With the countdown to the October 2 premiere of Stargate Universe officially underway, consulting producer Joseph Mallozzi has been given the green light to share lots of concept art and behind-the-scenes photos at his blog. This week, he’s shown off some concept art that is sure to get the tech geeks in Stargate fandom talking.
Two pieces of concept art include written descriptions of how the new Stargate dials a 7, 8 or 9-chevron address. Photos of the Destiny Stargate show that it differs from the SG-1 and Atlantis gate systems in some significant ways. First, it doesn’t have star constellations on an inner track — and it doesn’t have a free-spinning inner track at all.
The Destiny gate also has a large white ball connected directly above it (pictured below), and a chevron in the floor right in front (image). So just how do these elements of the system function?
One memo indicates that the 36 symbols on the Stargate are not graphic representations of star constellations at all, but are words in an ancient script — the Ancient names of the stars. (How this functions in identifying a destination within three-dimensional space, as the ship moves from one galaxy to the next, is not known and probably won’t be fully explained.)
As shown in the recent SGU teaser trailer “Survive,” the entire gate spins while dialing (not just an inner track). As each symbol in the address “locks,” the white ball above the Stargate will momentarily illuminate. The symbol itself then stays illuminated as the gate reverses directions. Once all seven, eight or nine symbols have been dialed, the chevron on the floor locks and the wormhole “kawooshes.”
While the Stargate is active, all of the chevrons are illuminated.
The Stargate’s connecting and disconnecting is also accompanied by a slightly delayed blast of steam from the vents at the gate’s base, giving the system a “steampunk” feel.
One document indicates the presence of a flatscreen display in the floor of the Gate Room, which would show each symbol of the address as it is dialed. This doesn’t seem to be how the set was actually constructed, and was probably replaced by the ball.
It is believed that both the Destiny and this Stargate design predate the Milky Way and Pegasus Galaxy Stargate designs, helping to fill in the span of Ancient / Alteran history after the race that built the gates left their home galaxy with a design in mind (Stargate: The Ark of Truth) and when they set up the familiar SG-1 gate network in our own galaxy.
The timeline established for the franchise’s mythology so far allows that span of time to be hundreds, thousands, or potentially even millions of years.
Check out the original production images at Joseph Mallozzi’s Blog! Stargate Universe premieres October 2 on Syfy.