Ancients (Stargate)

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In the Stargate universe (Stargate SG-1 and Stargate Atlantis), the Ancients were a race of advanced humanoids who colonized the Pegasus and Milky Way galaxies 10,000 years ago and then vanished: into the mists of time, or into the aether. The goal of most Ancients was to achieve Ascension, or a state wherein they discarded their material bodies and became pure, immortal energy.

The technology in many Ancient facilities (i.e., the Antarctic station, Atlantis, Ancient warships) is keyed to their genetic signature. Finding humans with the ATA gene (or giving them the gene, as done by Dr. Carson Beckett with his gene therapy) is vital to full access to the technology of the Ancients.

In fanfic John Sheppard's ATA gene is often depicted to be special, and it is a moderately popular SGA fanfic trope to reveal him as a reincarnated or descended Ancient himself.[1]

The Ancients are mostly portrayed as benevolent-to-neutral, if horrifically snobby. The canon is inconsistent, though; in some episodes they're Zen masters and stewards of peace; in others they're hubristic mad scientists who abandon their own messes to their heirs. Since Stargate's creators like to sidle up to interesting ethical dilemmas and then abruptly drop them, fans often step in to unpack the implications and consequences of the Ancients' more dubious projects.

Consequently, there's large body of fanfic in which the Ancients are creepifying, careless, morally shady or downright bankrupt.[2]

References

  1. SGA thematic list: John Sheppard as Ancient, Ori or Ascended (accessed 13 August 2009)
  2. For example, Paian's The Joy That You Find Here You've Borrowed, written for the 2007 Apocalypse Kree ficathon, or Saffronhouse's Planet Claire, which made Springwoof decide, "You are the absolute Queen of existential horror." (accessed 14 August 2009)