Stargate and Individualism

So, one excellent thing about my current exam/essay state is that it’s given me an excuse/justification for watching Stargate marathons over my textbooks/journal articles/tears and chocolate.

So, I was in the perfect state of mind to notice a lot of the little things.  Things I didn’t really think about until given the need to think about anything except semantic change, or Japanese interjections.

My point being, it can’t be just me who noticed how much emphasis Stargate places on the individual?

At the most basic level, just look at the group.  It’s lampshaded later in the series that they’re known for not following orders, but General Hammond usually lets that go because they’re the best of the best and it usually works out alright in the end.  But hey, that’s a fairly standard trope of these sorts of shows, that’s hardly different from any others.  From here on out, the spoilers for seasons up to 9 are coming, so if you don’t want the show spoiled, I’d leave it here.

The diplomatic relationships with other countries is…frankly a little puzzling.  I mean, this will affect the whole world, so those countries kind of have a right to get in on this, but the Air Force seems to be keeping them all at bay, and I’m not entirely sure how this is a sensible decision.  At the very least, their funding problems could be solved by making this an international program and drawing resources from many powerful countries.  I mean, they seem to have very little problem consulting the aliens for help.  But this is kind of off-topic.

The moment when I realised that I should have been paying more attention to this was in Season 9, episode 8, ‘Babylon’.  Colonel Cameron Mitchell has been accused of killing a Jaffa warrior, and he’s arguing with the Jaffa taking him captive about the Priors.  The Jaffa is arguing that the Leader agrees with the Priors, and that the Leader does what is in the best interests of the Jaffa group.
Mitchell’s response is “yes, but what do you think?”
In other words, Mitchell isn’t actually interested in what’s best for the group, he’s specifically trying to find out what’s best for the single individual.  O’Neill did this much of the time as well, possibly even more so.  A lot of the time, this manifests itself fairly heroically – mainly the “we never leave a man behind” philosophy of SG-1, which would be suicidal if they weren’t so darned lucky all the time.

I’m not sure there’s much more to this that I really wanted to add.  I just find it amusing how often it holds true that they help the individual, not the community.  I would point out how often they run into trouble because of it, but the fact that it’s a TV show means they’d run into trouble either way, so that’s hardly useful.  So I’ll just leave this one at an observation.

One thought on “Stargate and Individualism

  1. Pingback: SG:U Act III (unfinished) | booksbyjudith

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