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

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

  1. trevanian

    trevanian Rear Admiral

    Joined:
    Oct 14, 2004
    I'm probably in the minority, but while I very much like the original DUNE novel, the only sequel novel that engaged me was GOD EMPEROR, which left me emotionally drained. I remember reading books five & six as well, but the only detail in memory is the chairdogs.

    I think the Lynch movie was a very good try, and he delivers the mentats and the sisterhood pretty well, but in the main you've got all these great actors performing around a black hole. They needed somebody charismatic or who could become charismatic to play Paul, and McLachlan, who shows none of his TP talent here (or in BLUE VELVET for that matter) is an utter failure.

    As much as I dislike Tom Cruise, he'd at least have captivated some of the audience ... same for Keanu Reeve, though he'd've had to be dubbed. Timothy Hutton might have been the best possible choice, but was probably a couple years too old to bring it off.

    The miniseries of DUNE was a real mess in my opinion. Visual style aside, they screwed up the Emperor's daughter and they still left out that guy who was the almost-qwizatz, a very compelling character and the one thing that I also really miss seeing in the Lynch. I think their Chani was pretty good, but I actually gave up on it after about 5 hours.
     
  2. Anwar

    Anwar Vice Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Dec 11, 2006
    Location:
    Regina, SK, Canada
    If you gave up after 5 hours, then you gave up after most of it. ;)
     
  3. trevanian

    trevanian Rear Admiral

    Joined:
    Oct 14, 2004
    That's my point. I hung in there and hung in there and actually switched off while ships were flying and blowing stuff up, which SHOULD have kept me looking.
     
  4. Shaka Zulu

    Shaka Zulu Commodore Commodore

    Joined:
    Mar 28, 2013
    Location:
    Bulawayo Military Krral
    I love your explanation.
     
  5. Aldo

    Aldo Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Jan 4, 2003
    Location:
    Hyrule Castle
    I like that explanation too. I never bought into the idea that the Guild Navigators were folding space with the use of spice.
     
  6. Anwar

    Anwar Vice Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Dec 11, 2006
    Location:
    Regina, SK, Canada
    I thought it was explained pretty clearly in the books: Dune Spaceships have FTL Drives, they always did. It predates the Imperium and is how Humans spread out in the first place. But they needed thinking machines to do the navigating.

    They found Arrakis and found out how Spice enhanced humans. Then the Butlerian Jihad against Thinking Machines happened, and the Spice-Enhanced Human Navigators replaced the Navigational Computers.

    They just do the advanced calculations the computers used to do, and used their Prescience to forsee any obstacles to avoid during the travel.
     
  7. Reverend

    Reverend Vice Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Jul 31, 2002
    Location:
    UK
    The way Lynch portrayed the foldspace sequence certainly leaves one with the impression that the navigator is doing all the legwork (so to speak--no fetus pun intended) but I think it's ambiguous to interpret it as merely the Navigator's spice trance-induced perception of what will/is happening.

    Oddly enough, IMO the same sequence in the Sci-fi mini manages to make it look even more like the navigator is doing the space folding itself. The really interesting thing for me is that this scene isn't in the book at all and yet both adaptations choose to depict it in a very similar way.

    As for how Dune could have been discovered before the use of spice; leaving aside the thinking machine aspect, it might be worth remembering just how far in the future this world is. I forget the exact date, but IIRC the appendix says the Butlarian Jihad occurs sometime around 12-13,000 A.D.
    Over ten millennia is plenty of time for humanity to spread out--at relativistic speed--the two or three hundred light years to Alpha Carinae.
     
  8. Marc

    Marc Fleet Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Nov 14, 2003
    Location:
    An Aussie in Canukistan
    Could be even longer. Dune is set in 10,191 A.G with the letters denoting After Guild. That is 10,191 after the formation of the Spacing Guilding and we don't know when it was founded.
     
  9. Hound of UIster

    Hound of UIster Vice Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    May 26, 2002
    Leto's other memories showed Arrakis before it had become colonized by the sandtrout and sandworms so the arrival of humans there preceded Arrakis eventually becoming a desert world under the influence of the sandtrout.
     
  10. Reverend

    Reverend Vice Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Jul 31, 2002
    Location:
    UK
    Read my post again. I wasn't talking about when the book takes place.

    Also, we do know roughly how much time passed between "now" and the formation of the Guild

    So that puts the formation of the Guild around 11,000 years after we start travelling into deep space, which (assuming that counts unmanned probes) is around 13,000 A.D. So incidentally, if Dune starts in 10,191 A.G., that puts it at around the early 24th millennium on the Gregorian calender.
    Were those other memories from his human ancestry, or from the sandtrout themselves? I'd always assumed it was the latter. It does raise an interesting question though: are the sandworms the only non-Earth derived lifeforms known in the Dune universe (I can't think of any others), or were they somehow created and put there by humans?
     
  11. Redfern

    Redfern Commodore Commodore

    Joined:
    Sep 28, 2006
    Location:
    Georgia, USA
    I inferred that alien life had been encountered (case in point: the "worms"), but Humanity never encountered another sapient species, at least self awareness as we understand it.

    Sincerely,

    Bill
     
  12. Aldo

    Aldo Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Jan 4, 2003
    Location:
    Hyrule Castle
    I know Brian Herbert and that other guy aren't too popular around here. But I was at the bookstore today and saw 'The Butlerian Jihad.' That's a subject that always interests me when it's brought up in the text of 'Dune' and now 'Dune Messiah.'

    Granted I'm still a long ways off from even thinking about reading prequel novels (as I'm still only halfway through 'Messiah'. I'm curious if the "Legends of Dune" trilogy is worth seeking out?
     
  13. DalekJim

    DalekJim Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

    Joined:
    Jun 22, 2009
    Location:
    Great Britain
    Their novels are alright as dumb action romps, but without the philosophy, ecology, spirituality and politics then Dune just isn't Dune for me.
     
  14. Aldo

    Aldo Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Jan 4, 2003
    Location:
    Hyrule Castle
    I had a feeling you'd say something like that :D
     
  15. FPAlpha

    FPAlpha Vice Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Nov 7, 2004
    Location:
    Mannheim, Germany
    Exactly.. it's like fast food. Enjoyable for a short while but you only get real joy from a good meal.
     
  16. DalekJim

    DalekJim Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

    Joined:
    Jun 22, 2009
    Location:
    Great Britain
    I gave up on them. Maybe the ones since have been alright, but it's just.. hard to justify spending so much time on them over other books I want to read. Dune and God Emperor of Dune changed my life, they not only inspired me to become a writer but changed my overall worldview in remarkable ways.

    The new stuff was never going to compare, but they suck even when compared to Frank Herbert's lesser installments in the original series. Those were still pretty great novels.
     
  17. kirk55555

    kirk55555 Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    Joined:
    Jul 22, 2011
    Location:
    Washington State, USA
    I honestly didn't find the House Trilogy to be just fun action romps. I think they helped flesh out the universe, and show that it actually had interesting and important characters/stories before Paul Atredies. I've never been one to complain about a book lacking things like Philosophy and spirituality. I don't need or want someone to preach/talk about their philosophy in books (and to be fair Frank Herbert's books don't really do that, in fact I couldn't call any of it "spirituality", except when its used in the context of controlling people and even then its a plot point). The Brian herbert/KA books give me interesting stories in a universe that has a lot of potential, and the ones set around the time of the trilogy help you appreciate characters that took a back seat to the story of Paul (and later his children).

    Reading the House books gives you a lot of good character development for people Dune doesn't go into too much detail with. Its nice to know more about Duke Leto, he feels more fleshed out after being one of the main characters in three books. I feel like I know him a lot better than I did when I first read dune, and it makes his role more impactful to me. Other people like Baron harkonnen, Mohiam, the emperor, Pardot/Liet Kynes and Count & Lady Fenring also seem more than just side characters. Liet Kynes definately benefits. I don't think Dune did a great job of making him seem very important outside of being the father of Chani.

    Dune is a classic, and I love the trilogy. Still, if I were to rate the books, After the main trilogy the House books are my favorite. They did a good job of introducing characters, gave some much needed fleshing out of people like Duke Leto, and were good stories. They are far from mindless action romps. Sure, they aren't written to be philosophical, but honestly even frank Herbert's books aren't what I'd call snobby books either. They do have a little bit, and its usually not very good (the gom jabbar thing is still just barely sensical to me, I get what he was going for, but the human/animal thing just has a lot of holes in it) but Dune in the end is a good sci fi series that doesn't go overboard trying to appeal just to readers that just want to analyse stuff over actually enjoying a story. There is that stuff (especially in frank Herberts books) but he never goes overboard, and he definately wasn't as into writing philosophy/spirituality/etc as people like Tolkien. Its not a crime to write a book without trying to write it for the readers who want to analyse something over actually having a good story. Frank Herbert didn't write just for those people (and i'd argue that Frank Herbert's Dune in general is written to be an interesting sci fi story, not as something for literature experts to analyse). The House books aren't written for that demographic, but they are far from mindless action stuff.
     
  18. Aldo

    Aldo Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Jan 4, 2003
    Location:
    Hyrule Castle
    ^^^Have you read the "Legend of Dune" books Kirk55555?

    I'd be interested to hear what you think of them.
     
  19. kirk55555

    kirk55555 Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    Joined:
    Jul 22, 2011
    Location:
    Washington State, USA
    Only about 100 pages of the first one. I'm not going to lie, I think Brian herbert/KA flat out shouldn't have done them. But honestly, i didn't want prequels set 10,000 years before Dune anyway, I've never been interested in that. While I like almost all of the stuff they've done, I stay away from Legends of Dune (and the book(s) they're doing about the ancient Bene gesserit). Its possible people who want books set at that time might like them, but they just weren't for me.
     
  20. Aldo

    Aldo Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Jan 4, 2003
    Location:
    Hyrule Castle
    Fair enough. I'm just curious of the opinions of people who have read them :)

    As I said up thread, The Butlerian Jihad is an event that interests me, so when I saw a whole book that covers it, I was a little intrigued.