In 1928, an ancient Egyptian artefact covered in strange symbols is excavated at the foot of the Great Pyramids. Decades later the American Government recruits the help of Egyptologist Dr Daniel Jackson (James Spader) to decode the secret of these symbols. He reveals the key to a "stargate", an intergalactic portal to the far side of the known universe. Jackson is joined by a crack military unit led by Colonel, O'Neill (Kurt Russell) on a voyage of discovery. Through the stargate they find themselves in a futuristic desert world ruled by the godlike King Ra. Unwittingly Jackson has reopened a space/time corridor that the ancient Egyptians closed to this despotic ruler centuries ago. The band of explorers can only imagine the power that they have unleashed and the adventure that is about to unfold.