We didn’t land on Abydos, Abydos landed on us.
In a somewhat controversial decision, The Guinness World Records declared Stargate: SG-1 the longest running science fiction show (consecutive). With 214 episodes, it’s no slouch in the length department, even if Doctor Who ran for much longer, even consecutively.
Regardless, Stargate SG-1 made Richard Dean Anderson more than that guy in the ’80s with a mullet and a pocketful of rubber bands and paper clips. Stargate all had to start somewhere though, and that place is right here. In a way, it’s really sort of astounding.
Dean Devlin and Roland Emmerich created the film (I know that they got sued because they might not have actually done that), and for the two, it’s got a relatively great amount of depth. It’s also probably their greatest contribution to popular culture, barring catapulting Will Smith to box office fame and the revelation that cold can chase people down.
The analysis of the titular Stargate and discovery and exploration of another culture allow the film to try to attain some higher level. Though the film has some typical fish out of water moments, especially for Kurt Russell’s Jack O’Neil. This is still Emmerich after all.
And then stuff blows up real good, since it’s got Kurt Russell not playing a hockey coach. There really is a shift in the film, with the exploration and scientific expedition aspect of the film replaced with an extremely quick rebellion. It’s something that’s been mentioned on the boards before. It can be a flaw, but I don’t mind that too much, as I have said over there.
To indulge a little navel-grazing, it would have been interesting if this had been plotted out as a trilogy. Instead of the quick battle and overthrow of Ra, it might have been interesting to have seen this group of Air Force guys completely cut off from Earth and having to launch an actual rebellion in order to free the people and get back to Earth. A process that wouldn’t get resolved until the third movie. We got the TV show instead.
Overall though, I like the movie and it’s one of the best Emmerich movies out there. I know, that might not be saying much, but still. UNIVERSAL SOLDIER is still a better movie though. Even ignoring the ear necklace.
Stargate’s an interesting franchise though. A generally well-received movie, grossing almost $200M worldwide box office, and it led to three TV series that don’t feel like cheap tie-ins, a cartoon series, and three and a half video games.
I know it’d be more expensive, but it really shouldn’t have taken this long to get that Star Wars live-action TV show out. I can’t really think of any other franchise that had a similar start. I mean, wasn’t VAN HELSING supposed to spawn a TV show? Look how that went.
WTF? Casting: I know that there’s a lot of “hey it’s that guy!” in this movie, but I expect that folks got to start somewhere.
Leon “Tom Nuttall” Rippy as General W.O. West