Visit GateWorld every Friday this summer for a new installment of the Friday Five, a countdown of our favorite episodes, characters, technology and more from 15 years of Stargate history! Use trackbacks to post your own Friday Five for this week’s topic on your blog, or post a comment below to let us know how your picks compare.
This Week: Best Space Battles
This week’s Top 5 countdown is pure and simple: Which space battles in Stargate history are the coolest, biggest, most epic, best visual effects, with the best ship-to-ship weapons fire and diving, banking, and blasting dogfights. Raise the shields! We’re going into battle!
Thanks to Jamie and Cody for suggesting this week’s topic.
Atlantis Season Five
Earth is under threat from the Wraith, a vampiric species from another galaxy that have brought their super-charged hive ship all the way across the chasm between galaxies. Earth represents their salvation … because it is an unimaginably rich feeding ground, teeming with billions of humans. Earth throws everything it has at the enemy ship, including several advanced battlecruisers. But they can’t prevent the Wraith from reaching orbit. Colonel Sheppard and a fleet of F-302 fighters engage Wraith Darts inside the atmosphere in a spectacular dogfight sequence, but they can’t hold off the massive numbers of the enemy. The Wraith destroy Earth’s ace in the hole, a weapons platform left behind by the Ancients.
As the Wraith move in to strike, there is just one thing between them and Terra Firma: Atlantis herself. Under Richard Woolsey’s command and piloted by Carson Beckett, the city-ship makes the long journey from the Pegasus Galaxy and attacks the Wraith hive. The team risks their lives and the city itself, allowing the enemy to push them down into the atmosphere in order to keep firing. When Sheppard’s team sneaks on board the ship and detonates a nuke, the enemy is defeated in a huge flash.
Atlantis Season Two
With Colonel Sheppard, Ronon and Teyla imprisoned on board a Wraith hive ship, Colonel Steven Caldwell and the Earth battlecruiser Daedalus fire volley after volley, trying to destroy two enemy vessels. They use a tactic previously successful, using the on-board Asgard transporters to try and beam nuclear warheads onto the enemy ships. But the Wraith now have countermeasures, so it’s up to a battery of missiles and the ship’s rail guns. But it’s just not enough against two massive hives.
Never one to sit out a fight, Sheppard escapes and commandeers a Wraith Dart. He scoops up his friends with the culling beam, flies out of one hive, and begins an attack run on the other Wraith ship. Convinced that their allies have turned against them, the second ship opens fire will all it has, and in a matter of moments the two Wraith vessels are firing at each other. There is a huge explosion, leaving only the Daedalus (and Sheppard’s Dart) intact.
SG-1 Season Nine
Earth and the rest of the Milky Way Galaxy have been warned for a year that the “Day of Reckoning” is coming. The Priors, religious zealots who serve a race of evil ascended beings called the Ori, have told them that the forces of the Ori are coming. They have succeeded in building a Supergate, through which they can bring their powerful warships to convert the planets of our galaxy by force to the worship of the Ori. To stand against them, Earth launches its battlecruisers (the Odyssey and the Korolev) and rallies its allies to draw a line in the sand at the Supergate. Humans, Jaffa, Tok’ra, Asgard — even Lucian Alliance ships join the fleet.
It’s not enough. Only four Ori warships emerge from the event horizon, systematically obliterating the coalition ships with their powerful beam weapons. There are massive casualties, including the destruction of the Korolev. It is one of Stargate SG-1‘s coolest visual effects sequences — and it ends the season on a shocking note of defeat.
SG-1 Season Seven
OK, we’re crossing the line a little bit on this one — the battle over Antarctica takes place both in space and inside Earth’s atmosphere. But as one of SG-1‘s defining moments and easily the #2 coolest visual effects battle in Stargate history, it has to make our list. After quickly rising to become the most powerful Goa’uld System Lord and destroying or crippling SG-1’s allies, Anubis turns his seemingly unstoppable fleet to Earth itself. He unleashes his forces on the planet, with Death Gliders and Al’kesh engaging Earth’s F-302s and the Prometheus over the Antarctic ice cap.
The battle takes place there because Anubis is targeting SG-1, who have arrived with Bra’tac on board a cargo ship in search of a weapon left by the Ancients. They drill into the ice and find a buried outpost, where Jack activates drone weapons. General Hammond on the Prometheus and Colonel Mitchell in his 302 (seen later, in “Avalon”) put their lives on the line to buy the team enough time, and the drones soar skyward into space. They rip through Anubis’s mothership again and again, destroying it. Earth is safe.
Atlantis Season Four
The war between the Replicators, the Wraith, and Earth comes to a head in this massive, all-out confrontation in orbit of Asuras, the Replicators’ home world in the Pegasus Galaxy. Atlantis has allied itself with “Todd” and the Wraith in an attempt to stop the super-advanced, powerful Replicators with their combined forces. Holding off their ships is one thing, and the battle seems to go well with the Daedalus, Apollo, the Wraith ships, plus help from the Travelers. But the Replicators represent an ongoing threat to the entire galaxy, having destroyed entire worlds in order to compromise the Wraith’s human food supply.
The team needs a better solution than just destroying the enemies’ ships. So Rodney McKay uses Ancient technology to create F.R.A.N., the “Friendly Replicator ANdroid,” programmed to infiltrate the Replicator planet and destabilize their nanite cells. She becomes the core of a massive blob of nanites, which destroys the capital city as all nanites on the planet and on ships in orbit are irresistibly pulled toward it. The mass is finally pulled down toward the planet’s core, destabilizing Asuras and causing the planet to explode. The Replicator threat is over, for good.
So, what did we leave out? Post your other favorite space battles below, and don’t miss the summer’s final installments of the Friday Five this month!
NEXT WEEK ON THE FIVE: Cool Ancient Tech. We’ll be counting down the five Ancient devices we’d like to have in our arsenal. Blog about your top picks next Friday, and trackback to our post!
I thought Camelot was epic. Just the whole hopelessness of the situation with ships getting destroyed everywhere. The destruction of the Korolev was shocking and sad :(.
Teal’C swoopping down into battle with the Lucian alliance though seemed like a direct ripoff of the battle sequence in DS9 where the Klingon’s showed up at the last minute in the battle to retake Deep Space Nine.
Well Stargate does find inspiration in the world of sci-fi. Space battles are at its best when odds are at their worst :)
BTW, the “they’d better mention Be All My Sins Remember’d” reader should be pleased it made it into the first position! Yay
Pretty much the full list I had in my head. Good stuff.
I have to say that I don’t have any arguments on this weeks Friday five, Be All My Sins Remember’d do have a lot of cool stuff especially with the fact that they are teaming up with the Wraith and the Travellers(I believe that that’s what you call them in general, but I’m not quite sure). That episode is by far one of my favourite in the Atlantis show.
I think the swooping in to save the day was done long before DS9…Han Solo anyone? :P
It would be entertaining to see a pre-Lost City version of this list.
We have a number of… shuttles.
Those are all cool battles but one I had in my head did not make it here. May be it’s not as cool as the listed ones, but for some reason the first thing I remembered on the subject was the “Lost Tribe”, when Drs Jackson & McKay turned on the Atero device under pressure from lost Asgards and the crew of Dedalus is overtaken with Tood believing them responsible for this terrible effect ripping our the Hive ships in hyperspace. Oh, I see, it is not so much a battle but one of the coolest scenes in space with… Read more »
Agree with everything on your list!
I just think its a shame the The Siege wasn’t in space.
Well part 3 was I suppose.
I liked the Battle of the Void. :/ We got to see Atlantis have an Aurora in action. In this case, the Orion.
I disagree with this list… “Enemy at the Gate” had an awful battle, with terrible logic and even-worse special effects. IMO, it should read:
5. “The Siege, Part 3”
4. “No Man’s Land”
3. “Be All My Sins Remember’d”
1. “Lost City, Part 2”
What the heck? No mention of “Reckoning, Part 2”? That one was certainly much better than “Enemy at the Gate” or “The Hive”.
what about “Unending”? Orilla destroyed and the Odyssey armed to the teeth taking out Ori motherships. Plus, there was the five minutes of “Air” that was up on YouTube for a bit the other day. All I can say is wow. The George Hammond vs Ha’tak mothership while 302s fight death gliders, amazing.
Good list. Be All My Sins Remembere’d is good, no doubt, but only second best (in my opinion). Best would be No Man’s Land. The Battle of Void (I guess they call it that) is just intense. It’s not long, but the energy in it is just amazing.
Okay, I lied. I completely forgot about “Reckoning, Part 2,” and now I’m very annoyed that it isn’t on the list. That definitely deserves top 5, so boot “Be All My Sins Remember’d” down a little more…
Well personnally my top 5 are: 1) Lost City (Battle over Earth & Antartica) I think that this battle is pure gold. 2) No Man’s Land (Battle Of The Void – 2 Hives versus the Daedalus & the Orion) Brillant battle, both sides had 2 ships & by the end of the weapons blazing both had lost 1. So it was much more realistic than BAMSR. 3) Ark Of Truth (The Odyssey fending off multiple Ori Ships in the Ori Galaxy) I just really liked how this battle was done. 4) Enemy At The Gate (Atlantis versus the Superhive) No… Read more »
The only reason so many of the allied ships survived in BAMSR is because we outnumbered the Asuran ships and FRAN removed all of their crews minutes after the battle started. If it had gone on for much longer we would have experienced huge losses, I’m sure.
I’m pretty sure that we were actually, just about, out numbered for that battle. I agree about the FRAN thing though.
But still I did say ”personally”. LOL.
I think the Chair will be in it, if you consider atlantis, that will be there too.
I know number 1, the stargate baby!
I’m honestly amazed neither No Man’s Land or Daedalus Variations got a nod. NML was simply an amazing battle with a thought out battle plan, instead of your typical “show up and shoot at them.” It might be the ONLY time SG-1 or SGA has actually tried to apply real tactics to a space battle. Variations had simply the best small ship fight scene I’ve seen. I really felt it blew away anything I’ve seen on any other shows for fighter battles, BSG included. The long trailing shot of the F-302 and the alien ship flying along the Daedalus’s hull… Read more »
What happened to the Friday 5!! i miss it I look forward to it every saturday