Beware of minor SPOILERS for Stargate: The Ark of Truth in this interview!
With the arrival of The Ark of Truth on DVD, the final chapter of the television series has finally been told. After seeing the film we had some questions about the Ori storyline that occupied the final two years of SG-1 — so we went right to the source: Ark of Truth writer and director Robert C. Cooper.
In Part 1 of our in-depth interview Cooper discussed what it was about the Ori he finds so interesting, and what Season Eleven of Stargate SG-1 might have looked like. In the second half, he talks about the evolution of the Ori and their conflict with the Ancients, Daniel Jackson and the ethics of the Ark, and the controversial return of the Replicators.
Look for The Ark of Truth now on DVD at stores everywhere!
GateWorld: Tell us about the most fun that you had shooting this movie.
Robert C. Cooper: You know … I honestly don’t rank those things!
GW: Do you have a particular moment from the set that comes to mind?
RCC: Certainly it was exciting to use helicopters to shoot the stuff with Teal’c, with Chris in the mountains. It was the first time I’ve ever been on a helicopter. That was obviously a great experience and a lot of fun.
You know, it was just fun to be working on a long-form version of the show and have a little more time. I don’t mean to sound like I’m complaining. We had a little more money and a little more time, and that was great. It was still a challenge, though. Making television can be quite stressful as the result of the time constraints that are put on you. It’s not brain surgery or anything, but you’re under a lot of pressure to get done what you need to get done.
GW: Let’s talk about Morgan a little bit more. Why did Morgan Le Fay go to the Ori galaxy? Did she follow the Odyssey there? We’ve talked in the past about how ascended beings are sort of located in space.
RCC: Yes. I think she was very conflicted about what to do. The last time she tried to help Daniel in a “guardian angel” capacity, in some type of interference, the other Ancients stopped her. She was pulled out of the Atlantis room in “The Pegasus Project.” And I think that she has been following the team and walking the fine line of how to help us without breaking those rules again.
And so it was much like when Daniel was ascended and he appeared to O’Neill in the elevator in “Full Circle” to tell him about the device that Anubis was essentially gathering to make him powerful. He was walking a fine line there. He was acting like our guardian angel, O’Neill’s guardian angel, and he was conflicted as to what he could and couldn’t do. He ultimately ended up crossing the line as far as the other Ancients were concerned, and he was sent back and became human (“Fallen”).
I think Morgan was in pretty much that exact same position, where she felt like she wanted to help us, felt that her help was justified, but wasn’t entirely sure how far she could go. And she also realized that when she did follow the Odyssey through, and was doing what she could to try and help us, she also knew that Adria was in fact too powerful for her to face head-on. And so the trick became how to equalize that scenario so that she could take her on, one-on-one. Because the one thing the Ancients had never really taken issue with was one Ancient, one ascended being, essentially taking issue with one other ascended being.
That was, again, something we had seen in “Threads,” where Oma had been responsible for the fact that Anubis had ascended and she needed to take responsibility for that. And so when they engaged in battle they basically got locked in this never-ending conflict.
I think that was basically the bargain that Morgan made with the other Ancients. If you want to think that there is a council of Ancients out there, she went before them and said, “Look, you guys don’t want to get involved. I do. I want to take this responsibility. This one is on me.” She said, “Let me take this on myself.” Only when she looked at the situation, she knew she could never win unless we helped in some respect in terms of leveling the playing field for her.
GW: So it’s only those rogues and outcasts that we can ever get any help out of, even when we save them from the Ori and their plan to attack the Ancients directly!
RCC: Yeah, exactly. I mean, we did help ourselves by destroying the Ori. In some respect this was payback. The other Ancients saying, “OK, fine — you go deal with this and help them out” is I think some sort of thank you for having protected them and kept them out of an ascended being war, shall we say.
NEXT: Morgan, the fight with Adria, and Alteran history