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Goa'uld System Lord Ra

Earth Culture of Origin


Alternate Names / Spellings

Re, Phra

Presides Over

The sun, order

Personal Symbols

The sun, stylized eye, child, scarab beetle, hawk-headed man, a hawk wearing the sun disk encircled by a serpent, a human man holding the Ankh in his right hand and a scepter in his left.

Earth Mythological References

Described in many texts as the creator of everything, Ra’s position as chief among the Egyptian gods was unchallenged for many centuries. Ra’s sun disk, depicted over the waters of Nun (Chaos), represented creation and order. Legend has it that Ra (the sun) traveled the heavens by day in a boat, bestowing his blessings and favor upon the earth. At night, the boat traveled through Tuat, the underworld, where Ra gave the gifts of air, light and food to the unfortunate condemned. Before leaving Tuat each night, Ra would battle with Apophis, casting a spell over the snake-demon that would render him immobile. Ra’s followers would then hack Apophis to pieces, allowing the sun god safe passage into the heavens for another days journey.

All Egyptian kings believed themselves to be sons of Ra, who would take the human form of the reigning pharaoh and go in to the queen, impregnating her with his seed.

The cult of Ra eventually gave way to worship of Osiris, and Ra’s persona was combined with that of Amen. By the Twentieth Dynasty, seventy-five forms of Ra were known and sum as a litany to the god during his worship.

Stargate References

Ra came to Earth ten thousand years ago, taking the body of a young boy as his own and ruling over primitive humans until an uprising forced Ra to flee Earth, but not before taking many human slaves with him through the Stargate. He settled on a desert planet known as Abydos, and enslaved the humans to mine deposits of naquadah and worship him. Thousands of years later the Stargate, which the ancient Egyptians sealed and buried 'for all time' following the departure of Ra, was unearthed and eventually became the property of the United States government. Teams of civilian and military scientists studied and researched the artifact in an attempt to reveal its function. With the hiring of Dr. Daniel Jackson, brilliant scientist, he managed to correctly decipher the language on the coverstone, as well as how the Stargate functioned.

A team of Special Forces headed by Colonel Jack O'Neil were tasked with going through the gate and learning its purpose. Dr. Jackson talked himself onto the team by confidently declaring he could get them back to Earth, as it seemed this might be a one-way trip. Shortly after their arrival on Abydos, the team split with some forces staying behind in the temple to guard the gate, while Colonel O'Neil, Dr. Jackson and the rest of his team try to find civilization.

They eventually discover the city of Nagada and soon meet the population of primitive descendents of Ancient Egypt. In the meantime, a ship lands atop the pyramid alerting the troops inside of a new presence. It's not long before Colonel O'Neil and Daniel Jackson are confronted by the god Ra and his warriors.

Ra is incensed that the visitors from Earth are aiming to kill him, so Ra enhances the bomb and prepares to send it back to Earth. Colonel O'Neill and Daniel Jackson are quite resourceful, however, and they manage to destroy Ra in is ship hovering high over Abydos. The Abydonians, whom the team of hardened soldiers had grown fond of, are freed from slavery.

It is revealed later that Ra presided over all the other Goa'uld System Lords, and that the Goa'uld themselves are powerful parasites who have masqueraded as a variety of gods and goddesses of Earth legend.

While Ra was referred to in many series episodes and his influence still felt among the civilizations once under his control, his destruction was absolute and left the remaining Goa'uld System Lords locked in a struggle for dominance.

For nearly eight years, the members of SG-1 fought against the Goa'uld and attempted to free the Jaffa. Finally, they struck a major blow to the System Lords and the Goa'uld's strong grip on millions of lives was loosened.

But, the members of SG-1 put this victory at risk when they decided to go back in time using an Ancient timeship they had recently discovered in the Milky Way Galaxy. They wanted to go back to the year 3000 B.C. to Ancient Egypt to recover a Zero Point Module (ZPM), an extremely rare Ancient power device needed to create a stable wormhole to the Pegasus Galaxy where the Atlantis Expedition Team had been stranded for nearly a year. They also wanted to use the ZPM to power Earth's defenses in the Antarctic Outpost. They went back in time and found Ra accepting tribute and gifts from the local humans. They had to watch and do nothing as they witnessed Ra's Jaffa kill one of the Egyptians because Ra was displeased with his offering. Jack wanted to kill Ra then and there so that he wouldn't have to do it later, but Carter pursuaded him that he couldn't take such a severe action because it could impact the timeline in ways they couldn't even predict. With great reservation, Jack didn't take action at that moment, but when the team discovered that their timeship had been found by Ra's Jaffa patrol and they were left stranded, he decided he could no longer sit around and do nothing. Jack and Teal'c pursuaded Daniel and Carter to plan the rebellion which they knew had resulted in the Stargate's being buried, but their impatience cost Jack, Teal'c, and Carter their lives when Ra discovered them and had them executed. Only Daniel remained to help the Egyptians plan the rebellion for the next five years, but instead of the Stargate's getting buried, Ra took it away with him in his spaceship after the rebellion. The timeline had been changed. (8.19 "Moebius Part 1")

Fortunately, Daniel left enough clues to be discovered in the altered timeline and with the help of the new timeline versions of Jack, Teal'c, and Carter, the Egyptians were successful in gaining control of the Stargate and winning the rebellion. The timeline was restored and all the events relative to Ra, the Stargate, and the rebellion in Ancient Egypt happened as they had before, except now, the ZPM was left in a First Dynasty Tomb for the present SG-1 to discover and use. (8.20 "Moebius Part 2")


Related Characters

Related Articles

Further Reading


  • Stargate: The Movie: Jaye Davidson (pictured above)
  • Stargate SG-1 (8.19 "Moebius Part 1"): Jay Williams

--DeeKayP 18:19, 12 Sep 2004 (PDT)