Yu the Great, or Lord Yu Huang Shang-ti, the Jade Emperor, was one of China's earliest emperors, and did not assume the role of a god per se. According to legend, he possessed great mythic powers and sprang into the world from a dragon's body. He founded the first recorded dynasty of China, governing under harsh rule, but also bringing advances and positive influences.
As a Goa'uld, Yu was the oldest of the System Lords. He participated with Cronus and Nirrti in the negotiations to include Earth in the Protected Planets Treaty, and he reluctantly agreed to the treaty following Nirrti's betrayal. He attended the summit of seven key System Lords in the Hassara System, a summit to which Daniel gained access by impersonating Yu's loyal lo'taur, Jarren. At the summit, Yu was the single dissenting vote against the return of Anubis to the rank of System Lord, and by voicing his opposition, Yu found himself at war with both the System Lords and the Rebel Jaffa. He was stabbed by Osiris in a confrontation during the summit, but he was revived in the sarcophagus and survived the murder attempt.
Yu uncovered K'tano's plotted mutiny, and his mothership destroyed the Rebel Jaffa base at Cal Mah from orbit. He sent his forces into battle against Anubis and his allies, including Osiris, Zipacna, and Ba'al, with heavy losses on both sides. SG-1 took advantage of Yu's position among the System Lords and offered him information about Ba'al's secret outpost, counting on him to attack the facility. Yu's attack on Ba'al's fortress gave O'Neill the chance he needed to make his escape from the planet where he had been imprisoned and tortured.
Yu's persistence against his enemies was remarkable, and as the forces of Ba'al and other System Lords fell to Lord Yu, he began to consolidate his power and rally others against Anubis. As commander of the collective forces of the System Lords, Yu confronted Anubis at Abydos. However, Anubis had collected the six artifacts known as the Eyes, which greatly magnified the power of his fleet, and those of Yu's ships that were not destroyed in the ensuing battle, retreated in defeat. SG-1 sought Lord Yu's cooperation to destroy Anubis's new superweapon, and Yu pledged to bring the full force of the remaining System Lords' fleet down on Anubis at Vis Uban once SG-1 had succeeded in destroying the weapon's power crystals, however, at the last minute, he diverted his fleet to the Chodawa System.
As the oldest of the System Lords, Yu had reigned for countless centuries. He was approaching the point at which he was unable to take another host, and the regenerative powers of the sarcophagus were no longer of any benefit to him. He became increasingly paranoid and confused, and his first Prime, Oshu, recognizing that his master was not well, began making decisions for him. Yu had diverted his fleet from Vis Uban in confusion, and with Yu's mental competence failing, Oshu cooperated with SG-1 and turned to Ba'al to lead the collective forces of the System Lords in Yu's place.
With the defeat of Anubis, however, Ba'al used his position to tip the balance of power in his favor, and Lord Yu joined Camulus and Amaterasu as a delegation of System Lords who offered an alliance with Earth against Ba'al. The negotiations failed, however, and Yu and the System Lords departed without the alliance they sought. As the war between Ba'al and the System Lords reached a critical stage, Lord Yu rallied his armies for what would probably be his last stand, but he faced an enemy even more deadly than the Goa'uld. When Ba'al sent his emissary, Selkhet, to offer Yu the right to retain his territories in exchange for his surrender and fealty, the proceedings were interrupted by the arrival of Replicator Carter. She was mistaken for Colonel Carter until she formed her arm into a long bladed weapon and killed Lord Yu and everyone present.
Portrayed by: Vince Crestejo
Cross Reference: Amaterasu, Anubis, Ba'al, Cal Mah, Camulus, Cronus, Goa'uld, Hassara System, Jarren, K'tano, Lo'taur, Nirrti, Oshu, Osiris, Protected Planets Treaty, Replicator Carter, Sarcophagus, Selkhet, System Lords, United Alliance of the System Lords, Zipacna
Episode Reference: Fair Game, Summit, Last Stand, The Warrior, Full Circle, Fallen, Homecoming, New Order, Reckoning