In 1982, Kawalsky was a member of Jack O'Neill's squad when he was a captain. On a mission to East Germany in 1982 to extract a Russian spy named Boris, their commander, Colonel John Michaels was killed. It was this mission that The Keeper made O'Neill relive when he was hooked into the Virtual reality pod. (SG1: "The Gamekeeper")
After Dr. Daniel Jackson deciphered the code to reactivate the Stargate, Kawalsky was selected as the second in command on Colonel Jack O'Neill's team on the first expedition through the device. The team traveled to Abydos and exited the gate inside the Temple of Ra. O'Neill ordered the team to secure the pyramid and scan the perimeter but the group discovered no structures or signs of civilization near the giant pyramid and O'Neill soon ordered them to prepare to return to Earth. Jackson, however, announced that he had been unable to locate the cartouche detailing the address required to return home. Kawalsky accused Jackson of lying and pushed him to the ground. Realizing that they were stranded on the desert world, O'Neill ordered his troops to establish a base camp near the pyramid.
Soon after setting up the base camp, Jackson went out alone into the desert. When his absence came to O'Neill's attention, he set out to find the missing doctor, taking Lt. Brown and Kawalsky with him. The group found Jackson feeding a Mastadge but, moments after they arrived, the creature panicked and fled, dragging Jackson, who was entangled in its reins, along with it. Kawalsky and the others quickly set off after the doctor, chasing the errant creature through the sand dunes. When the beast finally stopped running, the soldiers were able to catch up to their companion. Brown and Kawalsky stopped to assist the doctor but O'Neill spotted signs of civilization—a nearby naquadah mine.
O'Neill led the group to the Abydonian miners and instructed Jackson to try to talk to them. Although there was a clear language barrier, the Abydonians soon noticed the Eye of Ra medallion and, assuming the visitors were sent by the Supreme System Lord, sent for their leader, Kasuf. While Jackson exchanged gifts with the Abydonian, Brown took sensor readings of the mineral being mined. When Kasuf invited the group back to their settlement, Jackson suggested that this represented their best chance of returning home. Brown concurred, informing O'Neill that his scans had shown the mineral to be the same quartz-like substance which the Stargate was constructed from. In light of this, O'Neill agreed to follow the Abydonians, informing Brown to alert Lt. Louis Ferretti to secure the base camp until their return.
The natives escorted their Tau'ri visitors to their primary settlement, the walled city of Nagada, and Brown took the opportunity to keep a photographic record of the city. However, moments after they arrived in the city, there was a flurry of activity from the Abydonians, who quickly began to close the city gates. At the same time, Brown received a garbled transmission from Ferretti and was unable to make out the message. Fearing the worst, O'Neill ordered the group back to their base camp. When the Abydonians attempted to stop them, Brown and Kawalsky grabbed hostages and fired into the crowd to warn them away. Only when Skaara showed O'Neill the approaching sandstorm did he order his men to stand down—their return to base would have to be delayed until the storm passed.
That evening, Kawalsky and the others were treated to a feast by the Abydonians, during which Jackson attempted to discover the symbols required to operate the Stargate. While Jackson examined some ancient hieroglyphs, the others were given accommodation for the night. Brown continued to make contact with Feretti's team at the base camp but his suspicions were raised when, although the earlier interference was gone, he was still unable to reach any of his comrades. Meanwhile, Jackson discovered that Abydos was ruled by the Goa'uld Ra, who had once enslaved the ancient Egyptians. Furthermore, although Kawalsky had been able to locate the cartouche with the required address, the seventh symbol had worn away and Jackson was unable to operate the Stargate without it. In light of this, a concerned O'Neill decided to return to the pyramid as soon as possible.
With daybreak, the Tau'ri began the journey back through the desert to the pyramid, only to discover that the entire structure had been engulfed by Ra's Cheops class warship. Brown quickly provided Jackson with a weapon, before O'Neill led the group inside the pyramid. They soon found evidence of a battle between their missing comrades and some unknown aggressor and moved to take cover behind some nearby columns. However, their presence had not gone unnoticed, and they were soon attacked by one of Ra's Horus Guards. During the brief fight, Kawalsky was thrown against the wall and knocked out. He was taken prisoner on the ship and placed in a cell with Ferretti and Lt. Freeman.
He and the rest of the men were due to be executed by Jackson in a show of allegiance to Ra, but at the last second it was learned that the Abydonians were armed and Jackson instead fired on Ra, allowing Kawalsky and the rest to escape. During the Abydonian rebellion, Freeman was carrying Ferretti, who was injured, to safety. During this, he was shot in the back of the head, making him the final casualty of the expedition. While O'Neill and Jackson escaped on a Mastadge, he and Kawalsky escaped on foot with the Abydonian and rendezvoused at the Caves of Kaleemah.
While in the caves, O'Neill and Jackson inform them of the Mark III nuclear warhead that Ra intends to send to Earth. The group plans to join the Abydonian caravan to deliver Naquadah as tribute to Ra. When they arrive at the pyramid, Kawalsky and Ferretti stayed outside until they heard a firefight breakout inside and attempted to assist. The Horus Guards closed the door and fired his staff weapon at their feet, knocking them down. The Death Gliders approach and fire at the group. Kawalsky tips over the carts for cover and the group takes cover but Nabeh was killed.
Running low on ammo and unable to defeat Death Gliders, Kawalsky surrenders and the Gliders land. The Horas Guards approach but before they can execute them Kasuf and thousands of Abydonians attack the Guards and defeat them as O'Neill and Jackson destroy Ra's ship with the nuclear warhead. Kawalsky and Ferretti join the Abydonians in saluting O'Neill. After saying their farewell's to Jackson, who chose to stay behind, they step through the Stargate and return to Earth. (Stargate)
After the mission to Abydos, Kawalsky remained in the Air Force. However, when the Stargate was reactivated by the Goa'uld System Lord Apophis, Kawalsky was questioned for his actions on Abydos and whether he and the team went through with their mission to detect any threats to Earth and if necessary destroy the gate. He was subsequently put into a holding cell for not revealing any information.
Thanks to the help of Colonel Jack O'Neill, Kawalsky was recommended for joining him on another mission to Abydos to investigate the arrival of Apophis. This recommendation was approved and Kawalsky, along with Major Louis Ferretti, O'Neill and Captain Samantha Carter returned to Abydos and found Dr. Daniel Jackson. However, when Apophis arrived on Abydos to find a suitable mate, Kawalsky was not present and returned to find Ferretti injured. He, along with the team, returned to Earth.
In order to locate where Apophis went, Major General George S. Hammond assigned two Stargate teams, designating Kawalsky as the commanding officer of SG-2. Thus, both SG-1 and SG-2 proceeded to Chulak with the address from Ferretti. While SG-1 went to look for, and got captured by, Apophis, Kawalsky and SG-2 set up camp and awaited their return.
When SG-1 escaped, it was Kawalsky and his team that helped the team, Teal'c and the prisoners to escape from an attacking Death Glider. His efforts helped to return everybody back to Earth, however, before going through the Gate, an infant Goa'uld symbiote escaped a dying Jaffa and inserted itself into Kawalsky, without his knowledge. He returned to Earth, thinking it was slight neck pain. (SG1: "Children of the Gods")
After the mission to Chulak, Kawalsky began experiencing headaches and blackouts, which was when the larval Goa'uld took control. He went to the infirmary and was checked out by Dr. Nimzicki who found the entry scar on the back of his neck. The Goa'uld took control of him and killed Nimzicki to keep him from exposing him. Eventually, it was discovered the parasite was within Kawalsky, and with help from Teal'c, the Goa'uld was removed by Dr. William Warner. However, the Goa'uld managed to keep enough of itself in Kawalsky, attempting to return to Chulak, but Teal'c stopped him, holding him in the event horizon of the Stargate. The Gate deactivated, taking a portion of Kawalsky's head off, killing both the parasite and Kawalsky, although Jack later commented that Kawalsky had actually died on the operating table. (SG1: "The Enemy Within")
- In an alternate reality, Charles Kawalsky was still alive and worked at the SGA in 1999. When the SGA was invaded by Apophis' forces, he and Dr. Samantha Carter fled through the Quantum Mirror to our reality. He considered the Colonel Jack O'Neill of his reality his best friend. Consequently, he reacted angrily when he saw Teal'c at Stargate Command as the Teal'c of his reality, who was still the First Prime of Apophis, had killed O'Neill several days earlier. Within days, Dr. Carter started suffering from entropic cascade failure, so it was decided they would have to go back to their reality. Both Carters were able to repair the power booster device, making it possible to contact the Asgard of their reality. Kawalsky and Colonel Jack O'Neill hooked up the device and Dr. Carter went through the Stargate. They were captured along with Daniel and just before Apophis killed them, they were saved by the Asgard. (SG1: "Point of View")
In an alternate timeline created by SG-1 traveling back in time 5,000 years, Charles Kawalsky was put on the team going on a scouting mission to Chulak in 2005. This was done to help draw Colonel Jack O'Neill out of retirement after he refused to help. Once there, O'Neill and his team, along with Dr. Samantha Carter and Dr. Daniel Jackson, were captured. With the help of Teal'c, they were able to escape. Kawalsky was still suspicious of Teal'c and he was reluctant to take him with them. However, Kawalsky and most of the team were killed while trying to escape back to the Time Jumper. (SG1: "Moebius, Part 2")
Behind the scenesEdit
The Stargate novel gives Kawalsky's full name as Adam Kawalsky though, as it was released before Stargate SG-1, this name is deemed non-canon in the SG-1/Atlantis canon which gives his full name as being Charles Kawalsky. One of the penguins in the 2005 film Madagascar and its 2008 sequel Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa, Kowalski, was named after the Stargate character. Other penguins in this film were similarly named after characters from other films or television shows.