Since the internet has responded really well to the released set photos for Denis Villeneuve’s Dune , I thought I’d be appropriate to string together a quick guide for you series newcomers.
While this guide isn’t a real replacement for the books, it should prep you enough so that you’ll enter the world with a basic understanding of the property.
The origins of DUNE
“It was a distant portrait of the reality of the oil and the capitalism and the exploitation—the overexploitation—of Earth,” says Villeneuve to Vanity Fair .”Today, things are just worse. It’s a coming-of-age story, but also a call for action for the youth.”
These themes are the foundational basis that Author Frank Herbert Built Dune on. Before the release of his novel in 1965, he served as a WWII photographer, journalist and as a science fiction writer.
The idea of the project came to him when he was supposed to do an article one sand dunes in the Oregon Dunes in Florence, Oregon. He then took six years to research/prep for the novel, taking his time towards tackling themes of religion, politics, philosophy and ecology.
Dune, and the Dune Saga, is one of the best selling science-fiction novels ; winning numerous awards and landing the spot as the first major ecological science fiction novel. And it is this environmental message, and his critique of politics, that his books are more more so referenced as.
“I think that our society was formed on a distrust on government, and it seems we have lost that distrust of government,” said Herbert in a NBC interview, “don’t trust leaders to be always right. “
The setup of the Novel
Now the world that the series takes place has evolved its technology and its peoples to inconceivable heights. Society is built on an interstellar feudal system with a Emperor at the top. One interesting note of the Dune universe is that there had been a war in the past against thinking machines (similar to the man vs. it’s creations tales found throughout science fiction), and since that time, a galactic law has been in place – “Thou shalt not make a machine in the likeness of a human mind”. The resulting effect is that there are no computers or computational devices of any kind. So the world is a blend of high technology, but without computers to drive them.
The planet the main books revolve around is called Arrakis (colloquially within the series referred to as Dune), where a essential multi-functional spice known as Melange is produced.
Since this is the only place in the galaxy that it’s produced; where the spice is used for space travel, enhance mental abilities, and for religious purposes; who controls the spice controls the empire.
While there’s a lot more to the lore, the basic understanding of the spices’ importance is essential to the series. So when framing whatever plot line comes up, remember how Melange is involved.
What Position Our Protagonists Are In
For a quick second, I thought of listing all the characters and their respective actors. But I’ve decided to leave that to the show to explore – but I feel like you should know what position our protagonists are in.
Our protagonists are the House Atreides, one of the ruling great houses of the galactic empire. As part of a plot to destroy the popular and powerful Atreides, the Emperor (The 81st Padishah Emperor, Shaddam IV), transfers their planetary seat to Arrakis. While this move gives them more power and wealth, it also unseats from the planet the Atreides’ blood-enemies, the House Harkonnen. This sets the two enemies against each other, and allowing the Emperor to try to rid himself of multiple challengers at once.
Finding themselves set between feuding houses, maintaining the spice production, or the planet itself – their position itself is a trap.
Oh Look, That’s It!
So that’s it. There is alot more to cover, but the basics are here. Now the only thing let is to either jump on the books, watch the mini series from SciFi, or wait for the film (hopefully) later this year.
Let us know what you think in the comments down below!