Stargate: The Best Viewing Order For The Movies & Shows

Stargate is a beloved science fiction franchise that started with a movie and got adapted into a long-running television series with spin-offs, novels, comic books, and video games. It has a dedicated fanbase from a series that ran continuously from 1997 to 2011 with Stargate SG-1, Stargate Atlantis, Stargate Infinity, and Stargate Universe.



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The most popular was Stargate SG-1 which had a continuous ten-year run and two films to finish their story arcs. Longtime fans still hope for a return or a reboot with it being a popular mainstay on streaming services like MGM and Amazon and lots of reruns on television. There’s a lot to get through for newcomers, so this list will outline the best order to watch the Stargate movies and TV shows.

This list doesn’t include the short-lived animated series, Stargate Infinity series because the writers confirmed it’s not part of the Stargate canon.

12 Stargate

The Film That Kickstarted A franchise

Stargate - raising the Stargate in 1928

  • Released:

The most obvious place to start the Stargate franchise is the 1994 movie starring Kurt Russell as Colonel Jack O’Neil – it’s O’Neill in the series – and James Spader as Doct Daniel Jackson the Egyptologist and linguist. The film was directed and written by Roland Emerich, who went on to make Independence Day. In addition to Jack and Daniel, it also introduced fans to Daniel’s love interest, Sha’re, her brother Skaara, and their father, Kasuf, who would become recurring characters in Stargate SG-1. Stargate was a great Summer blockbuster in the mid-90s, but its sense of adventure, imagination, and characters make it a classic. As well as excellent protagonists, it featured a fantastic villain in Ra memorably portrayed by Jaye Davidson who commanded the screen with presence posing as the sun god Ra.

Stargate took inspiration from the ancient alien theory that aliens arrived on Earth with advanced technology and posed as gods. The extras on the Stargate Ultimate Edition Blu-Ray feature the documentary Is There Stargate? with a young Giorgio Tsoukolos from the Ancient Aliens series on the History Channel. New watchers should try and watch the Extended Cut version on the Stargate Ultimate Edition Blu-Ray. It includes nine extra scenes that weren’t in the original theatrical release.

11 Stargate SG1 – Children Of The Gods The Final Cut

The Reworked Pilot Episode

Stargate - Teal'c arriving with Apophis' guards

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The original Stargate SG-1 Children of the Gods is the 90-minute pilot set one year after the film’s events. It’s a good place to start, but Children of the Gods – Final Cut is the best version. It features improved visual effects and pacing by trimming unnecessary scenes – like nudity – and dialogue.

It introduces a new villain named Apophis, who, like Ra is a Goa’uld System lord posing as an Egyptian god. Apophis is the god of darkness and disorder. Children of the Gods establishes the snake-like Goa’uld symbiote as responsible for taking hosts and conquering large parts of the galaxy posing as god-like beings. Colonel Jack O’Neill is recast with Richard Dean Anderson and Daniel Jackson is now played by Michael Shanks. Anderson does a terrific job of making Jack his own and Michael Shanks does a brilliant job recapturing James Spader’s mannerisms, while developing Daniel as a sympathetic and relatable character.

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Children of the Gods also features returning characters Sha’re, Skaara, and Kasuf. Alexis Cruz and Erick Avari reprise their roles as Skaara and Kasuf, respectively. Mili Avital didn’t return to the role of Sha’re, but Vaitiare Bandera replaced her and was an excellent choice since she narrowly missed out on playing the character in the Stargate film. Children of the Gods also introduces two key characters Captain Samantha Carter played by Amanda Tapping and Teal’c, a Jaffa played by God of War’s Christopher Judge. The film is an exciting follow-up to the film and the chemistry between the actors was evident from their first outing as members of SG-1.

10 Stargate SG-1 Season One To Seven

The Apophis And Anubis Story Arcs

Stargate SG-1 Apophis and Anubis

  • Aired:
    1997 – 2004
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Seasons one to seven of Stargate SG-1 feature several story arcs as the team deals with Apophis and rescuing Sha’re and Skaara from his control. The story centers around Goa’uld and the System Lords and preventing their dominance of the galaxy, but Stargate is a product of its time. There are 20 to 22 episodes per season and many are singular one-off stories as the team seeks allies across the galaxy to fight the Goa’uld. There are still excellent one-off episodes, Stargate SG-1 is at its best when its key episodes follow the story arc. Every season has key episodes and two-part events that are always gripping television.

The team encounters the Asgard, the Ancients, the Tok’ra, the Nox, the Unas, and the Replicators who become a major threat in series eight. As established in Children of the Gods, Apophis remains the biggest threat until the team encounters Anubis, a half-Goa’uld, half-Ascended Ancient. One of the best episodes in the Stargate franchise is season two’s penultimate episode, “1969” where a planetary drift caused by the sun takes SG-1 back to 1969. It also connects to “Singularity” an episode from season one. Many stand-out moments in all seven seasons cover several arcs and emerging threats to the team make it unmissable for Stargate fans.

Season Seven Finale The Lost City

It should go without saying that fans should watch the finale of Stargate SG-1’s seventh season, but those looking to watch Stargate Atlantis and its concurrent tie-ins to the SG-1 series should watch the two-part The Lost City episodes. It introduces the Dr. Elizabeth Weir character taking over as the Commander of the SGC in place of General Hammond before being put in charge of the Atlantis team.

9 Stargate SG-1 Season Eight & Stargate Atlantis Season One

The Replicators Arc, Baal & Stargate Atlantis’ First Season

Stargate SG-1 and Atlantis season 1 cast

  • Aired:
    2004 – 2005

Stargate SG-1 begins with the two-parter “New Order” and picks up from where season seven ends. Sam convinces Dr. Weir to let her and Teal’c seek out The Asgard to help Jack, but they are preoccupied with the Replicators who have evolved and become an even bigger threat. The events in New Order led to Dr. Weir commanding a new team at the Atlantus Outpost. After watching the two-part opener for season seven, fans can jump into Stargate Atlantis’ two-part episode “The Rising which introduces the new Atlantis team consisting of Major John Shepard, Teyla, Rodney Mckay, the physicist who first appeared in season five’s episode “48 Hours”, medical doctor Carson Beckett, and scientist, Peter Grodin, and Lieutenant Aiden Ford. The two opener “The Rising” introduces a powerful new enemy called The Wraith who becomes the primary antagonistic race of beings throughout Atlantis. The two shows aired back-to-back, so the writers intended their audience to watch SG-1 and Atlantis concurrently.

Notable Crossovers & Watch Order

Watch the SG-1 two-parter New Order then Atlantis‘ The Rising. General Hammond appears in Atlantis’ episode nine, Home and Samantha Carter makes a cameo in the seventeenth episode, Letters from Pegasus. Then watch the SG-1’s finale Moebius before watching Atlantis’ two-part season one finale The Siege.

8 Stargate SG-1 Season Nine & Stargate Atlantis Season Two

The Beginning Of The Ori Arc & The War Against The Wraith Continues

Teal'c, Mitchell, Landry, Carter, and Daniel

  • Aired:
    2005 – 2006

Season nine of Stargate SG-1 establishes a new threat even more dangerous than the Goa’uld with the Ori. The Ori were a race of zealot-like ascended beings related to the Ancients. Meanwhile, the Atlantis team has their own problems with the Wraith. There are fewer crossovers between the two shows, but watching them together is still important. Episode two “Intruder”, in Atlantis’ second season features an appearance from SG-1‘s General Landry. Atlantis’ Episode 13, “Critical Mass” is another crossover featuring SG-1 and Atlantis characters.

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In addition to a new enemy, SG-1 also introduces Colonel Mitchell a replacement for Jack O”Nell, Vala Mal Doran a former host to a Goa’ud named Qetesh, and General Landry as the new commander of the SGC. Stargate Atlantis season two introduces one of the franchise’s favorite characters, Ronon Dex a Satedan warrior played by Jason Momoa (Aquaman) in episode three “Runner”. Based on Ronon’s feats throughout the series, Satedans appear stronger than Earth humans.

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Notable Crossovers & Watch Order

Watch SG-1’s two-parter Avalon, then Origin followed by part three of The Siege in Atlantis. Then watch Atlantis’ Intruder,Critical Mass, and Grace Under Pressure for the crossover episodes.

7 Stargate SG1 Season Ten & Stargate Atlantis Season Three

The Ori Arc Continues & The Michael Arc And The Asurans

Stargate SG-1 Pegasus Project Vala, Daniel and Elizabeth

  • Aired:
    2006 – 2007

Season ten is the final series of Stargate SG-1. There are several important and thrilling episodes to enjoy, from the fantasy-themed two-parter “The Quest in the middle of the season to the incredible finale “The Unending”. Stargate’s season ten also features one of the best crossover episodes with “The Pegasus Project”. Stargate Atlantis also gets a thrilling mid-season two-part even with “The Return” which also features General Jack O’Neill.

Notable Crossovers & Watch Order

Watch Stargate Atlantis’ No Man’s Land then watch SG-1’s The Pegasus Project. There are fewer guest appearances as both shows focus on their respective arcs. However, Jack O’Neill appears in the mid-season two-parter The Return which introduced the Asurans a race of characters connected to the Ancients and the Replicators.

6 Stargate: The Ark Of Truth

The Conclusion Of The Ori Arc

Daniel and Vala deciphering a code

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Stargate: Ark of Truth is a direct-to-video movie that concludes Stargate SG-1’s Ori arc that ran from season 9 to season 10. It only focuses on the SG-1 story and can be watched straight after the finale of season ten. However, the film’s timeline occurs before the events of Stargate Atlantis’ finale episode “First Strike”. The film follows the SG-1 team as they fight to obtain the Ark of Truth, a device that will reveal the truth to the Ori Priors and end their control over the followers. It’s an exciting finale that feels more cinematic than a regular series episode. There are terrific performances from the main cast and the antagonists played by Morena Baccarin (Firefly and Deadpool) and the late Julian Sands (Warlock) as the Doci are on top form.

5 Stargate Atlantis Season Four

The Replicator Threat Continues And Michael Returns

Stargate Atlantis Ronon and Teal'c fighting the Wraith in the Miday episode

  • Aired:
    2007 – 2008

Stargate Atlantis continued after Stargate SG-1 ended Stargate: The Ark of Truth. As a result, there’s no reliance on crossover episodes, but there are special appearances from the SG-1 cast that are noteworthy. Moreover, after the events of episode two, Samantha Carter steps up to lead the SGC. The Atlantis team is still fighting against the Wraith but has made some unlikely allies and the threat from The Replicators reaches an all-time high.

There are terrific standout episodes in season four, like “Be All My Sins Remember’d” which sees the team working with Todd to fight the Asurans. Season four also establishes Doctor Jennifer Keller as a permanent member of the Atlantis team after first appearing in the season three finale, “First Strike”. Jewel Staite from the series Firefly, another iconic science fiction series beloved by fans. Michael also returns as a threat in the two-part episode “The Kindred” developing Teyla’s character further. Martial arts star Mark Dacascos (Cradle to the Grave) appears as Tyre in the episode “Reunion” as one of Ronon’s friends from the Sataedan military.

SG-1 Character Appearances

Samantha Carter becomes a series regular in season four and Teal’c makes a guest appearance in the third episode Reunion, and there’s a reference to Jack O’Neill when Carter places a framed picture of him on her desk. The seventeenth episode, Midway is another fantastic crossover event with Teal’c showing up to offer guidance to Ronon Dex. They have an excellent fight/training scene that ends in a stalemate, but fans get a dream team-up featuring the two warriors taking on the Wraith.

4 Stargate Continuum

The Final Movie Takes Place After Search And Rescue

Stargate Continuum - The SG-1 team at Baal's extraction

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Stargate Continuum is the last adventure for the SG-1 team and it includes a returning Jack O’Neill and the charismatic System Lord Baal played once again by the late Cliff Simon makes a comeback as the primary antagonist. Continuum is a time-traveling adventure that sees the team trying to fix the timeline that’s been altered by Baal. It’s a better film than The Ark of Truth and gives the team and the series the cinematic send-off it deserves.

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The film’s story takes place after the events of Stargate Atlantis’ season five opener “Search and Rescue” and there’s a conversation between Samantha Carter and Rodney Mckay about the Tok’ra capturing the last Baal clone. The cast’s chemistry shines through in an excellent sci-fi film that proved how great the series was at storytelling, characterization, and giving an unrivaled sense of adventure.

3 Stargate Atlantis Season Five

Atlantis’ Final Season

Stargate Atlantis Rodney and Daniel in First Contact

  • Aired:
    2008 – 2009

Search and Rescue is the first episode of Stargate Atlantis’ season five and marks the end of Samantha Carter’s run as the commander. The final scene sets up Stargate Continuum and positions Richard Woolsley as the new commander. Several vital episodes in season five are key to the Michael arc and feature guest appearances from Daniel Jackson, Samantha Carter, and the late Don S. Davis as George Hammond in the final episode.

Unfortunately, Don S Davis passed away in June 2008 several months before the final season aired. It was a terrific finale and an exciting way to end the series, but it felt like there was more for the Atlantis team to do. There was a planned movie called Stargate Extinction but it was cancelled. However, fans can dive into the comics starting with Stargate Atlantis Vol 1 which picks up where the “Enemy at the Gate” left off.

SG-1 Character Appearances

Daniel Jackson appears in episodes 10 and 11, First Contact and The Lost Tribe. The final episode, Enemy at the Gate features several SG-1 characters like Samantha Carter, George Hammond, Hank Landry, and Walter Harriman.

2 Stargate Universe Season One & Two

A New Story Arc With New Characters

Stargate Universe cast on board the ship Destiny

  • Aired:
    2009 – 2011

Instead of another movie based on Stargate SG-1 or Atlantis, the writers created Stargate Universe. It featured a new cast with an edgier tone that appeared to be inspired by the reimagined Battlestar Galactica series. The new story arc focuses on a team lost in space traveling on the Ancient ship Destiny. It features an excellent cast with actors like Robert Carlye, Louis Ferreira, Lou Diamond Phillps, Ming Na Wen, and more. Stargate Universe was a compelling sci-fi series with good character development.

However, it deviated too far from the Stargate formula in trying to gain a new audience. Many fans were still upset they didn’t get the promised Stargate Atlantis film. Moreover, SGU ended somewhat abruptly after getting canceled by the Syfy Channel. Fans can continue the series with the Stargate Universe Anthology comic book series, but it would have been nice to see the SGU series come full circle and reconnect with SG-1 and Atlantis at some point.

Notable SG-! Character Appearances

Several characters from Stargate SG-1 appear in SGU’s pilot episode Air, with Jack O’Neill, Daniel Jackson, Samantha Carter, and Walter Harriman making an appearance.

1 Stargate Origins

An Origins Series Focused On Catherine Langford

Stargate Origins Egyptian goddess with baby

  • Aired:

Stargate Origins was a miniseries that aired on Stargate Command streaming service. It is available as a feature film with all the combined mini episodes and it’s the best way to view the origins story. It was a valiant effort to renew interest in the Stargate franchise, but the low budget was obvious and leaned too heavily into the comedy at times.

It ties into the 1994 film by featuring Catherine Langford, the older woman who recruited Daniel Jackson to decipher the dialing code on the Stargate. It’s a prequel, but it’s not a good starting point for newcomers and there are several allusions to the film and the series that only make sense if one is familiar with the series.

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