stargateMetro-Goldwyn-Mayer
1994
PG-13

“I don’t want to die. And your men don’t want to die, and these people certainly don’t want to die. It’s a shame you’re in such a hurry to.”

It was a fall afternoon on a Sunday in 1994. I was attending college in Wayne, Nebraska; some of my friends and I attended a service at one of the megachurches in Souix City, then took in a showing of the newly released sci-fi flick Stargate. I had no idea what that movie was; at the time, I was blissfully ignorant of most genre movies being released at the time. This was also before I knew who Roland Emmerich was. All I remember was someone in the group saying, “Let’s go see Stargate,” and I was just along for the ride. Fortunately, it was a pretty fun ride.

After a flashback to an archeological dig in Giza, Egypt in 1928, we meet one Dr. Daniel Jackson in the current day, trying (and failing miserably) to convince his collegues of his theory that the Ancient Egyptian culture was influenced by aliens. He’s offered a gig to decipher some strange–one would say “alien”–hieroglyphics on the item that was found at the aforementioned Giza dig. Turns out, those weren’t hieroglyphs at all, but constellations, and putting those bits into the ginormous stone circle activates a wormhole. And since we’re a curious lot, Dr. Jackson joins a team of military soldiers lead by Colonel Jack O’Neil into the wormhole to see what’s on the other side. And what’s on the other side is a planet on the farthest side of the known galaxy. A desert planet, to be exact; one that has a pyramid-like structure, as well as locals that appear to have bearly entered the Bronze Age. Also, they see a necklace of the Eye of Ra that Dr. Jackson is wearing, and begin to worship the off-world newcomers. Turns out, the locals speak a variation of Ancient Egyptian, so Dr. Jackson is able to communicate with them. Seems that this alien culture has close ties to how Earth’s Egyptian culture arose. Namely, an alien going by the name of Ra possessing an Earthling and setting himself up as a god. But then, the Earthlings revolted and Ra escaped and set up shop on this planet, where reading and writing is outlawed. And wouldn’t you know it? During all this exposition, Ra’s ship arrives, and the god is none too pleased at this turn of events. And with Colonel O’Neil being a bit on the suicidal side of things due to the tragic death of his son prior to this movie, he brought along a nuclear warhead to detonate in the event of a hostile alien situation to protect Earth from invasion. And Ra and his minions are as hostile as they come. Wackiness and an alien uprising ensues.

There’s really not much more I can say at this point, other than Stargate remains one of those sci-fi classics that I never really tire of watching. I’ve seen this many times, owned the movie at one point (which got lost in the shuffle of life some time ago, unfortunately, and I haven’t had an opportunity to replace it), and its legacy still reverberates in pop culture today. And yes, Stargate is another one of those big budget B-Movie flicks that I recommend whole-heartedly.