Unknown, possibly Ra
Resolve disputes between the dominant Goa'uld in the galaxy and coordinate attacks on challengers to their rule
Surviving Goa'uld, Loyalist Jaffa
Each Lord maintains his/her own holdings across the galaxy
Some time after the plague swept the Milky Way
- "They're posturing egomaniacs driven by an insatiable lust for power, each one capable of unimaginable evil."
- —Daniel Jackson
The System Lords are, in the most basic terms, a collection of the most powerful Goa'uld in the galaxy at any given time. The organization was established as an informal and rather weak attempt to govern over the vast and fragmented empire that the parasitic aliens called their own, though internal divisions and mistrust of one another rarely saw any meaningful work accomplished by the body as a whole. That said, the System Lords were able to maintain some measure of control over the galaxy for many thousands of years, uniting as necessary to deal with members who became too powerful (such as Anubis or Sokar) or to combat mutual threats (such as the Asgard or Replicators). When the Goa'uld were driven to the edge of extinction in the mid-2000s, the traditional governance of the Lords fell with them, and the majority of their forces defected to the Free Jaffa cause. All of the ancient and powerful Goa'uld who had ruled for centuries were eliminated at once, leaving their underlings as the only successors to their legacy. Despite their weakness when compared to other powers such as the Interstellar Alliance, the System Lords as they exist today remain a faction to consider in galactic affairs.