What could be more exhilarating then traveling between the stars as easily as walking through a door? That’s exactly what the highly anticipated film Stargate depicts. A team travels across the known Universe in an instant, leaving them on a strange new world, not knowing what to expect or who they might meet. This science fiction film will be released in October of 1994. With big names like James Spader and Kurt Russel playing the main characters, as well as being directed by Roland Emmerich.
Showcasing an all-star cast, excellent directing, and an exceptional storyline this film really comes to life and is on course to be a mega hit the whole family can enjoy. However, it is undoubtedly the combination of surreal special effects and intricate set designs that really stand out, put the whole picture together, and make this film a successful science fiction production. The film begins in Giza in 1928 with the discovery of the Stargate. Now 66 years later, present day 1994 on a military base in Colorado, discredited archeologist Dr. Daniel Jackson (James Spader), who is the main character, deciphers the symbols on the cover stones of the Stargate as asterisms or constellations.
A team led by Colonel Jack O’Neil (Kurt Russel) go through the Stargate to identify potential threats and report back. Shortly after arriving, they discover a civilization living in slavery to an alien who is posing as the Egyptian sun god, Ra (Jade Davison). Ra has possessed a human host to escape death and now rules with force and brutality. Jackson and the team manage to start a slave rebellion, overtaking Ra’s armies and forcing Ra to flee in his mothership.
However, Jackson and O’Neil are able to use and alien teleporting device to transport a nuclear warhead onto Ra’s ship as it enters orbit. This ensures the destruction of Ra’s mothership, ultimately leading to Ra’s death as well. Afterwards, O’Neil and the team go home while Daniel Jackson chooses to stay on the planet with a local woman named Sha’uri. The surreal special effects in Stargate, specifically the CGI does an outstanding job of making the alien technology and Stargate travel look realistic.
The CGI team used cutting edge technology and methods to painstakingly craft all of the effects for the film. From the first time the Stargate is activated and the viewers see the rippling puddle fill the large circular device, or watch Jackson step through for the first time and being whisked away suddenly as the camera follows behind, flying along a path through the stars. To witnessing Ra’s mothership as it lands on a great pyramid with bolts of lightning flashing through a sandstorm.
As well as, Ra using a hand device to violently knock people back and kill them. Even the effects of the explosion that destroys Ra’s mothership and kill Ra appear breathtaking and otherworldly. The CGI team went above and beyond the requirements to make sure the effects do the rest of the film justice, while still appearing as realistic as possible. The realism is mirrored in the vast detailed sets that make the viewers believe that the team is on a desert world, millions of lightyears from Earth.
Due to the need for gigantic sets, the team turned a colossal dome into the largest soundstage ever used, so as to make the environments large enough to be realistic. The sheer size of the stage is most evident as the team first sees the enormous pyramid the stargate is housed in on the alien world. As well as in the large scale slave rebellion in the latter half of the film with hundreds of if not thousands of people rushing Ra’s forces to take control of the planet.
Additionally, the extent the set team went to in adding intricate details to the set adds an incredible realism to the Stargate, alien planet, and Ra’s mothership. From the actual working stargate prop containing a rotating inner ring complete with asterism symbols, or the details and intricacy of the beautiful golden rooms and halls aboard Ra’s mothership with hieroglyphics lining the walls. The hard work and dedication of the set crew in producing detailed, grand landscapes; brings Stargate to the next level of film making and pushing other movies to follow suit.
All of this adds up to a staggering responsibility for both the special effects crew and the set crew to deliver outstanding work and they do not disappoint. Backed up by excellent acting, an engaging plot, and accurate use of Egyptian mythology Stargate is sure to be a science fiction powerhouse for years to come However, it is without a doubt, the surreal special effects and intricate set designs that make this film the masterpiece it is and guaranty its box office success. Stargate will go down in history as a movie that pushed the boundaries of what was capable in a film and came out on top.