10 November 2009

Stargate Universe

Stargate Universe is the third (or fourth if you count the abortion that is Infinity) iteration of the popular science fiction franchise.
Set on the Destiny, an Ancient starship that's millions of years old, the crew is focused on survival and finding a way to get home. The Crew didn't start out that way though. Due to an attack from an unnamed foe, an evacuation was ordered and everyone was ordered to go through the Stargate. Doctor Rush, the chief scientist involved with the Icaris Project, decides to dial the 9th chevron address one last time instead of Earth. Everyone was forced to go to the Destiny instead of Earth, stranding them halfway across the universe in a failing starship.

The first couple of episodes dealt with the issue of getting Air and Water. Another two episodes dealt with the ship's power concern. The latest episode was about the crew's relationship with Earth. Scientists on Earth have a plan to bring everyone back, but their plans wouldn't have worked according to Rush. Faced with imminent death, the scientists fled back to Earth.

Fans of the franchise have several issues with the plot.
1) Communication Stones
 - The stones were introduced in SG1 and are magical devices that allow the consciousness of two individuals to switch across vast distances. I understand why the Icaris Expedition would have these stones. It is the only technology they have that can be used to communicate from really far away. I like the continuity aspect of it.
- I really would have preferred if they kept the Destiny Crew all alone with no communication from Earth. I think it adds a dramatic element if they're not able to visit home. Though, being in someone else's body isn't the same, it still feels like a cheat.
- An issue raised is that the people who swapped bodies don't seem to respect the body. Drinking alcohol or having sex is equated to rape, etc. The main problem is that there doesn't seem to be a clear guideline created by the Pentagon. We know that there are rules mentioned by dialogue, but it still doesn't seem clear. It doesn't really make sense for the government to not be watching these people. (maybe they are but they're just in the shadows)

2) Drama / 90210 / Love Triangles
- A lot of screen time has been devoted to exploring the character's psyche or feelings. This is a big departure from previous Stargate shows. In those shows the main characters knew the mission they're there for. At the end of the mission, they get to return home to Earth. In this show, the crew is comprised of evacuees from an exploding base. They're not the ones who would have gone through the stargate. They're the people who are there to maintain the base. Cooks, Janitors, and HR reps.
-TV watchers are wary of love triangles because they're fairly unrealistic and are mostly unsuccessfully dull. It looks like the show is setting up a series of triangles and quadrangles. I understand why this will turn people off, but it hasn't reached a breaking point for me yet.
3) Dark and Gritty
SGU has a lot of sex scenes and unlikeable characters. They're there by design and this annoys a bunch of franchise fans who would prefer their stargate to be lighthearted popcorn entertainment. There's nothing wrong with wanting some more of the old. I just want to see a more serious story like this in the stargate universe.

1 comment:

aska said...

This show needs more giant physics defying mechas.