Why Do The Fremen Have Blue Eyes?
- Pieter Maas
Also referred to as melange, “spice” is the most precious substance in the galaxy, and the asset upon which the universe’s economy is based. Spice is an incredibly addictive drug that when consumed in great quantities can offer certain people special powers.
- Spacing Guild navigators, for example, use spice to be able to pilot ships that travel at faster-than-light speed through folded space.
- As such, the Spacing Guild has a monopoly on interstellar travel, giving them great power, and a keen interest in the continued production of spice.
- Fortunately, that’s a very complicated topic that isn’t super important to the movie.) Arrakis, the desert planet where the majority of Dune is set, is the only source of spice in the known universe.
Melange is produced by the giant sandworms that roam the deserts. The Fremen, the main inhabitants of Arrakis, consume spice regularly (it’s a central ingredient in food on the planet), and are essentially dependent on the substance. Prolonged exposure to spice is the reason all of the Fremen have blue-on-blue eyes. Warner Bros. Pictures via AP The Fremen inhabit Arrakis, and at the start of Dune are ruled by House Harkonnen, one of many Great Houses in the empire. Most imperial leaders consider the Fremen to be an underdeveloped culture, but are unaware of the group’s true strength, level of technology and population across the planet.
- Some Fremen live in major settlements, most notably Arakeen, the planet’s biggest city, but far more lived across the desert in Sietches – communities of Fremen located in cave systems, protected from the harsh conditions on the surface.
- Notable Fremen: Chani (Zendaya), Stilgar (Javier Bardem), Liet-Kynes (Sharon Duncan-Brewster) A sisterhood of superhumans who have developed incredible mental powers, often referred to as “witches” by those who distrust or are wary of them.
The Bene Gesserit are a powerful political organization, and through selective mating and gene control are seeking to produce a chosen one, the Kwisatz Haderach, an all-knowing, prescient messiah. Bene Gesserit sisters are intensively trained in special schools.
- Reverend Mothers are experienced Bene Gesserit with greater authority who survived a ritual involving the Water of Life.
- Bene Gesserit also administer Gom Jabbar tests, which you’ll likely see early on in Dune,
- As you’ve no doubt seen in the trailers by now, when Paul Atriedes (Timothee Chalamet) puts his hand into the scary box and is made to feel unimaginable pain, a Bene Gesserit will hold a Gom Jabbar (a poisoned needle) to his neck to incentivize him to complete the test.
Notable Bene Gesserit: The Lady Jessica, mother of Paul Atreides (Rebecca Ferguson), Reverend Mother Mohiam (Charlotte Rampling) Mentats are human computers. In the world of Dune, computers and “thinking machines” have been banned for thousands of years, and as a replacement, Mentats have been trained to perform computer-like computations and complex analyses.
In the books and in Dune (1984), Mentats had red-stained lips as a result of drinking sapho juice, a liquid that enhances their abilities. It looked ridiculous in the old movie, but this time around, it appears Mentats have been given a dark lip tattoo instead. Notable Mentats: Thufir Hawat (Stephen McKinley Henderson), Piter de Vries (David Dastmalchian) There is precious little water on Arrakis, so technology has been developed to preserve and recycle every bit of bodily fluid possible.
A stillsuit is a tightly-fitting garment that reclaims water from sweat (and, yes, even urine and feces) in catchpockets, and includes a tube that allows the wearer to drink as they walk around the desert. Fremen-made stillsuits are the best around, and enable the wearer to lose just a “thimbleful” of water a day, allowing a person to survive long treks even without carrying additional water.
Why do Paul Atreides eyes turn blue?
The Spice turns their eyes blue. Not just the irises, but the white part of the eye as well. It’s one of the characteristics of the Fremen, who consume a lot of Spice. It’s sort of analogous to the bloodshot eyes of marijuana smokers: a clearly visible sign.
Do only the Fremen have blue eyes?
Why the Fremen’s Eyes Are So Blue in ‘Dune’ Frank Herbert created one of the strangest sci-fi universes ever committed to paper in his novel —which is why it was long considered an extremely difficult story to adapt faithfully for the big screen. Director was not deterred, though, and his film, on, includes even the weirdest stuff from the book franchise.
What race are the Fremen?
The Fremen were a sub-culture of humans, the natives of the planet Arrakis, descended from the Zensunni Wanderers. They were hard in survival, adapted in the harsh environment of the planet.
Are Fremen Muslims?
The sci-fi story has always been about more than just arid expanses, but Denis Villeneuve’s Part One can’t see past the sand. Photo: Warner Bros. A child (usually a boy, sometimes a girl) comes of age in the desert. In their adolescence they seem different — special.
- Their lineage is royal and mysterious, and a formidable order with shadowy powers takes an interest in their future.
- Amid a harsh landscape of sun and sand, the child learns the ways of that place’s original inhabitants, and a fateful path unfurls.
- Indigenous knowledge becomes the outsider’s knowledge, and when that child grows up to become a leader (there is no version of this story in which they do not become a leader), it was the desert people’s expertise and customs that emboldened their ascendence.
Versions of this story abound. Luke Skywalker on Tatooine (and Rey Skywalker on Jakku) in the Star Wars film franchise. En Sabah Nur, who grows up in Egypt and renames himself Apocalypse, in the comics X-Men: The Rise of Apocalypse, Adrian Veidt, who travels through the Mediterranean and what used to be ancient Persia before calling himself Ozymandias, the Greek name of Pharaoh Ramesses II, in the graphic novel-turned-movie-turned-TV show Watchmen,
And before them all, of course, was Dune’s Paul Atreides. In the honeyed, low-pitched tones of Oscar Isaac’s Duke Leto Atreides: That’s desert power, The desert — in particular the region of the world long called the Middle East and North Africa (MENA), but increasingly referred to as West Asia and North Africa (WANA) — has long been a place onto which outsiders could map their own ambitions.
(See: the Sykes–Picot Agreement.) In literature, especially the sci-fi kind, “issues of travel, migration, alterity, other cultures, colonization, empire” thrive in the arid expanses, argues Dr. Gerald Gaylard in his 2010 essay ” Postcolonial Science Fiction: The Desert Planet,” In journalist-turned-author Frank Herbert’s 1965 novel Dune, the first of six books that has since been adapted into two films and a TV miniseries, the desert is the planet Arrakis, the galaxy’s sole producer of spice, a natural resource that has hallucinogenic properties and also fuels space travel.
- Arrakis is subjugated by the galactic Padishah Empire, and by the royal houses that make up the Imperium (first the monstrous House Harkonnen, and later the more compassionate colonizer House Atreides).
- They mine the spice and mercilessly exploit the planet’s inhabitants, the Fremen.
- The heir of House Atreides, Paul, is the anointed outsider in this story, a possible messiah in the eyes of the Fremen.
(In their Zensunni religion and in their language Chakobsa, derived from Arabic, he is “Mahdi” or “Lisan al Gaib.”) They take Paul in after House Atreides falls and prepare to wage a jihad. Padishah, Sunni, Mahdi, Lisan al Gaib, jihad. All are terms that Herbert uses throughout Dune, and all are pulled from MENA languages and culture and Muslim ideology.
- Literary scholars who have analyzed Dune note them as essential components of Herbert’s narrative arc, yet movie and TV versions of Dune tend to diminish their importance, or leave them out entirely.
- In September 2020, the first trailer for Denis Villeneuve’s Dune: Part One was released, with a prominent focus on the term “crusade” rather than “jihad.” (Neither “jihad” nor “crusade” makes it into Dune: Part One ; instead, Villeneuve and fellow screenwriters Jon Spaihts and Eric Roth settle on “holy war.”) Dr.
Ali Karjoo-Ravary, assistant professor of Islamic Studies at Bucknell University, noted the language choice in an October 2020 Al Jazeera column, For Karjoo-Ravary, the absence of the word “jihad” obfuscates Herbert’s deliberate characterization of the Fremen, whose identity Karjoo-Ravary describes as “some future variety of Islam and Arab,” adding that “if it was real and people today saw it, they’d call it Islam.” But Villeneuve and his collaborators do not call it Islam, nor Arab or any other MENA culture.
Part One presents the Fremen as generic “people of color.” For all the inclusivity of its 2021 ensemble — which includes Jason Momoa, Dave Bautista, Oscar Isaac, Stephen McKinley Henderson, Chang Chen, and frequent Villeneuve collaborator and half-Iranian actor David Dastmalchian (under white makeup and a bald cap) as representatives of Houses Atreides and Harkonnen — not a single MENA actor was chosen to play Fremen.
Instead, they are played by actors like Sharon Duncan-Brewster, Zendaya, Javier Bardem, and Babs Olusanmokun. (As Dune super fan John Hodgman recently said, “I’m very conflicted about Javier Bardem. I don’t know what accent he’s doing. What’s that supposed to be?”) A shot of Arrakis in Denis Villeneuve’s Dune: Part One.
- Photo: Warner Bros.
- In subtle but significant ways, Part One denies the cultures that are so integral to its source material.
- House Atreides characters speak Mandarin and sign language, which are translated via subtitles; however, the Fremen language, some of which is taken directly from Arabic (like “Shai-Hulud”), gets no such treatment.
The score, which mimics the ululation vocal sounds unique to Arabic and common throughout the MENA world, is described as “lamentation” in the film’s closed captions and as a ” made-up language ” by Hans Zimmer. Speaking on his decision to turn away from Arab influences, Part One screenwriter Spaihts explains: “The Arab world was much more exotic in the 1960s than it is today.
Today the Arab world is with us, they’re our fellow Americans, they’re everywhere If you were to build a kind of Arab future on Arrakis in a novel starting today, you would need to invent more and borrow less What you can really see is that to Frank Herbert’s worldview, just dipping into Islam and dipping into the Arab world was sufficiently exotic to be science fiction.
And now you’d have to go farther afield to make science fiction.” Is Herbert’s text Orientalist? Opinions on that vary among Dune scholars. For Karjoo-Ravary, who notes that Fremen are not the only characters to engage in a jihad in the novel, “Herbert is a product of his context thought about cultures and religions in particular ways, but it is more complicated than other forms of Orientalism.” Gaylard gives Herbert even more credit, writing in his essay that Dune preemptively addresses the concerns of cultural critic Edward Said by complicating the “white savior” figure that some assume Paul to be — and that David Lynch’s 1984 film mistakenly presented Paul as.
- What is clear is that Herbert was far more comfortable with the overt Islamic and Arabic tones of his work than its mainstream reception over the decades,” Karjoo-Ravary adds.
- Aside from Spaihts’s incorrect assumption that all of the Middle Easterners who inspired Herbert are Arab, his quote fails to capture how deep Herbert “dipped” into MENA culture, languages, and the Muslim religion (including Sunnism, Shi’ism, and Sufism).
Dune is awash in details from his research. (As Herbert said in a 1984 interview, “My Arab friends wonder why it’s called science fiction. Dune, they say, is religious commentary.”) The term the Fremen use for Paul, “Mahdi,” directly refers to an eschatological figure in Islam.
In fact, the Fremen language comprises more than 100 Arabic, Persian, and Turkish words and phrases, compiled and defined by Dune enthusiast Khalid Baheyeldin on his website The Baheyeldin Dynasty — an online resource that is itself challenged and expanded upon by Karin Christina Ryding, Georgetown University professor emerita of Arabic linguistics, in her 2021 publication “The Arabic of Dune : Language and Landscape.” (Baheyeldin and Ryding don’t sync up on every interpretation they offer regarding Herbert’s linguistic choices, but their agreement that “Arrakis” is not just a reference to “Iraq” is a reminder that nothing is superficial in Dune,) Moreover, the book was released three years after the end of the Algerian War, during which Algerians survived brutal tactics from the French to wrestle back their country after more than 100 years of crushing colonial rule.
According to Herbert’s son and biographer Brian, the Algerians — as well as “nomadic Bedouins of the Arabian plateau separated from civilization by vast stretches of desert,” Turks, and Yemenese Arabs — inspired Herbert’s Fremen. “It feels real because it’s based on familiar events and landscapes in our world, but modified,” says Dr.
Ara Kennedy ( @ Dune Scholar ), who has published extensively on topics related to Dune, including the connections between the fictional Paul and the real-life T.E. Lawrence, British Army officer and adviser to the Arabs during the Arab Revolt against the Ottoman Empire. “Having three-dimensional characters and multiple complexities helps elevate it to literature.” (Kennedy and Karjoo-Ravary had not yet seen Dune: Part One when they spoke to Vulture.) Thus academics have long accepted that Herbert’s Arrakis represents a version of the Middle East after the post-World War I collapse of the Ottoman Empire, and the whims of oppressors like House Harkonnen embody the resource-churn of Western imperialism.
The Fremen are MENA people who predominantly speak Arabic (“in a form my father believed would be likely to survive for centuries in a desert environment,” Brian clarifies in Dreamer of Dune ) and practice a version of Islam. These details were not incidental, as Spaihts’s quote might lead one to believe.
- Yle MacLachlan as Paul Atreides in David Lynch’s Dune.
- Photo: Moviestore/Shutterstock Of course, scholars have been debating Dune and its adaptations for years.
- Lynch’s version was whitewashed from top to bottom, but at least its script included both “Zensunni” and “jihad” to tie the Fremen to the ethnic and religious foundations of Herbert’s books.
So too did the three-part miniseries that aired on the Sci-Fi Channel in 2000. But in the April/May 1986 edition of Vector: The Critical Journal of the British Science Fiction Association, sci-fi author Hussain Rafi Mohamed wrote of the pitfalls of the David Lynch film, “The numerous references to and descriptions of the culture of the Fremen in the books is almost completely missing from the film.
- The rich multi-leveled atmosphere of the books is attempted in filmic terms not so much through labyrinthine plotting as through surface texture, sets and costumes and so forth.” Thirty-five years later, Villeneuve’s Part One makes many of the same flattening choices.
- For example, oil becomes a central surface texture.
If it weren’t already apparent that spice is a stand-in for the real-world resource, Villeneuve gives us an image of the Baron of House Harkonnen (Stellan Skarsgård), the former steward of Arrakis, submerged lasciviously in a vat of bubbling petroleum while planning an overthrow of House Atreides and the mass genocide of the Fremen.
On Arrakis, Villeneuve’s wide angles and experimental exposure cast the desert planet as exotic and alien, but it’s Zimmer’s score — with all those trilling women’s voices and MENA folk rhythms — that hammers the notion over viewers’ heads. The booming music does nothing to conceal the embarrassing pronunciations of Arabic and Persian words, but it certainly emphasizes the action scenes that revolve around the Fremen’s guerrilla-warfare tactics: They hide underneath the sand waiting for foes and then burst out to attack them; they disappear into the landscape by walking in one another’s shuffling footsteps; they can ride the gigantic sandworms that so terrorize the Imperium’s spice-harvesting machinery.
These moments are admittedly stunning, and energize a film that spends a fair amount of time on palace intrigue. But the Fremen, per Herbert, were more than just noble-savage stereotypes. They are deeply faithful — almost superstitious — yet pragmatic.
After they take in Paul and his mother Jessica, we learn that the Fremen have secretly developed geological means to transform their desert planet into a verdant oasis. They agree to train the mother and son in Fremen ways, but the Muslim ideology and ritual present in Herbert’s vision of their culture is never explicitly depicted.
We do get glimpses of these fictional Fremen ways, though. They have little regard for physical bodies after death, and therefore make a habit of breaking down corpses for moisture. They spit as an expression of respect. They sit down together for coffee service.
But there is a veneer of cultural non-specificity exacerbated by the film’s lack of MENA actors. “Having a generic ‘indigenous oppressed peoples,’ even set in the desert, doesn’t give the same layers, undertones, and thematic messages and warnings around religious influences and charismatic leaders, that the Middle Eastern history, culture, and influence give,” Kennedy explains.
“It is a safer story of good versus bad guys, oppressors versus oppressed, but sheds the layers of significance around religion and the West versus East message of the original.” A person might argue that had Villeneuve’s Dune cast MENA actors as Fremen, another problem would present itself: We’d be reminded of how often Hollywood positions actors of the region to play religious warriors — terrorists,
Film roles for MENA actors are scant regardless. According to the UCLA Hollywood Diversity Report for 2021, MENA people represent 1.1 percent of film leads and 1.3 percent of all film roles in 2020. A June 2021 USC Annenberg Inclusion Initiative study was similarly dire. The study, which analyzed 8,965 speaking characters in the 200 top-grossing films released between 2017 and 2019 from the United States, the U.K., Australia, and New Zealand, found that 1.6 percent were Muslim.) But when Brian Herbert announced Villeneuve as the new cinematic guardian of Dune in 2017, there was reason to be hopeful.
Villeneuve directed 2010’s Incendies, a gripping film about a civil war in an unnamed Middle Eastern country, and he cast the formidable Palestinian actress Hiam Abbass as a replicant resistance leader in Blade Runner 2049, In an interview with IndieWire about Incendies, which was an adaptation of Wajdi Mouawad’s same-named play, Villeneuve said, “I don’t know anything about war I didn’t know a lot about Arabic people.
So in order for me to adapt the screenplay, I had to be a listener Half the movie I re-wrote while talking to actors there. And the challenge for me was to be faithful to Arabic culture, but I think we succeeded.” Few journalists have asked Villeneuve about the lack of MENA representation in Dune, and those who have did not probe his answers.
In an interview with The Nerds of Color, this was Villeneuve’s answer to the question, “Could you talk about the casting of the Fremen and the meaning behind them in your film?”: “The thing is I tried to be as faithful as possible to Frank Herbert’s description And this idea that the world of the Fremen would be kind of inspired by culture from North Africa and the Middle East — culture that I deeply love by the way, because it’s a very complex world — There was this idea that there was something powerful that will come out from Africa in Frank Herbert’s mind.
- And I tried to respect his ideas.
- Which is why I did the casting the way I did.
- And I feel truly that I’m right in doing it this way.
- It feels authentic, it feels honest, and true to the book.” This latest version of Dune brings to mind what happened with David Lean’s Lawrence of Arabia,
- In adapting Lawrence’s story and putting on film the events that guided Lawrence’s book Seven Pillars of Wisdom — which Herbert referenced often while researching Dune — Lean assembled a cast of actors who did not summarily represent the Arab world.
White Brit Alec Guinness played royal Prince Faisal, who would be king of both Syria and Iraq. Mexican-American Anthony Quinn played Bedouin Arab Sheikh Auda Abu Tayi. But at least Lawrence of Arabia had Omar Sharif, who was ethnically Lebanese and Syrian and nationally Egyptian, in its main cast.
Sharif’s work as Sherif Ali ibn el Kharish earned him a Best Supporting Actor Academy Award nomination and helped jettison Sharif into Hollywood as a major star. Dune: Part One arrives in theaters 59 years after Lawrence of Arabia, but offers no similar opportunity for a MENA actor or actress. Looking for any kind of identity-related representation in an entertainment product is always a fraught proposition, and as Karjoo-Ravary notes, “Herbert wasn’t a Muslim, and this isn’t a Muslim story.
It is Herbert’s story, reflecting his time.” But decades after Herbert’s time, his meticulously researched and vividly imagined depictions of MENA people and their prevailing religion failed to make it to the screen. “To say that the description of the Fremen and their culture is masterly is demonstrably true,” Mohamed wrote in Vector.
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Why are Fremen so powerful?
History – Despite their keen sense of oral history, the history of the Fremen prior to their arrival on Arrakis was distorted and partially lost over the millennia. They concluded that Arrakis was the final stop on the migration of the Zensunni Wanderers, a journey that they mistakenly believed started on the planet Poritrin,
In the Standard Year 10,191 A.G., Emperor Shaddam Corrino IV ordered House Atreides to replace their enemies House Harkonnen in the administration of Arrakis. Upon arrival on Arrakis, House Atreides, lead by Duke Leto Atreides I sought to befriend the Fremen. However, because of years of harsh Harkonnen rule and dealings with Imperial agents, the Fremen were at first distrustful of the Atreides.
After a short while however, the Fremen came to develop a relationship with the Duke through his even-handedness and generosity. Moreover, the Duke sent his Warmaster Duncan Idaho as an ambassador. Through Duncan’s abilities as a warrior the Atreides managed to gain the trust of the Fremen, and the Duke quickly learned that the Fremen were a powerful force with which to align his House.
- However, when the Harkonnens and Corrinos invaded Arrakis, House Atreides went renegade and sought refuge with the Fremen.
- After their adoption of the Duke’s son Paul Atreides and his mother, the Fremen saw a rapid and dramatic change in their fortunes.
- Upon determining that Paul Atreides was their Mahdi – or prophetic savior – they readily followed his leadership and engaged in guerilla warfare against Imperial elements on Arrakis,
The Fremen had developed such formidable fighting abilities through years of surviving both the harsh environment and attrition wars against the Harkonnens that they were deemed superior even to the Corrino Sardaukar forces. Within a few years they had gone from being perpetually harassed by elements within the Corrino Empire (most notably House Harkonnen ) to being the foot soldiers of the Atreides Empire and Paul Atreides powerful jihad.
How do Fremen survive without water?
Water conservation – Herbert illustrates that living in the desert with no natural sources of water has spurred the Fremen to ritualize and build their society around the collection, storage, and conservative use of all moisture. They conserve the water distilled from their dead, consider spitting a sign of respect, and put a great cultural reverence on tears.
Water is collected from the atmosphere in windtraps that condense the humidity and add it to underground water stores in each sietch. Water can also be collected from dead people and animals using a deathstill to remove the water from a corpse for addition to the sietch water store. Personal ownership of moisture is designated by “water rings”, which are used as a form of currency.
When outside of their sietch, Fremen wear a stillsuit, a special body-enclosing suit designed to collect and recycle all the moisture the body releases through perspiration, urine, feces, and even the exhalation of water vapor in the breath. The special fabric is a micro-sandwich designed to dissipate heat and filter wastes while reclaiming moisture.
Will Paul have blue eyes?
Paul’s journey in Dune: Part Two revealed – Pau is on a wild path after Dune: Part One, Warner Bros If you read the novel Dune, you’ll find that almost everything that happens in the book is foreshadowed with a heavy hand. This is because the novel’s framing is told like a historical text, with the writings of Princess Irulan asserting future-tense knowledge about the entire story of Paul.
The new film does this a little bit but not as much as the novel. The point is, reading the book will spoil the book more than watching the movie will foreshadow the rest of the film. So, what do we make of Paul’s visions, and how might they inform Dune: Part Two ? Will the scene where Paul fights in battle armor with glowing blue eyes happen? The short answer is: Probably, but it almost certainly won’t look exactly like that.
The events of Dune: Part Two will chronicle the last third of the novel, from roughly page 500 to page 794. In these pages, Paul’s mom will give birth to a daughter, Alia, In Dune: Part One, we see Lady Jessica holding a baby in one of Paul’s visions, so that checks out.
- Paul and Chani also have a baby, but that son passes away.
- Finally, Paul and Chani will lead a massive revolt against the Empire and eventually be victorious.
- Paul will also marry Princess Irulan, the Emperor’s daughter, to cement his power as the new ruler of the universe.
- Paul doesn’t have a vision about this detail in Dune: Part One, but he does tell Liet-Kynes that he plans to marry the Emperor’s daughter.
Chani and Paul in a future vision. Will we see this scene in Part Two? Warner Bros Bottom line: Paul will acquire the blue eyes of the Fremen. He will rule over the universe with Chani. And he will marry the Emperor’s daughter. However, this doesn’t mean the same scenes we glimpse in Part One will be reproduced in Part Two,
Why do they test for humans in Dune?
What is the Gom Jabbar Test for Humanity? – All women who enter the Bene Gesserit order must take the Gom Jabbar Test for Humanity, The test is administered by holding the poisoned needle to an individual’s neck while they’re inflicted with some form of pain.
The goal of the test is to see if a person’s awareness is stronger than their instincts. The woman in the trailer testing Paul is a Bene Gesserit Reverend Mother named Gaius Helen Mohiam ( played by Charlotte Rampling ), and she puts it simply: “An animal caught in a trap will gnaw off his own leg to escape.
What will you do?” The test is intended for the Bene Gesserit women and very rarely given to men. So why does Paul take this test and what purpose does it serve? Warner Bros. Pictures/Legendary Pictures
What is the message behind Dune?
Human Control Over Ecology – To exist in the harsh desert climate of Arrakis, the Fremen must be keenly attune to ecological issues such as the availability of water, the proximity of giant sandworms, and unstable weather patters. The ecological issues in Dune extend beyond the mere necessities of daily life on Arrakis.
Dr. Kynes, a prominent figure in the book, is an ecologist who hopes to transform the ecosystem of Arrakis from a desert to fertile, verdant splendor. The Fremen take up his cause, and Paul continues it after Kynes’ death. Altering Arrakis into a lush garden planet is performing the work of a higher power, reshaping the land to conform to the preference and needs of the Fremen.
Yet no character in Dune ever questions whether it is morally right to change the climate of Arrakis. Changing the planet might kill the sandworms, which have an integral role in creating melange, an addictive drug used throughout the universe. Such a change in the ecosystem may also obliterate the muad’dib, the planet’s beloved mice, and the source for Paul’s new Fremen name.
- The Fremen are strong and powerful soldiers because they have trained in a harsh desert climate.
- The Fremen would not have the power to fight the Emperor’s soldiers or change the climate of Arrakis if the environment were different.
- Dune raises the question of whether humans should exercise their power to manipulate the environment, but lack of opposition from any character in the novel leaves no firm conclusion.
Herbert explores the moral question of manipulating nature with the issue of the gene pool in Dune as well. Paul is the Kwisatz Haderach, and his duty is to diversify the genetic makeup of the universe. Disturbing the natural genetic makeup may lead to a deadly holy war, or jihad.
Is Dune about Islam?
Frank Herbert’s novel drew from Islam to critique the idea of the messianic Western man. Does the movie? – Timothée Chalamet in Dune, Warner Bros. Pictures and Legendary Pictures Denis Villeneuve’s Dune is a barrage of beautiful cinematography and sonic extremes. As you take in its entrancing visuals, you hear whispers and shouts, but almost nothing in between.
None of the sustained dialogue, character development, or painstaking world building that was a hallmark of Frank Herbert’s novels. To make Dune accessible, Villeneuve’s team attempted to replace Herbert’s inner monologues and narration with visual and aural cues, focusing on Paul and his mother so as to, as Villeneuve put it, ” allow us to feel what their mind-set is without having a voice-over,” What’s left when you take away all of those thoughts and ideas and all of that detailed exposition and replace it with sweeping vistas and a blaring Hans Zimmer score? What remains on the sandy plains of Arrakis is, in large part, a vague Middle Eastern and North African aesthetic, peppered with actual Arabic words and filmed on location in Jordan and Abu Dhabi.
Unfortunately, that aesthetic is not neutral in Hollywood, and the image of an Arab-ish crowd or veiled wailing women, not to mention when it’s injected with violence, has a history that is steeped in the dehumanization of entire peoples. It is certainly possible to reclaim and complicate these images, but that would have required an upfront act of subversion by the filmmakers.
- At the very least, it needed a multifaceted nonwhite character who survived to the end.
- Herbert writes that his story “began with a concept: to do a long novel about the messianic convulsions which periodically inflict themselves on human societies,” In so doing, he was particular that it was ” Western man ” who was the focus of his ire, who uses this “messianic impulse” to control other societies and further “inflict himself on the environment.” After working on a story about sand dune control in Florence, Oregon, he was inspired to set his story on a desert planet.
This led him to live for some time in the Sonoran Desert as well as to, in his own words, a “re-examination of Islam.” Dune relies heavily on Islam to build its universe, For Herbert, Islam is a major part of human heritage and, by extension, its future.
- His use isn’t simple window dressing either: It shows a deep engagement with both the beliefs and histories of a wide variety of Muslims.
- And he further complicates his usage by not confining this ” Muslim flavor ” to the Fremen, the Native people of Arrakis.
- Rather, he extends it throughout the story’s universe —its peoples, religions, proverbs, and books.
The messiah he constructs is called a Mahdi, a Muslim term that refers not only to a messianic, end-times figure but also to the many historical figures who have made a claim to that title. And history has seen many failed messiahs, Mahdis among them.
- In his study of Mahdis and the jihads they led, the strongest influences on his story were the Sufi Muslims who fought against European colonialism in the 19 th century.
- These include the Algerian Amir ‘Abd al-Qadir al-Jaza’iri, who, like the Fremen, made weapons factories in the desert in his fight against the French; the Chechen Imam Shamil, who fought against the Russians ; and, in the most obvious of ways, “the Mahdi of Sudan,” Muhammad Ahmad ibn ‘Abdullah, whose war against the British became a consistent feature of English literature for decades after his defeat.
” I am a political animal,” Herbert said in 1983. “And I never really left journalism. I am writing about the current scene—the metaphors are there.” Dune was written during the height of decolonization in the Muslim world. His story reflects this, at times in obvious ways.
In the book, the Fremen cheer and chant for Paul, their Mahdi, by yelling out “Ya hya chouhada.” His mother tells the readers that this means “long live the fighters.” Jessica’s translation is mostly correct. The phrase is Arabic for “long live the martyrs ( shuhadā ),” and was chanted by Algerians when Benyoucef Benkhedda (one of the leaders of the Algerian war of independence and the head of its first provisional government from 1961 to 1962) arrived in Algiers after gaining independence from France.
Note how this was reported in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette on July 4, 1962, just three years before Dune was published: After speech at the airport, he and his ministers were preceded into the heart of the city by several hundred tough, battle-hardened guerillas from Algeria’s green Kablie mountains.
- The deafening roar “Ya hya chouhada” (“long live the fighters”) echoed in the streets Not only is this scene reminiscent of Dune, but Herbert even kept the French spelling and translation directly in his own narrative.
- His story might have taken place thousands of years into the future, but it was intentionally calling to mind current events.
Even the name Paul takes on, Muad’Dib, reflects this period of history. On Arrakis, it refers to a kangaroo mouse, but in the explanation of its meaning provided by Stilgar (the Fremen leader played by Javier Bardem in the movie), he says it also means “instructor-of-boys,” a definition Herbert probably pulled from the glossary of Richard Francis Burton’s translation of One Thousand and One Nights,
But Herbert’s Muad’Dib was also likely inspired by the first president of Mali after its independence from France, Modibo Keïta. Keïta, a descendent of Malian aristocracy, was depicted in a 1961 article in the New York Times as “the only spokesman for the African community tall enough to look President de Gaulle in the eye.” He was an ideal symbol for Frank Herbert, a man from the desert facing a colonial empire in the eyes.
And Keïta, as a member of the United Nations, was an advocate for Pan-African unity, the Non-Aligned Movement, and Algerian independence. He had all the makings of a hero. He even visited John F. Kennedy (another hero-in-making for Herbert) in 1961, so he would have been difficult to ignore for someone who was keeping abreast of politics.
- Modibo” is simply the Fula language spelling of Muad’Dib, meaning the same thing, a fact that would have been obvious to Herbert, who prided himself on knowing how language changes over time and place.
- He likely had even come across the common title in his own research, which included the history of West and East Africa.
Villeneuve may have been aware of some of these themes when he chose to cast African and Black American actors for his movie adaptation, and at the time the casting was first announced, this felt like something to be celebrated. Yet when it became clear that the casting of these African and Black American actors was to the exclusion of North African and Middle Eastern actors, many were disappointed.
- Add to it that the strongest Black performances were for characters who died or who lacked the depth afforded to Paul and his mother, and the choice ultimately felt empty.
- Villeneuve and his co-writers clearly tried to use language to complicate all of this.
- The movie features the inclusion of several fictional languages, and the Padishah Emperor’s Sardaukar are led in a prayer that sounds like Mongolian throat-singing, a nod to the Turco-Mongolian flourishes of the Padishah Emperor’s court and army in the book.
But any of this nuance is drowned out in beautiful desert scenes whose “feeling” is somehow supposed to do the work of Herbert’s narrative. How could it not when the feelings associated with such images have already been predetermined by Hollywood’s long history of depicting Muslims as the enemy ? Part of this is also Herbert’s fault.
- By writing a story in which he intended to critique “Western man,” Herbert also centered Western man.
- Often when critiquing something, one falls into a binary that prevents the very third option that so many have been looking for since decolonization.
- Herbert’s greatest shortcoming can be seen in his analysis of T.E.
Lawrence and the deification of leaders in an interview he gave in 1969, He said, “If Lawrence of Arabia had died at the crucial moment of the British he would have been deified. And it would have been the most terrifying thing the British had ever encountered, because the Arabs would have swept that entire peninsula with that sort of force, because one of the things we’ve done in our society is exploited this power.” Herbert’s shortcoming is not his idea that “Western man” seeks to exploit the deification of charismatic leaders but that Arabs (or any other non-Western) would fall easily for it.
This notion, in fact, builds on a stereotype that motivated European powers to fund propaganda among Muslims during the world wars in the hope that they could provoke a global jihad against one another. Needless to say, that didn’t happen, because Islam isn’t a “warrior religion” whose followers are just waiting for the right trigger to go berserk.
Islam’s followers are human and are as complicated and multifaceted as other humans. Herbert should have seen that more clearly. Part of the reason for Herbert’s clear orientalism was simply that he was a product of his time. Most English and French literature about Islam and “desert cultures” at that time was orientalist.
(Edward Said’s groundbreaking book Orientalism, in fact, was published more than a decade later, in 1978.) To his credit, Herbert tried to complicate this as much as he could. Language was the “primary tool” he used to do this—spoken language, because in his own words, “We are most profoundly conditioned to language-as-speech.” When you remove that language, when narrative is replaced by an unarticulated feeling or aesthetic, that centering of whiteness reads, in a way, as a type of white savior narrative.
Even when the savior fails, destroys everything, and becomes a monster, his agency overrides that of everyone else and reduces them to side stories who are swept away in the terrific power of his myth. Everyone else who could have spoken but wasn’t allowed to becomes a mere accessory to a tragic coming-of-age story.
HBO Middle East Race Science Fiction The Oscars Islam
What religion is Dune based on?
In Dune, Paul Atreides led a jihad, not a crusade Fans of Frank Herbert’s 1965 novel, Dune, were disappointed to learn this week that the release of Denis Villeneuve’s much-anticipated film adaptation of the book has been to October 2021, almost a year later than expected.
- Dune is a foundational classic of science fiction and marks, in many ways, the popularisation of the genre.
- In the hands of Villeneuve, the film is poised to be a blockbuster, and the buzz that emanated from its first and only, released on September 9, 2020, is still palpable.
- But fans familiar with the books noticed a major omission in its promotional materials: any reference to the Islam-inspired framing of the novel.
In fact, the trailer uses the words, “a crusade is coming”, using the Christian term for holy war – something that occurs a mere three times in the six books of the original series. The word they were looking for was “jihad”, a foundational term and an essential concept in the series.
- But jihad is bad branding, and in Hollywood, Islam does not sell unless it is,
- Dune is the second film adaptation of the popular 1965 science fiction novel by Frank Herbert.
- Set approximately 20,000 years in the future on the desert planet Arrakis, it tells the story of a war for control of its major export: the mind-altering spice melange that allows for instantaneous space travel.
The Indigenous people of this planet, the Fremen, are oppressed for access to this spice. The story begins when a new aristocratic house takes over the planet, centring the narrative on the Duke’s son Paul. The trailer’s use of “crusade” obscures the fact that the series is full of vocabularies of Islam, drawn from Arabic, Persian, and Turkish.
- Words like “Mahdi”, “Shai-Hulud”, “noukker”, and “ya hya chouhada” are commonly used throughout the story.
- To quote Herbert himself, from an unpublished 1978 with Tim O’Reilly, he used this vocabulary, partly derived from “colloquial Arabic”, to signal to the reader that they are “not here and now, but that something of here and now has been carried to that faraway place and time”.
Language, he remarks, “is mind-shaping as well as used by mind”, mediating our experience of place and time. And he uses the language of Dune to show how, 20,000 years in the future, when all religion and language has fundamentally changed, there are still threads of continuity with the Arabic and Islam of our world because they are inextricable from humanity’s past, present, and future.
- A quick look at Frank Herbert’s to Dune, “the Religion of Dune”, reveals that of the “ten ancient teachings”, half are overtly Islamic.
- And outside of the religious realm, he filled the terminology of Dune’s universe with words related to Islamic sovereignty.
- The Emperors are called “Padishahs”, from Persian, their audience chamber is called the “selamlik”, Turkish for the Ottoman court’s reception hall and their troops have titles with Turco-Persian or Arabic roots, such as “Sardaukar”, “caid”, and “bashar”.
Herbert’s future is one where “Islam” is not a separate unchanging element belonging to the past, but a part of the future universe at every level. The world of Dune cannot be separated from its language, and as reactions on Twitter have shown, the absence of that language in the movie’s promotional material is a disappointment.
- Even jihad, a complex, foundational principle of Herbert’s universe, is flattened – and Christianised – to crusade.
- To be sure, Herbert himself defines jihad using the term “crusade”, twice in the narrative as a synonym for jihad and once in the glossary as part of his definition of jihad, perhaps reaching for a simple conceptual parallel that may have been familiar to his readership.
But while he clearly subsumed crusade under jihad, much of his readership did the reverse. One can understand why. Even before the War on Terror, jihad was what the bad guys do. Yet as Herbert understood, the term is a complicated one in the Muslim tradition; at root, it means to struggle or exert oneself.
- It can take many forms: internally against one’s own evil, externally against oppression, or even intellectually in the search for beneficial knowledge.
- And in the 14 centuries of Islam’s history, like any aspect of human history, the term jihad has been used and abused.
- Having studied Frank Herbert’s notes and papers in the archives of California State University, Fullerton, I have found that Herbert’s understanding of Islam, jihad, and humanity’s future is much more complex than that of his interpreters.
His use of jihad grapples with this complicated tradition, both as a power to fight against the odds (whether against sentient AI or against the Empire itself), but also something that defies any attempt at control. Herbert’s nuanced understanding of jihad shows in his narrative.
- He did not aim to present jihad as simply a “bad” or “good” thing.
- Instead, he uses it to show how the messianic impulse, together with the apocalyptic violence that sometimes accompanies it, changes the world in uncontrollable and unpredictable ways.
- And, of course, writing in the 1950s and 1960s, the jihad of Frank Herbert’s imagination was not the same as ours, but drew from the Sufi-led jihads against French, Russian, and English imperialism in the 19th and mid-20th century.
The narrative exhibits this influence of Sufism and its reading of jihad, where, unlike in a crusade, a leader’s spiritual transformation determined the legitimacy of his war. In Dune, Paul must drink the “water of life”, to enter (to quote Dune) the “alam al-mithal, the world of similitudes, the metaphysical realm where all physical limitations are removed,” and unlock a part of his consciousness to become the Mahdi, the messianic figure who will guide the jihad.
The language of every aspect of this process is the technical language of Sufism. Perhaps the trailer’s use of “crusade” is just an issue of marketing. Perhaps the film will embrace the characteristically Islam-inspired language and aesthetics of Frank Herbert’s universe. But if we trace the reception of “the strong Muslim flavour” in Dune, to echo an editor on one of Herbert’s early drafts, we are confronted with Islam’s unfavourable place in America’s popular imagination.
In fact, many desire to interpret Dune through the past, hungering for a historic parallel to these future events because, in their minds, Islam belongs to the past. Yet who exists in the future tells us who matters in our present. NK Jemisin, the three-time Hugo award-winning author, : “The myth that Star Trek planted in my mind: people like me exist in the future, but there are only a few of us.
Something’s obviously going to kill off a few billion people of colour and the majority of women in the next few centuries.” Jemisin alerts us to the question: “Who gets to be a part of the future?” When a director or writer casts people of colour out of the future, when a director casts Islam out of the future, they reveal their own expectations and anxieties.
They reveal an imagination at ease with genocide, with mass death, and with a whitewashed future that does not have any of the “mess” of the contemporary world. That “mess” is other people, people who defy control. Unlike many of his, or our, contemporaries, Herbert was willing to imagine a world that was not based on Western, Christian mythology.
- This was not just his own niche interest.
- Even in the middle of the 20th century, it was obvious that the future would be coloured by Islam based on demographics alone.
- This is clearer today as the global Muslim population nears a quarter of humanity.
- While this sounds like an alt-right nightmare/fantasy, Herbert did not think of Islam as the “borg”, an alien hive mind that allows for no dissent.
Herbert’s Islam was the great, capacious, and often contradictory discourse recently expounded by Shahab Ahmed in his monumental book, What is Islam? Herbert understood that religions do not act. People act. Their religions change like their languages, slowly over time in response to the new challenges of time and place.
- Tens of thousands of years into the future, Herbert’s whole universe is full of future Islams, similar but different from the Islams of present and past.
- Herbert countered a one-dimensional reading of Islam because he disavowed absolutes.
- In an essay titled: Science Fiction and a World in Crisis, he identified the belief in absolutes as a “characteristic of the West” that negatively influenced its approach to crisis.
He wrote that it led the “Western tradition” to face problems “with the concept of absolute control”. This desire for absolute control is what leads to the hero-worship (or “messiah-building”) that defines our contemporary world. It is this impulse that he sought to tear down in Dune.
- In another essay, Men on Other Planets, Herbert cautions against reproducing cliches, reminding writers to question their underlying assumptions about time, society, and religion.
- He encourages them to be subversive, because science fiction “permits you to go beyond those cultural norms that are prohibited by your society and enforced by conscious (and unconscious) literary censorship in the prestigious arenas of publication”.
We should recognise Herbert for exploring Islam and religion without essentialising them, without reducing them to a cliché grounded in a timeless original model or relegating them to the domain of superstitious humanoid aliens. But in the same essay, he warned that “if it becomes too prestigious, science fiction will encounter new restraints”, expressing worry about the looming power of self-censorship in the face of respectability.
- Unfortunately, he was right, and it seems like the subversive elements of his own work, embedded in his deep exploration of “jihad”, have been subsumed into the Christianising “crusade”, at least so far.
- Let’s hope this extra year allows the film to do better.
- The views expressed in this article are the author’s own and do not necessarily reflect Al Jazeera’s editorial stance.
: In Dune, Paul Atreides led a jihad, not a crusade
Why do the Fremen ride worms?
Behavior and function – In Dune, the desert of Arrakis is the only known source of the spice melange, the most essential and valuable commodity in the universe. Melange is a geriatric drug that gives the user a longer life span, greater vitality, and heightened awareness.
It can also unlock prescience in some subjects, which makes safe and accurate interstellar travel possible. The harvesting of melange is therefore essential, but is also a highly dangerous undertaking due to the presence of sandworms. Rhythmic activity as minimal as normal walking on the desert surface of Arrakis attracts the territorial worms, which are capable of swallowing even the largest mining equipment whole.
They are an accepted obstacle to spice mining, as any attempt to exterminate them would be prohibitively expensive, if not entirely futile. Harvesting is done by a gigantic machine called a Harvester, which is carried to and from a spice blow by a larger craft called a Carryall,
- The Harvester on the ground has four scouting ornithopters patrolling around it watching for wormsign, the motions of sand which indicate that a worm is coming.
- Melange is collected from the open sand until a worm is close, at which time the Carryall lifts the Harvester to safety.
- The Fremen, who base their entire industry around the sale of spice and the manufacture of materials out of spice, have learned to co-exist with the sandworms in the desert and harvest the spice manually for their own use and for smuggling off-planet.
Due to their size and territorial nature, sandworms can be extremely dangerous, even to Fremen. The worms are attracted to—and maddened by—the presence of Holtzman force fields used as personal defense shields, and as a result these shields are of little use on Arrakis.
- In Children of Dune it is noted that a weapon has been developed on Arrakis called a “pseudo-shield”.
- This device will attract and enrage any nearby sandworm, which will destroy anything in its vicinity.
- The Fremen manage to develop a unique relationship with the sandworms.
- They learn to avoid most worm attacks by mimicking the motions of desert animals, moving with the natural sounds of the desert rather than rhythmic vibrations.
However, they also develop a device known as a thumper with the express purpose of generating a rhythmic vibration to attract a sandworm. This can be used either as a diversion or to summon a worm to ride. The Fremen have secretly mastered a way to ride sandworms across the desert.
- First, a worm is lured by the vibrations of a thumper device.
- When it surfaces, the lead worm-rider runs alongside it and snares one of its ring-segments with a special “maker hook”.
- The hook is used to pry open the segment, exposing the soft inner tissue to the abrasive sand.
- To avoid irritation, the worm will rotate its body so the exposed flesh faces upwards, lifting the rider with it.
Other Fremen may then plant additional hooks for steering, or act as ” beaters “, hitting the worm’s tail to make it increase speed. A worm can be ridden for several hundred kilometers and for about half a day, at which point it will become exhausted and sit on the open desert until the hooks are released, whereupon it will burrow back down to rest.
Worm-riding is used as a coming-of-age ritual among the Fremen, and Paul’s riding and controlling a giant sandworm cements him as a Fremen leader. Paul also uses worms for troop transport into the city during the Battle of Arrakeen after using atomic weapons to blow a hole in the Shield Wall. After the reign of Leto II, sandworms become un-rideable.
The one exception is a young girl named Sheeana, an Atreides descendant who possesses a unique ability to control the worms and safely move around them. Fremen also use the sharp teeth of dead sandworms to produce the sacred knives they call crysknives,
Does Earth still exist in Dune?
So, What Happened to Earth? – Dune is set in 10,191 A.G. (After Guild), as we see in the first scene in Villeneuve’s film. ‘After Guild’ means after the establishment of the Space Guild that the Atreides and other feudal houses live within, which was created with the colonization of the known universe.
According to The Dune Encyclopedia, some thousands of years after the solar system had been colonized by humans and then controlled by the Guild, Earth was hit by another “planetoid” and nearly destroyed. At the time, inhabitants of the rest of the solar system outnumbered the people of Earth, twenty to one.
So, the Imperial seat was moved from Earth and a rescue mission of artifacts was conducted. A few decades later, Earth was reseeded and set aside as a National Park, by order of the Imperium. From there, things get complicated. And for Dune fans, a lot of inconsistencies occur between the explanations provided by The Dune Encyclopedia and the additional Dune novels written by Frank Herbert’s son, Brian.
Luckily, we can look to the source material for more details. In conversations held by the Bene Gesserit in the original Frank Herbert novels, we learn that the secret order of women retain a few lost artifacts from what they refer to as “Old Earth” or “Old Terra,” including a painting by Vincent Van Gogh,
Additionally, Leto II says in the fourth novel of the saga that Earth no longer exists. And by the time of Frank Herbert’s sixth and final Dune novel, Chapterhouse, which takes place several thousands of years after the time of Paul Atreides, the Bene Gesserit refer to Earth as simply being “gone.” Again, it’s a bit of a mystery—what exactly happened to Earth—according to the Dune universe of material.
Who is the hero of Dune?
|Kyle MacLachlan as Paul in Dune (1984)|
|First appearance||Dune (1965)|
|Created by||Frank Herbert|
|Significant other||Chani ( concubine )|
Paul Atreides (; later known as Paul Muad’Dib, and later still as The Preacher ) is a fictional character in the Dune universe created by Frank Herbert, He is a main character the first two novels in the series, Dune (1965) and Dune Messiah (1969), and returns in Children of Dune (1976).
The character is brought back as two different gholas in the Brian Herbert / Kevin J. Anderson novels which conclude the original series, Hunters of Dune (2006) and Sandworms of Dune (2007), and appears in the prequels Paul of Dune (2008) and The Winds of Dune (2009). According to Brian Herbert, Frank Herbert’s son and biographer, House Atreides was based on the heroic but ill-fated Greek mythological House Atreus,
A primary theme of Dune and its sequels is Frank Herbert’s warning about society’s tendencies to “give over every decision-making capacity” to a charismatic leader. He said in 1979, “The bottom line of the Dune trilogy is: beware of heroes. Much better rely on your own judgment, and your own mistakes.” Paul rises to leadership through military strategy and political maneuvering, but his superhuman powers and ability to fit himself into pre-existing religious infrastructure allow him to force himself upon mankind as their messiah,
- As “Muad’Dib”, Paul becomes the central figure of a new religion, and reluctantly unleashes a bloody jihad in his name across the universe.
- Paul struggles with the idea of potentially seizing divine control over his newly minted empire, but by following the path of his destiny he escapes from the burden of it.
He lets an assassination plot against him play out, blinding him, and follows the Fremen tradition of the blind going out into the desert to die. The burden of the empire is then placed upon Paul’s sister Alia, and his children Leto II and Ghanima, Paul later reappears as the Preacher, seeking to end the religion founded around him, but is assassinated.
Is Leto II the Kwisatz Haderach?
‘Dune’ What Is the Kwisatz Haderach – and What Does That Mean for Paul’s Future? Denis Villeneuve’s recent film adaptation of Frank Herbert ‘s classic science-fiction novel brought Herbert’s vision of the stark desert planet Arrakis to life in stunning detail.
- As the first part of a two-part adaptation of the original Dune novel, the first film laid the foundation for the grand conflict that will unfold as the protagonist, Paul Atreides, takes his place in the destiny of the universe as the Kwisatz Haderach.
- However, the Kwisatz Haderach was explored very little in this first installment, so here’s everything you need to know about the Kwisatz Haderach.
Set on the desert planet Arrakis, Dune is the story of Paul Atreides, heir to Duke Leto, head of House Atreides. An order from the Emperor sent Paul and his family from their ancestral home of Caladan to Arrakis, home of the spice melange that enables interstellar travel, making it the most valuable substance in the universe.
- After coming to Arrakis, House Atreides was overthrown by their long-time political rival, House Harkonnen, in a coup that killed Duke Leto and sent Paul and his mother into the desert, where they allied themselves with the native Fremen, who saw Paul as their messiah.
- The Fremen prophecies weren’t the only destiny Paul found himself heir to, however.
It’s revealed early on in both the book and the 2021 movie that Paul is the Kwisatz Haderach, a unique individual that the Bene Gesserit, a guild of women who had influenced the political powers of the universe for thousands of years had spent 10,000 years of carefully selected breeding to produce. Image via Warner Bros. The Bene Gesserit had extraordinary powers that led many to fear them and consider them witches. One of these abilities was, which compels any who hear it to obey the speaker. Another of their abilities was to use the spice to access their genetic memories, shared across the centuries.
- But the Bene Gesserit could only access maternal memories because they had two X chromosomes, leaving their paternal memories inaccessible to them, even with the spice.
- Those memories were locked in a dark place that even the greatest Bene Gesserit feared.
- This is why the Kwisatz Haderach being male is vital.
Having X and Y chromosomes gives the Kwisatz Haderach this ability to access all their genetic memories from all ancestors, male or female. Additionally, this male would inherit other Bene Gesserit traits, such as the ability to use the Voice and to read others by their body language.
- However, the greatest strength of the Kwisatz Haderach came from the ability to see through time and predict the future.
- With exposure to the spice, some Bene Gesserit could see limited glimpses of the future.
- The Kwisatz Haderach, however, had no limitations.
- Ever since Paul was a child, he had dreamed of the future, such as his frequent dreams of Chani, the woman he would have his children with.
Once he came to Arrakis and got exposed to the spice in the ground, in the food, and in the air, his abilities awoke to their full potential. Paul could see far into the future, understanding that one day, a great war would sweep across the universe in his name and kill billions.
- Despite Paul being the Kwisatz Haderach, however, he didn’t live up to the expectations of the Bene Gesserit.
- Their ultimate goal was to place the Kwisatz Haderach on the Golden Throne as Emperor and their pawn, thus gaining control over the entire universe.
- While Paul did ascend to the throne and become Emperor by the end of the first Dune book, he did so while swearing not to work with the Bene Gesserit as they had allowed his father to be killed when the Harkonnens attacked Arrakis.
In doing so, he effectively destroyed 10,000 years of planning and stripped the Sisterhood of much power. Paul discovered that being the Kwisatz Haderach wasn’t just a path to power but also a curse he had to bear. His knowledge of the great war tore at his conscience. Image Via Warner Bros. Pictures Paul also wasn’t the only Kwisatz Haderach. While the Bene Gesserit had intended to breed a single man to have this title, the title passed on to Paul’s sister Alia and his son Leto II. Alia and Leto both had precognitive powers similar to Paul’s, Leto II due to his direct heritage, and Alia because she had still been in Jessica’s womb when her mother transformed into a Reverend Mother.
- Leto II in particular took up the mantle of Kwisatz Haderach with great purpose, feeling similar pressure to his father at the weight of the destiny ahead.
- To save humanity, Paul and Leto II both saw that they must follow the Golden Path that would lead to humanity’s eventual salvation rather than downfall.
Paul fled from the path, however, as it would require him to forsake his humanity and meld with the great sandworms of Arrakis. Instead, Paul let himself be blinded and wandered into the desert to offer himself to the sandworms. Leto II took up the burden of the Golden Path, becoming the God-Emperor, a nearly immortal being who would take the golden throne and rule for 3,500 years.
The Kwisatz Haderach was meant to be the pinnacle of 10,000 years of selective breeding but Paul Atreides and his family proved to be far more than the Bene Gesserit could have predicted, despite their careful planning and foresight. While it only featured briefly in Villeneuve’s first film, the second part will surely see Paul grow into his full potential as the first of the Kwisatz Haderach.
KEEP READING: : ‘Dune’ What Is the Kwisatz Haderach – and What Does That Mean for Paul’s Future?
What drug is Dune spice based on?
Melange (/meɪˈlɑːnʒ/), often referred to as ‘the spice’, is the fictional psychedelic drug central to the Dune series of science fiction novels by Frank Herbert and derivative works. Melange (fictional drug)
|Affiliation||Bene Gesserit CHOAM Fremen Sandworms|
What kind of drug is spice in Dune?
What is the Spice in Dune ? What Does the Spice Melange Do in Dune ? Meaning Explained – So what exactly is Spice in Dune ? While I’d love to tell you exactly what Spice is and where it comes from, that could be something of a potential spoiler for Dune Part Two (if it’s ever made), so I’ll stick to why Spice is so treasured*.
- The Spice Melange is a spice found in the sands of the planet Arrakis that can be inhaled or ingested by humans.
- Added to food, it can provide medicinal benefits, like extending people’s lives or enhancing their senses.
- When inhaled, it can inspire psychedelic episodes for certain susceptible minds.
- The moment that Paul inhales a cloud of spice coincides with the moment that his Sight awakens and he begins seeing future events and hearing voices with more clarity.
The film explicitly says this moment is when the Kwistatz Haderach awakens; that is Paul becomes “The One” who can bridge space and time with his mind. All thanks to the Spice! Obviously the Spice would be valuable just as a medicinal booster, but it’s so much more than that in the world of Dune, Photo: Warner Bros. So you know how Paul’s mind expands with one whiff of Spice? Imagine what would happen to a similar mind if all they ever inhaled was Spice. If you go back to the moment when Duke Leto has the fancy ceremony granting him stewardship of Arrakis, you’ll note that representatives from the “Space Guild” are there.
These mysterious people are wearing helmets flooded with Spice Melange. That’s because the Space Guild keeps dominion over the secrets of interstellar travel. They subject themselves to constant Spice exposure until they cease to be human. Some even transform mentally and physically to the point of becoming alien-like “Navigators.” These Navigators can fold space with their minds, thus creating a tesseract that can take a ship of people from one corner of the galaxy to another in no time.
David Lynch’s 1984 version of Dune features an extended sequence of the Navigators doing just this while floating like creepy whale babies in a tank of Spice. ( Lynch also has one of them talk to the Emperor himself.) Villeneuve opted for a subtler approach.
- But still, the fact remains, Spice is valuable because it can transform humans into superhumans.
- Not only that, but without the power of interstellar travel, the Galactic Empire could fall to ruin.
- So that’s how Spice works and what Spice does! Fun fact: in the book, it’s also supposed to taste good.
- It’s also used in a lot of feast scenes just to punch up meals.
The Spice is still just spice. But it’s also not just spice. It’s special space Spice. *No, seriously, the reveal of what exactly Spice is becomes a plot point in the latter part of the book Dune and affects Paul’s later plans. Where to stream Dune
Do the worms on Dune eat spice?
Arrakis’ predominant life form has some hangups but otherwise isn’t too picky. They’re massive, stacked with teeth, and they make the fictional universe of Dune keep turning. The titanic sandworms of the planet Arrakis are its most distinguishable feature alongside the hardy Fremen people and the spice Melange, the all-important resource in Frank Herbert ‘s deep sci-fi franchise,
- The worms of Arrakis are crucial components in the creation of the spice, which means aspiring power brokers must ensure their survival above all else.
- However, much of what is known about the worms in both the written and cinematic iterations of Dune is partially shrouded in mystery.
- You would think a creature several dozen meters long would be easier to observe, but the creatures are prone to burrowing underground as quickly as they appear.
For newer fans and those being brought back into the fold with Denis Villeneuve ‘s newest adaptation of Herbert’s landmark work, even simple questions tend to get thrown around in order to catch up to speed on Dune ‘s star-spanning fictional universe. Image via Warner Bros. Ordinarily, sandworms on Arrakis spend most of their time gobbling up sand that comprises the nearly endless dunes covering the planet. In doing so, they are able to feast on creatures known as sand plankton, microscopic creatures that devour leftover traces of the spice scattered across the Arrakeen sands.
Worms are also known to consume dry components of the planet’s crust, creating a diet of mostly sedimentary and inorganic material. However, that doesn’t mean sandworms don’t occasionally get a nice treat. The harvesting of the spice by multiple Great Houses over the course of thousands of years in order to supply the Spacing Guild with the necessary resources for their navigators to fold space-time and make space travel across the Imperium possible.
Off-worlders don’t exactly have the reverence for sandworms that the native Fremen have, and tend to view them as pests to be avoided while harvesting spice on the planet’s surface. With so many spice harvesters rumbling along accompanied by humans that aren’t adept at the Fremen sand walk, vibrations abound on the planet and such disturbances attract worms in the area. Image Via Warner Bros. Pictures During particularly botched spice harvesting operations, worms are known to consume entire spice harvesters and anybody unlucky enough to be around them when the massive maws of the worms enclose around them. Thanks to sandworms’ gastrointestinal tracts essentially being a massive blast furnace, they can easily swallow and digest most materials and organisms.
However, there is one particular thing that sandworms must avoid under the threat of a painful death: Water. Even in incredibly small amounts, water is fatal to the sandworms of Arrakis. Water that enters a worm’s body causes metabolic acceleration to the point of organ failure. This is obviously best avoided for the worms, but their death via water also serves a very important purpose.
The bile that results from the death of a worm’s consumption of water results in a substance known as the Water of Life, which is used in ascendancy rituals both by the Fremen and the Bene Gesserit to accelerate an individual’s awareness spectrum. Well, if they survive; the Water of Life is highly toxic and only those with perfect control of their mind and bodies are capable of consuming it without meeting an agonizing end.
What happens to Paul Atreides eyes?
Dune Messiah – In Dune Messiah (1969), Paul has been Emperor for twelve years. His jihad has killed sixty billion people across the known universe, but according to his prescient vision, this is a fate far better than what he has seen. Paul is beleaguered by a need he sees — to set humanity on a course that does not lead to stagnation and destruction, while at the same time managing both the Empire and the religion built around him.
- A Fremen conspiracy attempts to assassinate Paul using a stone burner,
- The attempt fails, but the effects of the weapon destroy Paul’s eyes.
- Although he becomes physically blind, his prescience allows him to “see” by tightly locking in reality with his prescient visions.
- Despondent as a result of his prescience, Paul faces another assassination attempt by a conspiracy of the Bene Tleilax, the Bene Gesserit and the Spacing Guild.
This attempt, made using a ghola (a resurrected clone) of Paul’s friend and mentor Duncan Idaho also fails, but the ordeal seemingly helps the Duncan ghola to regain his memories. At the same time, Chani dies in childbirth, bearing twins: a boy, Leto II, and a girl, Ghanima (which means “spoil of war”).
- Paul, who did not foresee the birth of twins, loses his prescience after Chani’s death and becomes truly blind, although he conceals this.
- With a knife over the babies, the Tleilaxu Scytale offers to make a ghola of Chani and restore her to life, in exchange for all of Paul’s CHOAM holdings and his effective abdication from the throne.
However Paul, seeing through his newborn son’s eyes, kills Scytale. Immediately afterwards, the dwarf Tleilaxu Master Bijaz makes the same offer regarding the Chani ghola; Paul orders Duncan to kill Bijaz. The blind Paul then walks into the desert to die alone, in accordance with Fremen law.
How does Paul lose his eyes?
Abstract – In the Bible, St. Paul (Saul of Tarsus) was struck blind by a light from heaven. Three days later his vision was restored by a “laying on of hands.” The circumstances surrounding his blindness represent an important episode in the history of religion.
Why is Paul Atreides so powerful?
Trained as a politician and a leader, Paul Atreides is destined to inherit his father’s fiefdom and become a powerful Duke of the Great House Atreides. From a young age, he is taught how to rule with power (sea power and desert power) and how to win over the hearts and minds of his people.
What is Paul Atreides power?
The trailer for Denis Villeneuve’s Dune seems to indicate that Paul has special powers. What are these powers, and where do they come from? The trailer for Denis Villeneuve’s Dune has opened up plenty of questions about the purpose, origin, and powers of Timothée Chalamet’s Paul Atreides. The novel Dune, by Frank Herbert, is incredibly dense, and the trailer presents complex concepts and enigmatic moments without much explanation.
- While this works to build up curiosity and anticipation among viewers, it doesn’t exactly clear up any confusion.
- The Dune trailer implies that Paul has certain powers and abilities, but what exactly are they, and where do they come from? Paul has two types of training: Mentat and Bene Gesserit.
- In Dune, computers, or “thinking machines”, have been replaced with Mentats, human-computers that can complete incredibly complex equations in just milliseconds.
Meanwhile, the Bene Gesserit are female super-humans who have prescient visions. Their prescience is limited, however, as they are only able to see brief glimpses into the near future and genetic memories on the female side. To overcome these limitations, the Bene Gesserit focus on selective breeding to create an all-knowing male Bene Gesserit called the Kwisatz Haderach.
- Paul’s mother, Lady Jessica, is a Bene Gesserit who was ordered to have a daughter.
- However, she defied this order and had Paul, causing the Kwisatz Haderach to arrive a generation early.
- Paul is suspected of being the Kwisatz Haderach early on in his life and is subjected to a painful Gom Jobbar test to assess this possibility, but it is not until he relocates to planet Arrakis that his status is confirmed.
When Paul joins the Fremen and is exposed to Spice Melange, his prescience fully awakens. He survives drinking the Water of Life – a poison that only the female Bene Gesserit have been able to tolerate. After drinking the poison, his consciousness expands and his prescience is practically perfect – he has now truly become the Kwisatz Haderach. The Kwisatz Haderach’s abilities are immense and unparalleled in Dune, Known as the “one who can be many places at once,” Paul is privy to an amount of knowledge no one has ever experienced before. Unlike the rest of the Bene Gesserit, he can predict far into the future with accuracy and precision.
- He is also able to see into the past and present without limitations.
- Paul is aware of anything that is happening in the universe, no matter where, when, or who is involved.
- After drinking the Water of Life, he becomes fully omniscient.
- While Paul’s powers are tremendous and exciting, viewers most likely will not witness the full extent of them in the first Dune film.
The first novel will be split into multiple films, as it is extremely long and dense, and Paul does not fully awaken his powers until about halfway through the novel. Still, audiences will get to experience the excitement of Paul Atreides unlocking these incredible abilities as he adapts to a new world throughout the first Dune movie.