Dune was only a prelude to a grander and much more complex story in the world created by Frank Herbert. As the film only adapted approximately two-thirds of the first book, many fans were hoping for a sequel to be confirmed sooner rather than later. Especially because of many unfinished plot lines left by director Denis Villeneuve and Chani’s words at the end of the film – “This is only the beginning.” With the second part of Dune officially announced, let’s look ahead to three things we can expect in the sequel.
Dune: Part Two will introduce several new characters who will play significant roles in the story. Without a doubt, the biggest addition will be Feyd-Rautha Harkonnen – the brother of Beast Rabann and nephew of Baron Harkonnen. Feyd is a young man, just a year older than Paul, who is being prepared to be the Baron’s successor and who is also part of the genetic plan mentioned by Gaius Helen Mohiam. The filmmakers will have an opportunity to highlight the parallels between Feyd and Paul, who grew up in very different circumstances and have quite a few things in common.
Another character will be, of course, be Emperor Shadam IV who was mentioned a couple of times in Dune: Part One. The sequence on Selusa Secundus itself gave us a bit of a taste of what kind of character the Emperor might be. He’s not another Palpatine, but a slightly more nuanced character who got caught up in the Bene Gesserit and had a lot of doubts about his actions.
Speaking of the Emperor, we have to mention his eldest daughter – Princess Irulan being a Bene Gesserit, who is a very important character in Paul’s story. She is a chronicler, and it’s her words that open the story of Dune. The sequel should also introduce Hasimir and Margot Fenring in the film. Hasimir is the Emperor’s best friend who has been sent to Giedi Prime to look into Feyd-Rautha as well as confront Baron’s plans. Out of the other major characters, we’ll also get to see Alia Atreides – Paul’s sister, whom he saw in one of his visions.
Paul and Chani’s Journey
In one of his interviews for the Italian magazine Il Venerdì di Repubblica, Villeneuve mentioned that Chani, played by Zendaya, would be the protagonist of the story in Part Two. This statement outraged many people, but there’s a reason why Chani will be so important in the second part. As Paul moves further and further away from humanity and dives deeper and deeper into his (anti)messianic figure for the Fremen, Chani will be the person who will be his anchor in the present. Through her, Paul will stay in touch with humanity and Chani will act as a beacon of light.
The first part made us step into the shoes of Paul Atreides, and together we began to discover Arrakis and his inner nature. However, Paul’s journey is not a typical Cambellian pattern of the protagonist’s journey. Herbert broke out of that pattern, and Paul is a certain deconstruction of that trope. In the first film, we saw Paul’s potential future, leading to a bloody holy war in his name. Paul himself will want to escape this, but the further into the woods he gets, the more he solidifies that he has fallen into a messiah trap where fanatics have blindly followed his words. It was already evident in Part One how the Fremen had ingrained the fable of Lisan al-Gaib into their culture, which Paul incidentally used to survive. What will be important in this context is the perspective of those around Paul, who will face a persona that is nothing like his father.
The sight of a Fremen riding a sandworm in the final scene in Dune certainly sparked the imagination of many viewers as to what might await us next. We’ve only been given a glimpse of Fremen culture, and the second part will only expand that corner of the world. Together with Paul, we will delve into the huge Fremen sietches which can accommodate thousands of people. We will learn about their beliefs and customs, and the second film should open with an extremely psychedelic scene involving the water of life. We should also be introduced to the Fremen’s ecological plan to terraform Arrakis into a green paradise, which is an extremely important theme throughout the series. Villeneuve has shown that he can emphasize the monumentalism and scale of the world, and the second part has much more to offer.
Dune: Part One is currently in theaters.