Why Do They Have Blue Eyes In Dune?
- Pieter Maas
In Dune, however, blue is not a skin tone, it is an eye color – not for aliens, but for humans. Specifically, it is meant to visualize and symbolize the Fremen, and anyone who is either addicted to spice or has been around it long enough for their eyes to change.
Why do the Fremen have blue eyes?
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.
The Blue Eyes of Dune Explained 🧿
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.
How did Paul’s eyes turn blue?
Dune’s second trailer reveals more aspects of the sci-fi movie’s plot, including Timothee Chalamet’s character, Paul, adapting to blue eyes. The new Dune trailer dropped with a mysterious clue to the movie’s plot as Timothee Chalamet’s character Paul Atreides develops blue eyes. Denis Villeneuve, director of Blade Runner 2049 and Arrival, is helming Dune ‘s second major film adaptation of the novel of the same name, with the first being David Lynch’s 1984 movie starring Kyle McGlauchlin in Chalamet’s same role.
The new futuristic sci-fi movie starring Chalamet, Zendaya, Rebecca Ferguson, Josh Brolin, and Oscar Isaac is expected to be released in theaters on October 22, 2021. Dune has released its first trailer since the movie announced its 3-week release date pushback to avoid competition with No Time to Die,
Dune ‘s second trailer focuses on Paul Atreides and Chani, portrayed by Chalamet and Zendaya, respectively, as she details her home planet Arakis – a place where spice flows in the air and is constantly attacked by outsiders, and it eventually calls for help from Paul of House Atreides on planet Caladan in his dreams.
- As the brown-eyed Paul heeds the call and travels with family to Arrakis, or “Dune,” he is eventually seen with bright blue eyes like Chani.
- Related: Dune 2020: Why The Movie Is In Two Parts (Where Will Part 1 End?) In the world of Dune, the most valuable substance in the universe is melange, more colloquially referred to as Spice, which is a drug harboring many powers like an extension of human life, superhuman thought levels, prescience, and the ability to travel and communicate faster than the speed of light.
Another side effect of excessive use of Spice is blue-within-blue eyes, which are finally seen on Paul towards the end of the trailer. Since he hails from planet Caladan and isn’t a Spice user, the blue-within-blue-eyed change suggests that Paul teaming up with Chani and the Fremen leads to contact with Spice, especially since he is seen in a golden armor outside of the stillsuit that may imply superhuman abilities. Arrakis naturally produces Spice, which is why so many outsiders come to steal the drug and ravage the planet and its citizens along the way. The constant flow of Spice on the sand-dune planet has caused its inhabitant Fremen, like Chani, to be afflicted with blue eyes, whereas outsiders only have blue eyes when they have taken and abused the drug from Arakis.
Before his voyage to Arrakis, Paul already had the power of prescience, which means the Spice simply enhances his natural gifts. The Dune trailer shows that Paul spends an extended period of time on Arrakis as he helps Chani protect the planet, meaning his blue eyes are a symptom of either ingesting the drug for power or consistently breathing in enough on Arrakis that he has a constant state of activity from Spice.
While Spice is heavily sought-after for the powers it grants its users, there are lethal dangers in the attempt to harvest it with the giant sandworm guards as well as the fatal withdrawal side-effects. This means that Paul will remain on Arrakis with Chani as a Fremen for a significant period of time, otherwise, he would die from the drug’s withdrawal.
Are the humans in Dune from Earth?
Humans of Earth Inhabit the Imperium – The interesting thing about the Dune universe is that all of the Space Guild inhabitants originate from Earth. There aren’t any “space aliens” like you might expect with an intergalactic sci-fi epic like Dune, For the people spread among the various planets of the solar system, Earth is a sort of cradle of civilization.
- Earth is the ancestral home of the people of Caladan, Giedi Prime, Arrakis, and so on.
- As such, the Imperium appears and operates in a fashion similar to the feudal systems of the Earth that we, the audience, recognize.
- In fact, House Atreides can track their lineage all the way back to Agamemnon —the historically famous ruler of ancient Greece.
Remember the figure on the golden tablets in Villeneuve’s film, which Duke Leto so thoughtfully gazes upon before leaving Caladan? That’s Agamemnon!
Does Dune ever become green?
Ascension of House Atreides and the God Emperor – In 10,191 A.G., House Atreides arrived on Arrakis and took over control of the planet and spice production. By this time, the planet had for some years been under the brutal control of Atreides enemies House Harkonnen, who managed spice mining operations on behalf of Padishah Emperor Shaddam IV,
- The Atreides rule was cut short, however, through a betrayal as part of a conspiracy between Harkonnen and Imperial forces.
- House Atreides went into hiding, but after seeking refuge with the Fremen quickly became their leaders through their inherent ability to command loyalty and through their promise that Kynes’s vision would be realized through their rule.
Three years later, Paul Atreides, under the Fremen name of Muad’Dib, using Atreides family atomics, created a gap in the Shield Wall that had protected Arrakeen. Riding into the city on sandworms, the Fremen defeated Harkonnen and Corrino forces, and Paul Atreides declared victory and ascended to the Golden Lion Throne,
Arrakis became the new seat of power for both the Empire and the religious jihad that Paul unleashed upon the known universe. Eventually, Paul’s limited interpretation of the Golden Path strategy led to the terraforming of the planet, carried out by Paul’s son Leto Atreides II, the long-lived God-Emperor,
Over several thousand years, Arrakis was transformed into a green and temperate world much more habitable to humans, just as Kynes had hoped. Ultimately, however, the new ecology was dangerous to the giant sandworms, which nearly became extinct under Leto II’s rule.
- During this time, new mountain ranges, forests, and rivers came into existence.
- Offworld animals were introduced and took root on the planet.
- Only Leto’s Sareer remained evidence that Arrakis was once a desert planet.
- After some 3,500 years of rule, Leto II died while crossing the Idaho River after the Guardian Wall of the Sareer opened.
Leto fell into the river, and his worm-body was destroyed by the water, which was toxic to him. His body decomposed into sandtrout that absorbed water, eventually re-creating the conditions required for the sandworms to appear. Over the next 1,500 years, under the biological terraforming effect of the sandtrout/sandworm cycle, Arrakis gradually returned to being a desert.
Is Dune inspired by Islam?
Frank Herbert’s Dune novels were heavily influenced by Middle Eastern, Islamic cultures, says scholar | CBC Radio
Frank Herbert’s seminal classic Dune has been a science fiction mainstay since it was published in 1965. Set thousands of years in humanity’s future, it tells an epic, galaxy-scale story full of warring aristocratic houses, messianic chosen ones and a mysterious substance known as Spice that can grant mystical powers. The original novel spawned a long-running series set in the Dune universe, as well as several adaptations including a new film directed by Denis Villeneuve and starring Timothée Chalamet.Chalamet plays the main character Paul Atreides, whose name is a reference to the mythological Greek House of Atreus.
Ali Karjoo-Ravary is an assistant professor of Islamic Studies at Bucknell University in Lewisburg, Pa. He says the references to Middle Eastern and Islamic culture in Frank Herbert’s Dune are intentional and deliberate. (Gordon R. Wenzel) But Ali Karjoo-Ravary says some readers might be surprised to learn that the book also contains ample references to Middle Eastern and Islamic culture.
- Arjoo-Ravary, an assistant professor of Islamic studies at Bucknell University in Lewisburg, Pa., spoke with Day 6 host Peter Armstrong about the connections between Dune and the Middle East, and why Herbert drew on these traditions in his writings.
- Here is part of their conversation.
- What are some of the examples of how Islam appears in Frank Herbert’s Dune books? Islam is pretty pervasive throughout the books, and it’s something that was always noticed both by his editors as well as audiences.
The most obvious place is obviously the Fremen people themselves, who seem to be sort of inspired by Bedouin, by a lot of the indigenous peoples of northern Africa and the Middle East. Though Paul Atreidis is typically portrayed by white actors, his character eventually grows into a messianic figure for the Fremen — the humans who inhabit the story’s eponymous desert planet Dune. (Chia Bella James/Warner Bros. Entertainment/The Associated Press) But if you linguistically look at it, and if you look at sort of how he describes religion in this place over 20,000 years in the future, Islam is basically part and parcel of the way everything is sort of articulated without being the Islam of today.
- But clearly its presence and influence is everywhere.
- And Herbert himself was actually very upfront about it.
- In science fiction, you sometimes go in assuming that there will be something you don’t understand and you just sort of adopt it and walk through it and absorb it as you go.
- You don’t even notice you’re picking up on this stuff.
For somebody who isn’t as well-versed in the languages of Arabic or Farsi or Turkish or in just the culture, broadly speaking, how obvious are these references? You know, I’ve had a chance to go through a lot of notes, a lot of his letters to his editors, a lot of his fan mail and almost all of the editors picked up on it.
So when he talks about religion, I mean, it uses the word Islam. But of course, like I said, Herbert is interesting in terms of sci-fi authors because I think he’s one of the most sophisticated when it comes to thinking about religion. Obviously, none of the religions are the religions of today. But just like how languages develop over time, he sees religion changing like languages.
But if you read the books and you know, the bare minimum about, you know, Islam or the Arab or Islamic world, you’re going to get it. These books were written in 1965. Frank Herbert’s a pretty white American. Do we have a sense of why he chose to include these specific references in his books? One of the things that I realized in my research was that, even in the 1960s, English had been so intertwined with the Muslim world because of British colonialism, because the world was already pretty globalized.
Herbert constantly said that he had Arab friends. He said he had Semitic friends, which I’m not sure what he meant by that, who helped him. Part of it was also me thinking, why are we so surprised? The world was actually already pretty globalized and pretty interconnected. So him just knowing English and French and having these friends was able to really dove deeply into the history of Islam and the Islamic world.
You mentioned that it sort of slips by some readers, but his editors certainly picked up on it. I’m assuming they weren’t exactly keen on it. They weren’t. One of them said, “You need to give us an explanation as to why there’s so much Muslim flavour,” in the editor’s words.
I think another editor also said, “What’s up with all the Islam?” But also, his book, at first, it didn’t do that well. And part of it was this insistence on the use of language, of using a lot of foreign words, not just Arabic. He’s taking from a lot of different languages, and he was very adamant on using language to signify that you’re not,
And he also really believed in slow build up and experimenting with different types of narrative and different types of sentence structure to give a slower pace than was usual in science fiction at that time. So for a lot of people, they felt like it dragged on and it was too foreign.
His editors eventually were just like, “Make a glossary.” So he made a glossary. In modern North American culture, there’s still a kind of ignorance and fear when it comes to the Middle East. Were Frank Herbert’s uses of these references, generally speaking, positive or negative or just kind of neutral in the fact that they were just there? I wouldn’t push it either positive or negative, and I think that’s what’s interesting about him.
He just dealt with Islam as a natural part of the human heritage. He saw Islam as a natural part of the future. And I think a lot of the way that his text was received over the decades has signaled that society at large, or the American mainstream, has not been comfortable with that. Director Denis Villeneuve and actor Rebecca Ferguson talk about bringing the epic sci-fi novel Dune to life and gambling on a sequel. There’s this sort of Islam as the perpetual, eternal newcomer that sort of exists outside of time. But the more you study, for instance, the history of Islam in America, which I think this text is intertwined with the history of Islam in America, you see that Muslims have always been there.
Muslims have always been part of the story. What do you think modern science fiction writers can learn from the ways that Frank Herbert relied on and characterized these cultures that he had learned so much about, in the way that modern authors take on writings today? There are some really good sci-fi authors out right now who I think are taking it even beyond Herbert.
But I teach a course on religion and science fiction and fantasy. And part of the course has this creative writing component where we read a talk given by Frank Herbert in which he told aspiring science fiction authors to stop thinking of the same mythic paradigms and to stop thinking of time in the same way.
- To not just go take things from world mythology, but also question the very structure of how we approach time and space.
- And I think that was what was so exciting for me about him.
- He’s not just using foreign words to pepper what is uniquely a western story.
- He is trying to actually complicate the temporality of his work.
He was very adamant on really taking a broad human perspective towards all global mythology, about storytelling, to tell a broadly human story. And in so doing, he was very comfortable with breaking some of the foundational myths of his own background.
Is Dune just Lawrence of Arabia?
Conclusion – In examining Lawrence’s Seven Pillars of Wisdom as a source of inspiration for Herbert’s Dune, we’ve seen that there are multiple similarities, but also significant differences between the two works.T.E. Lawrence and Paul Atreides have much in common, yet while Lawrence expresses his sense of feeling like an unprepared fraud, Paul is bolstered by his training and status to feel much more confident in his leadership.
- The Arabs and Bedouin tribes are indeed an inspiration for the characterization of the Fremen, and Paul has a more favorable attitude toward desert peoples than Lawrence, who exhibits more overt Orientalizing tendencies.
- And finally, Dune is much more concerned with including a variety of religious references and a positive portrayal of women than Lawrence, who excludes these aspects almost entirely.
What all this shows is that Dune is not in fact a copy of the story of Lawrence of Arabia with some science-fictional window dressing. Rather, it uses elements of Lawrence’s story and his unique perspective as key ingredients with which to create a new and fascinating world.
- Note: Page numbers for Seven Pillars of Wisdom: A Triumph are from the Alden Press 1946 edition and for Dune the Berkley Books 1984 edition.
- Ara Kennedy, PhD, is a researcher and writer in the areas of science fiction, digital literacy, and writing.
- She has published academic articles on world-building in the Dune series and has other works about the series forthcoming.
She posts literary analyses of Dune for a mainstream audience on her blog at, : Lawrence of Arabia, Paul Atreides, and the Roots of Frank Herbert’s Dune
Do the Fremen eat spice?
Christopher (last edited Dec 02, 2013 06:30PM ) Dec 02, 2013 06:25PM One question I have about the ecology and economy of Dune is what do the Fremen eat? We are to believe that the terra-forming they are doing has only existed within the last generation, with Liet Kynes’ father, Pardot Keynes convincing the Fremen that they can bring green plant life to the planet in 300-500 years worth of reshaping the ecology, modified down a bit to 250 years.
- Certainly not enough time has passed following Liet to create an agricultural infrastructure to feed as many Fremen as we’re to believe exist on their own agriculture.
- So what do the Fremen eat before then? We know that pets are almost non-existant and even a donkey isn’t worth its weight in water for work, and they clearly have no agriculture save the small test-plants.
We also have no evidence of there being enough mega-fauna to hunt. So no hunting, no gathering, no agriculture of any size. How can they then keep their massive numbers such a secret if they must, by logic, buy their food on the market with spice? The whole planet is rather barren so food must be shipped in from other planets and this would give anyone in a position to watch the traffic to and from the planet a pretty good idea how many people lived there.
- Especially the Spacing Guild.
- How could the Fremen exist in the massive numbers they do and still keep it a secret? Surely the Spacing Guild must know how much food is being shipped in and in return the sheer volume of spice they are getting to keep the Fremen a secret.
- They are numerical geniuses, can’t they do a little math and figure out that all that spice must need a massive labor force to harvest and also all that food has to go somewhere.
=== Join the Dune Readers Book Club to engage in discussions like this one. The Appendixes and the ‘Terminology of the Imperium’ or glossary offer tantalizing clues and some definite items for food and nutrition. ‘Mish Mish’ are apricots. The pre-spice mass is a fungoidal process that once it ‘blows’ or converts in some dramatic fashion is then altered via a solar exposure process (akin to photosynthesis) to melange.
So there is a mushroom like presence on Arrakis. The very name that Paul takes, Muad-dib, is the name for a desert mouse. A rodent, and most importantly another mammal that survives in the desert. Foxes are known to eat these and certainly any other rodents that would have the chance to exist. Bats are known on the planet.
More mammals than just humans. The mammal nutrition life cycle indicates they are extracting nutrients from something and producing a food chain. Birds have been mentioned. One cryptic note is that the worms and sand trout live on a plankton like creature that is part of the water isolation cycle of the worm ecology.
- What else consumes this plankton and then what consumes that isn’t mentioned.
- It would be very possible that a prey predator chain unmentioned in the story exists that also would provide a hunter gatherer society food sources to exploit.
- Another native and obviously desert type food source is the yucca.
Starch. A desert or arid land dwellers potato or rice. It is used as a counterpoint in the story to the water rich world of Caladan and its extensive rice crops. Not all of the planet is completely arid. It is irrigation in the city that creates much tension because of the waste of water.
What additional non-ornamental aquaculture (there are some brief tantalizing clues to fish farming) exist can only be speculated at, but it is possible and likely. One big source of what is eaten??? Imported food. This was an alien concept at the time of the writing to most of the world. Herbert played it down while it was becoming a mainstream topic in the ecology world that he was plugged into in SoCal.
Commonplace today in the world, in his era it was luxury or dire necessity in terms of foreign aid. Imports you say in the book Dune? What does Dune have? Only the most valuable commodity in the Universe. Spice, whatever that is really! There are smugglers exporting their own non-taxed and unofficial quantities of it and what better payment than food of some kind? They are going to have to pay the natives, Fremen, in a currency they need most to keep harvesting and not killing them, the smugglers.
- That currency and payment would be obviously food stuff of some nature.
- A wide a varied diet? No but sufficient.
- Plus we don’t really have any reason to not believe that spice by itself may not be a whole or complete food.
- Its just that no one else in the Universe could afford it.
- When it is just spread out like a banquet outside your front door, after all the big Worms eat it, why not all the other creatures including Men?? There’s food and places it has always been.
Liet just looks at how to exploit it and couple native technology with the formal eco-tech and knowledge he brings as a trained ecologist. When Paul and Jessica join with the Fremen, it is mentioned that they are given some bird meat wrapped in a leaf with spice.
- It’s also said many times over want spice is very healthy and provides both nutrition and acts as an appetite suppressant.
- I took from this that the Fremen eat small amount of wild game they catch, whatever they can gather, and plenty of spice.
- Obviously, the Fremen are eating handwavium.
- Their food was never brought up in the book; obviously they were eating something,
In general, though, the entire ecosystem of Arrakis made absolutely no sense. You’ve got these huge worm-like creatures which are eating.what? There’s no evidence of any primary producers, no autotrophs, nothing except the sandworms. And don’t get me started on the shield vs laser nonsense. CD There is the sand plankton! That’s mentioned as what the worms are eating. Along with other ‘critters’ too. The ecology and life cycle of the worms is There is the sand plankton! That’s mentioned as what the worms are eating. Along with other ‘critters’ too.
The ecology and life cycle of the worms is revealed if not in a precise absolutely perfect form, in enough of one to certainly let a reader of fiction suspend their disbelief.more Dec 24, 2013 10:02AM I’m thinking they grew mushrooms of some sort, some other type of fungus or spores.in those underground cave systems they inhabited.
Damp, dark, chilly environment. Fremen could’t have be eating much off-world food since you could tell who’s eating off-world food by their eyes. We don’t know what Fremen used to eat prior to terraforming but by the end of Liet’s life they were eating the plants they grew and cooking with them.
They also ate meat (birds for instance) and of course spice in many forms. Presumably deep desert Fremen used to survive mostly on spice and game. Or was there some other edible life form living on the leavings of sandtrouts or worms? Fremen living in colder and/or less arid areas might also have been relying on some form of agriculture and trading food against spice with their deep desert brethern.
The book doesn’t mention the Fremen eating shrooms. How would cave plantations work? Even fungi do not grow on nothing and recycling the nutrients from the bodies of dead Fremen only goes so far. an energy source such as photosynthesis would have been needed.
The food source of the Fremen isn’t the only logical problem with the setting. The climate and ecology of Dune doesn’t make much sense when you think about the details. They trade spice for it. They weave rugs from it and use it for oil in their lamps. I’m sure they have a surplus of this highly valuable commodity and can easily trade it for food.
They had smugglers to trade with, and people of the pan and graben villages. There were also city dwellers and the Guild representative they met to pay their spice bribe to. Maybe they traded with them, too. Fremen were exotic and frightening people and I’m sure many of the rich city dwellers paid handsomely for their rugs and their stillsuits. Gary Agreed. Compare to the Middle East and the import of foods from around the world paid for with oil revenue. Imagine now, there is no other source for Agreed. Compare to the Middle East and the import of foods from around the world paid for with oil revenue.
- Imagine now, there is no other source for oil in the world, and then compare to how much oil smuggling occurred during the embargo against Iraq.more Dec 24, 2013 03:40PM It’s also interesting to note in the movies just how skinny the Fremen are, for the most part.
- I always figured that they had food from the worms, spice and the other before-mentioned desert creatures, but there was just never much to go around.M.
haha this is a fantastic thread. I’ve read Dune a dozen times and never wondered what the heck they were eating. But reading the responses it occurred to me that no one mentions them eating worms. They take the teeth to make daggers, so it goes to figure that they would harvest the rest as well.
- This question reminds me of Monty Python’s Holy Grail: Galahad: “If you’re French.what’re you doing in England?” French knight: “Mind your own business!” Since they never bathed, I presume they subsisted on navel lint and toenail cheese.
- Back to top Add a reference: Search for a book to add a reference add: link cover Welcome back.
Just a moment while we sign you in to your Goodreads account.