Are You Ready for Stargate Universe? [Geek Editorial]

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By Jimmy Rogers (@me)
Contributing Writer, [GAS]

When Star Trek: TNG ended and the franchise melted into less compelling series like Voyager and DS9 (let’s not even DISCUSS Enterprise), we “space action show” geeks felt a little lost.  Nothing really stood out and said, “Here’s that great formula you know and love.”  Then Stargate: SG1 came along and for many it was like a second wind.  O’Neill, Carter, Jackson, and Teal’c filled our evenings once again with heroic space explorers fighting against evil and discovering amazing technologies.  Their mission wasn’t far off from “to seek out new life and new civilizations, and to boldly go…”

Stargate: SG1, like all good things, had to come to an end.  Atlantis kept alive the spirit of Stargate (fairly valiantly, in my opinion), but eventually that story also came to an end.  The spiritual void opened up again.  Other shows, like Heroes, Lost, and Battlestar Galactica, filled in the gaps for some, but personally I bided my time with SG1 reruns and Doctor Who.

Now, a new Stargate star is about to rise.  Stargate Universe, or SGU for short, will launch this Fall.  After Comic-Con, we have a new tidbit to share with you:

Ok, after that geektastic video explosion, here are my thoughts.  The creators of SGU clearly want to piggyback on Battlestar Galactica’s incredible popularity with some audiences that may not have otherwise been into Scifi.  It looks like the cast IS essentially on a Battlestar, so it’s hard to wiggle out of that one.  It also appears that they want to include some more of the “darker” aspects that BSG was known for.  This is definitely a shift away from the more happy-go-lucky mood of SG1 (despite dire, world-ending danger at all times).

That being said, I still see potential for SGU.  It’s hard to tell from the clip, but the formula seems to be intact.  That is, stern military commander, genius/scientist who likes to blunder ahead in the name of exploration, and….well that’s the groundwork anyway.  The model is flexible as we saw in Stargate: Atlantis.  There is time enough to find a burly native and a sexy second-in-command!

Stargate Universe Cast

While it’s hard to pull much more out of a < 3 minute clip, I do like the tip they made to the geeks in the audience (the Hoth reference).  In a darker Stargate universe, a youngish geek character will not only add occasional bits of humor, but might also give the fans a “seat in the cockpit,” so to speak.

Whatever the outcome, I hope that SGU improves upon the Stargate franchise instead of simply leeching off of a very loyal fan base.  Dial the gate!

How did the clip strike you?  Have you got any early feelings about SGU?  Share them below or let me know on Twitter!

[Via io9] [Crew picture from Fused Film]





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18 Responses to Are You Ready for Stargate Universe? [Geek Editorial]

  1. Comparing SG to TNG? Ouch… personally I can't stand anything from the Stargate franchise, but this looks like it might have some potential.

    • Well there is definitely a difference in the "tone" of SG1 from TNG, but think about it this way. Almost ALL science fiction, especially episodic science fiction, is set up to place "known" characters in adverse or fantastical situations and see how they deal with it. TNG and SG1 both have similar KINDS of episodes in the sense that they are always looking to reconcile their values, ambitions, and responsibilities with the completely unexpected environments they operate within. Plus, chronologically, SG1 followed TNG as "king of late-night scifi."

      Also, to add to my earlier article, I think TNG has a fairly serious, duty driven tone, SG1 has a much more lighthearted tone (though with some necessary dramatic climaxes and such), and BSG has a decidedly more "gritty" and realistic tone than either of the others. It's interesting to compare them.

      • Certainly in broad measures they can easily be compared. But to a TNG fan who grew up in he 80s and is probably completely biased, I don't find them similar at all. ;) As you mentioned TNG always had a more serious undertone which I always enjoyed and that I generally prefer in Sci-fi. The one more objective value comparison that I'll make is that while looking backwards, TNG looks a bit cheap and cheesy by todays standards, but it's well done within context of when it was made. But to me Stargate looks cheap (in regards to production value) even within context of when it was made. Other than that one criticism, anything I have to say about the show is highly subjective. Had I been born later, I'd probably be a massive Stargate fan.

  2. Comparing SG to TNG? Ouch… personally I can’t stand anything from the Stargate franchise, but this looks like it might have some potential.

    • Well there is definitely a difference in the “tone” of SG1 from TNG, but think about it this way. Almost ALL science fiction, especially episodic science fiction, is set up to place “known” characters in adverse or fantastical situations and see how they deal with it. TNG and SG1 both have similar KINDS of episodes in the sense that they are always looking to reconcile their values, ambitions, and responsibilities with the completely unexpected environments they operate within. Plus, chronologically, SG1 followed TNG as “king of late-night scifi.”

      Also, to add to my earlier article, I think TNG has a fairly serious, duty driven tone, SG1 has a much more lighthearted tone (though with some necessary dramatic climaxes and such), and BSG has a decidedly more “gritty” and realistic tone than either of the others. It’s interesting to compare them.

      • Certainly in broad measures they can easily be compared. But to a TNG fan who grew up in he 80s and is probably completely biased, I don’t find them similar at all. ;) As you mentioned TNG always had a more serious undertone which I always enjoyed and that I generally prefer in Sci-fi. The one more objective value comparison that I’ll make is that while looking backwards, TNG looks a bit cheap and cheesy by todays standards, but it’s well done within context of when it was made. But to me Stargate looks cheap (in regards to production value) even within context of when it was made. Other than that one criticism, anything I have to say about the show is highly subjective. Had I been born later, I’d probably be a massive Stargate fan.

  3. I was late to the party, but I've been catching up with Stargate SG1 and Atlantis by watching all the DVDs. I have grown to love both series and when they announced SGU at the show finale of SGA, I was thinking it was going to be a melding of the two casts and the two shows. On that front I'm sorely disappointed.

    But still, I'm likely to watch as much of SGU as I can. On a personal note, there definitely should be more attractive females added to the cast pictured above. Looks like a B-list sausage fest.

  4. I was late to the party, but I’ve been catching up with Stargate SG1 and Atlantis by watching all the DVDs. I have grown to love both series and when they announced SGU at the show finale of SGA, I was thinking it was going to be a melding of the two casts and the two shows. On that front I’m sorely disappointed.
    But still, I’m likely to watch as much of SGU as I can. On a personal note, there definitely should be more attractive females added to the cast pictured above. Looks like a B-list sausage fest.

  5. OK, so.. we screw up the Stargate series like anything else:

    Step 1) Crank down the age of EVERYONE. Surely THAT will make it "cool."

    Step 2) Make it DARK. You know, for the people that enjoy wallowing in negativity.

    Step 3) Ramp up the sexuality. I mean.. come on. Sex sells, right? Let's cash in! Yeah!

    Step 4) Make everything "X-TREME." If an explosion big enough to take a city is cool, think how much COOLER one that will take out a planet will be! Because if a spritz of fine perfume is good, then A WHOLE GALLON must be better, right?!

    Ugh… I'm totally going to just have to wait for the next season of Doctor Who to come stateside.

  6. OK, so.. we screw up the Stargate series like anything else:

    Step 1) Crank down the age of EVERYONE. Surely THAT will make it “cool.”
    Step 2) Make it DARK. You know, for the people that enjoy wallowing in negativity.
    Step 3) Ramp up the sexuality. I mean.. come on. Sex sells, right? Let’s cash in! Yeah!
    Step 4) Make everything “X-TREME.” If an explosion big enough to take a city is cool, think how much COOLER one that will take out a planet will be! Because if a spritz of fine perfume is good, then A WHOLE GALLON must be better, right?!

    Ugh… I’m totally going to just have to wait for the next season of Doctor Who to come stateside.

  7. I just have to wonder how Deep Space 9 is called "less compelling" when the writing, acting, directing, and stories were far more complex and sophisticated than TNG's alien-of-the-week formula. I love both shows, but DS9 deserves its props.

    I tried to get into Stargate. It never grabbed me. I loved the film, but the show never really connected with me. I tried – rented the DVDs and all – but I guess it just never felt right.

  8. I just have to wonder how Deep Space 9 is called “less compelling” when the writing, acting, directing, and stories were far more complex and sophisticated than TNG’s alien-of-the-week formula. I love both shows, but DS9 deserves its props.

    I tried to get into Stargate. It never grabbed me. I loved the film, but the show never really connected with me. I tried – rented the DVDs and all – but I guess it just never felt right.

  9. I personally think the story can make another 5 years of awesome evenings, but what made SG-1 and SG-A so damn good was the cast.

    The Original cast was perfect. You had to like them for their being "real", not some cool faked Character. And they added each other to a perfect Team.

    SG-A got a little off Balance, but still awesome crew, especially the "rise" ( :D ) of McKay.

    But this cast, as far as I can tell, goes really off the usual. Let's see how well they merge, how the people can sympathize and feel with them, because I think this is the core to a good series.

    Shevron 8…. locked :)

    Markus

  10. I personally think the story can make another 5 years of awesome evenings, but what made SG-1 and SG-A so damn good was the cast.

    The Original cast was perfect. You had to like them for their being “real”, not some cool faked Character. And they added each other to a perfect Team.

    SG-A got a little off Balance, but still awesome crew, especially the “rise” ( :D ) of McKay.

    But this cast, as far as I can tell, goes really off the usual. Let’s see how well they merge, how the people can sympathize and feel with them, because I think this is the core to a good series.

    Shevron 8…. locked :)
    Markus

  11. I see the potential, but I'll have to wait until I actually see it to pass judgement. But somehow, it's just not Stargate without Sam, Daniel, and Teal'c. I grew up on SG1, it's been hard to let go.

  12. I see the potential, but I’ll have to wait until I actually see it to pass judgement. But somehow, it’s just not Stargate without Sam, Daniel, and Teal’c. I grew up on SG1, it’s been hard to let go.