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Dune 2

CD sale update: Here is a spreadsheet of the remaining 2,100 or so titles in inventory, for people who find the spreadsheet easily to survey than the e-commerce site. Thanks!

Dune 2—well done! Now that’s how you tell a sci-fi epic.

I especially liked that it leaned into the darkness of the concept. Space Arabs against Space Nazis, with eugenics and feudalism—this isn’t a kiddie sci-fi tale, this is Old Testament. And indeed Frank Herbert himself thought of Dune as critiquing, not glorifying, the messiah concept. (More in this Salon article.)

My first exposure to Dune was the 1984 David Lynch film where—well, I’ll leave it to my late stepdad to describe. One time in the 1990s I was watching it on TV and he walked in, took one look and said, “What is that, Italian Star Wars?”

The Lynch film sort of leaned into that Luke Skywalker hero’s journey—but it had shades of darkness that suggested it wasn’t quite so sunny. But, alas, tonal confusion (and other confusion) is part of what we’ve lived with from that adaptation.

But this new doubleheader from Denis Villeneuve—it’s cool. Paul Atreides isn’t Luke Skywalker. He’s Michael Corleone. And he knows it, he fears it—losing his humanity—and then it happens to him anyway. That’s awesome. Bravo.

I want to know one thing: how do they get off of those worm rides?

It seems likely we’ll get a Dune 3, adapting the sequel book, Dune Messiah—and that one is bonkers.

P.S. From Wired: Apparently Frank Herbert himself tried to adapt Dune into a script. I saw this article and thought, “Awesome, I gotta read this!” Then I started to read and honestly...I will never finish this article.

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Italian Star Wars! Hilarious.

I'm puzzled, though, Lukas, by your characterization of the hero's journey as "not quite so sunny"--implying Skywalker's journey, with which you compare it, is just that. WTF, Lukas? What the hell Star Wars movie did you see? The rest of us saw Luke living a drab life of drudgery on an arid backwater planet from which he's driven by the horrific torture/murder of his aunt and uncle after learning from a mystic elder that his father was murdered (a white lie to spare his feelings until he's ready to hear the even worse truth), getting harassed and attacked for no reason by Mos Eisley bar toughs spoiling for a fight, and witnessing his new mentor, wh…


I wish someone will give When Worlds Collide and After Worlds Collide this sort of bold storytelling treatment. Everyone knows When Worlds Collide from the 1950's George Pal movie but there is a sequel novel that talks about other nations reaching Bronson Beta and exploring alien relics as competing socio-political systems strive to establish their vision of a new world order complete with Soviets who intend to take over the world as societies struggle to establish a new way of life on a hostile alien planet.

I thought Dune 2 was full of good performances and liked the pacing.

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