Aliens, interstellar adventures, and existential threats to the universe as we know it. While this may sound like a description of Star Trek, Stargate shares a number of themes at a variety of levels. Let’s look at a few of those as well as the differences between the two.

Similarities between Star Trek and Stargate:

  • It is sci-fi, and you can tell from the “Star” in the name
  • Multiple spin-off shows such as Star Trek TNG leading to DS9 and Discovery, while Stargate led to Stargate Atlantis and Stargate Universe
  • Both have an animated series almost no one knows about: “Stargate: Infinity” and “Star Trek: The Animated Series”
  • Ancient aliens seeded the life with humanoid life, though it is less clear if there were humans on Earth when Atlantians settled
  • Both universes have a number of intelligent species with which humans can trade, avoid, or theoretically learn from.
  • Human colonies scattered throughout the universe, many of them cultural enclaves of lost human cultures
  • Borg/replicator threat, though Stargate differs by having two versions – purely mechanical Replicators and humanoid replicators
  • An omnipotent being regularly assists humans (Oma and Q) while periodically offering with ascension / upgrades
  • Both of them created filler “what if” episodes with alternate realities and time travel
  • Magical children exist in both franchises; the Harcesis Shifu in Stargate and multiple magical children in Star Trek starting with Charlie X in the TOS  
  • Both TV shows explicitly condemned religion. Picard called religion backward. The Ark of Truth brought literal atheist enlightenment to the Ori.

Differences between Star Trek and Stargate:

  • Stargate takes place in the viewer’s present, while Star Trek is set centuries in the future barring time travel episodes
  • In Stargate, there is no central human authority over human colonies if the Gaould are not in charge. And because nearly every world is settled, Earth isn’t really colonizing new places.
  • The alien vampires in Stargate are the big bad, whereas the closest equivalent threat is the Fluidic space aliens that only threaten Voyager and barely get beyond planning an infiltration of the Federation
  • Stargate has far more personality swaps than Star Trek, and that’s aside from the horror of the Ga’ould taking over your body
  • Stargate is one of the rare cases of a TV show launched after a movie, whereas Star Trek started as a TV show and spawned several movies
  • While Stargate had time-travel and alternate realities, there is no dark “mirror” universe.

Given Their Similarities, Why Is Star Trek More Popular?

The main reason why Star Trek wins the Star Trek versus Stargate debate with the general population is that Star Trek came first. It came out in the 1960s and set the standard for popular science fiction. It resulted in movies in the 1970s and 1980s that were widely seen. It led to spin-off series, and those had higher ratings than the Stargate series because it was an established franchise.

And we seem to have reached a point where people care more about franchise brands than they do quality. That is why great new movies are almost never released anymore and why people tend to skip them in favor of the latest DC or Marvel movie.