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Stargate and deep thought.

I link you to: Multiverse 2004: The Many Worlds Space Show Crossover Ficathon. kestrelsan, may I please have permission to sign up?

Continuing in the Space Show vein, I have a Stargate question to pose to you:

What are the major themes of Stargate: SG-1?

I've been thinking about some of my fandoms and their themes and it occurred to me that I didn't have any idea, really, about Stargate.

Co-operation with others? That seems to be emphasized in an off-world way, but not so much here at home, despite the way they harass the Langarans about it.

Aliens are people too? Certainly, Daniel preached this one. Except when the aliens were Goa'uld.

Too much technology can be a bad thing? Yeah, mostly. What with the replicators and all.

Snakes are bad? Yup. Well, except for the Tok'ra. Only maybe they're not too nice either.

Frankly, I'm stumped. I'm not all that good at this sort of thing, but Stargate is feeling a little unfocused to me, theme-wise. What do you think?

(The Stargate theme song should probably be "I don't like spiders and snakes, but that's not what it takes to love me." *g*)

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Would you like me to post this question in a couple of SG-1 communities?

How about this theme: "Don't expect societies on other planets to be like yours just because the people happen to be humans"?

If you want to link, go ahead. It would be interesting to get more opinions on the subject. :)

Don't expect societies on other planets to be like yours just because the people happen to be humans

I dunno -- it seems like most of the time, they're really quite similar. (S1 is so funny -- every planet is like a different period of Earth history. It's like Star Trek. "Today, we're on the ancient Rome planet. Tomorrow, the Gangster planet.")


RDA once used the phrase "cosmic giddiness", and I guess that's a part of it.

I guess...it's sort of a show about explorers, and sort of a show about knowing your friends from your enemies, and sort of a show about These Guys Are Absolute Evil, No Really...but then, the writers can't be bothered keep track from week to week, so why should I?

I've never really thought about Stargate in terms of long-term themes, per se. This is partly because it will only drive me crazy, and partly because I've never really seen it as a show that *tried* for long-term, consistent themes. I've also been gradually coming to accept that none of the themes that exist in my head are in any sense reflected by the show I'm watching. There are some I could see hints of, but they're not really consistent, and none of them are done the way I'd do them. But then, it's probably good for everyone I'm not in charge of that show.

I'd never really thought about it like this until recently, then I got wondering if it was just that I couldn't tease out what the long-term themes were meant to be. I'm not always good at that sort of thing.

These Guys Are Absolute Evil, No Really

Yeah, and it's rather annoying! We've hardly had anything that would make them question that. I would think it would be an interesting thing to explore more deeply -- are they really justified in trying to exterminate the Goa'uld? But the show doesn't seem to want to pursue that. I suppose it's easier to have a Big Bad that's All Bad. It's just less interesting.

"normalish people go into space. way! and blow shit up. way! and learn that other cultures can't really be arsed with us. way! so they blow some more shit up! and then they all do sex! way!"

ok, that last one was fic...

I think you have it there. *g*

My take is that it's about the difference that competent, brave, caring people can make, even (or especially) in the face of overwhelming odds.

Not anything very groundbreaking or unique, but I love a good heroic story... with adventure and things blowing up and deep bonds of friendship forged fighting the good fight.

Overall, I see the aliens and gates mainly as the mechanism for us to see SG-1 at work. In any individual episode there will also be themes of alien cultures and mind-control and love etc, but for all that they go to other planets, have snakes inside them, and ascend to higher life forms, we don't see a lot of just plain bizarre/incomprehensible cultures that the heroes really connect with. No real alien concepts incorporated into anyone's worldview.

I agree with this, and it's very like what franzeska said below. It's about the people and the themes are personal, rather than planetary. Very useful, thank you!

My first impression is that Stargate's theme is "life's complicated wherever you go". Every planet, every situation, everything that happens: it's not as simple as you, or they, would like to think. Also, that normal people are, well, normal, even in extraordinary situations, like being on another planet. Of course, I've only seen a dozen or so episodes, so that's not a final answer.

it's not as simple as you, or they, would like to think

That's a good point. It makes me think of TXF -- every small town holds a dark secret. :)

I think it has team show theme numero uno: The team is everything. Wives, boyfriends, outside lives, guest stars of the week and laws of physics, morality and sense must all be sacrificed to the cheesy emotional unity of the team.

My favorite thing about Stargate is that I actually like all of the SG1 team members and the interactions between each pair. Regardless of who is running about with whom in a given episode, they are interesting together.

I think you're right about the team. I was looking for something on a grander level, but maybe it's not there. It's all a backdrop for the team. Like a buddy show with extra buddies. *g*

I think it's something like:

Ingenuity will win in the end, and whatever happens, we (humans) will go on, press forward, seek out new worlds and boldly go where the Goa'uld took us before.

The other theme is "No, no, Daniel doesn't really die."

The triumph of the human spirit!

Sometimes I think it is:

The American military knows best for the whole entire Earth so why don't you all just shut up and let us get on with this in secrecy.

Things Are Not As They Seem.

Moreover, it Sucks to be Daniel.

Hee! Also:

All Your Loved Ones Will Either Die Or Get A Snake Put In Their Head

Maybe "We are not alone"?

"Always watch the skies!" *g*

Hmmm - themes of SG...

The inevitable conflict between the pragmatism of the military and the idealism of others?

Never, ever trust politicians because even the few good ones will fuck you over somewhere along the line? *g*

No matter how much someone may look human you can't predict their reactions?

How much right do you have to interfere in another culture?

Geeks will inherit the earth?

Playing war games with the universe can lead to unexpected alliances which means you end up in a worse situation than you started with?

Guns aren't the answer to everything?

There were some hints in early episodes about the bigger issues and not a simple good v evil theme but these, unfortunately seem to have been lost.

(The Stargate theme song should probably be "I don't like spiders and snakes, but that's not what it takes to love me." *g*)

Snicker. Now I've been humming this to myself all day!

How much right do you have to interfere in another culture?

That's one they *should* be dealing with, but I don't really feel like they do.

Guns aren't the answer to everything?

This reminds me of the A-Team, whose theme seems to be "guns solve every problem and nobody ever gets hurt". *g*

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