Stargate Universe (SGU) was the third TV iteration of the Stargate saga. While Stargate Atlantis was clearly a continuation of the first Stargate TV show, SGU was conceived as an entirely different storyline, with no real connections to the previous series.
In SGU, a group of scientists lead by Dr. Nicholas Rush, theorize that it would be possible to dial even further away from earth with a nine chevron address. In order to find more brilliant minds to work with him, he devises a computer game that can only be won by the most brilliant minds. Eli Wallace is that genius, and he is brought, not exactly willingly, into the project.
Transported to a distant planet, the team are on the cusp of success when they are attacked by the Lucian Alliance. To escape alive, they dial the nine chevron address and all survivors pass through the Stargate, ending up on a long abandoned spaceship created by the ancients, and formerly named Destiny. Very soon they find themselves with the same problem Atlantis first had… power constraints. The ship soon scares the bejesus out of everyone by diving into the outer layer of a star to scoop up fuel.
If my memory serves me correctly, next came the power struggle – who should be in charge, the military of the scientists/civilians? That seems to be a primary struggle in much science fiction, and indeed on Earth as well. Who should be in control, the thinkers or the fighters? They beat out an uneasy alliance, which remains a struggle throughout the entire first season. Now I know that many people found the first season somewhat boring, as they were looking for more guns blazing and all that, but I liked the human quality of it, flawed as we all are.
The first season was also where they were figuring out how the ship worked – which could be pretty scary at times. They did not have any control over it. They eventually worked out that the ship would seek out functioning gates, and allow some time for the crew to gather supplies for survival.
With the beginning of the second season, Dr. Rush figures out how to control the ship, and also discovered its original purpose, to explore the possibility that our Universe had actually been created artificially. The ship has been searching for answers for millions of years, and had not found any yet. Meanwhile the Ancients had given up on that research, instead opting to attain ascension.
The ship now under their control, they are free explore other planets at their own pace. They are now acting as a functioning, cooperative, crew. They come across some interesting things, including what appears to be their own descendants.
The ship eventually comes under an attack they cannot win, and they are forced to travel to another galaxy. They are unable to gate to any planets to gather supplies, and their only hope for survival is for nearly everyone to enter suspended animation for the trip. Only one may stay awake, to figure out how they are to survive. Dr. Rush is finally forced to admit that Eli is actually the superior intellect, and therefore must be the one to stay awake for the long journey. Unfortunately the show is cancelled, so we never learn their destiny.
While I know most people did not like SGU, I did. I thought the plot was finally getting quite interesting just before they cancelled the show, and I still think that was a mistake. I do have the DVDs now, so I will probably rewatch it soon, after I’m finished with DS9.
Anyone else have thoughts to share about SGU? I know it isn’t talked about much online – I tried to refresh my memory on more of the specifics, but didn’t find much out there. My own vague memories are more detailed than what I found online. That’s pretty sad.