tv // lbd // shoulder touch

SG1/SGA backstory meta - Ancients and Replicators

So this is basically my understanding of the Ancients and the Replicators/Asurans, and their history, in both the Pegasus and Milky Way galaxies. It's backstory mainly pieced together from information from episodes along with Gateworld's very helpful Omnipedia. Unfortunately it's been a while since I've seen some episodes and that's why I'm putting this all out there, to see if I've missed anything or if anyone else has a different take.

This whole thing contains SGA spoilers through "First Strike", but the comments could contain more... who knows?

The Ancients started out in another galaxy where they in the Ori were effectively the same race. However, the Ori believed that they had a right to 'play God' over unenlightened mortals, and were willing to go to the war with the Ancients over this. But rather than let this happen, the Ancients left for the Milky Way, and while they were there they spent their time seeding human life - and Stargates - throughout the galaxy. They were able to repress the Ori's knowledge that the Milky Way was populated, at least for a time.

Atlantis may have been constructed on Earth, and at one point a second-generation Gate (the big turny stone kind) was placed on Earth as well as the one already present inside Atlantis.

But at some point "several million years ago" most of the Ancients left on Atlantis. This may have had something to do with the virus that Ayiana was carrying and exposed Jack and the others to (a plague in the ancient Milky Way galaxy has been mentioned in several SG-1 episodes, including Window of Opportunity and Threads). Maybe they just wanted a new galaxy to seed with life. At least one Ancient, later called Aiyana, was left behind in the vicinity of the Stargate (which, depending on how many millions of years ago this all happened, may not have been a icy wasteland it would become after the supercontinent broke up and Antarctica moved to the southern pole).

Eventually, the Ancients landed Atlantis on the world referred to as Lantea, in the Pegasus Galaxy, which they also began to seed with life and Stargates. Unfortunately, one of the worlds they peopled was home to the Iratus bug, which eventually mutated into the Wraith. The Wraith set out to cull an unsuspecting galaxy, and their technology, either invented/grown or adapted, was effective even against the Ancients. After a long war, the Lanteans decided to sink the city (with only a time-traveling Elizabeth Weir left behind to rotate the three ZPMs, thereby saving the future expedition) and used the Stargate to travel back to Earth. These survivors mingled with the human population, spreading stories of a fantastical underwater city and presumably spreading some genes around as well, leading to a small number of present-day humans having the ATA gene.

At some point during all of this, two things happened. First, the Ancients became interested in the prospect of Ascension. There is evidence of their work on Ascension in both galaxies. It is thought that the majority of Ancients eventually 'moved on' to this higher plane, where the most important rule was non-intervention in the affairs of lesser beings.

Second, while at war with the Wraith, the Ancients created the Asurans. In the beginning they were only nanites that would infect and kill the Wraith, but they quickly evolved into something more sophisticated, eventually taking the form of their creators. The Ancients attempted to use this to their own ends, and did not remove the subroutine in the Asurans' base code which made them aggressive. They also implanted directives that would keep the Asurans from tampering with their base code or turning on their creators. Eventually, however, the Ancients decided that the Asurans were a failure and destroyed what had become their homeworld. Enough of the nanites survived that they were able to rebuild an even surpass the scope and technology of Atlantis at its peek, and when they discovered from Weir, Sheppard and his team that Atlantis had not been destroyed, they went looking for revenge.

McKay hypothesizes, during all this, that the Asurans may be related to the Replicators known in the Milky Way. These Replicators were initially encountered by SG-1 as technologically-advanced bugs which could make more of themselves if provided with the necessary raw materials, and whose basic units were kerons. These Replicators, it was discovered, where created by an android called Reese, which contained nanites. Reese's origins were vague, but her creator, or 'father', might have been an Ancient in the Milky Way still working on perfecting the Asuran technology, or a scientist from another world who found remnants of their experiments and decided to give it a try himself.

Bored - and emotionally unstable - Reese created "toys", the first insect-form Replicators, which eventually killed Reese's father. The 'toys' were programmed onto to make more of themselves, as Reese directed them to, and anything or anyone who gets in the way of this is at risk.

The Asgard, embroiled in a war with the insect-Replicators in their own galaxy - the consequence of the Asgard fiddling with the Replicators and not fully appreciating their destructive power - took the remains of Reese's body and used it to set a trap for their enemy. They activated a command in Reese telling all of the Replicators to "come forth" and intended to trap them within a time-dilation bubble. Unfortunately, the Replicators were able to counteract and even reverse the device, giving them plenty of time to investigate/consume Reese's body as well as the rest of the Asgard planet and evolve into microscopic nanites rather than large and cumbersome blocks. They created more of themselves, more or less in Reese's image, eventually escaping the Asgard trap and setting out to conquer the universe.

They crippled the Goa'uld, took on Samantha Carter's form, and seemed unstoppable until SG-1 discovered and used the massive Ancient-built weapon (which was originally built by the Ancients to recreate life "after the whole plague thing"). It seemed that the threat from the Replicators was at an end. Unfortunately, the IOA considered the Pegasus Replicators to be a threat to Earth and launched a preemptive strike against them, which failed.

Thanks to beatrice_otter for her help!
  • Current Mood: thoughtful thoughtful/tired
Fairly complete. However, a few things could be tweaked. First, the Ancients didn't start out on Earth, they started out in the Orii galaxy, and the plague was sent by the Orii. Second, Reese wasn't a human-form replicator. She was an android with nanites in her, and her programming was way different from that of the Asurans, which suggests to me that a human scientist found some Asuran nanites somewhere (remains of an Ancient lab, maybe?) and experimented on it. (And look how well that turned out. And the reason the Replicators set their sights on the Asgard is that the Asgard found them and started experimenting on them. Which is why every time McKay or somebody starts working on replicator nanites or whatever, I cringe.
Thanks for the info! It makes sense that what I would be missing is Orii-related, because I, um, kind of tuned out during that part of the series. ;)

*goes back and edits her post*

ETA: One thought, though--

and the plague was sent by the Orii.

Do we know that, though? The Ori only realized that the Milky Way was populated when Daniel and Vala encountered them. So they would have had no reason to send a plague to Earth or anywhere else in the MW during the Ancients' peak in our galaxy. Also, the symptoms of the two diseases are pretty different.

Edited at 2008-01-04 08:02 pm (UTC)
They may not have known humans were there, but they knew the Alterrans/Ancients were. Plagues are the Orii MO, and we know they and the pre-ascended Ancients were fighting at one point. I'm pretty sure what happened is: plague wipes out most of the population of the Milky Way, Ancients reseed using the device at Dakara, this time shielding themselves from the Ori so that the Ori don't think there's anything worth bothering about in this galaxy.
Found this via the newsletter, and:

She was an android with nanites in her,

I knew she's an android, but I'd never heard she had nanites in her. Granted I stopped following SG-1 somewhere in the middle of S8, so... which episode do we learn this in?
I think it was mentioned in the main episode with her in it, late season 5--that was how she was creating replicators, she was using her nanites. I could be wrong about it; it's been a while since I've seen the episode. But regardless, she wasn't a human-form replicator in that she wasn't created entirely of nanites. She was a regular android with bits of Replicator code in her.