The Pegasus Galaxy is the name of a dwarf galaxy in the Local Group, located approximately three million light years from the Milky Way. It was the galaxy where the Ancients traveled to in the City-ship Atlantis after they abandoned the Milky Way. Much like in the Milky Way, they built a galaxy-spanning empire, but were forced to abandon it after most of the galaxy was conquered by the Wraith.
Similar to the Milky Way, the majority of the human cultures in the galaxy are at low levels of development due to constant attacks by the Wraith, with early to mid twentieth century Earth technology being rare. There are also several cultures whose technology rivals that of the Tau'ri, usually hiding from the Wraith as to avoid destruction.
- "... in the hope of spreading new life in a galaxy where there appeared to be none. Soon the new life grew, prospered."
Several million years ago, the Ancients were forced to abandon Earth and the Milky Way to escape an incurable plague. They left in the City-ship Atlantis from Antarctica and set a course for a new home, the Pegasus Galaxy, which the Destiny had previously passed through. When they arrived, they seeded the galaxy with human life, the same way they did in the Milky Way. They set up outposts on several worlds, including Athos, Doranda and Taranis, forged alliances and interacted with indigenous populations they created, studied the various worlds in the galaxy, and served as guardians to the humans they created.
For millions of years, the Lantean society flourished, and they created a new Stargate network to facilitate travel. However, things changed with the emergence of the Wraith. The Wraith evolved from the Iratus bug, a parasitic insect which fed on humans and incorporated aspects of their DNA into its genetic make-up. Though at first the Wraith were of no threat to the Lantean fleet, the Lanteans grew careless and allowed several of their ships to be captured. The Zero Point Modules powering those ships were used by the Wraith to power a cloning facility, and their forces increased a thousand fold. Pressing down on the Lanteans with sheer numbers, the Lanteans were forced on the defensive.
The Wraith fleet eventually conquered most of the galaxy, until Lantea was all that remained. For a hundred years, Lanteans defeated everything the Wraith threw at the planet, but still the Wraith would not give up, and continued sending endless waves of their forces at Lantea to try and break through. With nothing else to do, the Lanteans decided to submerge Atlantis and flee back to Earth, hoping that one day their kind would return.
With the Lanteans gone, the Wraith took complete control of the galaxy. Not long after, the Asurans, created by the Ancients to combat the Wraith, mounted their own assault. The Wraith devised a means to shut down their attack directive, thereby causing the Asurans to retreat to their homeworld. All the races who were technologically advanced were either wiped out, forced to abandon their advanced technology, or go into hiding. Over the next 10,000 years, the Wraith would remain in stasis, only occasionally waking to cull the human populations of the galaxy for sustenance. (SGA: "Rising", "Progeny", "Spoils of War")
Arrival of the Atlantis Expedition
- "What we're looking for may be further away than we ever imagined, but it's not out of reach."
- ―Daniel Jackson
In 2004, Dr. Daniel Jackson found the gate address to the lost city of the Ancients at the Ancient outpost in Antarctica. The Tau'ri sent the Atlantis expedition to the Pegasus Galaxy, where they discovered the city of Atlantis in near-perfect condition at the bottom of an ocean which was being kept back by the shield. However, the Zero Point Modules were depleted, forcing the city's Failsafe mechanism to activate and the city to rise to the surface, and there was no means to gate back to Earth. The expedition took up residence in the city.
During an attempt to discover new Zero Point Modules to replace the depleted ones on Atlantis, the expedition came in contact with the Wraith, accidentally interrupting their hibernation cycle prematurely. One by one, the Wraith began to awaken, again feeding on the human worlds. However, having awoken prematurely, the Wraith found themselves in a galaxy that had not had sufficient time to recover from their last major culling, and as a result the human population was insufficient to sustain their numbers. They were forced to locate a new source of food, which they found in Earth, having learned of it from the expedition members they captured during their first meeting. Though they knew of its existence, they did not know of its location, and so the only means they had to reach it was through Atlantis. (SGA: "Rising")
The expedition explored the galaxy for the hopes of searching for ZPMs to dial Earth and protect the city, formed alliances with other races for trade, and even struck back at the Wraith. They also went to war the Asurans, who were eventually destroyed in the Battle of Asuras. An attempt to "cure" Wraith by suppressing the Iratus characteristics in their DNA gave rise to Michael Kenmore, a Human-Wraith Hybrid who quickly became a threat to both the Wraith and humans, as neither side would accept him. Michael was eventually killed during an invasion of Atlantis. They also dealt with a rogue group of Asgard known as the Vanir, who activated the Attero device with the intention of destroying the weakened Wraith. This act, however, had the side effect of causing a number of Stargates to accumulate excess power and explode bringing about the death of thousands. The device was destroyed, but some of the Vanir escaped. (SGA: "Michael", "Be All My Sins Remember'd", "First Contact", "The Lost Tribe")
In 2009, a Wraith Hive ship enhanced with ZPMs mounted an attack on Earth. With its new power source, it was invincible in battle, and very nearly succeeded in its mission. The Atlantis expedition and Earth pooled all their resources to combat it, even flying Atlantis itself to Earth. The Hive was ultimately destroyed from within using a Nuclear warhead. Currently, Atlantis still resides on Earth, in the waters just off the Golden Gate Bridge, cloaked to prevent its detection by the public. (SGA: "Enemy at the Gate")
Although the International Oversight Advisory were initially in favor of keeping Atlantis on Earth, Lt. General Jack O'Neill was able to arrange for him to be placed in official command of Atlantis so that he could order it to return to Pegasus after a six-month absence as power began to run out from the strain of keeping the cloak constantly active. Although the Stardrive suffered minor damage that forced them to drop out of hyperspace just on the outskirts of the Pegasus Galaxy, the city retained enough power to land on the more temperate equator of a cold planet on the outskirts of the galaxy, leaving them to cope with colder temperatures but otherwise back where they began. (SGA: "Legacy: Homecoming")
Characteristic of the galaxy
Unlike in the Milky Way, the populations of the Pegasus Galaxy are not as much intimidated by the existence of the Stargate; in fact, they use the Stargate as a means of interplanetary travel and trade. They do not consider people traveling through the gate as superior, as opposed to the majority of races in the Milky Way (with the exception of cultures such as the Tollan, Langaran, and Sodan), who considered gate-traveling races much superior if not, godly beings. This may be due to the fact that, while Goa'ulds saw gate-traveling as one aspect that made them superior to the rest of the Galaxy's human population, the Wraith were slumbering most of the time, preferred space travel, and did not restrict the use of the Stargate.
Also unlike the Milky Way, the human populations of the galaxy never reach high populations as they are culled or destroyed by the Wraith. According to a Hologram of Melia, a thousand worlds had human life before the Wraith begun their war with the Lanteans and in 2009 after the Asuran-Tau'ri-Wraith war and because of Michael Kenmores dissemination of the Hoffan drug, over 2 million humans had died, with several worlds completely wiped out. (SGA: "Inquisition")
Races native to the galaxy
- Bug People
- Energy being of M5S-224
- Iratus bug
- Shadow creature
- Free Peoples of Riva
- Tribes of Santhal
- Harmony's people
- Orin's people
- People of M5V-801
- People of M65-PL8
- People of M7G-677
- Lord Protector's people
Known planets in Pegasus
There are actually two galaxies in the Local Group named Pegasus: Pegasus Dwarf Irregular Galaxy and Pegasus Dwarf Spheroidal Galaxy. In "The Return, Part 1", Major General Henry Landry states that Pegasus is three million light years from the Milky Way, implying that the Pegasus seen in Stargate: Atlantis is the Pegasus Dwarf Irregular Galaxy.