Let’s Discuss the “Dune” Trailer Via These New Images
So the Dune trailer finally happened, and it wow, was it worth the wait. Not that anyone is really surprised that Arrival and Blade Runner 2049 director Denis Villeneuve wasn’t the perfect person to adapt Frank Herbert’s beloved sci-fi novel for the screen. For fans of Herbert’s creation, the wait has been long—the last director attempt an adaptation was none other than David Lynch way back in 1984. The trailer for Villeneuve’s effort thrilled them, and, we’re guessing, folks who aren’t Dune-heads alike.
The gist of Dune is that a young man travels to a dangerous planet in the midst of societal and environmental reckoning, including the plundering of the natural resource that the entire universe is greedy for. The first glimpse we got of Villeneuve’s Dune came this past April—another lifetime ago. The trailer was released upon a world ravaged by a pandemic, reeling from increasing climate change disasters—Southern California is being ravaged by wildfires and the sky in San Francisco looked like this yesterday—and a country in the throes of an existential crisis over systemic racism and police brutality. If you were in the mood, you could argue that this was a trailer that seemed almost painfully prescient, despite being based on a book originally published in 1965.
Anyway, enough about our troubles for now. Let’s talk about the trailer itself by identifying these new images.
The first thing to note is Villeneuve’s remake is slated to be a two-parter. So, we don’t know exactly how much of the story will be covered in this first part. What we do know is we’ll follow Paul Atreides (Timotheé Chalamet)’s mission to the planet Arrakis, where “spice” can be found in abundance. This natural resource, which expands human capability and lifespan, is the source of much of the universe’s turmoil. Atreides’ arrival on the planet will put him in contact with Chani (Zendaya), a young woman whose life and destiny will be greatly mixed up with his own.
One of the most beguiling moments in the trailer is when Paul is brought before Gaius Helen Mohiam (Charlotte Rampling), the Reverend Mother of the Bene Gesserit. She has Paul take the Gom Jabbar Test of Humanity, which seems, well, awful. Paul has to place his hand inside a box and see if he can withstand the pain. If he can, he’s human. If not, well…
This next shot shows Paul walking on the planet of Caladan, the lush oceanic planet where the Atreides are from.
Paul is trained by his advisor Gurney Halleck (Josh Brolin). We know from the books that Paul has been trained exceedingly well—he’s expert at combat, espionage, and more.
The trailer then moves on to our first good look at Duke Leto Atreides (Oscar Isaac), Paul’s father and the head of House Atreides. It’s Leto who sets into motion Paul’s mission to Arrakis from their home planet of Caladan.
We next meet Lady Jessica Atreides (Rebecca Ferguson), a concubine of Duke Leto (this is a thing in Dune) and a member of the Bene Gesserit, the female-only order who possess incredible levels of intellectual and physical ability.
When the House Atreides folks arrive on Arrakis, they’re battle-ready.
One of Paul’s key allies is the expert fighter Duncan Idaho (Jason Momoa). He’ll play a huge part in Paul’s journey.
Another important player here is Stilgar (Javier Bardem), the leader of the Fremen tribe. These people are native to Arrakis and understand the planet’s resources, and many dangers, better than anyone else.
The main villains in Dune are the Harkonnen, the folks who are supposed to give up their power to Duke Leto once he arrives on Arrakis. The most formidable of them all is Glossu Rabban (Dave Bautista), known as “The Beast.” There’s also Baron Vladimir Harkonnen (Stellan Skarsgård), the prime mover and shaker trying to destroy House Atreides.
We meet Dr. Wellington Yueh (Chen Chang), Leto Atreides’ physician. There’s more to him, however, as hinted in the trailer.
Another important figure in Dune is Liet Kynes (Sharon Duncan-Brewster), an ecologist and planetologist living on Arrakis (she’s also Chani’s mother). She becomes a go-between for the Atreides and Harkonnen.
Here is the very resource at the center of all the troubles between House Atreides and House Harkonnen, spice.
One of the most dangerous things on Arrakis aren’t human, they’re the colossal sandworms native to the planet. While they’re important for the health of Arrakis itself, they’re monstrous creatures capable of swallowing who battalions of men at once.
Yeah, Dune looks insane. If things go to plan—yes, we know how 2020 hates a plan—Dune is due to hit theaters on December 18.
Featured image: Caption: (L-r) TIMOTHÉE CHALAMET as Paul Atreides and CHARLOTTE RAMPLING as Reverend Mother Mohiam in Warner Bros. Pictures’ and Legendary Pictures’ action adventure “DUNE,” a Warner Bros. Pictures and Legendary release. Courtesy of Warner Bros. Pictures and Legendary Pictures