On October 22, 1999, Showtime aired the fantastic third-season episode of Stargate SG-1, “Jolinar’s Memories.” In Chicago, sci-fi geek and Web hobbyist Darren Sumner was already a big fan of the show, making it a Friday night routine with his newlywed wife. When Apophis stepped forward from the shadows and revealed himself, an idea was born: A science fiction show that is so entertaining, so well written and produced, with such an attention to its own previous continuity, needs a Web site that maps all of those points of continuity and character development. GateWorld was born.
Actually, it wasn’t even GateWorld back then. The site was launched as “STARGUIDE” using Darren’s personal Web space, and included a complete episode guide (with inspiration from The Lurker’s Guide to Babylon 5) and character profiles. A few months later, the site began to cover the latest news from the growing Stargate universe (with inspiration from TrekToday and TrekWeb, which helped to set it apart from the rest of the growing online fan world — and gave Darren an outlet for his college education in journalism. Within the next year STARGUIDE moved to SciFiGuide.net as part of a larger Web project. New episode guides for other series joined the site, including Farscape, Babylon 5, Andromeda, and Star Trek.
It quickly became apparent that such a site was too big for one guy, and the diluted focus was taking away from what STARGUIDE could become. The other sites were reduced to basic episode guides, and the Stargate-centric site was relaunched with a new name and a new home: GateWorld.net!
In the years since, we’ve added more staff members to create content for the site, write articles and reviews, and moderate the always-growing GateWorld Forum. While the episode guide remains the core of the site, we have expanded to news, an encyclopedia of the Stargate universe, licensed products like books and comics, interviews, editorials, episode transcripts and photo galleries, fan fiction, and much more. And we’ve got some great new ideas for the future! The site remains independently owned and operated, thanks to generous support from fans.
From its humble beginnings GateWorld has grown into one of the Web’s largest and most popular Stargate sites, with hundreds of thousands of visits every month. Even the cast and producers of Stargate visit the site from time to time, and some have contributed through interviews, live chat events, and original articles. In 2004, MGM sent Darren to Vancouver, B.C. to tour the sets and interview members of the Stargate Atlantis cast!
“GateWorld 2.0,” a site-wide redesign and expansion, was launched on August 18, 2006, with a new look and new features. “GateWorld 3.0,” the current iteration of the site, launched on September 10, 2017.
We at GateWorld believe that Stargate can and will become the next great, enduring science fiction franchise, and this site is our way of supporting it and enjoying it even more. As the Stargate universe continues to grow into new series and new mediums, GateWorld will be along for the ride as your complete guide to Stargate!
GateWorld has been featured in such publications as:
Entertainment Weekly (June 9, 2006)
The Province: “amazingly-detailed”
Chicago Tribune’s The Watcher: “the best site for Stargate-related news”
Amazon Screening Room: “one of the most impressive fan sites you’ll ever see”
The Official Stargate SG-1 / Stargate Atlantis Magazine
“Stargate SG-1: The Official Companion”