Yu Huang Shang Ti
Earth Culture of Origin
China, Xia Dynasty
Alternate Names / Spellings
“The Jade Emperor” Yù Huáng (or Yù Dì or Shang Dì), known informally by children and commoners as Grandpa Heaven (Tiān Gōng) and known formally as the Pure August Jade Emperor or August Personage of Jade (Yu Huang Shangdi or Yu Huang Dadi)
Heaven and Earth
Earth Mythological References
Sun of the Earth-god, Gun, Yu was known as the "Jade Emperor" of Chinese mythology originally the crown prince of the kingdom of Pure Felicity and Majestic Heavenly Lights and Ornaments. It was said the Jade Emperor fashioned the first humans from clay, but as he left them to harden in the sun, it rained, misshaping some of the figures, thus explaining the origin of sickness and physical abnormalities. Which might explain why he devoted his entire childhood in helping the needy (the poor and suffering, the deserted and single, the hungry and disabled). Furthermore, he showed respect and benevolence to both men and creature.
According to legend, he ascended to the throne following his father’s death, but abdicated his office after only a few days. He withdrew into the mountains where he studied the Tao in the hopes of helping men. When he attained perfection, he devoted the remainder of his life to the sick and the poor, instructing them in the Tao. After 3,200 world periods he became a golden immortal and after a further hundred million aeons, the Jade Emperor.
He is one of the best loved and best known of several legendary rulers, and is now considered to have been an actual person, the first King of the Xia dynasty (c 21st -16th centuries BC). He is best remembered for his battle against a great flood inundating the valley of the Huanghe (Yellow) River.
We first meet Yu as a member of the Goa’uld delegation (including Nirrti and Cronus) arriving on Earth to negotiate a treaty with the Tau’ri to allow Earth to become an Asgaard Protected Planet. The negotiations are difficult, hampered by Earth Representative Jack O’Neill’s awkward attempt at ambassadorship, Teal’c’s intense loathing of Cronus (the Goa’uld responsible for killing Teal’c’s father), and Nirrti’s deceit in scheming to not only undermine the Treaty, but to also take out her rival Goa’uld. (3.03 "Fair Game")
Yu makes an appearance again at a high-level meeting wherein Goa’uld System Lords have agreed to gather together in an attempt to form an uneasy alliance against their common enemies. Word had reached the Tok’ra about this gathering, and Jacob Carter/Selmak convinces the Tau’ri to take advantage of this golden opportunity to take out as many of the System Lords as possible using a new poison fashioned by the Tok’ra – deadly to symbiote and host alike. The plan is to smuggle Daniel (who is not a Goa’uld and can understand and speak Goa’uld) on board as Yu’s trusted Lo’taur (human slave). This is achieved through the use of a drug developed by the Tok’ra to trick Yu into thinking Daniel is Jarren, his Lo’taur. Unfortunately, the plan derails when Daniel sees a new arrival amongst the group of System Lords: Sarah Gardner, Daniel’s ex-girlfriend and host to Osiris. (5.15 "Summit Part 1", 5.16 "Last Stand Part 2")
The Jaffa rebellion has a new leader, the formidable and charismatic, Kytano. Former First Prime of the now deceased Goa’uld, Imhotep, Kytano has acquired hundreds of Jaffa followers, and SG-1 want to secure an alliance. In spite of O’Neill’s growing misgivings, Teal’c becomes drawn into the fervour, ready to quit SG-1 to follow Kytano's lead. However, an encounter with Lord Yu opens Teal’c’s eyes to who and what Kytano really is. (5.18 "The Warrior")
Lord Yu makes his next appearance (accompanied by a fleet of Goa’uld motherships) above the planet Abydos just as an ascended Daniel confronts Anubis, who has acquired the Eye of Ra and is about to destroy the planet using his new super weapon. It is very likely Daniel used his powers to ‘nudge’ Yu into forming a Goa’uld alliance to travel to Abydos and face down Anubis, an act that was probably a last ditch effort before finally having to cross the line into direct interference. The plan fails as Anubis fires on Yu’s fleet of motherships who then return fire. Several of Yu’s motherships are destroyed in the battle as Anubis’ superior fire power prevails. (6.22 "Full Circle")
Anubis has acquired the Eye of Ra and is now in possession of a new superweapon. He is a threat to System Lords and Tau’ri alike, and it is thought that Lord Yu is the most likely System Lord to agree to an alliance against Anubis. Teal'c is dispatched to confer with Lord Yu, who pledges to bring the full force of the remaining system lords' fleets down on Anubis once SG-1 succeeds in destroying his superweapon. Things go awry however and Yu changes his mind at the last moment, ordering his First Prime, Oshu, to withdraw the fleet across the galaxy. Teal'c is taken into custody. (7.01 "Fallen Part 1")
Aboard Yu's Mothership, Teal'c learns from First Prime Oshu why Lord Yu did not fulfill his pledge to rally the System Lords against Anubis. Yu, the oldest of the System Lords, has been growing senile and believed that Anubis was in another system across the galaxy. Teal'c convinces Oshu to assume command and rally the System Lords against the rogue Anubis. Together, they approach Lord Ba'al, who is at first enraged that a second-in-command and a shol'va (traitor) would dare contact him. But when Teal'c proposes a plan to defeat Anubis, Ba'al listens. (7.02 "Homecoming Part 2")
Yu is among a three-member System Lord delegation (including Camulus and Amaterasu) sent by the combined System Lords to discuss the removal of Ba'al after Earth defeated Anubis and Ba'al gained too much power. Because Yu is becoming weaker due to his age, he is accompanied by First Prime Oshu who often speaks for him. The System Lords send a ship to test out Earth's defenses, but Oshu insists that Lord Yu did not participate in that decision. The ship is destroyed by Ba'al and the System Lord delegation is sent home. (8.01 "New Order Part 1", 8.02 "New Order Part 2")
Later, Lord Yu and two other System Lords are visited by a representative of Ba'al who is there to present an offer from her master: Ba'al will allow them to live and maintain their armies and territories, provided they acknowledge Ba'al as The Supreme Commander of all the Goa'uld. Lord Yu is outraged, but before he can react, they are interrupted. Lieutenant Colonel Samantha Carter is brought before them, presumably a captured prisoner. Stunned, Yu approaches her, asking her what she's doing there. It's soon evident that Carter is actually Replicator Carter. With her arm suddenly transformed into a sword, she answers the elderly System Lord by running him through, killing Lord Yu then the others. ("Reckoning Part 1")
- 3.03 "Fair Game"
- 5.15 "Summit Part 1"
- 5.16 "Last Stand Part 2"
- 5.18 "The Warrior"
- 6.22 "Full Circle"
- 7.01 "Fallen Part 1"
- 7.02 "Homecoming Part 2"
- 8.01 "New Order Part 1"
- 8.02 "New Order Part 2"
- 8.16 "Reckoning Part 1"
- Jack O'Neill
- Daniel Jackson
- Jacob Carter/Selmak
- Replicator Samantha Carter