Yu (Stargate)

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Yu is an extraterrestrial character that features in Stargate.



A powerful and intelligent Goa'uld, Yu was a leader among the System Lords, and was the oldest Goa'uld to hold that rank. Historically, on Earth, Yu likely did not impersonate a god per se, but may have been one of China's earliest emperors. He also founded the first dynasty. Legend says that Yu sprang forth into the world from a dragon's body, and possessed great mythic powers.

His first modern encounter with the Tau'ri was when he, along with fellow System Lords Cronus and Nirrti, represented the Goa'uld at an Asgard-mediated summit on Earth to amend the Protected Planets Treaty. Yu was the group's key spokesman, and eventually supported the non-aggression treaty when it was discovered that Nirrti had attempted to kill Cronus and sabotage the negotiations. A contributing factor to this decision was that Yu's own interests did not lie in Earth's area. <ref name="Fair Game" />

When the System Lords met in a summit of their own to discuss a mysterious new threat to them all, Yu was expected to attend along with his personal slave, or Lo'tar. However, the Tok'ra had enabled Daniel Jackson to impersonate Yu's Lo'tar as part of an elaborate plan to assassinate all System Lords in a single blow. <ref name="Summit"/> When the identity of the mysterious attacker was revealed, Yu was outraged to learn that the threat was none other than Anubis, his old enemy whom he believed to have been killed a thousand years ago. The other System Lords voted to reinstate Anubis as a System Lord, Yu was the only dissenting vote. The Tok'ra eventually called off their assassination attempt as the new System Lord, Anubis, was not present at the time.

After surviving an attack by Osiris <ref name="Last Stand">"Last Stand" (Stargate SG-1)</ref>, Yu began a battle campaign against Anubis. Despite the latter's superior technology, Yu's forces managed to hold their own. He eventually convinced the other System Lords to oppose Anubis, and led their combined forces into a battle over the planet Abydos. However, Anubis used his advanced new weapon to annihilate their fleet. <ref name="Full Circle">"Full Circle" (Stargate SG-1)</ref>

When SG-1 offered Yu a chance to destroy Anubis once and for all, he inexplicably betrayed them and withdrew his forces from the battle. His First Prime, Oshu, expressed to Teal'c his concern over Yu's failing health. The sarcophagus no longer sustained the very old Goa'uld as it once did, and Yu had begun to exhibit poor memory and judgment. In addition, Oshu revealed that Yu could not take a new host because his Goa'uld was simply too weak. The leadership over the United Alliance of the System Lords, formed to battle Anubis, was transferred to Ba'al, who attacked Anubis at Langara. <ref name="Homecoming">"Homecoming" (Stargate SG-1)</ref>

However, when Anubis' fleet was defeated when he attempted to attack Earth, Ba'al rose to power and made an enemy of his fellow System Lords, including Yu. As Earth had recently discovered the Ancient outpost in Antarctica and used it against Anubis' fleet, Yu travelled to the SGC along with Camulus and Amaterasu in the hopes of convincing them to join the fight against Ba'al. As the SGC was not willing to do so, the System Lord delegation left. <ref name="New Order">"New Order" (Stargate SG-1)</ref>

The following months did not go well for Yu. In addition to his senility, his fleet suffered heavy losses against Ba'al. He eventually attended a System Lord summit organized by Ba'al to negotiate the System Lords' surrender. When the station was invaded by Replicator Carter, Yu was stabbed, and is presumed dead. <ref name="Reckoning">"Reckoning" (Stargate SG-1)</ref>


Personality and attributes

Yu is notable in that while Goa'uld are generally megalomaniacal and obsessed with total domination, Yu is a pragmatic villain. While certainly no friend of Earth, Yu is mostly concerned with strengthening his hold on the territory he already controls, while other Goa'uld will often haphazardly waste resources trying to conquer the entire galaxy. Yu is also often fairly willing to negotiate with Earth (as opposed to other System Lords which view all humans as just livestock) and achieve a diplomatic solution and actually more or less co-existence with Earth. However, it is stated that this is due in no small part to the fact that the territories Yu controls are on the opposite side of the Milky Way Galaxy, and thus most of the other System Lords are located between Yu and Earth: allowing Earth to survive helps destabalize Yu's Goa'uld enemies located between the two.

Another factor is simply the persona that Yu took as one of China's early emperors, which was not really considered a "god" per se. Like many other Goa'uld, Yu does generally seem to believe their own propaganda that they are gods (unlike Ba'al who privately acknowledges the falsehood of this claim and is rather flippant about it). However, Yu does not seem particularly obsessed with this and does not frequently assert it or endeavor to force others to acknowledge it (as opposed to Apophis and Sokar, who were rather self-obsessed with their status as "gods").

Powers and abilities


  • Yu was portrayed by actor Vince Crestejo.
  • Two references in the series to the historical basis of Yu show a clear contradiction on the persona Yu assumed. In a briefing at the SGC, Daniel Jackson introduced Yu as "Yu the Great. He did not assume the role of a god, per se. But may have been one of China's earliest emperors... He founded the first recorded dynasty". <ref name="Fair Game">"Fair Game" (Stargate SG-1)</ref> Later, Jackson, impersonating Yu's servant, announced Yu's full title as "the Jade Emperor, the exalted Lord Yuhuang Shangti". <ref name="Summit">"Summit" (Stargate SG-1)</ref> The first reference refers to Yu the Great, founder of the Xia Dynasty, a mortal who lived in 21st century BC, and "Yu" would be written as 禹 in Chinese. The second reference refers to the Jade Emperor, a deity of Taoism developed much later on, and "Yu" would be written as 玉 in Chinese.


  • Stargate: SG-1:

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