Stargate: The Ark of Truth is a direct-to-DVD movie written and directed by Robert C. Cooper. The film is the conclusion of Stargate SG-1's Ori arc, and picks up after the SG-1 series finale, but takes place before the fourth season of Stargate: Atlantis. The Ark of Truth was released as a Region 1 DVD on March 11, 2008. British Sky One broadcasted the film on March 24, 2008, followed by the Region 2 DVD release on April 14, 2008 with the Region 4 DVD release on April 9, 2008.
SG-1 embark on a mission to the Alteran Home Galaxy to find the Ark of Truth, an Ancient device capable of defeating the Ori once and for all, only to run into difficulty as they have to face not only the threat of the Ori but also face an old enemy that may prove to be everyone's undoing.
The Road Taken
The movie came with the option to watch a short prelude before it, which was called Stargate SG-1: The Road Taken. This gives a recap of various key points in the Ori arc of Stargate SG-1 ranging from when Lt. Colonel Cameron Mitchell first joined SG-1 in the Season 9 premiere episode, Avalon, Part 1 to the most recent showdown with the Ori in the Season 10 finale/series finale episode, "Unending".
Several million years ago, in the Alteran Home Galaxy, on another planet, a group of Ancients, including Amelius were discussing how big of a threat the Ori have become, and how they would want to wipe the Ancients out. Amelius decides to use a device, known as the Ark of Truth. However, the other Ancients don't want to use a weapon of indoctrination against the Ori, and order Amelius never to open the Ark. Instead, they decide to leave their galaxy to find another home. They then leave by a ship.
In the present day, SG-1 are sifting through the ruins of Dakara, where Dr. Daniel Jackson, Teal'c and Vala Mal Doran uncover a box from underground. They attempt to open it, but it is sealed shut. Jackson warns the others not to force it open, as the box is supposedly very powerful.
They plan to carefully open the box, but are interrupted by Lt. Colonel Cameron Mitchell on the radio who informs them that Ori soldiers have made it to Dakara. Despite putting up a good effort, Mitchell and his colleague, fellow Lt. Colonel Samantha Carter are overrun by the approaching soldiers. They retreat to where Jackson, Teal'c and Vala are, but are surrounded.
The leader of the army is Tomin, who warns Vala that if they don't surrender, the Ori warship will fire on them. SG-1 surrenders, and allows Tomin to come in. Tomin and his troops are joined by a Prior, who is curious about the box. Jackson tells him that it is a weapon capable of defeating the Ori and tricks him into opening the box. However, when the box is opened, all they find is a rolled scroll, which crumbles to dust when Tomin picks it up. The Prior orders Tomin to kill them. However, the team tells him not to, as the Prior is actually forcing him to do it, because for some reason beyond his comprehension, he is powerless. The frustrated Prior tries to snatch Tomin's Ori staff weapon, however Mitchell grabs one from another soldier and shoots the Prior, which kills him.
After that, the soldiers quickly surrender themselves, as Carter shows them that the Prior's powers were blocked by the Prior disruptor with Tomin later glancing over the Prior's lifeless body.
Back on Earth, Mitchell informs Major General Henry Landry that Tomin says a new wave of ships will arrive through the Supergate very soon. When they enter the General's Office, Landry and Mitchell meet James Marrick, an International Oversight Advisory representative who is also Richard Woolsey's replacement due to the fact that Woolsey is now spending more time with the Atlantis Expedition.
Marrick reveals that he's sent to interrogate Tomin, despite Mitchell protesting that he is a guest, not a prisoner. Meanwhile, Tomin is in a room with Vala and Daniel. Jackson explains that the Sangraal sent months ago has supposedly wiped out the ascended Ori and that he has received several visions from Merlin about the location of the Ark of Truth. Tomin suggests that the place in the visions is Ortus Mallum from the Book of Origin as it sounds like the place in Daniel's vision.
Marrick starts his interrogation on Tomin. Marrick angrily demands to know how many people were killed, simply because they chose not to worship the Ori. In the observation room, Teal'c tells Daniel that Vala didn't come to see the interrogation. It was too much for her to take, since he is her husband and she still feels for him.
Back in the Briefing Room, Carter explains that since activating the Supergate the last time was by chance, she plans to destroy the gate by placing four Mark IXs in key areas, to prevent the Ori from getting through it. However, Jackson has a revelation, and urges them not to destroy it, as he believes the Ark is actually still in the Alteran Home Galaxy.
The IOA later approves the mission to go through the Supergate, and Mitchell is to be in command of the Odyssey but in a slight snag, Marrick is to come with them on the mission.
On the way to the Supergate, Teal'c sits with Tomin and tells him that nothing will make up for all the atrocities, as he was once the First Prime to Apophis. He tells Tomin that he must accept everything he has done, and will never be able to forgive himself, no matter how hard he tries. Instead he must spend every day trying to help others, as a form of atonement. Tomin seems to understand.
The Odyssey arrives at the Supergate and dials it to the Alteran Home Galaxy. Once through, Vala, Daniel and Tomin head to a planet. While waiting to meet Hertis, a member of the Anti-Ori underground, Daniel has a vision of Merlin which gives him the feeling that they are on the right track. Hertis arrives and he points them to a location known as Ortus Mallum, a mountain on Celestis, the "birthplace of evil". SG-1 is given directions to the planet. They exit hyperspace and cloak above Celestis to avoid detection.
SG-1 and Tomin are beamed down to Ortus Mallum to search the forests where the village once was in hopes of finding the Ark.
Meanwhile, Marrick finds access to a restricted area on board the Odyssey, the location of the Asgard computer core. He activates it then replaces a crystal, and then works on something. Major Kevin Marks has detected the activity and contacts Mitchell. He and Carter get beamed aboard whilst Tomin, Vala and Daniel continue digging out a passage Daniel discovered, with help from another vision from Merlin.
Back on Earth, Colonel Albert Reynolds of SG-3 reports to Landry from P6X-437 that a Prior wishes to see Landry. He proposes that he be allowed to spread the word of Origin to the people of Earth, saying it is their last hope. Landry says that there isn't even a chance that Earth will listen and refuses his proposition, holding the Prior with the Prior disruptor. The Prior says he is without reason and that his world will burn. Landry retorts that if they are going to Hell, they're taking him down with them.
Back on the Odyssey, Mitchell and Carter break into the core room and apprehend Marrick. They attempt to shut down the computer core, but they can't. The core is alerting every Ori mother ship to the Odyssey's location. Carter finds out that the core is creating something, which they soon see is a Replicator. Marrick explains the "true" mission: The IOA intend to plant it on an Ori ship and let it spread to their entire fleet. The IOA felt that in the event the Supergate couldn't be destroyed, an alternative plan of action was required. Once the Ori fleet is destroyed by the Replicators, the IOA will initiate a shut down program. They didn't expect SG-1 to find the Ark. As the newly created Replicator hangs in the force field, Mitchell calls in an Anti-Replicator gun to destroy it. However, these Replicators are immune to ARG technology, thanks to IOA tampering, and is now loose in the ship. Carter wants to know who programmed the Replicator, but Marrick refuses to answer. An angry Mitchell takes Marrick to the brig.
Jackson, Teal'c, Vala and Tomin find an underground corridor to a room. They are about to be beamed up to the Odyssey, however, the Replicator has taken control of several systems, including beaming. The team has time to find the Ark. They blow a hole through a door and find the Ark, then head back out in the open before the tunnel collapses. Back outside, Vala, Daniel and Tomin examine the device, and Teal'c attempts to contact the Odyssey, but gets shot in the back and falls to the ground. The rest of the team engage the Ori soldiers.
Four warships arrive near the Odyssey. Fortunately, the hyperdrive is still operational and they escape the clutches of the ships. Meanwhile, Mitchell manages to destroy the Replicator, but discovers that the original has already turned into a Queen and the Replicators are replicating. Carter runs a search through the Asgard core for a shutdown code, while simultaneously attempting to make one from scratch. A team is called to close off the room from the Replicators. In the brig, Marrick hears Replicators, cutting through the wall. He desperately calls someone to let him out, not realizing no-one is there. The Replicators later violently attack him.
At night on Celestis, Teal'c awakens and sees nothing but dead Ori soldiers. He sees no sign of Jackson, Vala and Tomin, because they were taken to the City of Celestis to be tortured by the Doci and other Priors. Teal'c slowly gets up and treks through the mountain range, finally making it to the Plains of Celestis, before he collapses.
Back on the Odyssey, Mitchell finds the queen, who is feeding off the power from a power conduit to replicate. He plans to destroy it. He plants a C-4 charge near the queen to detonate as a distraction, to buy time so Carter can figure out a way to shut down the Replicators. Mitchell later turns around to see Marrick, who is now being controlled by Replicators. He attempts to kill him. However, he is now physically augmented and easily throws Mitchell across the room.
Back in the City of Celestis, Vala enters a room and discovers that the Ori are still around. However, the ascended being turns out to be Adria. She informs her that the Sangraal did work and the Ori are indeed gone. Now that Adria has ascended, she gets to control all of the Ori forces and power. As Adria leaves, Vala sees that some of the buttons on the Ark are glowing. On the plains, an ascended being comes to bring Teal'c back to life. He gets up and proceeds to the city. Daniel is inside a cell, lying on the floor. Merlin tells him not to give up. However, Daniel calls his bluff, realizing that Merlin died, not ascended. He is actually Morgan Le Fay, who was exiled after trying to help them in Atlantis a year ago. Daniel urges her to help, but she tells him Adria is too powerful. At the moment, she has done all she can. She tells him that if he can turn one Prior, the others will be turned because they are all linked by the crystals in their staffs. This will weaken Adria enough so that Morgan will be able to defeat her. Daniel begs her for more help, but she says she has done all she can and disappears. A prior approaches the cell, then pulls back his hood to reveal himself as Teal'c, come to free Daniel.
Back at the SGC, Colonel Abraham Ellis on the new ship Apollo informs Landry that they have detected Ori ships arriving in the solar system, but that they had not yet advanced on to Earth. Landry orders him to try to hold them off if they do advance.
On the Odyssey, the Replicators have taken over the hyperdrive and shut it down. Soon, Ori ships circle the Odyssey and start attacking it. Replicators try to break into the core room. Carter tells Mitchell to detonate the C-4. However, he is busy fighting the Replicator controlled Marrick. Mitchell eventually manages to disconnect one of the Replicator legs to Marrick's head. Marrick tells Mitchell that the self-destruct code is on the back of the crystal Marrick uploaded to the core. The seriously injured Mitchell then detonates the C-4 as the distraction, but is knocked to the floor. Mitchell informs Carter of the shut down code and she activates it just before being overrun. Mitchell limps to the bridge to surrender. However, the Ori ships disregard the surrender and continue attacking until they deplete the Odyssey's shields, leaving them completely vulnerable.
Vala tells Daniel about the 7 glowing symbols, and Daniel tries to figure out the code to activate the Ark of Truth, but they are interrupted by the Doci and Adria. Daniel activates the Arc, remarking that the code is ironically the ancient word for 'Origin.' Teal'c shoots the leg off the table, opening the activated Ark, and catching the Doci in the beam, causing him to renounce the Ori, and realize that they are not gods. Through the link, all the priors in the Ori galaxy are turned and they stop the attack on the Odyssey just before the shields fail and it is destroyed. In Adria's severely weakened state, Morgan is able to engage Adria in either in an eternal battle similar to Oma Desala's eternal battle with Anubis, or simply destroy her. In pure energy form, they float together through the ceiling.
With the Ori in the galaxy defeated, they return to Earth and expose the Prior being held at Stargate Command to the Ark, transmitting the knowledge about the Ori to all of the Priors in the Milky Way, and thus turning all known Priors in the Universe. Jackson learns that the Ark is to be stored in Area 51, despite his warnings that the Ark is very dangerous. Meanwhile, an injured Mitchell is in the Stargate Command infirmary, where Carter drops in, telling him that when he recovers, the IOA wants to meet with him to apologize for Marrick's actions. She also drops off a bag full of macaroons, which she said she baked for him. Tomin is to return to his home as the leader of the Ori followers. He tells Vala that when he was being tortured, it was thinking of the stories in the book of Origin that comforted him. She says that the book holds a lot of truth, which is why it was such a powerful lure. But as leader, he should throw out the bad bits, starting with the parts about burning people alive. He agrees. He wants her to come with him, but knows she won't. She says she's not sure where she belongs, but thinks for now it's with SG-1. He tells her he will spend the rest of his life helping people, trying to atone for what he's done, and she says she knows he will.
Later, SG-1 walks to the Embarkation room, where Mitchell finds it odd that they have no "big bad-guy" to fight against anymore. Carter tells him they felt that way after the Go'auld were defeated. And the Replicators. Jackson says there are still planets to explore. And Vala adds that there is still treasure to find. They then prepare for a mission to P3K-546.
Vala: We've been out here in the scorching heat for days. I haven't showered.
Jackson: None of us have.
Vala: That is painfully obvious.
Mitchell: Anybody wanna bet what he's going to say next?
Prior: Kill them.
Mitchell: Could have made money on that one.
Landry: You've been given temporary command of the Odyssey for the duration of this operation.
Mitchell: Sir, does that mean I have to sit in the chair.
Landry: That it does. And I wish the fun ended there. Mr. Marrick will be overseeing the mission.
Marrick: Personally, I'm excited.
Marks: We're ready to go, sir.
Mitchell: (leans forward in the chair) Weapons to maximum.
Mitchell: It's a joke, Marks: make it go.
Teal'c: Nothing I have done since turning against the Goa'uld would make up for the atrocities I once committed in their name. Somewhere deep inside you, you knew it was wrong, a voice you did not recognize screamed for you to stop. You saw no way out, it was the way things were and they cannot be changed, you try to convince yourself that the people you were hurting deserved it. You became numb to their pain and suffering. You learned to shut out the voice speaking against it.
Tomin: There's always a choice.
Teal'c: Indeed, there is.
Tomin: I chose to ignore it.
Teal'c: Yet you sit here now.
Tomin: I sit here, and I cannot imagine the day that I will forgive myself.
Teal'c: Because it will never come. (Pause) One day others may try to convince you they have forgiven you, that is more about them than you. For them, imparting forgiveness is a blessing.
Tomin: How do you go on?
Teal'c: It is simple; you will never forgive yourself, accept it! You hurt others, many others - that cannot be undone. You will never find personal retribution, but your life does not have to end. That which is right, just and true can still prevail. If you do not fight for what you believe in, all may be lost for everyone else. But do not fight for yourself, fight for others, others that may be saved through your effort. That is the least you can do.
Merrick: Kill me.
Mitchell: Believe me I'm trying.
Adria: No! You can't take away my power!
Vala: I think... we just did.
Adria: You're no match for me.
Morgan Le Fay: I am now.
Jackson: It was Origin.
Vala: What was?
Jackson: The keyword that activated the Ark. I realized while Adria was talking the Ancient version of the word also means truth in older dialects. I guess the Alteran that built it must have thought it was ironic.
Vala: You know I'm starting to think that irony is very overrated.
- Ben Browder as Lt. Colonel Cameron Mitchell
- Amanda Tapping as Lt. Colonel Samantha Carter
- Christopher Judge as Teal'c
- Claudia Black as Vala Mal Doran
- Currie Graham as James Marrick
- Morena Baccarin as Adria
- Tim Guinee as Tomin
- Julian Sands as Doci
- Sarah Strange as Morgan Le Fay
- Michael Beach as Colonel Abraham Ellis
- Gary Jones as CMSgt. Walter Harriman
- Martin Christopher as Major Kevin Marks
- Christopher Gauthier as Hertis
- Eric Breker as Colonel Albert Reynolds
- Matthew Walker as Merlin
- With Beau Bridges as Major General Henry Landry
- And Michael Shanks as Dr. Daniel Jackson
- Alisen Down as Alteran woman 1
- Gabrielle Rose as Alteran woman 2
- Fabrice Grover as Amelius
- Spencer Maybee as Captain Binder
- Simon Bradbury as Alteran man
- Jason Calder as Ori Warrior
- Greg Anderson as The Administrator
- Doug Abrahams as Prior
- Morris Chapdelaine as Prior
- Nicholas Podbrey as Prior
- Ian Wallace as Prior
- J. Douglas Stewart as Prior
- Darren Hird as SF Team Member
- ? as Alteran Man 2
- ? as Alteran Man 3
- ? as Alteran Man 4
- ? as Alteran Man 5
Director of Photography
First Assistant Director
Second Assistant Director
Original Stargate Themes by
Post Production Consultant
Third Assistant Directors
Supervising Art Director
A Camera Operator/Steadicam
B Camera Operator
Production Sound Mixer
Key Makeup Artist
First Assistant Makeup Artist
Chief Lighting Technician
Special Effects Supervisor
Special Effects Coordinator
Visual Effects Supervisor
Visual Effects Coordinator
Assistant to Executive Producer
Assistant to Producer
The Producers Wish to Thank
- Charlie Cohen
- Joseph Mallozzi
- Paul Mullie
- Carl Binder
- Martin Gero
- Alan McCullough
- Martin Wood
- Jim Menard
- At the beginning, Amelius' notebook with the Stargate design on it was shown. Furthermore, he told another Ancient of a dream he had the previous night which inspired the creation of the Stargate network we know today.
- At the 2008 1st Annual Farewell Farscape Convention, Ben Browder stated the production schedule for The Ark of Truth was "rough."
- The Prior was the eleventh to die, not counting Gerak. One killed himself in "Origin", one was killed by the Mark IX in "Beachhead", one was shot by Lt. Colonel Cameron Mitchell in "The Fourth Horseman, Part 2", At least one was killed in "The Pegasus Project" when the Supergate destroyed the Ori warship, at least two were killed in "Counterstrike" (one in the village and one on the bridge of the ship), at least one on both ships destroyed by Odyssey in "Unending" and at least one on both of the ships destroyed by the explosion of Orilla.
- In an interview, Michael Shanks revealed there was an alternate ending shot for the film. Following Major General Henry Landry telling Dr. Daniel Jackson that the Ark of Truth was being stored in Area 51 is out of his hands, Jackson meets with the team. He convinces them that it is too dangerous to be left in the government's hands and they agree. They then plan and execute a raid on the facility and take back the Ark. Shanks said he isn't quite sure why it was cut other than the fact that maybe the movie had "too many endings".
- This is the first chronological appearance of Colonel Abraham Ellis, as the Stargate: Atlantis episode "First Strike" takes place after this film even though it was released first.
- At the end, Carter gives Mitchell a bag of Macaroons. This is a reference to the episode "Line in the Sand", in which Mitchell gave an injured Carter some "awful" macaroons.
- Mitchell's order to set "weapons to maximum" may be a reference to the episode "200" in which Teal'c - during the Star Trek parody segment - does the same, which is criticized by Jackson.
- The wormhole sequence in which the Odyssey travels through the Supergate closely resembles the sequence from the 1994 Stargate film. The scene features Jackson in the foreground of a shot of the bridge as the Odyssey passed through the Supergate's event horizon. As they pass, they're shown dematerializing before being transmitted through the wormhole. The original scene depicted Jackson's first voyage through the gate in which he slowly stepped through the event horizon, and was dematerialized before being transmitted through the wormhole to Abydos. This is fitting as The Ark of Truth is the first film in the franchise since the original film 14 years prior.
- An almost-finished version of The Ark of Truth was leaked months before the actual release.
- The James Marrick-Replicator hybrid is very similar in appearance to the Poison Headcrab Zombie in the Half-Life 2 game.
- This is also the first ever movie to have Carter with long hair and also her hair tied up in a plait or ponytail, a trait that would continue during Carter's appearances on Stargate: Atlantis, Stargate: Continuum and also Stargate Universe.
- During the briefing at Stargate Command, Mitchell and Carter make a reference to the Stargate SG-1 episode "The Pegasus Project".
- The film had a budget of $7 million. A typical 44-minute episode costs $2 million.
- Christopher Gauthier (Hertis) previously played Mattas in the Stargate: Atlantis episode "Trinity". He is best known for playing Vincent on Eureka.
- Alisen Down (Alteran woman 1) previously played Dr. Brightman in the Stargate SG-1 episode "Lockdown". She is best known for playing Jean Barolay on Battlestar Galactica.
- Jason Calder (Ori Warrior) previously played SF Guard in the Stargate SG-1 episode "Need", Unnamed Spirit in the episode "Spirits" and SG-3 Soldier in the episode "Lost City, Part 1".
- At 62:20, Teal'c's white patch of hair is on the wrong side of his head; this is due to the video being flipped horizontally, as the radio is also on the wrong side.
- The sketch of the first Stargate is clearly seen to be Milky Way-type while in Stargate Universe it was clearly stated that the prototype was the Destiny-type Stargate. The mistake is understandable, though, because the movie was created before SGU. It's also possible that the Ancients weren't yet advanced enough to create the Milky Way-type. Or the SGU Stargates could simply be dumbed down versions of the original "full-featured" Stargates, designed to be mass-produced by the Seed ships to support the journey of the Destiny. This can be supported by the fact that the SGU gates have no Dial Home Devices and are smaller.
- When Dr. Daniel Jackson and the others first investigate the tunnels on Ortus Mallum and he is talking with Lt. Colonel Cameron Mitchell on the radio, Jackson doesn't press the talk button initially yet the sound of the radio being activated is heard before starting his line.
- At 57:02 mark, Jackson's FN P90 Personal Defense Weapon is out of ammo, yet when the camera cuts to Teal'c, there is a lot of gunfire from the P-90s - as a side note, Vala Mal Doran was at half magazine, so they both should have reloaded before such a burst would be possible.
- At 41:00 mark when Daniel Jackson finds the entrance, a modern device resembling a cordless vacuum cleaner can be seen in the undergrowth.
- Main article: Stargate: The Ark of Truth soundtrack
The Stargate: The Ark of Truth soundtrack was released on May 1, 2008.
- Hungarian: Csillagkapu: Az igazság ládája (Stargate: The Ark of Truth)
- Czech: Hvězdná brána: Archa pravdy (Stargate: The Ark of Truth)