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Dune movie’s out now: A guide to all the terminology you need to know

Chani in Dune

The brand new Dune trailer opens with some exposition from Zendaya’s Chani.

Warner Bros.

You can write 10 books on the planets, intergalactic politics and individuals who stay amongst so many stars within the large Dune universe. And a few folks have! Frank Herbert’s six-novel epic is surrounded by different tales written by his son Brian Herbert with the assistance of the inimitable Kevin J. Anderson. We all know the film in theaters and streaming on HBO Max solely covers a part of the unique ebook, however that does not make the quantity of data wanted to get probably the most out of what we’re about to expertise any much less intense.

Fortuitously, you all have me. I have been studying the Dune books my complete life, and all of that data lastly has a use. This is a fast terminology information with primary explainers to assist make the film that rather more fulfilling. 

Laborious-core Dune followers could shout, “Simply learn the ebook!” however — enjoyable reality — the primary Dune film launched in 1984 additionally had a paper handout explaining the entire unusual language used within the movie. It appears a little bit foolish at hand out a bit of paper for folks to seek advice from in a darkish theater once you need them to observe the display screen in entrance of them, so I will do it a little bit in another way. Please do not use your cellphone when the film begins, however if you wish to look at this earlier than it begins and after it is over, you will have it right here to get pleasure from.

The Emperor

After a number of galactic wars, one in all them towards robots, the Nice Homes of the Universe determined there wanted to be a ruling physique of types to dictate how issues could be. The Dune universe is now managed by a single ruling household, Home Corrino. The pinnacle of this home, Emperor Shaddam IV, is the 81st Emperor of the Recognized Universe. Because the film begins, the 68-year outdated Emperor worries about his place as emperor, because of a rumor he’d poisoned his 138-year outdated father. 

To keep up energy, Shaddam must hold everybody within the universe completely satisfied and beneath management. 


Every part within the universe requires this mind-altering drug to proceed at its present tempo. It makes you smarter and stay longer. Beneath excessive situations it even makes your eyes flip blue, however extra on that later. Everybody makes use of spice, aka melange, although how a lot you utilize impacts its impact. House pilots take it to allow them to navigate this universe’s type of hyperspace, and tacticians take large portions to allow them to course of large quantities of data in a brief time period. 

Everybody wants spice, and with out it the universe would grind to a halt and a number of rich folks would die, as a result of these things is artificially extending their lives. 


Spice can solely be discovered on one planet, and that is Arrakis. This planet is sort of solely desert, with little or no naturally occurring water discovered on the floor. The spice is the byproduct of large sandworms that roam your complete floor of the planet. Makes an attempt to maneuver sandworms to different planets to create a number of locations with spice manufacturing have failed. It solely occurs on Arrakis. 

That is an important planet within the universe, and whichever household the emperor places answerable for mining spice is thereby one of the necessary.


Dave Bautista as Glossu Rabban Harkonnen. 

Warner Bros.

Home Harkonnen

At first of Dune, the household accountable for mining spice on Arrakis is the Harkonnen household. The homeworld for this household is massively industrial and polluted, which means they’d achieved such an excellent job stripping their very own planet of its pure assets the emperor thought they might be excellent for mining Arrakis. 

Home Harkonnen is requested to depart Arrakis at first of the Dune story as a result of they had been stealing spice to promote on the facet as a substitute of giving all of it to the emperor. These are usually not good folks, and they’re going to do something to regain management of Arrakis. 

Home Atreides

As one of the well-liked of the Nice Homes within the universe, Duke Leto Atreides and the remainder of his household have constructed a repute for doing the appropriate factor and serving to these in want. They’re extremely well-liked, and it’s believed that in the event that they run the mining operations on Arrakis it might hold everybody in spice for a really very long time. 

However being that well-liked normally means your enemies are prepared to do fairly a bit to take you down. 

Dune Eyes

The deep blue-within-blue Eyes of Ibad. 

Warner Bros.


The native folks of Arrakis are a tribal folks devoted to dwelling in concord with the planet, which steadily makes outsiders see them as supernatural and even magical for with the ability to survive within the desert and coexist with the huge sandworms. Fremen are normally straightforward to identify, as all of them have spent a lot time with spice within the air, water and meals they’ve developed deep blue eyes. The entire eye is blue, not simply the retina, they usually name this the Eyes of Ibad. You may additionally see Fremen wielding a crysknife, a sacred weapon solid from the tooth of an enormous sandworm.

When the Harkonnen occupied Arrakis, the abuse of the planet was so excessive some Fremen felt it essential to take motion. This induced a substantial amount of bloodshed and in some circumstances enslavement of the Fremen, all of which ended when Home Atreides took management. However that does not imply all and even most Fremen belief the brand new occupants of their planet. 


Arrakis is a particularly scorching desert with nearly no moisture within the air, and being outdoors in regular garments for prolonged durations of time is sort of at all times catastrophic. Everybody who lives on Arrakis, together with the Fremen, put on stillsuits to outlive within the harsh atmosphere. This swimsuit not solely retains your complete physique protected from sandstorms and excessive warmth, but it surely additionally collects the entire liquid your physique produces and filters it to the purpose of being drinkable once more. 

Sure, the entire liquid your physique produces. All of it. 


Timothée Chalamet and Rebecca Ferguson as Paul Atreides and the Bene Gesserit Girl Jessica, sporting stillsuits.

Warner Bros.

Bene Gesserit

There’s an intergalactic guild of supernaturally enhanced girls on this universe, known as the Bene Gesserit. Amongst many different issues, these girls can alter the chemical composition of their very own our bodies to create poisons and manipulate others via an influence of suggestion known as The Voice. This assortment of skills is steadily known as The Weirding Manner, and even features a significantly deadly type of fight. The Bene Gesserit are steadily revered as holy girls, cursed as spies or witches, and customarily feared and revered in every single place. 

It is extraordinarily uncommon for a person to be taught the methods of the Bene Gesserit, a lot much less be significantly good at utilizing their skills, as a result of they’re extraordinarily cautious with their breeding and choosing who will get skilled. 


After an excellent battle with considering machines, the Nice Homes determined to completely ban using complicated computer systems. As an alternative, nice human computer systems known as Mentats had been created by the nice homes. These people are able to immense calculations in milliseconds, in addition to army technique, although not all Mentats are created equal. The coaching normally begins at delivery, and these human computer systems are uncovered to one thing known as the Juice of Sapho as soon as they’ve proven superior cognitive skills, to additional broaden their thoughts.

One of many best dwelling Mentats is Thufir Hawat, who serves Home Atreides.

Private shields

As safety from assassins, many rich members of the Galactic Courtroom use a private defend to maintain themselves protected. This power barrier is customized calibrated to the wants of the wearer, which means it may be unfastened sufficient to permit somebody to achieve a hand via it or dense sufficient to limit air molecules from passing via. These shields are shut sufficient to the pores and skin to guard the wearer from absolutely anything at vary, although a slowly transferring blade can penetrate a defend if wielded accurately. It is usually identified all through the worlds that if a private defend had been ever hit by a lasgun the ensuing explosion could be atomic in scale.

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