In the fictional universe of the science fiction TV show Stargate SG-1, the Kull Warriors (also called Anubis drones or Supersoldiers) are creatures created by the Goa'uld Anubis for use as his personal army.
Concept and production
According to executive producer Robert C. Cooper, the Kull Warriors were conceived as a much more powerful adversary than the Jaffa, and one that would be more "palatable" to fight. Supervising producer Damian Kindler states that the Kull Warriors were planned as a Terminator-like enemy, and that many ideas for their creation came from the episode "Cure".
The appearance of the Kull Warriors was developed by the art department, which worked together with Cooper while he was writing the script for the episode "Evolution". According to James Robbins of the art department, the first idea of the Warrior was more of a general direction that evolved into the final concept while the episode was written. It was also Robbins who then developed the appearance of the Kull Warriors and the face behind the mask. At first the face looked a lot like that of the Borg, and so he came up with the idea of the fiber-optic network that ran over the skull.
Almost every Kull Warrior in the series is played by Dan Payne. In "Evolution, Part II", Alex Zahara performed in some scenes when Payne was unavailable. A second extra was also brought in for some scenes where there are two Kull Warriors onscreen at once. The motion of the Kull Warrior was deliberately styled to be unique and not resemble other robotic characters, such as RoboCop, the Borg, or human-form Replicators. Payne described it as a tough job since it gets very hot in the suit, especially when filming in summer. Payne revealed in an interview that the art department built a body to build the suit on for him and the head. Afterwards they built the armor on top and a suit to go underneath. He also revealed that it was the most functional, mobile full-body unit he has ever been in. At first it took Payne and the staff 30 minutes to get him into the suit, but in the end it only took about 15 to 20 minutes. When fully dressed, the Kull warrior is about seven feet tall thanks to the helmet and the boots.
Kull Warriors first appear in the seventh season of Stargate SG-1, in the two-part episode "Evolution". The bulk of the episode is devoted to learning more about the Kull Warriors and finding a way to defeat them, as seemingly none of the weapons of SG-1 or the Jaffa are effective against the new threat. It is revealed that Anubis has created an army of drones on the planet Tartarus, and is using them to assassinate minor Goa'uld and absorb their Jaffa armies into his own. Although SG-1 destroys the Goa'uld Queen who is helping him, this is believed to be no more than a temporary setback.
In "Death Knell", Samantha Carter and Selmak develop a prototype weapon designed to counteract the energy animating the Kull Warriors. This technology is almost lost when Anubis sends his drones to attack the Alpha Site, but the weapon is tested successfully in battle.
After the apparent defeat of Anubis in "Lost City", the System Lord Ba'al finds his base on Tartarus and gains control of the Supersoldiers, giving him a significant advantage over his rivals. As a result, in the episode "New Order" the other System Lords approach Earth for a new military arrangement. A simulated invasion of Stargate Command by Kull Warriors is the main premise of the episode "Avatar". In "Threads", the remaining Kull Warriors become aimless and confused after Anubis' final defeat, and are easily dispatched.
The bodies of Kull Warriors are grown from organic material, and then given life using an Ancient Healing Device, technology that Anubis gained knowledge of during his time as an Ascended being. The body is then implanted with a "blank" Goa'uld symbiote, spawned by a Queen who deliberately withholds her genetic memory from her progeny. This results in a creature that is utterly obedient to its master.
A Kull Warrior possesses much greater strength and stamina than a human. Jacob Carter/Selmak describes its entire physiology as "out of proportion": the drone's heart and lungs are oversized by necessity to supply enough blood and oxygen to its muscles. Even with the healing powers of the Goa'uld symbiote compensating for the strain, Kull Warriors have a short lifespan and eventually succumb to heart attacks. Kull Warriors are relentless and single-mindedly focused on their goal; they will ignore any enemies that stay out of their way.
Weapons and armor
Kull Warriors are armed with a wrist-mounted energy weapon with a much higher rate of fire than a staff weapon. The armored suit worn by a Kull Warrior is bonded to its host. The suit is made of a Kevlar-like woven fiber that absorbs energy, making them impervious to energy weapons such as staff weapons and zats, as well as firearms and explosives, including armor-piercing bullets, C4 explosives, Claymore mines, and even light missiles. The suit is also unaffected by force-fields. However, Samantha Carter found that a small, sharp object, such as a trinium dart, can penetrate the armor. Selmak also believed that a concussive force of sufficient magnitude could kill a Kull Warrior. The armour itself may be removed and worn by a regular human; Jacob Carter and Selmak impersonated a Kull Warrior after the SGC had captured one alive. Daniel Jackson made use of such armour when the Prometheus had been captured by Vala Mal Doran with the intention of trading it to some bounty hunters. The bounty hunters promptly shot Jackson who had only worn the harder outer armour and not the woven suit part, but which still protected him from the energy blasts of their weapons, allowing him to overpower them. Vala Mal Doran also made use of the suit to steal the Prometheus in the first place and afterwards took off the outer shell, but kept on the woven suit. She believed it would protect from a zat gun, but Daniel shot her in the head, where the suit was ineffective.