In 1928, an expedition searching for ancient Egyptian relics discovers a large metal ring near the city of Giza, which is confiscated by the U.S. military for study. In the present (of the movie viewer), the brilliant but quirky Egyptologist Daniel Jackson (played by James Spader) is hired to decipher the symbols on the mysterious ring. It turns out to be a Stargate, an alien device that enables almost instantaneous teleportation to a complementary device on another planet, and the symbols are encoded dialing numbers.
Jackson is sent with a military team led by Colonel Jonathan "Jack" O'Neil (played by Kurt Russell) through the Stargate to a desert planet called Abydos. There, they find a small human civilization enslaved by an alien (who the locals worship as Ra, the ancient Egyptian sun god) possessing a human body that is continuously regenerated in a high-tech sarcophagus. (Ra's guards and soldiers wear animal-head helmets reminiscent of other ancient Egyptian gods, notably Anubis and Horus, but it's not clear whether Ra inspired the legends or is merely playing on them.) It turns out that Ra had humans enslaved on both planets, but the Earth humans rebelled and closed the Stargate. While Ra plans to destroy Earth by sending a bomb through the re-opened gate, the Earth explorers spark a rebellion among the Abydos population, resulting in the death of Ra and the destruction of his starship.
Stargate (also known as Defender II) is an arcade game made by Williams Electronics in 1981.