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Stargate (1994)

In the 1994 feature film 'Stargate,' the fate of the galaxy rests on Jack O'Neal. His young son accidentally shot himself, and the career Air Force veteran blames himself. In his opening scene, he stares longingly at the barrel of that same pistol, contemplating joining his son, unsure if he's even worthy of a bullet.

Luckily for Jack O'Neal, the United States Air Force has a more elaborate and redemptive way for him to die. Deep inside Cheyenne Mountain, a group of scientists have been studying an ancient alien Stargate. Once O'Neal is brought onto the team, he takes the form of the antagonist for the science nerds. The nerds were told they had complete autonomy. O'Neal informs them otherwise. This has never been about peaceful exploration and research. The project has been a threat assessment from the beginning. The nerds are only there to get O'Neal on the other side of the wormhole, where he can set off a nuke and kill himself in style. This is a continuation of O'NEALs conflict with his own antagonist. The nuke is the same as the gun in the beginning, but in this case O'Neal gets to feel better about it. It's penance for his failure.

When they go through the Stargate, O'Neal finds a desert tribe on the other side. His orders are clear. A path to redemption. But instead of atonement for his sins, O'Neal gets a reason to live. His team integrates with the tribe for a few days, and O'Neal befriends a teenage boy that reminds him of his son. That teenage boy, inspired by O'Neal and his team, lead an uprising against the alien masters of the planet. During the finale battle of the movie, O'Neal has armed the nuke. As it's counting down, O'Neal is fighting an alien soldier for control of the nuke. The alien wants to stop the detonation, O'Neal is attempting to set it off early. This becomes a metaphor for O'Neal fighting his suicidal tendencies. The alien soldier represents an outside force, namely the teenage boy, attempting to stop him from killing himself.

The alien soldier is defeated, and O'Neal sends the nuke into orbit to blow up the alien spaceship, winning the battle for both the planet and against himself. O'Neal has forgiven himself for his sons death. He has a purpose beyond penance. He's chosen to live.

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