Dune - The Book and the 1984 film *spoilers for both*

Discussion in 'Science Fiction & Fantasy' started by Aldo, Aug 9, 2013.

  1. kirk55555

    kirk55555 Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Well, I personally don't like The Motion Picture, but I'd say I actuall like more of the movies than I dislike. I can even watch and enjoy Generations and Nemesis, although I acknowledge that they are far from good movies. Insurrection, ST V and The Motion Picture, though, I just really dislike.
     
  2. Hound of UIster

    Hound of UIster Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Television programs, movies, computer games even audio books are more universally accessible media than prose. You just have to accept that.
     
  3. FPAlpha

    FPAlpha Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Not true.. nearly every book is only a few mouseclicks away. Amazon was once primarily known as the premiere online bookshop before you could buy nearly anything from them.

    Reading just takes time, some patience and it slows down your day.. qualities not very sought after in this age where everything has to be flashy, on the spot and happening now with as much action as possible (most non-readers describe reading as boring and tedious).
     
  4. Aldo

    Aldo Admiral Admiral

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    What I love about books is that a really good book can immerse you in it's world in a way no movie can. Sure a movie can be made with great atmosphere, and a good accompanying soundtrack can go a long way, but it still can't grab you in a way a book can.
     
  5. Set Harth

    Set Harth Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Jesus wept.
     
  6. Reverend

    Reverend Vice Admiral Admiral

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    ^After participating in Kirk's first-time-watching-Babylon 5 type thread, I've learnt it's best not to try and make sense of his opinions, nor should one attempt to change them. Just smile and nod. ;)
     
  7. Hartzilla2007

    Hartzilla2007 Vice Admiral Admiral

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    This is starting to sound kind of like the paper I wrote comparing the book version of Dune to the Lynch film for a college class.

    though for the final battle i believe I pointed out that since the blaster things were sound weapons they just spend the final battle screaming at people and making them explode.

    Though I do like the soundtrack for the film.

    I actually sort of gave up on that trilogy after the second book.

    I mean don't get me wrong it the two books were well written its just kind of hard to keep interest when you go from the protagonists in the first book actually doing things to win to basically being reduced to passive observers in the second who would have won without doing anything in the first half of the book to actually rotting for the primary antagonist of the second half of the book, just because he was more sympathetic then a bunch of plutocrats, and he was screwing up the hologram of long since dead guy's plan.
     
  8. Reverend

    Reverend Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Yeah, to be fair, the Foundation books can be even harder to get into than Dune. The first two or three are just a series of short stories connected by a common thread. It's a sweeping epic tale of the fall and rise of Empires so you don't have a stable cast of characters or a central plot to carry you through the narrative.

    If I was trying to get someone into sci-fi literature I might recommend they start with something more like early Heinlein ('Starship Troopers', 'Citizen of the Galaxy', 'Puppet Masters', etc.) or maybe 'Ender's Game', 'Rendezvous With Rama' or Kim Stanley Robinson's 'Red/Blue/Green Mars' trilogy.
     
  9. DalekJim

    DalekJim Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    The best purpose for sci-fi and fantasy novels are to aid in the expansion of the reader's consciousness and idea space. This is why Dune and God Emperor of Dune are infinitely more interesting than the books by Brian and Kevin. Those books aren't about the universe, they're just action novels which use the Dune universe. Which is fine and valid, but there are really much better page-turner thriller books to be read. I can't see Paul of Dune changing anybody's life.
     
  10. Hound of UIster

    Hound of UIster Vice Admiral Admiral

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    You are being far too generous in regards to the KA&BH books. They aren't even good action books, they are just generic filler that really avoid the meat of what FH was trying to write about. The sequels especially, but also the prequels. They water down and dilute what was essential within those novels and replace them with B-movie plots.
     
  11. DalekJim

    DalekJim Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Essentially what I said? The only person that's been particularly positive about these novels is kirk55555555. And his opinions on things are some of the most random I've encountered.
     
  12. Aldo

    Aldo Admiral Admiral

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    I've got about one hundred pages of 'Children of Dune' left. At the risk of opening myself up to spoilers, I'll refrain from commenting on the book yet, I'll do that when I'm finished. I will say this though, I am really loving this book, it really does make 'Dune Messiah' look pretty small scale in comparison.

    School starts for me the 25th of this month. I intend to finish this book and also finish 'God Emperor...' After that I might put the other two on hold, at least until I see how much attention school will be requiring of me this time out.
     
  13. kirk55555

    kirk55555 Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Well, I can honestly say that I like The House Trilogy more than God Emperor or Chapterhouse (both of which were very good books, just not as good as a lot of the other Dune books), and I thought that Paul of Dune/Winds of Dune and their two ending books were also pretty good. I also give them credit for kind of explaining one of Paul's reasons for murdering billions of people for supposedly "noble" reasons. There is always the reason that he wanted power and no opposition, but he always implied it was because of his vague, never defined visions that always annoyed me. Winds of Dune, while talking about Bronso of IX and his role, has Paul mention something about his goal being to be so evil and murdering that humanity would learn a lesson about not trusting charasmatic leaders. That doesn't make a lot of sense and doesn't even come into play in the future of Chapterhouse and the other books, but atleast they tried. I know there was "the golden path" too, but it was pretty confusing.

    I think FH was a great writer, but I've never been able to find a real reason why the jihad was inevitable. It was always just random vague lines about the visions saying this is the lesser of evil choices, but we never get told by FH exactly why its neccesary or even what the visions showed. Same with Leto and his worm transformation. I think his goal was to live a long time to "lead" humanity, but in the end Leto didn't do much except be a tyrant for a long time. I guess you could argue his long life helped Duncan become what he would become in the last Dune book because of all his ghola lives, but that didn't seem to be something Leto knew about or was working towards. I think there was talk about the "golden path", but that was also never really clear. Something about dependency on spice and human evolution according to wikipedia. Its weird how much of Dune is so poorly explained in the later FH books, yet I still enjoy them. Maybe my reread will make his stuff more obvious (while I've read the first three books a lot, I've read God Emperor, Chapterhouse and Heretics exactly once each) but, while the books themselves always made sense, a lot of FH's long term story elements were just explained poorly. Thats nothing against him or his way of writing, I just think its a flaw with the books.
     
  14. InklingStar

    InklingStar Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Why was the jihad inevitable? Because humanity had stagnated. After ten thousand years of galactic empire, people were not expanding. People rarely moved from one planet to the next. There was no advancements in art or literature or philosophy. Yet on this singularly important planet lived millions of people who had been oppressed for so long that they were ready to explode. The human race had been asleep for so long, but it was awakening, and about to test its limits. Paul awoke the sleeper when he showed the Fremen that they could challenge an empire. Nothing he did after that point could stop them from taking out millennia of wrath on humanity.

    Why did Leto have to do what he did? Because despite the jihad, mankind was still stagnant. They were not expanding into the rest of the infinite universe. Someday, something (no, not thinking machines dang it!) would come and wipe them out. Leto oppressed mankind for five thousand years, pushing them into a crucible that was even worse than the previous ten thousand years of stagnation. When he died, humanity awoke again, realizing that there was a whole universe out there to be conquered. By the time they faced the challenge that Leto had foreseen, they had expanded too far and grown too strong to ever be fully defeated.

    That is how I read the books, at least.
     
  15. kirk55555

    kirk55555 Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    That is a pretty bad reason to murder billions of people. Honestly, it makes more sense if Paul and Leto just screwed up, or where just being lead to turn Duncan into what he becomes. Paul and Leto were both way too sure of their visions. Paul would keep saying the future was always changing, but apparently Leto didn't get he memo, becuase he acts like only the "golden path" is the right choice. Besides which, how many planets are they supposed to colonise? The empire in Paul's day already had a huge number of habitable planets with people on them. Paul killed trillons and actually lowered the number of planets the empire had that could support life, so he wasn't following the "golden path".

    In the end, its all BS. I just read it as Paul being to arrogant and wrongly believeing that his vision was the only right choice, and Leto was the same way, he just took it way too far. I guess you could say that Leto was partially responsible for saving humanity (because of his constant ressurection of Duncan Idaho) and maybe that was where his visions were actually leading him, but in the end he didn't do what he thought he was doing. His "golden path" was just a false trail, it was Duncan's evolution that really saved humanity. Thats weird, but makes a lot more sense than murdering billions of people to make them pointlessly migrate because of no real reason outside of confusing writing (Spreading out to save themselves is just kind of stupid, they were already fairly spread out, and the machines had all the time in the universe to find them and kill them all anyway). Also, that still doesn't explain why they needed to have people who were immune to people with visions, but I'm just going to accept that it happened and might make sense somehow.

    Also, talking about the jihad, if Paul hadn't controlled the spice, the fremen would have been massacured by more powerful forces. All he had to do to stop them was not threaten the spice and not tell them how to do it (I think he's the one who learned how the spice could be destroyed I don't think the fremen had any idea befoire he came along). They were good fighters, but the empire/spacing guild was more than capable of killing hem all and leaving the spice intact, if Paul hadn't been their to threaten them. Plus, Paul was the one who riled them up. If he hadn't shown up, all the Freemen ould have done was continue Kynes plan.

    It seems like I'm really not a fan of this stuff, but I love the Dune series. I just don't think parts of the overall story were done very well.
     
  16. Reverend

    Reverend Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Murdering billions of people is preferable to total extinction, which was where humanity was headed in every other possible future Leto and Paul could perceive.

    I think in the first book Paul says to himself at some point (I think it was after the knife fight with Jamis) that he'd just passed the point of no return for the Jihad. That even if he killed everyone in the chamber and himself right then and there, it'd still happen. IIRC the difference between Paul and Leto II is that Paul tried to control the future whereas Leto imposed it.
     
  17. kirk55555

    kirk55555 Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    So, the future is always in motion, except when its something Paul has to do? If he had died after fighting Jamis, nothing would have happened. The Freeman had no idea how to threaten the spice, so even if they had started a jihad, they wouldn't have even gotten off the planet, and they probably would have been murdered by the empire. I get the books justification for what Paul did, I just think its really stupid.
     
  18. Reverend

    Reverend Vice Admiral Admiral

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    I think by that point the hawkbats had already been sent, so word of Paul and Jessica would have spread. No small thing given the prophecy the BG had implanted in the Fremen religion. To paraphrase a certain Vorlon: the avalanche and begun and it was too late for the pebbles to vote.

    As for the future, yes, it is always in motion. I think Paul's perception of prescience is compared to one's view of the land. You can see what you're standing on and your immediate surroundings and what's off in the horizon. While lies between those two extremes are hills and valleys in which events are uncertain and hidden from view. The later books also explain that the presence of other prescients like the Navigators can cause a vortex of uncertainty, which is actually what freaked them out so much. They couldn't see Paul, but they saw the nexus of growing uncertainty that surrounded him.
     
  19. Hartzilla2007

    Hartzilla2007 Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Well when ones civilization is reliant on an organization with a monopoly on space travel only because they are the only ones who can do it an need a highly addictive narcotic substance to do it due to the total abandonment of computers after luddites took over the universe expansion seems kind of hard.

    Well they do come from a culture essentially rug by two fruity cults one of which seems more obsessed with breeding a super human and tries to apparently breed out self preservation instincts than art or literature or philosophy and the other basically deals entirely with math and maintaining their drug addiction its easy to see why this is the case.

    It was actually before the fight with Feyd-Rautha, and the reason why he concluded this is that regardless of if he won or not the Fremen would rampage around the galaxy either because they have an unstoppable god figure aka Paul or in revenge for Paul's death.
     
  20. Aldo

    Aldo Admiral Admiral

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    I finally finished 'Children of Dune.'

    I quite enjoyed it as well, and I can see why everyone praises it over 'Messiah.' While 'Dune Messiah' was a good book in it's own right, it never really felt like a complete story, I still enjoyed it though. 'Children of Dune' was much more satisfying to me, and despite knowing beforehand that it would involve the fall of Alia (both literally and figuratively, it turns out) it was still depressing to watch her lose her inner struggle and be forced to take her own life (in a scene that brought tears to my eyes).

    Herbert's writing continues to impress me, I cannot wait to jump into 'God Emperor of Dune' which I'll probably do tonight (my goal is to finish it before I start up school on the 25th of this month). The last two may have to wait, depending on how much attention school will take.