Stargate Franchise Ends Tonight with Universe’s "Gauntlet"

“Gauntlet” Is a Cliffhanger

More Command Ships and their Drones await 'Destiny' in GAUNTLET (MGM)
The third and final series finale of the Stargate franchise (“as we know it”) comes to our television screens this week: first on Syfy tonight at 9 PM ET, then later this week on Canada’s Space (Tuesday, 10 PM ET) and Australia’s SciFi (Friday, 8:30 PM).

When “Gauntlet” was written by Joseph Mallozzi and Paul Mullie, it was thought that the show would be getting a third season. It was already too late to change the outcome of the episode once Syfy’s cancellation announcement was made.

So, in true Stargate tradition, “Gauntlet” will be in the format of a season-ending cliffhanger. Mallozzi put it in the same class of cliffhangers as SG-1’s “Camelot,” SGA’s “The Siege II,” and SGU’s previous season-ending cliffhanger “Incursion II.” He wanted to give viewers “fair warning” that this means that we’ll have no idea how the Destiny comes through her ordeal, nor how the crew members themselves endure it. “Gauntlet, in particular, is very touching and its conclusion will no doubt leave you…among many other things…frustrated, incredulous, outraged, offended, annoyed, vexed, saddened, distressed, bitter, aghast, irritated, unsatisfied, pissed-off, melancholy, miserable, confused, furious, dejected, riled, shocked, heartsick, angry, surprised, exasperated, indignant, enraged, despondent, bewildered, dismayed, incensed, stunned, and grief-stricken.”

Because MGM has ended the franchise “as we know it,” there won’t be any resolution in any movie whatsoever. At one point, there were possibly two movies in SGU’s future, and then there was the proposal to combine the stories of Stargate SG-1, Stargate Atlantis, and Stargate Universe into one last chapter for all of the fans, but MGM decided against all the options that Brad Wright presented.

What we’re left with are several unanswered questions and dangling threads. Will the Destiny crew make it out of the Command Ship and Drone attack? Will all of the crew members survive? Will they finally find the intelligence from the beginning of time as was Destiny‘s original mission, or will simply getting home be sufficient? Will they discover, as the Camile Wray of the Ancestors of Novus said, that “our mission is and always will be the journey itself”?

As with the entire Stargate franchise in general and SGU in particular, Mallozzi said that after watching “Gauntlet,” “[F]ans will be thrilled, touched, heartbroken – and left to wonder what could have been.” When asked if there would be a release of details as to how SGU was going to end (they had planned for a five-year run), Mallozzi responded, “Since Brad [Wright] and Robert [Cooper] were the ones who came up with the endgame, it’s only fair that I allow them to reveal it to you if and when they so desire.”

Stargate Atlantis Fans Will Get Some Closure

SGA-S5-Atlantis-above-Earth
Atlantis returned to Earth in ENEMY AT THE GATE (MGM)
Mallozzi has already promised Stargate Atlantis fans some insight into his and Mullie’s Stargate: Extinction, which was to pick up where “Enemy at the Gate” ended, where the city-ship Atlantis had returned to Earth, but the Wraith threat still existed in the Pegasus galaxy.

He wrote, “I’ll offer a little insight into the [SGA movie], detailing the basic premise of the story and some of the interesting developments we had in store for the characters and, of course, the city of Atlantis itself.” But when it comes to the SG-1 movie, Stargate: Revolution, Mallozzi stated, “[S]ince Carl [Binder] and Brad [Wright] were working on Revolution, I defer to them on providing details on the SG-1 movie.”

MGM Controls the Stargate Brand’s Future

Stargate, the original 1994 movie, ended with the idea that Jack and Daniel would be reunited and perhaps continue their Stargate journeys together (MGM)
Unless Wright, Binder, Cooper, and MGM decide to reveal their plans, fans of Stargate SG-1 and Stargate Universe won’t be getting the type of closure that Atlantis fans will get with Mallozzi’s discussion of his movie script in his weblog.

The former executive producer also pointed out another option that MGM has with their control of the Stargate brand: Instead of continuing the franchise based on the mythology developed in the three shows, he thinks that MGM will take the brand in a totally different direction. “This chapter of the Stargate franchise (SG-1, Atlantis, and Universe) has apparently been closed and, if we see something in the (hopefully) not too distant future, I imagine it would be more something along the lines of a re-imagining of the brand.”

“For now the franchise is in MGM’s hands,” Brad Wright was reported as announcing to the fans gathered at the Vancouver convention on April 17, 2011. He seemed to put forth the sentiment that MGM will recognize the value of the Stargate brand, started by Dean Devlin and Roland Emmerich in their 1994 movie Stargate, and continue it in some way (Devlin had originally envisioned a trilogy).

But as fans of this Stargate franchise, we can only hope that they continue the journeys of our heroes that we’ve grown to love since 1997 when Stargate SG-1 opened the ‘gate, even if Wright, Cooper, Mallozzi, Mullie, and Binder are no longer executive producers and show-runners.

After Viewing the End of an Era

Active Stargate in SGC (SG-1)Active Stargate in AtlantisActive Stargate in Destiny

After viewing the end of an era, make sure to rejoin us here for our episode poll on the front page.

Additionally, you may wish to visit Joseph Mallozzi’s Weblog since he has promised, “Once that final episode airs, I’ll take to this blog to answer any and all questions you may have and dedicate at least one entry to discussing aspects of the franchise I’m sure you’re all curious about. ‘Given the show’s ratings, why didn’t you wrap up the series in the event you WERE cancelled?’, ‘What stories did you have planned for the show’s third season?’, and ‘Tell us all about Stargate: Extinction’. Okay. Will field these queries and many more once ‘Gauntlet’ airs.”

With this promise, we might find out how Season Three was to begin, but won’t know how SGU as a series was to end.

MGM, we’re still here and we’re waiting…

“Gauntlet” Link and Spoiler Collection

Episode Synopsis from SPACE (Spoilers) Show
Syfy: Preview (9 PM ET) Show
Syfy: Sneak Peek (Actual Scene) Show
Space Channel's Preview (Tuesday, 10 PM ET) Show
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