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The Classic Kurt Russell Sci-Fi Adventure Crushing It On Netflix

The Syfy Channel has many success stories over its years on the air, with hit original shows like "Farscape," "Battlestar Galactica," and, for a little while, "The Expanse." Arguably, the channel's biggest hit (judging by the sheer volume of seasons and spin-offs) is "Stargate," the franchise which gave humans the ability to travel across space with the help of ancient portals.

The first TV series, "Stargate SG-1," began its run in 1997, staying afloat for a whopping ten seasons. Three years before that, now-famed disaster movie director, Roland Emmerich, and his long-time writing partner, Dean Devlin, crafted the original action film that formed the basis for the shows. "Stargate" is the film Emmerich and Devlin made before "Independence Day," and it features a more serious sci-fi action approach, but still no shortage of aliens.

While "Stargate SG-1" features "MacGyver" star Richard Dean Anderson, the original film was led by Kurt Russell. With John Carpenter's "Big Trouble in Little China" behind him, "Stargate" marked Russell's return to sci-fi action movies after he spent the better part of a decade taking on comedies like "Overboard" and "Captain Ron," as well as more serious dramas like "Backdraft" and "Tombstone."

The original "Stargate" is now streaming on Netflix, so let's talk about why so many people are watching it and why you should add it to your list.

Stargate links ancient Egypt to aliens

"Stargate" is a unique take on the Ancient Astronaut Theory — the idea that the ancient Egyptians communicated with aliens from another world. One of the most popular memes of the previous decade comes from a 2010 episode of "Ancient Aliens" on the History Channel, where Giorgio A. Tsoukalos explained the theory in great detail to hilarious effect.

But the theory of aliens and their connection with Egypt remains to this day. Ancient Astronaut Theory is still big enough that in 2020, billionaire tech mogul Elon Musk tweeted, "Aliens built the pyramids obv," netting hundreds of thousands of likes and retweets. An Egyptian official invited Musk to Egypt to explain why the pyramids were created by human beings.

"Stargate" plays on this fascination to great effect by not only suggesting that aliens visited the Egyptians, but that the Egyptian god, Ra, is a powerful alien who still controls Egypt's descendants on his home world in the present day.

In addition to Kurt Russell, "Stargate" boasts a cast that includes James Spader, Djimon Hounsou, Richard Kind, and French Stewart in his first film role, two years before "Third Rock from the Sun." Apparently, he just couldn't stay away from aliens.

One final interesting note: It's been a century since the 1920s, a decade known for many things, one of which was a fascination with Egyptian culture. It's the perfect time for a nostalgic revival, and we can only hope that as people watch "Stargate," they decide to bring back ancient Egyptian fashion.