- "Hallowed are the Ori."
- ―The Book of Origin, often repeated by priors
The Ori were the first evolution of humanity along with the Ancients. The Ori (pronounced or-eye) were a race of Alterans that learned how to ascend and used their knowledge and power as a justification and a means to demand the worship of mortal beings.
- "Their power is not what you should question. It's how they use it."
- ―Cameron Mitchell
Millions of years ago, the Ori lived together with the Ancient as a single, united society in a distant galaxy as the Alterans. At some point, however, a split occurred among the Alterans: The Ancients began to devote themselves to science, while the Ori became increasingly religious. This division eventually became so great that the Ori attempted to destroy the Ancients. To avoid a war, which was contradictory to their beliefs, the Ancients departed their home galaxy for the Milky Way.
Even after they left, the Ancients and the Ori remained enemies: Dr. Daniel Jackson believes that the Ori were responsible for the plague that nearly brought the Ancients to extinction in the Milky Way and forced them to leave in Atlantis for the Pegasus galaxy. Both the Ancients and the Ori eventually ascended, and the Ori passed on a religion called "Origin" to the next evolution of humans they created in order to increase their own power, using their ascension and knowledge of the universe as justification for praise and worship.
- "Great holy armies shall be gathered and trained to fight all who embrace evil. In the name of the gods, ships shall be built to carry our warriors out amongst the stars, and we will spread Origin to all the unbelievers."
- ―The Doci
In 2005, it was revealed that the Ori do not offer their followers Ascension. They don't want to share the energy that they gain from the devotion of their worshipers. There is a real, physical transfer of energy to an ascended being that occurs through a human being's belief in them. For it to have a measurable effect however, massive numbers of followers are required to relinquish their will. This system of energy transference is one of the reasons the Ancients will not interfere with any life on the lower planes of existence; if the Ancients interfere, they are no better than the Ori.
While the Ancients will attempt to stop the Ori from interfering in the Milky Way and possibly Pegasus, they won't stop the Ori elsewhere and will not attempt to stop their human followers. Doing so would violate their rules on non-interference with those on a lower plane of existence. One Ancient named Merlin, however, was aware of the threat the Ori would one day present, and designed a weapon capable of neutralizing an ascended being, killing it.
In 2006, the Ori managed to establish a link between their home galaxy and the Milky Way through a Supergate, and sent four nearly invincible motherships to begin the conversion process. Through Stargate Command and the Atlantis expedition the Tau'ri were able to make a connection between the Supergate and a Stargate in Pegasus, managing to destroy one of the Ori ships. The Ori army though continued unabated, decimating the Milky Way while converting many civilizations to Origin and destroying those who refuse to convert. The crusade is led by Adria the Orici, an Ori in human form, so as to prevent the Ancients from stopping them.
However, their real plan to destroy the Ancients may have cost them much more than they anticipated. When Adria discovered the location of the Sangraal, it was learned that Morgan Le Fay had destroyed the weapon, but preserved Merlin so that he could recreate it when the time came. Merlin, too weak to continue, downloaded his consciousness into Dr. Daniel Jackson. Adria captured Jackson, and hoped to use his knowledge to create a Sangraal to destroy the Ancients so that the Ori would not have to even fight. However, Jackson intended to send the Sangraal to the Ori home galaxy.
- "No! You can't take away my power!"
With the help of SG-1, the Sangraal was sent through the Supergate, along with Adria. At first, the Tau'ri had no knowledge of whether it worked or not; several months after the Sangraal was sent, Adria claimed that their attempt failed, while Ba'al, after taking Adria as a host, claimed that they were killed. Worse yet, sending the Sangraal to the Ori galaxy allowed the Ori army to regain control of the Supergate, and another six Ori warships were sent to the Milky Way.
SG-1 eventually discovered the fate of the Ori, after traveling through the Supergate on the Odyssey. Adria, appearing before Vala Mal Doran from the Flames of Enlightenment as an ascended being, confirmed that the Ori were indeed killed by the Sangraal, however she alone inherited all of their power. Her triumph did not last long: SG-1 exposed the Doci to the Ark of Truth, instantly turning all Priors in the galaxy away from Origin and stripping Adria of the majority of her faith-generated power. In her weakened state, Morgan Le Fay was able to engage Adria in eternal combat, permanently neutralizing the Ori. With the Ori dead and Adria gone, SG-1 used the Ark of Truth to reveal the truth about the Ori to everyone in the Milky Way Galaxy, ending the crusade the Ori started. After the end of the crusade, the Ori army returned to their home galaxy where they presumably disbanded.
Very little is known of the culture of the Ori prior to Ascension, though there have been observations of their human followers. The humans created by the Ori live in an agrarian age level of development, presumably to prevent them from becoming a problem (much as how the Goa'uld and the Wraith destroy advanced cultures which could be a threat to them).
The human followers live within villages run by Administrators. The Administrators appear to possess very broad powers with regards to village administration, such as immolating suspected heretics. One administrator was known to lead Prostration himself. Seevis, another administrator, allowed the local Prior to run it.
Among the Ori's followers, a common saying for greeting is "Above the sun to you."
- "Those who reject the path to enlightenment must be destroyed."
- ―The Doci
Due to the origins of their ancestry the Ori believe they are the creators of human life. They are aware of the Ancient and shun them, saying they abandoned the "path", and believe in the opposite philosophy. They claim that not sharing the secrets of the universe to those on the lower planes of existence is an evil act and those who practice it must be eliminated.
The Ori conceived the Origin faith, one that puts them in the center of creation, and wrote down their word in the Book of Origin to be administered to followers through Priors, missionaries and teachers of Origin. The Ori use the Doci, the chief Prior, as their "mouthpiece" for communicating with lesser beings. They are able to possess his body to spread their demands and will. When this happens, they can be identified with fiery eyes.
The Ancients were always more powerful than the Ori, but due to the greater numbers of worshipers the gap was getting smaller. More and more Ancients, including Morgan Le Fay were becoming worried. Dr. Daniel Jackson suspected that it is because of this difference in strength that the Ancients have been able to prevent the Ori from gaining the knowledge that the Milky Way galaxy is populated, and possibly the Pegasus galaxy as well. The Ancients will not intercede in the free will of lower species, nor will they prevent unbelievers from converting to follow the Ori. If unbelievers don't convert, the Ori will destroy large numbers of the unbelievers.
- "Is great knowledge, power, understanding not enough for you to revere the Ori?"
- ―The Doci
Ori technology ranges from the biological to the mechanical, and most, if not all, of their technology is created and used for the purpose of gathering worshipers in order to increase their own power. Any discovered technology created prior to their Ascension is destroyed with no exceptions, lest their Human worshipers doubt their validity as gods.
Behind the scenesEdit
- Ori likely derives from the Latin verb orior, orīrī, ortus sum which means "I rise," or "I get up," a reference to their ascension.
- Ori (/ˈɒrɪ/) means slave in Estonian.
- Ori (/ori/) mean stallion in Finnish.