A race of ascended entities who demand the worship of mortal beings. The Ori were once the same civilization as the Alterans, but (for want of a better term) believed in religion, where the Alterans relied more heavily on science. A gap was eventually bridged between the cultures. In consequence the Alterans left for the Milky way Galaxy (to later be known as the Ancients).
Due to the origins of their ancestry the Ori believe they are the creators of human life. They use their ascension and knowledge of the universe as justification for praise and worship. They are still aware of the Ancients and shun them, for they abandoned the "path," and believe in the opposite philosophy. Not sharing the secrets of the universe to those on the lower planes of existence is an evil act and those who practice it must be eliminated.
The Ori conceived the Origin faith, one that puts them in the center of creation, and wrote down their word in the Book of Origin to be administered to followers through Priors, missionaries and teachers of Origin.
There is growing evidence that the Ancients and Ori possess an equal level of power in the many evolutionary planes of existence. Dr. Daniel Jackson suspected that it is because of this deadlock in strength that the Ancients have been able to prevent the Ori from the knowledge that the Milky Way galaxy populated. But the Ancients will not stop free will, nor will they prevent unbelievers from converting.
The Ori use the Doci, the chief Prior, as their "mouthpiece" for communicating with lesser beings. They are able to possess his body to spread their demands and will. When this happens, they can be identified with fiery eyes.
The entire purpose of Origin is a lie, as the Ori do not actually offer enlightement. This is just a pretense to ensure the worship of innocent beings. This simple beleif creates a transfer of energy from the worshipper to the Ori. Only by having beings believe and worship in them can the Ori thrive, feeding off this energy field. When a believer dies they are not taken to be enlightened, but unceremoniously wink out of existence. The Priors are not aware of this truth, but most are so programmed in Origin that they are hopelessly lost.
FIRST APPEARED -
KEY EPISODE(S) -
Avalon, Part 2 - An Ori Prior restores Vala's life force after her death on an Ara and instructs she and Daniel to follow him to the Plains of Celestis for an audience with the Ori.
Origin - Daniel encounters the Ori and realizes that, because of he and Vala's visit, they are now aware of the Milky Way.
Beachhead - The Ori make their first attempt to enter the Milky Way by seizing planet Kallana and transforming it into an artificial singularity.
The Fourth Horseman, Part 1 - The Ancient Orlin descends upon Earth to construct an antidote for a Prior plague, while also explaining that the Ori require worshippers to survive.
The Fourth Horseman, Part 2 - Orlin reveals the Ori's true interest in the Milky Way -- they are on their way to destroy the Ancients.