David Blue was not just a casual "Stargate" fan, but had watched every episode of Stargate SG-1 (1997) and Stargate: Atlantis (2004) before pre-production on this show even began. He says that being part of 'Universe' "brings pride in being a part of it but also immense responsibility in every scene'. Brad Wright joked to a audience at the 2009 San Diego Comic Con "With David we got not only an actor, but a technical adviser for our own show".
This is the fourth (third official) series in the Stargate franchise. The other 3 being: Stargate SG-1 (1997), Stargate: Infinity (2002) (This is not a sanctioned series according to the creators and producers of the Stargate franchise), and Stargate: Atlantis (2004).
Jamil Walker Smith and Elyse Levesque were both featured guests at the 2009 San Diego Comic Con for the panel on the premiere of "Stargate Universe". When they went to the "Stargate" booth they were approached by the zealous employee working it who asked them if they'd like to enter a drawing to win a walk-on role in the show.
The most plausible explanation for how the long-range communication stones work is that both stones (and by extension the consciousness that are connected to the stones) are quantum entangled. This would theoretically allow instantaneous communication, which would be faster than the speed of light, comically referred to by Einstein as "spooky action at a distance".
Icarus attempted to escape from Crete by flying using wings made of feathers and wax but flew too close to the sun, the wax melted and he fell into the sea. This tale is allegorical and warns against hubris. The project to unlock the Stargate's ninth and final chevron was called Project Icarus which is appropriate given the fate of those who subsequently entered the Stargate. Icarus is also the son of Daedalus, which is the name of one of Earth's starships.
Louis Ferreira was in a episode of Star Trek: Voyager called "Once Upon a Time". Star Trek: Voyager has a similar plot settings to SGU, a spaceship is too far away from home to get back in their lifetime even with the FTL capability. And the crew is trying to find a way to get home ever since. And "Once Upon a Time" is also a show's name which another leading character of SGU, Robert Carlyle, is in.
Faster than light (FTL) travel in the Stargate universe is conventionally achieved either by starships going into hyperspace or via the use of wormholes through the stargate. Both of these are theoretically possible with the former making use of additional dimensions (String Theory) and the latter of the curvature of space-time (General Therory of Relativity) and neither actually violate the speed of light - they provide shortcuts in distance meaning they only appear to travel faster than light. Destiny however seems to travel faster than light without the use of either of these technologies. As there is no theoretical means of travelling directly faster than the speed of the light the most likely explanation is that FTL by Destiny is achieved via a warp drive. This technology warps space-time around Destiny faster than the speed of light whilst Destiny travels locally within the warp bubble less than the speed of light. Warp drive is theoretically possible and is the primary FTL technology in the Star Trek universe - which is perhaps why SGU does not discuss it in detail.
The trivia items below may give away important plot points.
A stargate is a ring composed of a fictional superconductive mineral called "naqahdah", marked with 39 glyphs that operates using a combination of 7 glyphs or chrevrons to establish a space route to travel from a point to another. Using mathematical combinatorics, it implies that a single stargate can locate 77,519,922,480 places throughout the galaxy, increased to 45,379,620 if in the combination one of some glyphs can be re-used. Using a 8 glyphs combination for an extragalactic travel, a stargate can locate 2,480,637,519,360 places throughout the universe, increased to 5,352,009,260,481 if one or more glyphs can be re-used.
The machine is a system to open a wormhole. Wormhole is a hypothetical way of space travel too called Bridge of Rosen-Einstein, named after scientists Nathan Rosen and Albert Einstein. Acordding to them, the wormhole should capable to unite two distant points in the universe, altering Space-Time Laws to cross from a point to another in a so brief period of time. The name wormhole was given after a comparative between the universe and an apple, with a worm moving inside. The same concept was used in Contact (1997), Stargate (1994) and their TV series Stargate SG-1 (1997) and Stargate: Atlantis (2004).
Stargate's ring have 39 glyphs or chrevrons. In this TV series as in Stargate SG-1 (1997) and Stargate: Atlantis (2004) is explained that the number of glyphs in a stargate depends of the galaxy where this stargate belongs.
At a point of the movie, Jackson (James Spader) explains to the staff of U.S. Army that for any space travel, is necessary seven symbols to mark coordinates. Six of them indicate the destination, signing stars or constellations to locate the place where to go. The seven and last symbol indicates the point of origin to start the travel. In the TV series is added an extra glyph, which indicates the galaxy where to go.