The debut trailer for “Dune” arrived on Wednesday with a first look at the sprawling sci-fi epic from director Denis Villenueve…
By Damon Martin — Editor/Lead Writer
“Fear in the mind killer”
Those words echo during the debut trailer for “Dune” — the massive two-film adaptation of the classic 1965 novel by Frank Herbert that is being adapted by director Denis Villenueve.
The film, which is still currently expected to land in theaters in December, is the latest attempt to bring “Dune” to life on the big or small screen after previous attempts have failed to really resonate with audiences. In 1984, David Lynch took a stab at “Dune” but the movie flopped at the box office, although years later the movie has built a very loyal and captivated audience.
Now Villeneuve is taking his own stab at the property with a huge A-list cast as well as plenty of road ahead to tell the full story with “Dune’ being split into a pair of movies.
The trailer that debuted on Wednesday gave longtime “Dune” fans a hint of what’s to come while also introducing new viewers to the sprawling world that will greet them when the film is finally released.
So with that said, let’s take a look at the trailer and detail some of the biggest moments and characters revealed:
Paul Atriedes (Timothee Chalamet)
The first person spotted in the trailer is Paul Atreides, who will become the central character throughout “Dune” and the eventual sequel. Paul is the heir to the throne of House Atreides with his father Duke Leto Atreides (Oscar Isaac) still very much in charge of the family when the story begins.
House Atreides rules over the planet Caladan but at the start of “Dune,” the Padishah Emperor Shaddam IV orders the family to leave their home to take over and govern the desert planet of Arrakis, which is the only producer of a valuable commodity mélange — better known as the spice — that fuels interstellar travel in this universe.
The opening images of the trailer show Paul starting to realize his true power, which includes dream like visions that tell him the future.
The other person he interacts with at the start of the trailer is Chani (played by Zendaya), a member of the Fremen, who are miners of the spice native to the planet Arrakis. You’ll also notice Zendaya rocking some very blue eyes, which is a condition inhabitants of Arrakis develop after continued exposure to the spice.
The next major moment in the trailer reveals a first look at Gaius Helen Mohiam, the Reverend Mother of the Bene Gesserit.
The Bene Gesserit is a powerful sisterhood filled with women, who have honed their mental and physical abilities over centuries. The women of the Bene Gesserit have incredible abilities including mind control as well as deciding the sex of children before birth. It’s this ability that led to the Bene Gesserit ordering Lady Jessica (Rebecca Ferguson) to give birth to a daughter with Duke Leto, who was supposed to rise to great power. Instead, Jessica fell in love with Duke Leto and ultimately decided to give him an heir to his throne.
The introduction of the Bene Gesserit in this particular scene involves a brutal test called the Gom Jabbar being administered to Paul by Gaius Helen Mohiam.
This particular group will be very important to both movies as well as the larger “Dune” universe because a series called “Dune: Sisterhood” based around the Bene Gesserit is already in the works at HBO Max.
The next few scenes are narrated by a prophecy being laid out to Paul regarding his family’s arrival on Arrakis, which is being promised as a gift but in reality taking over the planet will lead to a deadly conflict with another powerful house.
We see a couple key characters introduced including Gurney Halleck (Josh Brolin) as he trains Paul for battle using “shields” that are specifically made for the hand-to-hand fights taking place in “Dune.” We also meet Duncan Idaho (Jason Momoa), who is an incredible warrior fighting for House Atreides.
At the 1:19 mark we get our first look at Stilgar (Javier Bardem), who is the leader of the Fremen, and eventually a very important character in “Dune.” The Fremen, as previously noted, are inhabitants of Arrakis quite adept at survival on the harsh planet. They wear uniforms known as “stillsuits,” which allow them to recycle the water from their own bodies to maintain hydration amid the harsh conditions on the desert planet.
The next major character introduced is Glossu Rabban (Dave Bautista), who is known as “The Beast” and he represents his uncle Baron Vladimir Harkonnen (Stellan Skarsgard), who are part of House Harkonnen — another powerful family in the “Dune” universe. House Harkonnen previously ruled over Arrakis with an iron fist and Baron Vladimir has nefarious plans in mind to retake the planet and conquer House Atreides.
The Great War
All of these components will come together for a great war that will eventually pit House Atreides against House Harkonnen but only after many tragedies.
Of course, Paul’s rise to power is a major component of “Dune” but it’s unclear just how far the first movie will go considering the story is being broken up into two different films.
The final image to watch features one of the most iconic creatures from “Dune” as we get a first glimpse at the monstrous sand worms that inhabit the planet Arrakis. If those sand worms look familiar, it’s no secret that numerous other franchises have borrowed from “Dune” in the past. In fact, there are several elements throughout the story that you’ll probably see tied back to other great sci-fi franchises like “Star Wars,” which absolutely drew from “Dune” for inspiration.
Enjoy the first trailer for “Dune” and get ready for the film to land in theaters … hopefully later this year!