If you follow me on social media, you would know that I’ve recently begun rewatching Stargate SG-1. The show is one of my favourites of all time, and revisiting it just reminded me of how amazing it was and why I loved it so much to begin with.
You know who probably doesn’t love it as much as I do? Screenwriter Dean Devlin, who along with director Roland Emmerich kicked off this whole galaxy wormholing shebang when they gave us the just as great Stargate movie way back in 1994. With the recent news that the pair would be revisiting the franchise again for a new trilogy, many fans – including myself – were wondering if this would be a complete “clean the slate and do it over again” reboot, or will this just be a new franchise spinoff, much like the 3 TV series the original movie had already spawned. The answer, unfortunately, is “reboot”, and according to an interview that Devlin did with the Portland Journal, it’s all Stargate SG-1‘s fault.
“The Stargate thing is a different story. We did the original Stargate as an independent movie. It was a surprise success. Shortly before the movie came out, the financiers who were frightened the movie might not do well sold the film to MGM. When the film came out, it was a hit and spawned TV shows.
Of all the projects I’ve ever done, Stargate is the only one from the beginning intended to be a trilogy. We always wanted to do parts two and three, but the thinking was they didn’t want to do anything other than the TV series. So literally for 20 years I’ve been chasing this project. Twenty years later, we can’t really do part two. We have to start over from the beginning. So let’s reboot the series, put in all the things we couldn’t the first time, and set it up properly.”
While the word “Stargate” is enough on its own to get me excited, I must admit to that excitement being tempered a bit by this news. The beauty of the Stargate concept is that it would be so easy to create a new spinoff from the existing cannon that goes off in a completely new thematic and narrative direction. Stargate Universe did exactly that, and quite successfully, I might add.
Obviously, I’m speaking from the compromised position of not knowing anything about these ideas that Devlin and Emmerich never got the chance to realize the first time around, so I don’t know if this new trilogy will be too radical a departure for it have been incorporated into the existing mythos. But if that is the case, one has to wonder if they will be able to recapture the original’s pitch perfect blend of pulpy adventure and sci-fi theatrics. With the solitary exception of 1996’s Independence Days, Emmerich has arguably never directed anything as good since.
As a gigantic Stargate fanboy, I’m always going to be a bit excited for anything new in the franchise, but you have to wonder if it’s a wise strategy from Devlin and Emmerich to try and reinvent the chapa’ai.
Last Updated: June 26, 2014