What a nightmare! When you awake in cold sweat you only remember dazzling colours, flash-lights, dark shadows with far too many arms and the sickening sensation of being dropped from a high place. You spent a few seconds to gather your wits before opening your eyes and sitting up. A metallic ping sounds as you smash your head on the panel overhead.
Panel? Confused you start noticing your environment for the first time. No, this is definitely not your bedroom. Not unless your partner has drastically redecorated your home over night in a fit of SciFi inspired madness. You sit on a metal bank in small, metal alcove in a tiny metal room which is strangely aglow in blueish light. A soft humming fills the air which smells oddly of cinnamon and sea water.
A perfect circular panel on the side wall seems to be a door, and indeed, as you approach it, glides sidewise giving the way in an equally shaped aisle. A succession of blue blinking lights on the floor seems to invite you to follow along, and in the absence of any other thing to think of, you follow suit. The aisle ends on another semi-transparent, circular door through which you see a humanoid figure standing in front of some large glowing thing, which you can not make out any clearer.
The figure is touching things on the rim of that thing and suddenly a high shrieking sound is heard which makes you clap your hands on your ears. There is a lot of light coming from the door, mostly yellowish red, and the brightness of it blinds you for a moment. When your vision returns, the ambient light is blue again, but the figure is nowhere to be seen.
The door opens in front of you and you stagger into a larger room. It smells oddly of burnt flesh. You can now see the object that fills the majority of the room. It is a ring of floating blue orbs, roughly man-high and slowly vibrating. The orbs have glowing symbols on them, and something tells you that they can be touched to be activated, which was apparently exactly what the figure before you did.
Next to the ring, two to the left and two to the right, are four freestanding panels of blue, semi-transparent appearance. They seem to be made of the same blue crystal material as the orbs and they also have a faint glow. However, they seem to be static and can not be interacted with. Other than that, nothing is in the room, and just when you consider checking back on the room you arrived in, the door closes behind you and seemingly disappears into the wall, which now is perfectly flat all around.
Text above is flavour only. The puzzle (below) is fully contained in the images. (It is recommended to use the full-resolution images which are linked to.)
How can you escape from this room?
The Star Gate (full resolution)
Panel 1 (full resolution)
Panel 2 (full resolution)
Panel 3 (full resolution)
Panel 4 (full resolution)
The following hints are not needed to solve the puzzle. They are spoiler-tagged for a reason! Hopefully, I can add them with increasing "spoiler-ness".
Be observant. Use the full-res images and a suitable medium to display to not loose out on details which could be important.
You are dealing with aliens! Some things may be indifferent to this ("global truths") but other things may not.
Start with panel 4. If you read it and understand it, you're a huge step closer.
Hint 4 - Spoiler-alert: Part of solution (!)
( Discovered correctly by 2012rcampion in his answer below. )
These aliens seem to have a weak spot for certain numbers. Maybe there are some hints hidden in that?