- Written and Directed by Robert C. Cooper
- Sky One March 24, 2008 / SPACE September 13, 2008 / SciFi Channel March 27, 2009
SG1 is desperately seeking the Ark of Truth in an effort to halt the advancing Ori armies.
I loved Stargate SG1. The show was a fun adventure science fiction series and it stood out not only because it portrayed the US military as essential the good guys (with a few bad eggs here and there) but it was also set in the present day. And the series had one of the coolest props for any television series or movie and that was the Stargate itself. It looked ancient and otherworldly and promised something amazing.
I was very crestfallen when the series was canceled but very excited when I learned that they were wrapping up the Ori storyline but a touch crestfallen again when I realized it was a direct to video release. I wanted to see something theatrical with a decent budget. I still do. MGM has the perfect science-fiction universe to do movies and TV shows with, but they are not touching it at all.
As a resolution for the series cliffhanger, it’s not bad. It’s a little rushed at points but Stargate: The Ark of Truth does a good job of wrapping up all the loose ends of the series. The Ori armies are defeated, and the evil Adria (Morena Baccarin) gets her comeuppance. This movie also digs into the soft reboot mythology that started with Seasons 9 and 10.
The Seasons 9 and 10 main cast all return. The focus of the story though really is the character of Daniel Jackson (Michael Shanks). Much like Tony Stark, Jackson is the plot device that gets things moving. He had during the series briefly been mentally mixed with that of Merlin (that Merlin because Merlin was an ascended Ancient) so the reason they are looking for the Ark of Truth is because of visions Daniel has been having that are leading them to points around the galaxy. Why these Merlin visions do not just point him in the right direction I am not sure. Why jerk them around?
Lt. Col. Cameron Mitchell (Ben Browder) gets a good chunk of screen time as does justifiably Vala (Claudia Black) but Carter (Amanda Tapping) and Teal’c (Christopher Judge) both feel a little shortchanged though they do get moments to shine. They were significant in the series but not too much here.
In the film the Ark of Truth can convince the Priors (the missionaries that speak for the Ori and possess great power) that the Ori are not actually gods. The implications of the use of such a device are somewhat touched on but not really strongly addressed. While it’s good to end a war is it right to brainwash people to stop that war? The Ancients as they came to be known were very strongly into free will while the Ori were strongly into control and subjugation. Very philosophically opposed viewpoints. I wish they had delved over more into the moral quandary, but this is a this is a direct to DVD release and they don’t necessarily have the resources to film and address it properly.
That missed opportunity aside, Stargate: The Ark of Truth is a pretty good story. It is galaxy hopping and has galaxy threatening stakes. It’s got solid Stargate action. At this point they had space battles and the space battles are great as are the normal military style action.
We even get a brief return of the Milky Way Galaxy Replicators which were really good baddies by the time they received their second to final disposition (this movie being their second). They are just a machine that consumes and consumes and consumes and it’s not an enemy you can necessarily defeat or even come to an understanding with.
The IOA plays roll in this and there is some dark agenda stuff but it’s not necessarily all sinister people just being bad to each other. They are just doing what they feel is best though they are being cold about it. While the Goa’uld were evil to be evil, in the series human motivations were more complex and you could often understand the villain even if was ultimately bad.
The story and the action is great in Stargate: The Ark of Truth. For fans of the series, you will be pleased and most importantly you’ll be left wanting more. Stargate: The Ark of Truth is a fine finish to a series that produced an amazing 10 year run. If you are a fan of Stargate this is for you. If you’re a fan of good science fiction or just good action this also is for you.