If you’re reading this right now, then you my friend have had the good pleasure of watching Denis Villeneuve’s “Dune”, or more accurately known as “Dune: Part One”. A sprawling sci-fi epic so massive in its scope of storytelling that it can be hard to comprehend at times what’s happening on screen. This rings especially true for those not acquainted with Frank Herbert’s novels. Some have tried comparing the film’s plot to something akin to “Game of Thrones” meeting “Star Wars”. Even so, that comparison doesn’t quite do “Dune: Part One” justice. There’s a long rich history behind the world of Arrakis and the production leading up to the film. Moreover, the film seems to end in a rather abrupt manner.
Yet at the same time, the events of future wars and battles have been heavily shown throughout the film. So what exactly is going on? What do Paul Atreides’ visions mean? What can fans expect to see in “Dune: Part Two”? More importantly, will there be a “Dune: Part Two”? Fear not friends (it is the mindkiller afterall) because we’ve got the answers to all your burning questions! Oh, and it goes without saying, massive spoiler alerts.
The Ending Explained
Last we left off, House Atreides seems to be ruin. The Padishah Emperor had baited the Duke Leto Atreides (played by Oscar Isaac) into a war with House Harkonnen by handing Arrakis over to House Atreides. Arrakis, otherwise known as Dune, is rich with a substance called Spice, a mind-altering chemical that expands perception needed for space travel. Therefore, whoever controls the Spice controls the galaxy. Leto is dead, the Harkonnen are back on top. This leads his son Paul (played by Timothee Chalamet) and his concubine Jessica (played by Rebecca Ferguson) to seek out the native people of the planet, the Fremen in an effort to combat the Harkonnen. Most of them view Paul with distrust, some view him as the Lisan al-Gaib, their long awaited messiah.
With that brief recap out of the way, let’s get into some of the more confusing aspects of the film. What are Paul’s visions and dreams? Do they actually tell the future? The answer is indeed yes. Paul isn’t just the scion of a powerful planetary duke, he is also the child of Jessica of the Bene Gesserit. A revered all-female order of psychics and witches with an insane amount of power. From divining the truth to being skilled fighters to being able to force people to do their bidding with the might of their voice. Think of them as scary Jedi nuns who secretly control the universe.
Due to Paul’s lineage to Jessica, he bears the same power as his mother along with another rare ability: Prescience. We saw parts of this power manifesting in his dreams of Chani (played by Zendaya). Mixed with Spice, his abilities grow exponentially due to the substance’s mind-expanding nature. Near the end of the film, we see Paul have a mental breakdown as his visions stretch across hundreds of years into the future. He will be worshipped as a god and holy wars will be fought in his name. He also sees visions of him and Chani standing side by side as lovers.
What Can We Expect in “Dune: Part Two”?
If you thought “Dune: Part One” was insane, it’s about to get wilder in the second film. We’ll try to give you the broad strokes without spoiling too much. As predicted, Paul integrates into the Fremens and leads them in battle against the Harkonnen forces. If you were expecting this to be a quick decisive battle with House Harkonnen then you are wrong. His war with them will last for years, long enough for him to marry Chani as seen in the visions. They even have a son together, who is going to play a major role in his character arc.
Josh Brolin’s Gurney is still alive and has become a smuggler in Arrakis, and will eventually reunite with Paul and Jessica. Now one thing we absolutely loved about “Dune: Part One” were the rivetteing battles between the forces of House Atreides against the Harkonnen soldiers and the Emperor’s elite Sardaukar warriors. Expect to see more of this in “Dune: Part Two” but on a much larger scale. In one of Paul’s visions, we see him clad in a golden armour fighting an army of Sardaukar soldiers alongside the Fremen. In “Dune: Part One”, we saw a couple of battalions of Sardaukar cutting down Atreides soldiers. This time, the full weight of the Imperium will come down on the Fremen.
The Emperor and House Harkonnen will indeed join forces to put down the Fremen rebellion. Out of the ashes of this battle, there will be a new galactic order. “Dune: Part One” was masterfully setting up the stage for the future wars to come in the Dune universe. “Dune: Part Two” will see Paul’s ascension into political power with many heartbreaking losses, painful betrayals and bitter victories along the way. This isn’t Star Wars, don’t expect a happily ever after in a galaxy far, far away.
The Future of the Franchise
It goes without saying, we’re massive fans of director Denis Villeneuve’s “Dune: Part One” and we’re certainly looking forward to what he has in store. Frank Herbert’s “Dune” novel alone is so richly detailed and complex that at some point it was considered ‘unadaptable’. Essentially, Villeneuve has done the impossible. Since the film’s release, he has expressed an interest in creating a “Dune” film trilogy. “Dune: Part Two” will be based on the second half of the first novel and the third film being will follow the plot of Herbert’s second book “Dune: Messiah”. All three films will follow Paul’s journey from boyhood to godhood. Something akin to Luke Skywalker’s journey throughout the original “Star Wars” trilogy.
The “Dune” cinematic universe extends beyond just films, though. Legendary Television alongside Warner Bros. will be working to produce a spin-off series based on the Bene Gesserit called “Dune: The Sisterhood”. The series is set to appear on Warner’s HBO Max streaming service in the foreseeable. As exciting as all this is, we do need to get to some distressing news. As of now, “Dune: Part Two” has yet to be greenlit. While there is a healthy box office for “Dune: Part One”, there are other factors at play as well. Reportedly, fans will get a sequel as long as enough people on HBO Max stream it.
Director Denis Villeneuve was clearly not happy about this decision stating: “Streaming can produce great content, but not movies of Dune‘s scope and scale”. As unfortunate a thought as it is, we must entertain the upsetting notion that we may not get a follow-up to “Dune: Part One”. We pray to the great Sandworms of Arrakis that this fate will not come to pass! If you’d like to see our full-thoughts on the film, you can check out our review for “Dune: Part 1”!
Be sure to catch “Dune: Part One” in cinemas now and let us know what you thought of it with a reaction down below!