It typically doesn’t operate on the same level as those other “Star” sci-fi franchises, but Stargate has endured through several movies and more than a decade of television. And though fans are still waiting to see where the franchise might go next, they haven’t lost any zeal for keeping the magic alive in the meantime.
The globe-spanning fan group Les Enfants de MacGyver / The Children of MacGyver has spent the past decade, plus around $60,000 in expenses, bringing the Stargate to life. Literally. As fans of the franchise are well aware, there are a few variants on the Stargate depending on which series you’re watching (which depends on which part of the universe you’re in). So, the team tapped real-life props from the show and a whole lot of elbow grease and ingenuity to recreate the Pegasus Stargate, aka the version of the ‘gate featured on the spinoff series Stargate Atlantis.
The 'gate, captured in video and a ton of photos, was recently displayed briefly and has since been disassembled. But, any fan of the series can attest it’s an epic, life-size recreation. It featured the rotating light dial for dialing up other planets, and fully captured the scope and feel of the TV version of the ‘gate. Everything works except for, you know, actually opening up a wormhole.
But, it was only a precursor to Les Enfants de MacGyver’s true endgame — building a fully-functional SG-1 (aka Milky Way) ‘gate. The same version of the ‘gate used in the original Stargate film, as well as the Stargate SG-1 TV series. It’s also arguably the most complicated version, featuring a massive spinning dial to lock in chevrons. Oh, and of course the amber lighting effects to bring it all together. Quentin Brichet, with Les Enfants de MacGyver, says the Atlantis ‘gate project essentially served as a test run to develop the base they’ll need to make the Milky Way ‘gate.
“The thing is, the SGA version was mainly the SG-1 version with replaced paint, chevrons and glyph track, but all the pieces are already made for the SG-1 gate,” he told SYFY WIRE. “What will really be a challenge is to design the rotating structure and the base to make it stand freely and safely without the use of steel cables connected to the ceiling.”
Brichet said their goal is to finish the SG-1 gate by 2020, but they’ll need more money to make it happen, so they’re hoping to launch a crowdfunding campaign in the future, assuming they can get the green light from MGM to make sure everyone is on the same page. But, however long it takes or how much work it takes, Brichet said it’s a small price to pay to stay steeped in the sci-fi franchise they all know and love.
“I think what bonds the members of this association is the love of building things together and the love of Stargate. More than just build a Stargate we wanted to rebuild the Stargate,” he said. “It’s even more exciting because you get to discover every details of the real props, every technique used, every defect, and a lot of stories about it … Our goal doing it this way was to show the public how much time, work and craftsmanship is involved in making a prop like that, and for them to be able to approach it easily. It’s also a way to safeguard this wonderful piece of series and cinema history because for all we know, there could be no more original full Stargates existing in the world.”
Check out some shots of the project below, and a video of the Atlantis ‘gate that was recently showcased in London is in the video above.