In Stargate (1994), Ra said he chose the human body because it was so easy to repair. I don't quite understand what this meant. They discovered that Ra's [alien] race was supposedly dying off. Obviously he found a way to become immortal by "becoming human". But, in the final scene, Ra morphs(?) back into the alien form.

So what was Ra, a human or an alien? How did he get his human form, did he transfer his mind/spirit into a human body or was he just seen as a human?

  • Given that Ra and other Egyptian Gods were portrayed as humanoid figures (often with different heads) it makes sense that they would take that form, having taken it before. Possibly as a stop-gap solution given whatever world they are on or species they encounter. Maybe it's a symbiotic relationship. Ra and his/its ilk are alien, not human, but they try to present themselves in a manner that is less upsetting or terrifying than a truly "alien" form. (Opinion, not answer.) Feb 13, 2014 at 7:15
  • @MeatTrademark The statement was that human bodies were easy to repair and is why Ra chose them. I don't think he cared about being terrifying as that was kind of his point. In fact, they wore the heads so they wouldn't look human which is why later in the movie after killing one, Jackson reveals the the "god" as a "human" by pressing the button to retract his head/mask. When the crowd saw this, they decided to rebel. Feb 13, 2014 at 14:51

2 Answers 2


As it later becomes established in Stargate SG1, the Goa'uld are actually parasitic creatures that inhabit and control their hosts. We also know that before humans, the Goa'uld used to take control of Unas, but that the number of Unas in the universe was rapidly dwindling due to the rapid growth of the Goa'uld.

In the opening scene of Stargate (the 1994 movie), we see a pyramid shaped ship landing on ancient Earth, amongst a group of local inhabitants, one of which gets curious and approaches the ship. This individual was captured and then subsequently became the host of Ra - enslaved and trapped inside his own body.

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    There is actually a difference between how the Goa'uld were dealt with in the movie and in SG1, but I chalked this up to the need to develope the show for TV purposes. Why Ra sort of burned off the shell of the human to show his alien self was never really explained in the movie nor the series. Feb 13, 2014 at 14:25
  • Parasitic species is what I was trying to think of. Feb 13, 2014 at 14:52

The above responses are correct; the nature of Ra's species was changed for the TV series.

A long since defunct RPG established that Ra had simply taken an Asgard as a host, but switched to a human one because it was more compatible.

In the context of the film and its novelization, Ra was a dying alien who used an undefined, technologically-induced method to physically take over another life form by encasing himself within his chosen host.

This method was somewhat energy-based, and in the scene where he dies, he is literally shedding his human shell. In the novelization, the alien does this because he intended to escape and be able to take another host.

In short, he sheds his shell in an attempt to escape the doomed ship, but fails.

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