Corrected entry: It's the very first time they opened the Stargate (Katherine says they've never got past the 6th chevron), and though they tried to study it, they had no clue about what it really is until Daniel properly translated it 2 weeks before the mission (in the series, someone did use the Stargate by accident many years ago, but it doesn't apply for this movie). Yet, not knowing how it works, and having a vague idea about what it does, their system is designed to monitor things like molecular deconstruction that only happens when matters pass through the gate, which they had no idea it would happen. Also, they have a state of the art map of space, that tells exactly what star they dialed, still without ever opening the Stargate or knowing how it works. They did have an idea about its purpose only 2 weeks earlier, which still isn't enough time to design and create something to help monitor a device they know nothing about.
Trivia: The producers, the casting agents, really wanted Jaye Davidson, from "The Crying Game", to play the head bad guy, but Jaye said, "No more movies", so they kept upping the money they would pay him - this is before actors nowadays get phenomenal money - and it was only when they got to a million dollars that he said yes.kh1616
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