1) Destiny launches
2) Atlantis leaves for the Pegasus Galaxy
3) Atlantis abandoned
4) Goa’uld arrive
5) Antarctic Gate Buried
6) Ra places Egyptian Gate
7) Uprising (Egyptian Gate Buried, Earth abandoned by Goa’uld)
8) Stargate Program
One: Point of Origin Paradox
Every Stargate in the network has a unique Point of Origin symbol. In the episode Solitudes (SG-1, season 1, episode 18) where the Antarctic Gate is discovered, not only is this clearly visible, it is a necessary plot point. If the Antarctic Gate had the same Point of Origin as the Egyptian One, Samantha Carter and Colonel O’Neill would have realized that they were on Earth. Further underlining this argument is the fact that in the episode Small Victories (SG-1, season 4, episode 1) it takes a week to install the Antarctic Gate and get it operational. While the reason for this is never specified – being referred to as ‘technical problems’ – it is likely that the difference in Point of Origin was the source of these problems.
(My reasoning for this is as follows: In the lore of the show, all the Stargates within the Milky Way galaxy are identical, with the Point of Origin being the only difference between individual gates. Furthermore, the Air Force technicians whom originally installed the Egyptian Stargate would have made detailed notes, providing the team installing the Antarctic Gate with a paint-by-numbers. If the team follows the notes, the Gate should have been plug-and-play. Unless the different Point-of-Origin gums up the works…)
This, however, creates a paradox. In the episodes Rising (Atlantis, season 1, episode 1) and Air (Universe, season 1, episode 1) it is established that both Atlantis and Destiny have long-range dialing locks. These prevent long-range dialing of both locations from any other planet then Earth. But both were launched millions of years before the Antarctic Gate was buried, so both should be programmed to only accept a Gate address ending with the Antarctic Gate’s Point-of-Origin symbol. Yet, both locations were successfully dialed.
Resolution of the Paradox: To compensate for Stellar Drift and keep the Stargate addresses up-to-date, the Ancients (the alien race whom created these devices) installed the Correlative Updates System. (SG-1, Avenger 2.0, season 7, episode 9) However, without an additional power source, a Stargate can only dial locations within its home galaxy. These updates are therefore limited to each galaxy. However, if the Ancients were able to connect both Destiny and Atlantis to the Correlative Updates System for the Milky Way Galaxy, the paradox is resolved. This raises the question…
How does the signal get from the Milky Way to both locations ? Inside the galaxy (or galaxies), the Stargate network itself can serve as relays. The major issue is crossing the voids between galaxies. (This especially true in the case of Destiny, since the subspace transceiver that comes with their model of Stargate is extremely short range in universal terms.)
Two: The Ancients were planning to man Destiny
In the episode Air, Doctor Nicholas Rush says that the Ancients were never aboard Destiny. However, he also says that the Ancients were planning to arrive once the ship was far enough out. This, however, leaves us with a simple problem. How would the Ancients know when to dial to Destiny ? This statement only makes sense if the Ancient were tracking the ship’s progress.
And the simplest way to do that, is to have Destiny transmit its location (and possibly other information) back to Earth (or possibly Atlantis). Possible further evidence to support this is provided in same episode, when it is established that the Pegasus Galaxy is amongst the galaxies previously visited by Destiny.
While this alone may not seemed significant, this changes when combined with information from the episode Rising. In the scene where Dr. Beckett uses the holographic projection room, the history of Atlantis is explained. The female holographic projection explains that the Ancients arrived in the Pegasus Galaxy to seed life in a galaxy that appeared to have none. And that raises the question…how did the Ancients know that the Pegasus Galaxy was lifeless ? It seems very impractical that they would select a random galaxy, and then spend years surveying it - conclude that the galaxy was lifeless – and only then get to work seeding the galaxy. What if the galaxy turned out to be unsuitable ? This seems to me like a waste of time and resources.
In my opinion, a much practical and realistic solution would be that the Ancients put together a set of parameters for their target. They then accessed the Destiny telemetry they had received and selected the galaxy that matched the parameter the best. And thus, they selected the Pegasus Galaxy. However, this line of thinking once again requires that the Ancients have the telemetry. And thus, communication between Destiny and Earth.
Finally, we musk ask one simple question. How does Destiny know to slam on the brakes (aka drop out of FTL) when somebody dials in ? The easiest solution is that she receives some kind of signal from the Gate network telling her to do so. (But more about that later.)
Three: The Ancients and Safety
From Atlantis – both the show as a whole and the city-ship itself (as described within the lore) – we know that the Ancients designed their technology with considerable safeties and redundancies. Yet, here we have the Ancients’ most important project, and the key piece of technology – namely Destiny itself – has no redundancy ?
This seriousness of this design flaw in the project is underscored by a scene between Nicholas Rush and Chloe Armstrong in the Stargate Universe finale Gauntlet. Chloe points out to Rush that if Destiny is destroyed by the berserker drones, the whole project will have been for nothing.
To summarize, not only are we talking about a major design flaw in the Destiny Project, this is a plot point that is completely against the character of the Ancients as previously established within the lore.
The Ninth Chevron (aka one last piece of technobabble).
My proposal is to reveal in this season that there is – technically – no such thing as a nine chevron address. In order to dial Destiny, you have to feed the power to Gate in a special way (which is what Eli figured out in Air). My idea is that when you combine this input method with the first chevron off the address, it works like a keyboard shortcut in the Gate’s protocols. The Gate (Network) then sends a signal up the chain Spera build, all the way to Destiny.
Destiny then drops out of FTL and transmits her actual location back to dialing Stargate. At the same time, however, she also asks for an eight digit access code. Which is the rest of the address. (Chevron two through nine.) This solves the question of how Destiny knows how to drop of FTL, but leaves the Point-of-Origin Paradox intact. Because when the Gates were switched, the last digit of the access code changed. And it means Eli was still (kind of) right about the Gate address. (In the episode Air, he helps Rush successfully get a nine chevron lock by suggesting that the Gate will only work if they use Earth as the point-of-origin. He even says ‘like a code’. Which it was, just in a different way.)