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Hollowed are the Ori March 22, 2008

Posted by ce9999 in Stargate: SG-1.
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2 comments

I had promised some comments on the new Stargate movie, Ark of Truth. Here they are—100% spoilerific! ;)

In short, it’s not bad. I wouldn’t rank it with the finest all-time Stargate: SG-1 series episodes, but it’s worth watching. Is it worth buying the DVD, for roughly US$20? That’s a tougher call, especially when you consider that DVD sales will have a direct impact on whether more movies are made. If you’re a fan and you want to see more movies, then yes, definitely buy it, especially since the non-fans aren’t going to be flocking to the store shelves themselves. The movie does seem to be written more for us, the fans, than for a general sci-fi audience. Overall, I’d consider Ark of Truth to be on a par with Star Trek: The Motion Picture. In other words, it’s great to see the story continuing, and the movie has its moments, not to mention being fun and enjoyable, but it isn’t exactly everything I’d hoped it would be.

So what happens? Well, the Ori turn out to be dead after all, but, as is often the case, where great power is extinguished, someone else fills in the inevitable vacuum. In this case, Adria (aka The Orici) is the guilty party. My Firefly-fanboy side was immensely pleased with this development, because I can sit in my chair drooling over Morena Baccarin pretty much any day of the week, you know? Ba’al is nowhere to be seen (or heard)—apparently, his ill-fated attempt to take over the Orici remains ill-fated. It’s too bad, since Ba’al was a fantastic villian, but, on the other hand, half the fun of him is his smug Goa-uld unkillable-ness, so what would be the fun of killing him off in ninety minutes? Besides, bringing him back too many times would be dumb, and the series writers already came very close to making that mistake with Apophis.

One other villian makes a surprising and much-welcomed reappearance: The Replicators! :) I don’t mean those tedious, second-rate ones from the Pegasus Galaxy, either. Nor do I mean the less-than-inspiring humaniform Replicators from late in the SG-1 series. I mean the original, whirring, clacking, glorified-erector-set, geek-boy-nightmare, shoot-em-with-a-machine-gun, mechanical-bug Replicators! Damn! :D I’d missed these little bastards. They wreak loads of havoc, too. What happens is this: Essentially, some fool in the IOC decides that replicators are the best way to kill the Ori ships, forgetting that real replicators would happily go on to destroy the whole universe after they were done with their original job. So yeah, that plan is necessarily scrapped, which means not only does SG-1 have to find another way to zap the Ori ships, they have to kill off the Replicators at the same time!

About those Ori ships: The premise here is that Origin, the religion, would continue on even if its gods were utterly destroyed. Obviously this is reasonable, since the life of any religion isn’t its god, it’s the collective belief that makes up the religion, whether that belief is true or not. This isn’t the first time that Stargate has dealt with this subject, either. There were a substantial number of Jaffa who refused to join the resistance because they really did believe the Goa’uld were gods. If I remember right, they created a bit of a mess after the system lords were overthrown, too.

More recently in the Stargate universe, while the religion of Origin may have been started by the Ori themselves, the faith of the Priors is the more immediate problem, as they are the ones piloting huge, galaxy-conquering ships. The only reason the Ori had to be destroyed at all was because they were the ones who made new Priors. There’s Adria, of course, who seems to have assumed much of the power of the Ori, but does she have the ability to create new Priors, or to do any direct damage at all other than keeping the Priors organized? They are about to bring another wave of Ori ships through the supergate to continue the invasion, but again, it’s the Priors who are doing the dirty work here, not Adria herself. However you cut it, this movie isn’t the mop-up after Season 10, it’s the main battle.

So, how do you kill a religion, anyway? The answer given in the movie seems pretty accurate, namely that you can only usurp one idea with another idea. In this case, that other idea is “the truth,” but note that the only way to cause the Priors to believe it is through the force of the Ark. They’re not going to believe it just because it’s true. This creates an unfortunate problem for the story, in that the only way to resolve things in one single movie, as opposed to a series-spanning holy war, is through the use of a magical super-duper gizmo where a switch is flipped and the problem is solved. The Priors’ minds are instantly changed and the war is over. It would have been nice if the writers had been able to find some devilishly clever way to weasel their way out of this problem, but they really couldn’t. There just wasn’t enough story time available. The gizmo is The Ark, obviously, and it’s why I didn’t find the overall story to be all that satisfying.

However, I did enjoy the movie, and I’m looking forward to the next one. :)

Ark of Truth March 11, 2008

Posted by ce9999 in Stargate: SG-1.
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2 comments

Released today:

Ark_of_Truth

Comments coming soon, hopefully. (Sorry for the low quality pic—I snapped it myself, real quick-like.)