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In science fiction, a jump gate (or 'jumpgate') or alternatively, a stargate, is a fictional device able to create a wormhole or portal, allowing fast travel between two points in space. Several works use this term extensively.
- 1 Babylon 5
- 2 Buck Rogers in the 25th Century
- 3 DC Comics
- 4 Doom
- 5 Eve Online
- 6 Fading Suns
- 7 Freelancer
- 8 Jumpgate series
- 9 Marvel Comics
- 10 Mass Effect (game series)
- 11 Lost in Space (film)
- 12 Prehistoric Park
- 13 Star Trek
- 14 Stargate
- 15 Supreme Commander
- 16 Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles
- 17 Transformers
- 18 The X Computer Game Series
- 19 Escape Velocity Nova
- 20 Pirate Galaxy
- 21 References
- 22 See also
In the Babylon 5 television series, a jumpgate is an apparatus with the power to open a vortex that connects normal space with hyperspace, making interstellar travel take a matter of days. Jumpgates also provide beacons that allow navigation within hyperspace (due to lack of stars and a gravitational incline that can pull ships off course without points of reference to correct themselves). The origin of the technology is unknown; all races learned to make jumpgates by examining already-existing jumpgates. For example, humans got jumpgate technology by buying it from the Centauri. Some ships are large enough to contain a jumpgate device, enabling them to enter and exit hyperspace at will. Minbari warships have been known to exit hyperspace right next to enemy ships, destroying them in the backlash.
As established in the episode "Movements of Fire and Shadow", jumpgates are basically considered neutral territory; it is considered a gross violation of rules of engagement to attack them directly, as the jumpgate network is needed by every spacefaring race. Jumpgates are also not typically shut down during combat (to prevent enemy forces from arriving), as it takes a considerable amount of time to power them down and up again.
Buck Rogers in the 25th Century
In the Buck Rogers in the 25th Century television series a network of stargates has been set up for interstellar travel. In this context, stargates are the same concept as jumpgates. These stargates were shown as a diamond-shaped quartet of stars that shimmered when a vessel was making transit.
Boom tubes are used by residents of Apokolips and New Genesis to travel great or interplanetary distances. In order to open one, a device known as a Mother Box is required, though some characters (notably Darkseid) are capable of opening them naturally.
In the 30th century, the stargate network is the backbone of the United Planets' government, allowing quick interplanetary travel.
The Doom series has their own jumpgates, called Anomalies, placed on the two moons of Mars, Phobos and Deimos. In the Doom 3 games a true version of a stargate appears. In Doom 3, it offers a direct link to hell, whence two Hell Knights emerge and attempt to kill the protagonist. In Doom 3: Resurrection of Evil, another stargate is opened when the player faces the first Hunter. All the Anomalies in both classic and new Doom are used to travel in space at an instant speed by using an alternate dimension as a shortcut, where the hellish and demonic race dwells.
In the MMORPG, Eve Online, jump gates allow travel between star systems. Due to the complex nature of their construction and the physics that they are based upon, in the official lore of the game, a jump gate must be placed between two stars of a star system with at least two stars - this makes "approximately one in every three" star systems unsuitable.
The largest capital ships (Titans) have been given the ability to forge a similar gate towards a cynosural field, allowing them to temporarily connect one system to another and jump support fleets through before jumping itself. In Revelations II, a player owned structure called the jump bridge was added that allowed a more permanent jump bridge to be made. With the Trinity expansion pack another ship type (black ops) appeared which could generate 'silent' jump portals not visible on the system scanner (although the ships still appear, as cloaks cannot be used along with generators).
In the fictional Fading Suns universe jumpgates are the only means to travel between the stars. They are huge structures left behind by some almost unknown alien civilization called the Annunaki. The jumpgates are long ring-like structures that have a diameter of several kilometers across, they are opened by a device called jump engine, and the route is controlled by another device called the jump key. The civilization of the known worlds has very little understanding of the principles at work behind the gates.
In the Freelancer game by Digital Anvil, the jumpgate is an apparatus which provides travel from system to system. After the Liberty landed on Planet Manhattan and began exploring the New York System they came across the natural phenomenon known as the Jumphole. Ageira Technologies researched it and developed the Jumpgate, and in conjunction with Deep Space Engineering, provided the rest of the Houses with the technology- for a hefty fee.
Jumpgates form choke points through which traffic entering a star system must pass, making them favored ambush points for criminal groups such as the Outcasts and Corsairs. To guard against this, naval or military checkpoints are commonly situated near Jumpgates, who also take advantage of the opportunity to scan for contraband being smuggled into the system (although smart smugglers and criminals tend to make use of jump holes, naturally occurring versions of jump gates, rather than risk detection and capture.) Jumpgates are also outfitted with defensive turrets in order to cover the immediate vicinity.
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In the NetDevil MMORPGs Jumpgate: The Reconstruction Initiative and Jumpgate Evolution, the titular jumpgates are used to travel from sector to sector of space. In the games' lore, jumpgate technology replaced an unknown faster-than-light travel method used by human civilizations before the so-called "Great Collapse". Jumpgates link the ~173 sectors of space which form the game map in Jumpgate: The Reconstruction Initiative, but there is no apparent connection in the game between sectors and individual star systems.
In the Marvel Universe, Jump Gates are used by the United States Government to connect each state superhero team of the Fifty State Initiative with the Negative Zone's Prison 42 and in turn the other states Jump Gates. However, State jumps wear down the point between positive and negative space so the jumps are used sparingly.
An alien race called the Shi'ar use Stargates which can transport matter across intergalactic distances. There is a large Shi'ar stargate on the edge of our Solar System, but it requires a massive amount of energy to activate, and is hazardous to use since it has the potential to destabilize a star.
Xandar was given the Star Gate technology as a result of their alliance with the Shi'ar. Later, while in possession of the entire Nova Force, Richard Rider (Nova Prime) was able to physically generate a Stargate at will without any mechanical equipment.
Mass Effect (game series)
In the Mass Effect series of games, a system of mass relays that link planetary systems were created by a civilization that vanished thousands of years ago. The relays use the mass effect of element zero (related to dark energy) to alter space-time, allowing virtually instantaneous travel between any two points. They come in two versions, one version links to all nearby relays while the other links to only one relay but has greater range. Ships also have FTL-cores that use the same principle, but don't have the energy capacity of a relay. The bigger the ship, the more mass must be neutralized and the slower it can travel per unit of element zero.
Lost in Space (film)
In the year 2058, Earth will soon be uninhabitable after the irreversible effects of pollution. The United Global Space Force serves as the planetary government. Professor John Robinson, lead scientist of the Jupiter Mission, will lead his family to the habitable planet Alpha Prime to prepare it for colonization by building a hypergate in orbit. The Jupiter 2 is equipped with a hyperdrive that allows faster-than-light travel, which will eventually be employed to evacuate the citizens of Earth. However hypergates must be constructed on Earth and Alpha Prime to provide stable points of departure and arrival. The project is accelerated after Global Sedition terrorist forces send two armed fighters to destroy the hypergate under construction. Major Don West, a fighter pilot from the hypergate defense force, manages to destroy the enemy fighters and is unwillingly drafted as the new pilot of the Jupiter Mission, as the previous pilot has been assassinated.
Unfortunately, without a hypergate to warp to, the ship and its crew end up in a random (and apparently uncharted) part of the galaxy. They then go through a "hole in space" and presumably go to the future. The Space Family Robinson thus become lost in space, as they did in the TV series and various comic projects. They presumably never make it to Alpha Prime, thus dooming the citizens of Earth by not completing the hyperdrive link.
See Prehistoric Park#Technology for more information.
The MGM franchise is a military science fiction, set in the present day. According to in-universe lore, the Stargate and its network were conceived, built and seeded by an advanced race of humans called 'Ancients'. The first gate found on Earth was discovered on an archaeological dig near the great pyramid of Giza and acquired by the U.S. military. After learning how to activate the Stargate, the gate is regularly used to explore the galaxy, extend diplomatic relations as appropriate and recover technology to protect Earth and its burgeoning allies against a variety of foes.
The titular device was conceived by Dean Devlin and Roland Emmerich. Devlin and Emmerich's concept was developed for the Stargate motion picture and subsequently adapted by Brad Wright and Jonathan Glassner for the MGM franchises- Stargate SG-1, Stargate: Atlantis, Stargate Universe and the feature films Stargate Continuum and Stargate:The Ark of Truth
A stargate's diameter 6.7 m (22 ft) and it weighs 29,000 kg (64,000 lb). It comprises a naquadah metal ring with 38 symbols representing constellations, that rotates in an outer track on which a typical "address" of 7 chevrons are selected - 6 chevrons form the destination and the 7th is the "point-of-origin". On extremely limited occasions, an 8th and 9th chevron has been used as a "distance variable" for stargates outside the Milky Way galaxy. A stargate is typically operated by its Dial-home Device or 'DHD' that controls power, address input and gate diagnostics. These devices take wide and varied forms across the three franchises. When an active 'gate-address' is entered by a dialing sequence, into the DHD a wormhole is established, culminating in the iconic 'kawoosh' as the wormhole's forming event horizon sheds its velocity and settles inside the stargate. The only stargate without a typical DHD is the one under Cheyennne Mountain on Earth. When the stargate was found on the Giza Plateau in the 1920s, a corresponding DHD was not recovered on the dig. Other than a fluke wormhole connection in the 1940s which led to the loss of Ernest Littlefield, it never operated until a contemporary DHD was "cobbled" together using a myriad of supercomputers at the start of the Stargate program in 1994.
In the video game series Supreme Commander humanity has constructed jumpgates called Quantum Gates, which allows instant travel between planets. A vehicle (in almost all cases an ACU, Armoured Command Unit) can enter a Quantum Gate and appear at a different gate or at a position on a planet. This is the way humans wage war in this future.
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles
In the 1987 Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles cartoon series, famous dimensional portals appear. These machines can within some seconds transport people from one place to another. Krang has one, and Donatello develops one later (during season three), however, Donatello's seldom work. Typically, Krang opens the dimensional portal in the Technodrome for transportation between Earth and Dimension X.
The original Transformers cartoon featured the Space Bridge, which created a subspace tunnel from one point to another — typically, from an Earth station to Cybertron. The Earth station resembled a giant ring lying down, with an opening gate. When activated, the gate would close and sections of the ring would light up, the light spinning until a subspace tunnel was opened and whatever was in the ring was pulled in. The Cybertron receiving station was built into a large tower. Only one Space Bridge was ever shown, and it was under Decepticon control; but one station existing on Cybertron may be a hint that there were other Space Bridge stations on Cybertron. It was a key plot device in the first two seasons, phased out afterwards in favor of more standard space travel.
Unlike some examples (see Stargate above), matter is not broken down when sent through the Space Bridge — the objects stay intact inside the subspace tunnel.
In the live-action movie series, specifically in Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen, the Space Bridge is portrayed differently. The idea and function is basically the same: it is a subspace tunnel system used by the Decepticons to transport matter, intact, across distances instantly. The difference here is that instead of a facility which cannot move, it appears to be an ability possessed by the Decepticons in general, or some device they carry with them, not unlike the Boom Tubes created by Motherboxes. Indeed the idea is quite similar. In this incarnation when the Space Bridge is activated there is a huge "bang" or explosion, probably air being drawn in and displaced when the transition occurs, and with a flash of light objects are transported elsewhere. The range of this version of the Space Bridge is unknown, but it allows several people, including a robot the size of an SR-71 spy plane, to teleport across the globe instantly.
Also like the previous incarnation, this portable Space Bridge allows objects to remain intact and indeed interact with one another—such as when Sam was injured during transit.
A third version is seen in Transformers: Dark of the Moon, as a creation of the former Autobot ruler and "Einstein" of Cybertron, Sentinel Prime. This version was very different from the Decepticon version but, ironically, almost the same as the original cartoon incarnation: using immobile devices called "Pillars" situated in a ring shape, it would establish a subspace tunnel between two points in space time, described by Sentinel Prime as using some kind of new physics principal that defy what humanity understands (or more approriately, think we understand) about the universe, to bend space-time so that two points contact. In effect, it is the same principal as a wormhole, only it can be artificially activated and used repeatedly.
Hundreds of Pillars were created by Sentinel Prime and transported to Earth on his space battleship, the Ark, which was damaged in transit to FTL speed and crashed on the moon in the 1960s. The Decepticons attempted to gain control of this model of Space Bridge technology to teleport Cybertron (depicted here as a huge Jupiter Brain-like construct vastly larger than Earth) into our star system and cause it to collide with Earth. Interestingly it operates the same as both previous kinds of space-time bridge system—namely, matter remains intact and functional during the transmission, implying it is the same technology as the previous movie's incarnation only more advanced.
In the comics this is explained in detail: the Sentinel Prime's subspace bridge was a more sophisticated and powerful version of the Decepticon one, which was discontinued after some time because it was too inefficient, compared to the third-model Space Bridge which can transport anything from starships to armies and even whole worlds instead of "just" a few dozen tons of matter across space-time.
The X Computer Game Series
The jumpgate in the X computer game series by Egosoft is a large device which uses a wormhole to connect itself to another jumpgate. These devices have changed in appearance through the series although this is accepted as a graphical enhancement, not actual gate altering.
The jumpgates create a web of connections to 163 known sectors within the X Universe. Within the sector the jumpgates are roughly located in the north, south, east and west. Not all sectors have 4 discovered jumpgates, some have slightly more, many have less.
The jumpgates and their current configuration are believed to be designed by ancient beings who are currently nowhere within the X Universe gate system. They are believed to be observing the sectors but direct contact has not occurred in generations. They are also blamed for the re-routing of some jumpgates every now and again, cutting off some sectors or connecting undiscovered ones.
The current intelligent biological residents of the X Universe, the Argon, Boron, Paranid, Split and Teladi do not understand the technology behind the jumpgates but the Humans of the Sol system successfully created their own jumpgates in the mid 21st century. The Earth jumpgate connected to the alien jumpgate system. The humans began colonising using the prearranged alien jumpgates although every sector they visited was strangely devoid of intelligent life. The Earth jumpgate was destroyed to trap the destructive terraformer fleet in the X Universe, away from Earth.
The only race in the X Universe to possibly understand the jumpgates are the Xenon, which are the "descendants" of the robotic terraformer fleet from Earth. They created a jumpdrive to get back to Earth to destroy it. The first jump-ship managed to jump close to the Earth system but it was badly damaged. The Kha'ak race also appear to have an understanding of jump systems, although they never use gate, preferring to use a jump system of their own design, which creates a momentary wormhole by joining several ships together and drawing power from all of them.
Escape Velocity Nova
In Escape Velocity Nova, early extrasolar colonization was achieved using the Hypergate system invented by Omata Kane. They created artificial wormholes that would transport a ship to another system, where a new Hypergate could be constructed. Several centuries later, the Colonial Council grew corrupt. In rebellion, terrorists destroyed selective portions of the Hypergate System, plunging the Galaxy into a Dark Age that would last until the Hyperspace drive was created. This technology allowed ships to travel between stars independently.
Unknown to the general public, some of the Hypergate system is still functional in "modern" times. This is a closely guarded secret of the company Sigma Shipyards.
In the MMORPG, Pirate Galaxy, stargates allow travel between star systems. Each stargate must be unlocked by the player upon completing every storyline mission in a star system and stealing an astrogation chip from an enemy mantis, usually after some sort of boss battle involving a large mantis ship. Each planetary system, including Sol solar system has one each.
- Avengers: The Initiative #2
- Stargate SG-1 6.01 'Redemption'
- Stargate SG-1 1.01 'Children of the Gods'
- Stargate: Atlantis 1.01 'Rising'
- Stargate Universe 1.01 'Air Part 1'
- Stargate SG-1 1.01 'Children of the Gods'