel forces O’Neil to disclose his secret orders – to track down signs of any possible danger, and if he found any, to blow up the Stargate - and reveals Ra’s plan for the bomb. Daniel learns about O’Neil’s son. He tells O’Neil ‘I don’t want to die. Your men don’t want to die, and these people here don’t want to die. It’s a shame you’re in such a hurry to.’

Daniel discovers that the Abydonians consider him and Sha’uri to be married.

Skaara is drawing on the cave wall. Daniel realises he has drawn the seventh symbol – the three moons above the pyramid. They can go home.

At the mine, O’Neil kills Horus. Daniel shows Kasuf that his gods are only men. Disguised as workers, O’Neil’s team join the caravan taking the mineral to Ra. O’Neil, Daniel and Sha’uri enter the pyramid. O’Neil starts the countdown on the bomb. Sha’uri is killed by a Guard. As the ring transporter activates, Daniel lifts Sha’uri and stands beneath it; they are transported to Ra’s ship as Anubis rings down.

Daniel uses the sarcophagus to revive Sha’uri. As they are about to ring down to the Stargate, they are intercepted by Ra, who uses the ribbon device on Daniel.

As O’Neil and Anubis fight, O’Neil traps Anubis under the ring transporter and activates it, bringing Daniel and Sha’uri back down. At the last moment, Daniel seizes the medallion from around Ra’s neck.

O’Neil tries to stop the countdown but cannot; it has been rigged.

Outside the pyramid, Kawalsky, Feretti and the Shepherd Boys are attacked by gliders. They are out of ammunition. Kawalsky surrenders, but thousands of people, led by Kasuf, rush down the dunes. The Guards are mobbed.

As the countdown reaches it last seconds, O’Neil and Daniel simultaneously think of sending the bomb to Ra’s ship. The people see the explosion and celebrate as Daniel and Sha’uri kiss. O’Neil watches, smiling.

Feretti and Kawalsky bid Daniel a friendly farewell. Daniel asks O’Neil if he will be all right; O’Neil thinks he will be. Daniel hands O’Neil the Ra medallion, asking him to tell Catherine it brought him luck. As he steps into the Stargate, O’Neil says ‘I’ll be seeing you around, Doctor Jackson.’

Article by Jay

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--Alison 14:55, 27 Jun 2004 (PDT)