Ribbon Device

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Klorel with hand device


The hand device, also known as the ribbon device (2.06 "Thor's Chariot"), fit over the palm of the user's hand and was usually anchored by both bracelet and caps that fit over the user's fingertips. It could only be used by someone with naquadah in their blood, such as a Goa'uld, Tok'ra, or surviving former host of theirs. The device was usually used as a weapon and/or show of "godlike power" by the Goa'uld, though many had special features added on by their user.


The hand device is an ornate device that fits over a human hand. There is a wrist design with links to a large red colored round gem that sits in the palm of the user's hand. Furthering anchoring the device are caps that fit over the user's fingertips, often with sharp "nail" decorations off the tips. Jaffa cannot use the devices, but Goa'uld and Tok'ra as well as former hosts who have naquadah in their blood such as Samantha Carter or Vala Mal Doran are able to use the devices.

A dream-Samantha Carter explained the hand device as follows: "the best I can tell, it uses a modified version of the power source for the staff weapons, which it channels through amplification crystals... " (3.10 "Forever in a Day"). Further technical explanation was interrupted, but she also confirmed that it operated with thought-control amplified with emotion. It should be kept in mind that this explanation was given to Daniel Jackson inside of a dream that was being manipulated by Sha're through the ribbon device. Therefore, the description may not be entirely accurate, however the events surrounding Sha're's death, including Daniel's dream, and observed uses of the device are consistent with this explanation.

The device has multiple functions. Although decorations and preferred hand differed from user to user, the device consistently was used in the following manner:

  • Telekinetic blast — focused through the central gem of the device, the user can direct powerful invisible force towards opponents, knocking them off their feet and through the air several feet. Often used when opponents are coming forward from ten to twenty feet away
  • Ribboning — focused through the central gem of the device, the user is in close proximity with his/her victim, directing its power at the victim's skull. This feature often causes intense paralyzing pain for its victims, though no permanent scarring. Extended exposure will kill the victim. It is used by the Goa'uld as interrogation torture or to kill. (Although not confirmed, circumstantial evidence indicates that a zat fired at a Goa'uld while using the device in this manner may kill the victim as well)
  • Personal Shield — the activation switch was on the wrist/bracelet area of the device and, when activated, would absorb any high velocity projections, such as staff blasts or bullets from reaching the wearer. Items with less kinetic energy, such as a knife or staff would pass through.
  • Ring Transport Activator — many Goa'uld had a device on the wrist/bracelet area of the hand device that would activate ring transporters.
  • Asgard Beam Activator — Osiris altered the ribbon device to work the tel'tak's Asgard beaming technology. It was only able to be used with the correct access code and would only work for one person. This feature however could be utilized with anyone with the correct code, not just someone with the unique physiology of a blended individual or former host. Ba'al too had this function on his hand device after working with Anubis.


Klorel ribbons Daniel
Sam uses Ribbon Device
Seth after hit with device's power
Sha're/Amaunet uses ribbon device
Apophis uses shield against Replicators
Daniel uses beam function of Osiris's device

Notable Uses of the Ribbon Device

The ribbon device is one of the earliest seen features of Goa'uld technology. Ra used a variation of the ribbon device on Daniel Jackson during the first mission to Abydos to try and kill him (Stargate: The Movie).

When SG-1 went to Chulak to try and rescue Skaara and Sha're and gain intelligence on the Goa'uld, Apophis used the telekinetic feature of the device to throw Daniel back as he approached Sha're/Amaunet (1.02 "Children of the Gods Part 2"). The force of the blast was so great it threw Daniel into a wall and knocked him out for a great deal of time. Later Skaara/Klorel used that same feature on his own hand device to keep O'Neill from interfering in his own escape.

When the team came across Apophis with a small hunting party, they attempted to kidnap the Goa'uld. (1.08 "The Nox"). It was at this time Teal'c and the rest of SG-1 first became aware of the shield feature of the ribbon device. Apophis was able to deflect both the gunfire and Teal'c's staff weapon blasts. However, a staff weapon tossed to him by one of his Jaffa could pass through the field, and he used it to kill most of the team. After they were...resurrected, they conjectured that slower moving objects such as an arrow, could pass through the field but were unable to test the theory at the time.

The shield was apparently not a new feature, perhaps just one Teal'c had never personally witnessed. Other Goa'uld also used this shield feature. Heru'ur activated his own personal shield when confronting SG-1 on Abydos (2.09 "Secrets"). At this time, Jack O'Neill threw his knife directly at the hand device. It passed through the shield and broke through the center crystal of the device, destroying it and injuring Heru'ur. The Goa'uld was still able to activate the ring transport controls on the wrist section of the weapon and escape. Later Marduk, who had been trapped for centuries in a ziggarut, also used the shield feature of a hand device (5.08 "The Tomb").

Hathor was found kept in stasis in a sarcophagus in Mexico after millenia (1.14 "Hathor"). When awakened by archeologists ignorant of her threat, she was wearing her ribbon device. She was able to immediately use the device. The sarcophagus technology apparently does not adversely affect its use. Nor does long periods of time with inactivity. The same was true for Marduk (5.08 "The Tomb"). Osiris was able to use a ribbon device kept stored away after millenia (4.14 "The Curse").

Klorel was able to take Daniel Jackson by surprise during SG-1's raid on his ha'tak (1.22 "Within The Serpent's Grasp Part 1"). He ribboned Daniel trying to kill him. Although Teal'c had a clear shot with his zat, he told O'Neill he must fire his Beretta instead. O'Neill fired his pistol, killing Skaara and saving Daniel. Daniel was unable to speak for several moments after this experience, but could soon stand unaided.

On a later occasion when Amaunet was trying to kill Daniel in the same manner, Teal'c again had the usually non-lethal zat gun in his possession but instead fired his staff weapon at point blank range (3.10 "Forever in a Day"). Although this has never been confirmed, this circumstantial evidence lends credence to a theory that the reaction of the zat while the ribbon device is being used in this manner could kill both Goa'uld and its victim.

When SG-1 revisited Cimmeria, they arrived at the grave of former Goa'uld host Kendra (2.06 "Thor's Chariot"). Kendra's personal belongings, including the healing and ribbon devices surrounded her grave. Sam Carter, now a former Tok'ra host, put on the hand device on a whim. To her surprise, she was able to activate the device. They did not pursue the matter further because of the immediate crisis.

In her headquarters, Hathor used her ribbon device to throw Raully away from the cryogenic controls when she tried to help O'Neill (3.01 "Into the Fire Part 2"). She then immediately turned her device on Captain Carter in the close quarters, the pain driving Sam to her knees. Hathor's concentration was broken by O'Neill breaking out of the chamber and knocking Hathor aside, pulling her into the freezing tub. Raully was severely injured from the blunt force trauma of being knocked back, but her Tok'ra symbiote may have been able to repair the damage.

When SG-1 and Jacob Carter/Selmak raided Seth's compound, Selmak armed himself with a ribbon device to hunt the Goa'uld (3.02 "Seth"). Unlike the sarcophagus, the Tok'ra apparently have no qualms with using ribbon devices. (Other Tok'ra were later seen wearing the devices in their undercover guises as Goa'uld (6.08 "The Other Guys", 9.10 "Endgame"). In the search for Seth, the Goa'uld was armed with his own ribbon device, and was able to catch Jacob offguard, knocking him back (3.02 "Seth"). The injured Jacob/Selmak gave the device to Samantha. The naquadah in her blood from her blending with Jolinar would give her the ability to use the device. Although tentative at first, Sam was able to focus the device and blasted Seth with such force that Seth ended up dead in a crater. Sam appeared quite shaken by the reaction and was never seen using that device after this experience.

Amaunet lured Daniel Jackson to her during SG-1's raid to rescue the Abydonians she captured (3.10 "Forever in a Day"). She played on his emotional connection to her host Sha're, convinced he would not shoot her. When he was close enough, she used the ribbon device on him, driving him to his knees. The effect of the weapon was so great that he was not only unable to shoot, but could not maintain his hold on the weapon. However, Sha're also used the powers of the hand device for her own means. Using the mental connection established through the device, she sent messages to Daniel. In the span of just a few seconds, Daniel experienced several dreams in various settings, many extremely realistic. Through the dreams Sha're conveyed two messages, to forgive Teal'c for what he needed to do and to find her son the harsesis.

The denizens of Sokar's prison, Netu, were full of Jaffa and Goa'uld (3.12 "Jolinar's Memories Part 1"). Only two weapons were allowed on the moon–one, a staff weapon for the First Prime, and one hand device to be used by Bynarr. After his death, a disguised Apophis took the ribbon device as his own, signifying he was new leader of the prison world (3.13 "The Devil You Know Part 2"). He used the device in combination with the Blood of Sokar and the Tok'ra memory recall device to try and gain information from the captive SG-1.

Osiris kept a ribbon device hidden in a pyramid in Egypt before Orisis and Isis were put into stasis (4.14 "The Curse"). The device could only be accessed by placing an amulet into a keyhole within the pyramid. Once in the proper place, panels were activated, including the hiding place for the ribbon device. Steven Raynor used the amulet and found the device just before Osiris arrived. He was beaten by the Goa'uld. When Daniel Jackson, Samantha Carter, and Janet Fraiser arrived, Osiris used the hand device to knock Maj. Carter and Dr. Fraiser several feet through the air; they were knocked out after impacting the wall. Osiris then used the device's telekinetic weapon to deflect the tranquilizer shots Dr. Jackson fired and reached him before he could pull his weapon. Osiris ribboned Daniel to reveal information about Isis. Daniel resisted, and was able to keep enough focus to grab another tranquilizer dart, shoving it into Osiris with his hand and breaking the Goa'uld's concentration. Daniel writhed in pain for several moments after the experience as Sam and Janet awoke. None were recovered enough to capture Osiris before the Goa'uld activated the ring transporter via the hand device and escaped in a ship.

In a dream induced by the harsesis Shifu, Daniel Jackson noted that he was finally able to understand exactly how the ribbon devices worked (4.17 "Absolute Power"). He said he was unable to use them because he had no naquadah in his blood, but he imagined within the dream using it anyway against enemies both real—like Apophis and perceived—like Jack O'Neill. Even within the dream, Daniel never explained how the devices actually worked, just imagined himself using them.

Teal'c became a victim to Cronus's ribbon device when SG-1 and their robot alternates attacked Cronus's ha'tak (4.21 "Double Jeopardy"). Therefore, the head torture functions of the device work equally well on Jaffa as humans. Teal'c was saved when the robot Teal'c fired a staff weapon at Cronus, killing the Goa'uld.

When Apophis's ha'tak was overrun by replicators, Apophis tried to save himself by activating the personal shield (5.01 "Enemies Part 2"). Strangely enough, although the replicators moved slowly, they were unable to penetrate the shield. It is uncertain if they were able to circumvent the technology or not, but it made no difference. The ha'tak and everything and everyone onboard were destroyed as they entered the atmosphere of Delmak.

The Goa'uld Marduk, trapped within his ziggarut for thousands of years, was unable to use the ribbon device when blended with the monstrous insect that ate his host (5.08 "The Tomb"). However, once blended with a human, Tiamet reclaimed his ribbon device, using it to knock O'Neill down and trying to torture Col. Zarkov into revealing the location of the Eye of Tiamet.

When Osiris invaded the Asgard lab in the Adara system, the Goa'uld and Jaffa discovered Samantha Carter there (5.22 "Revelations"). While Jaffa held Sam, Osiris used the ribbon device to interrogate her. Although Sam was in extreme pain from the experience, the Jaffa holding her did not show any effect from the experience. Carter resisted, but did reveal to Osiris that Daniel Jackson was dead before being rescued by the Asgard Heimdall and her team.

Anubis hoped to learn the location of the Lost City from Daniel Jackson who may have known it from his time as an ascended being. Anubis gained knowledge of Asgard beaming technology when he and Osiris captured Thor (5.22 "Revelations"). Osiris used the ribbon device in conjunction with the memory recall device (7.15 "Chimera"). Osiris beamed into Daniel's bedroom while he was sleeping and using the two devices, manipulated his dreams to relive memories with Sarah Gardner, but with alterations—including having him translate a tablet that would hopefully get Daniel's subconscious to reveal the Lost City's location. The Goa'uld would beam out by activating a signal on the hand device. SG-1 became aware of Osiris's efforts and set a trap. They were able to locally block the hand device's signal. Osiris was unable to activate the Asgard beam and was captured.

Osiris's hand device was sent to Area 51 for study (8.10 "Endgame"). One of the scientists there, Dr. Bricksdale, was able to finally figure out Osiris's access code and beamed onto the cloaked tel'tak. Dr. Bricksdale worked with the Trust and helped them access the tel'tak, from which they stole the SGC Stargate and made attacks on Goa'uld worlds with symbiote poison. The hand device would have been missed from Area 51, so remained. The SGC was able to use Osiris's hand device to beam aboard unobserved and try and disrupt the Trust's attacks.

Ba'al, by this point working with Anubis, had a beam function on his own hand device (8.17 "Reckoning Part 2"). When surrounded by Rebel Jaffa after the battle of Dakara, Ba'al used that feature to make his escape, beaming away to parts unknown.


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--Aurora 18:41, 23 January 2008 (PST)