Cooper on Leaving Doors Open

Robert C. Cooper

Writer, director, and producer Robert C. Cooper was interviewed by Blaine Kyllo at Cinema Spy about his new direct-to-DVD movie, Stargate: The Ark of Truth, recently released on March 11, that is meant to wrap up the Ori storyline that began in Season Nine of Stargate SG-1. “We’ve never wrapped everything up in a complete package with a bow on it. We really do try and leave doors open all the time.

“If people’s biggest complaint is, ‘But you didn’t answer everything and we still want more,’ then that’s fine. I’m happy with that. We’ve always, even in wrapping up seasons from one year to the next on the show, we try to leave doors open or even introduce new wrinkles that will give us opportunities to revisit or tell new stories in the future. I think it’s almost an instinct, when you’re doing a series, that you want to leave doors open, and even when you’re answering some questions and closing some doors, you want to still have the opportunity to tell more stories. It doesn’t make sense to completely put an end on it.

“It’s not like this is a marketing thing, but it’s one of the things that makes the Stargate universe more ‘user friendly.’ What you have are fans who really immerse themselves in the world, and sometimes choose to write their own fan fiction, or expand their conversations about particular aspects of the series, and I think that if you were to close everything down, and say, ‘It’s over, it’s done,’ then it kind of kills the world. And that’s never our intention. Whether we’re continuing to make shows in a particular series or not, we want people to be satisfied but at the same time we want it all to be open-ended so that a) it can continue, or b) it can continue in the fans imaginations.”

Brad Wright’s Stargate: Continuum is a perfect example of how doors left open can be revisited, especially when it comes to the Goa’uld. Even though the System Lords were defeated at the end of Season Eight, there were still Goa’uld stories to tell. “They’re a big part of Continuum. That’s why I say nothing is ever dead. People said, ‘Oh, the Goa’uld were done and the Ori were in season nine,’ but there were a number of stories involving the Goa’uld in seasons nine and ten. Ba’al was still a significant factor in terms of being a villain in the show, and I think we kept them alive and used what was interesting about them. That plays a huge part in Continuum, which is a bit more of an old school SG-1 story.”

Cooper’s definition of “an old school SG-1 story” falls under his definition of what Stargate is all about: “Stargate is an action-adventure show, so it’s not a drama, but we do try and root it in certain ideologies, and it has always been about the examination of belief and religion. The Goa’uld were, essentially, false gods. They were using ancient religious beliefs to empower themselves, and that was something that, I think, we wanted to continue with the Ori. But at the same time, change the skin of the whole thing and make it look and feel a little different. It’s a little darker take on things. That may have been a reaction to what’s been going on in the world.”

What should fans expect in the Stargate universe in the future? “The franchise … we look at it as a franchise. We look at Stargate now as encompassing two series, two movies — three if you include the original feature — and we’re actively developing a third series [working title: Stargate Universe], there’s an online multiplayer game, Stargate Worlds. There’s always the possibility of more Stargate. It’s a question of what is it going to be? Is it going to be more SG-1 straight-to-DVDs? Is the third series going to be first? I’m not really sure. That’s all something that is not entirely my decision.”

Even though there has been no official word about what will come next from Cooper as far as the Stargate franchise is concerned, Cooper did feel that the SG-1 cast is more than willing to return to tell more stories. “Kind of like characters on our show, though, nothing’s ever dead. Things always come back. I do think that, for the most part, the main cast of SG-1 is obviously off doing their own thing, whatever that may be, and that if we decide to proceed with more movies, that we would be able to get them all back. But there’s no deal in place to continue doing that right now.”

To read the full interview, which covers the introduction of Ben Browder and Claudia Black to the show, visit Exclusive Interview: Searching for the Ark: Robert Cooper talks about the evolution of ‘Stargate SG-1’.

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5 thoughts on “Cooper on Leaving Doors Open”

  1. Really enjoyed Ark of Truth, watched it twice the day I got it, nice job!

    If the movies do well any chance we could still get new episodes on TV? Stargate could become the ER of Scifi! One caution, only replace 1 major charachter at a time as the need arises.

    Plenty of stories left to tell

    1. Foothold, only saw those aliens once, what did they do with the intel they took?

    2. a 1 hour show paroding star trek would be oh so sweet!

    3. The tolan may be will to form an alliance with us after they hear of the asgurd leaving there knowledge to us, if there are any tolan left.

    4.Can do a lot of cool things with time travel.

    5. also alternate realities.

    6.would be nice for SG1 to find an ancient ship building facility, or Asguard ship yard that was on a distant planet, and due to the orie showing up they negleted to destoy it as they blew up there planet.

    7. I miss the asgurd, could use the ancient time travel machine to go back 10,000 years get some freash dna, show up just before they called SG1 and trade the dna for the asguard knowledge, or they give it to SG1 anyway for a thank you for the freash dna.

    I could go on and on as many fans could, hope we can see plenty more SG1 one way or the other!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Later Bruce

  2. Bruce,

    I agree that there are plenty of stories left to tell. Although I don’t think they will revive the series for TV, I do think that they’re really wanting to do at least one movie per year. Hopefully, we’ll hear soon about what the next thing they’ll be doing will be.

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