"Dune": A Stark Vision of Our Future Days

The film is based on the play that Frank Herbert wrote in the 1960s and which has several books.

Still from the movie 'Dune'

After a couple of unsuccessful attempts to turn it into the new saga par excellence in the very style of "Star Wars", the vision of director Denis Villenueve has managed to transfer this narrative to the big screen. Photo: YT-Warner Bros. Studios

LatinAmerican Post | Theoscar Mogollón González

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Leer en español: "Dune": una cruda visión de nuestros días futuros

It was the year 1965 when the science fiction writer Frank Herbert published work as futuristic as it was magnificent and that decades later would continue to give people talk: "Dune." And it is that after a couple of failed attempts to turn it into the new saga par excellence in the very style of "Star Wars", the vision of director Denis Villeneuve has managed to transfer this narrative to the big screen, generating expectations so high that many They already place it as the 2021 movie. Are they right?

To get an idea of the boom that Herbert caused in the 60s, and how far ahead he was in time, the first installment of his saga stood out thanks to its premise "man must survive a hostile environment that is reached at the time ecological awareness ". In fact, it could be said that the author also had some influence from Isaac Asimov, another fiction writer who said in his book "I, Robot" that: "humanity has lost all control over its future. It was always at the mercy of forces. economic and sociological that he did not understand, the vagaries of the climate and the hazards of war ".

From here we enter that fine line that separates reality from fiction. In addition, what we could assure years ago that it was a utopian future, little by little begins to become a stark vision of what awaits us. "Dune" encompasses both the positives (technological advances) and negatives (bleak sights, the planet near collapse) of our present, even though it is based on planet Earth some 10,000 years later than this time. And although Herbert was able to create a whole universe of his own, what stands out most about his futuristic work is the approach to ecology.

A complex story, but not to be missed

We could assure that "Dune" is one of the most important sagas of all science fiction literature, and it is preceded by other titles written by Herbert: "The messiah of Dune" (1969), "Children of Dune" (1976) , "God Emperor of Dune" (1981), "Heretics of Dune" (1984) and "Chapter House Dune" (1985). However, after the death of the author, the chronicles were completed with two works that were written by his son Brian Herbert and by Kevin J. Anderson: " Hunters of Dune" (2008) and "Sandworms of Dune" (2009). That is why we are facing a fantastic universe that continues to be a source of inspiration for many creators.

The plot presents us with a world that is divided into several Houses, where the noble family of the Atreides will have the mission of managing the dangerous desert planet of Arrakis. This place is the only source of the most valuable substance in the universe; Melange, a drug whose properties are capable of extending human life, making interstellar travel possible, as well as providing superhuman levels of thought. Here we also meet three important characters: Duke Leto Atreides, his wife Lady Jessica, and their son Paul, a young man endowed with powers who is destined to become leader, messiah, and martyr.

"No importa en lo que creas, la Tierra está cambiando y tendremos que adaptarnos. Creo que el libro, en su tiempo, era un retrato de la realidad del petróleo, el capitalismo y la explotación del planeta. Hoy, las cosas son simplemente peores. Es una historia sobre la mayoría de edad, pero también un llamado a la acción por parte de los jóvenes". - Denis Villenueve para Vanity Fair USA

Leto heads to Arrakis, also known as Dune, even though he knows that it is all a trap set by his enemies, the Harkonnen. Once he arrives on the planet, he takes control of the drug extraction operation, which becomes dangerous due to the appearance of gigantic sandworms. But as if that weren't enough, after an unfortunate series of events that lead to betrayal, both Jessica and Paul end up with the Fremen, Arrakis natives who live deep in the desert and know everything about the Melange to perfection.

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A powerful message between the lines

As agreed with Warner Bros., the first book will be adapted into two tapes, and that is largely due to how vast the entire plot can be. Likewise, several lines of argument full of philosophy will also come into play, highlighting the influence of religion on social movements, economic dependence, and even positive eugenics (reproduction of the most genetically fit). However, the real burden will be borne by cultural ecology.

This term, according to the anthropologist Julian Steward, indicates that relationships and social mobility depend to a great extent on the environment and ecosystems, taking in these the main factors of social organization and the distribution of wealth and power. This is how Herbert's expression takes on a much higher level when mixed with Villeneuve's vision, which will take us on a direct path to a necessary reflection that today more than ever should be etched in people's consciences.

It will be a matter of days when we have the opportunity to witness one of the most anticipated stories in the history of current cinema. Denis Villeneuve's New Odyssey features a cast full of talented actors and actresses including Timothée Chalamet, Rebecca Ferguson, Zendaya, Jason Momoa, Josh Brolin, Oscar Isaac, Javier Bardem, Stellan Skarsgard, Dave Bautista, and Charlotte Rampling.