Ba'al is a extraterrestrial alien villain that features in Stargate.
Ba'al was a member of the Goa'uld race where he established his own dynasty among his star faring race and rose to sit among the ranks of the System Lords. He also appeared to function as first among equals at the meeting, opening and leading votes. When Osiris appeared on behalf of Anubis to petition the System Lords to accept him back — on the condition that Anubis, in turn, destroy the Tau'ri — Ba'al was one of the System Lords supporting the petition.
Anubis subsequently failed in his attempts to destroy the Tau'ri and moved against the other System Lords, demonstrating an impressively powerful fleet which only the combined fleet of the System Lords could hope to take on. When Lord Yu's growing senility left him unable to lead the combined fleets, Teal'c convinced Ba'al to assume control of the fleets and lead the war against Anubis.
After Anubis's fleet was destroyed by the Ancients' Antarctic outpost, Ba'al seized control of Anubis's armies and technology, including captured Asgard teleportation technology, and waged war against all the other System Lords. This led the other Goa'uld into a failed attempt to negotiate with the Tau'ri for their support against Ba'al. Ba'al quickly began to conquer the other System Lords using Anubis' forces. However, at some point Anubis managed to return and secretly re-take control of his forces from Ba'al. Ba'al was forced to serve under Anubis, much to his displeasure.
Ba'al's advance against the other System Lords was stopped only by the long-anticipated invasion of the Replicators into the Milky Way galaxy. The Replicator armadas quickly overwhelmed and destroyed the Goa'uld System Lords, and Ba'al found himself fighting a losing battle against the invaders. When knowledge of an Ancient superweapon capable of destroying all life in the galaxy was discovered, Ba'al secretly assisted Samantha Carter and Jacob Carter in modifying the weapon, along with the Dial-Home Device associated with Dakara's Stargate, destroying all Replicators in the galaxy. Ba'al then moved in to take back Dakara when Rebel Jaffa stormed his ship, forcing him to beam away.
Even with the Replicators destroyed, Anubis still intended to claim the superweapon for himself and use it to destroy all life in the galaxy. Anubis allowed Ba'al to live so that he may bear witness to the end of all galactic life. When Anubis' plan is foiled by Daniel Jackson and Oma Desala, Ba'al is left as the only known surviving System Lord (the others having been killed by the Replicators — except for Anubis, who was neutralized by Oma).
With his power base gone following the destruction of the System Lords and the rebellion of the Jaffa, Ba'al needed a place to hide, and ended up seeking refuge on Earth itself. Using his leadership over the Goa'ulds who had infiltrated The Trust, Ba'al used the Trust's resources to set himself up as a wealthy businessman to live out his exile.
Ultimately, Ba'al was abducted and publicly executed by the Jaffa leader Gerak on Dakara, causing the Jaffa and SG-1 to briefly believe Ba'al had finally been killed. However, Ba'al had secretly used the Trust's cloning technology to create multiple versions of himself. Not only was the Ba'al executed by Gerak merely a clone, but several Ba'als continued to be hiding on Earth with at least one other Ba'al presumed to be off-world, possibly in the Archeba system. Ba'al adapted well to the Earth lifestyle, and he even began incorporating elements of 21st century Earth fashion into his offworld System Lord wardrobe (such as long leather coats and turtleneck sweaters).
Using his clones, Ba'al resumed his activity in the galaxy. At first, Ba'al's schemes were largely focused on re-acquiring the power he had lost following the downfall of the Goa'uld. However, after the appearance of the Ori threatened all life in the Milky Way, Ba'al began a campaign to battle the invaders for control of the galaxy.
Most of the galaxy's surviving Goa'uld were under his command, and he also managed to regain an army by recruiting Jaffa, largely using mind control. One of Ba'al's clones initiated a scheme to take control of the Jaffa council to prevent their rise to democracy with his mind control technology, but the scheme was foiled and the clone killed by SG-1.
Ba'al also planned to rebuild his empire by using Asgard beaming technology to steal Stargates from other planets and hide them using a method developed by Nerus, Ba'al's former servant who defected to the Ori and was captured by the SGC. His plan was foiled when Nerus returned to Ba'al and accidentally downloaded a virus into one of Ba'al's motherships. The Stargates were then beamed off the mothership by the newly-built Earth ship, the Odyssey, and the mothership (along with several Ba'al clones) was destroyed by the Lucian Alliance.
Later, Ba'al arranged to have his clones captured by the SGC in an attempt to acquire their list of Stargate addresses. To this end, Agent Barrett was (presumably) brainwashed into giving one of the Ba'als his weapon, and all the Ba'als were implanted with locater chips which, when in close proximity to one another, amplified the signal they sent out.
When he discovered the existence of Merlin's Anti-Ori weapon that could not only destroy the Ori, but the Ancients as well, he found the planet where the weapon was located. His ships could not locate it, so he had to come by Stargate. However, the safeguards made by the ascended Ancient Morgan le Fay made it impossible for Ba'al to reach it. His Jaffa had abandoned him, trying to find a way to free him from a forcefield. He was then forced to work alongside SG-1 and the Orici Adria. He was transported to the tomb of Myrddin when the Ancient was awakened who, in his daze, likened Ba'al to Mordred. Ba'al attempted for the remainder of the time to find a way to dial out from the planet's Stargate, which was locked into a random system that beamed the occupants of Myrddin's tomb to random worlds in a closed gate system to prevent discovery by the Ori. This version of Ba'al would be stunned by Ori soldiers that would finally locate the world and is presumed to be dead.
Ba'al returned in the episode "Dominion". When SG-1 had successfully managed to lure Adria into a trap, Ba'al's Jaffa beamed in and took her. He had plans to use Adria to have the Ori forces leave. He implanted yet another of his cloned symbiotes within her, but also assassinated his other clones at a meeting of sorts. After SG-1 re-captured Adria, Colonel Mitchell shot Ba'al, and the Tok'ra extracted the symbiote. Ba'al was presumed dead, but Mitchell pointed out the possibility that one or more of the clones may have survived.
Ba'al makes a return in the second of the direct-to-DVD Stargate movies scheduled for July 2008. This movie contains time-travel, so his survival may be attributed to an alternate reality as opposed to merely surviving SG-1's rescue of Adria.
Personality and attributes
Although exceptionally ruthless, Ba'al seems to possess a somewhat better understanding of human nature than is typical for the Goa'uld, and he also has a vague understanding of the concept of humor. Unlike the "typical" Goa'uld, Ba'al's personality is generally wry and sardonic rather than melodramatically megalomaniacal; his methods often involve deception and subterfuge rather than brute force, and his style tends toward subtle insidiousness rather than outright cruelty. In this manner Ba'al is probably one of the most unusual antagonists on the show and probably the Goa'uld with the most character development.
In keeping with his more subtle modus operandi, Ba'al also maintains an image of almost entirely non-military refinement, with a rather less threatening appearance than was usual for the Goa'uld. He has a beard, but it is small and kept neat, and even before adopting Earth clothing he was also consistently well-dressed.
Ba'al is also distinct from most Goa'uld in that despite the above-mentioned ruthlessness, his motivations are much more complex than simple evil in a moral absolutist sense. He is reasonable, and since the collapse of the Goa'uld Empire, freely acknowledges that he is not a god (prior to the downfall of the Goa'uld, he would treat his "godhood" rather flippantly to those who already knew about the secret - a marked contrast to other Goa'uld, who gave every impression of actually believing their own propaganda). In Season 9 and 10, Ba'al occasionally remarks that he finds aspects of human culture "amusing", and even goes so far as to largely stop using the flanged voice-amplification distinctive of the Goa'uld, speaking in a natural human voice in most of his appearances, only using the "Goa'uld voice" when trying to intimidate opponents. Also, he has started to wear elements of 21st-century Earth fashion, even when off world.
Ba'al cares only for his own interests, and is a persistent enemy of SG-1 and the Tau'ri. Throughout this however, he displays a very uncharacteristic ability for the Goa'uld, of recognising universal threats, and occasionally works co-operatively with SG-1 for brief periods when he recognises that it is in his own best interests to do so. This would imply that although he is egocentric and desires self-aggrandizement, he is not purely chaotic, but rather that he at times commits actions that would commonly be defined as evil, simply because he sees said means as being the fastest and most direct way of obtaining what he wants. It also tends to suggest that his aspirations are more limited, and that he primarily wishes to secure a certain amount of territory and material valuables for himself, rather than wanting to eradicate all life in the galaxy, as Lord Anubis did.
At no point is any interest taken in the original host whose body Ba'al has occupied, as was done in the case of Apophis.
Powers and abilities
As a Goa'uld, Ba'al's actual form was that of a snake-like parasitic organism that had the ability to possess a host body. The natural traits of his kind meant that he was able to promote healing in the host and kill the body if he desired to prevent him being extracted from it.
- Ba'al was created as an antagonist for Stargate: SG-1 where he was portrayed by actor Cliff Simmon.
- Stargate: SG-1: "Summit"