Chani in Dune

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

Warner Bros.

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

Fortunately, you all have me. I’ve been studying the Dune books my total life, and all of that info lastly has a use. Here’s a fast terminology guide with primary explainers to assist make the film that rather more pleasurable. 

Hard-core Dune followers could shout, “Just read the book!” however — enjoyable reality — the first Dune film launched in 1984 additionally had a paper handout explaining all of the unusual language utilized in the movie. It appears a bit of foolish to hand out a chunk of paper for individuals to refer to in a darkish theater when you need them to watch the display screen in entrance of them, so I’m going to do it a bit of otherwise. Please do not use your cellphone when the film begins, but when you need to look at this earlier than it begins and after it is over, you have it right here to get pleasure from.

The Emperor

After a number of galactic wars, considered one of them towards robots, the Great Houses 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, House Corrino. The head of this home, Emperor Shaddam IV, is the 81st Emperor of the Known Universe. As the film begins, the 68-year previous Emperor worries about his place as emperor, thanks to a rumor he’d poisoned his 138-year previous father. 

To preserve energy, Shaddam wants to preserve everybody in the universe completely happy and beneath management. 


Everything in the universe requires this mind-altering drug to proceed at its present tempo. It makes you smarter and reside longer. Under excessive situations it even makes your eyes flip blue, however extra on that later. Everyone makes use of spice, aka melange, although how a lot you use impacts its impact. Space 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. 

Everyone wants spice, and with out it the universe would grind to a halt and a whole lot of rich individuals would die, as a result of these items is artificially extending their lives. 


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

This is the most necessary planet in the universe, and whichever household the emperor places in command of mining spice is thereby considered one of the most necessary.


Dave Bautista as Glossu Rabban Harkonnen. 

Warner Bros.

House Harkonnen

At the starting of Dune, the household chargeable for mining spice on Arrakis is the Harkonnen household. The homeworld for this household is massively industrial and polluted, that means they’d carried out such job stripping their very own planet of its pure sources the emperor thought they might be good for mining Arrakis. 

House Harkonnen is requested to go away Arrakis at the starting of the Dune story as a result of they had been stealing spice to promote on the aspect as a substitute of giving it all to the emperor. These aren’t good individuals, and they’re going to do something to regain management of Arrakis. 

House Atreides

As considered one of the hottest of the Great Houses in the universe, Duke Leto Atreides and the remainder of his household have constructed a popularity for doing the proper factor and serving to these in need. They are extremely standard, and it’s believed that in the event that they run the mining operations on Arrakis it will preserve everybody in spice for a really very long time. 

But being that standard normally means your enemies are keen to do fairly a bit to take you down. 

Dune Eyes

The deep blue-within-blue Eyes of Ibad. 

Warner Bros.


The native individuals of Arrakis are a tribal individuals devoted to residing in concord with the planet, which often makes outsiders see them as supernatural and even magical for having the ability to survive in the desert and coexist with the large sandworms. Fremen are normally straightforward to spot, as they all have spent a lot time with spice in 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’ll additionally see Fremen wielding a crysknife, a sacred weapon cast from the tooth of an enormous sandworm.

When the Harkonnen occupied Arrakis, the abuse of the planet was so excessive some Fremen felt it needed to take motion. This brought about a substantial amount of bloodshed and in some instances enslavement of the Fremen, all of which ended when House Atreides took management. But that does not imply all and even most Fremen belief the new occupants of their planet. 


Arrakis is an especially scorching desert with virtually no moisture in the air, and being outdoors in regular garments for prolonged durations of time is nearly all the time catastrophic. Everyone who lives on Arrakis, together with the Fremen, put on stillsuits to survive in the harsh surroundings. This go well with not solely retains your entire physique secure from sandstorms and excessive warmth, nevertheless it additionally collects all of the liquid your physique produces and filters it to the level of being drinkable once more. 

Yes, all of the liquid your physique produces. All of it. 


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

Warner Bros.

Bene Gesserit

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

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


After an important struggle with considering machines, the Great Houses determined to completely ban the use of complicated computer systems. Instead, nice human computer systems referred to 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 start, and these human computer systems are uncovered to one thing referred to as the Juice of Sapho as soon as they’ve proven superior cognitive skills, to additional increase their thoughts.

One of the biggest residing Mentats is Thufir Hawat, who serves House Atreides.

Personal shields

As safety from assassins, many rich members of the Galactic Court use a private defend to preserve themselves secure. This power barrier is customized calibrated to the wants of the wearer, that means it may be free sufficient to permit somebody to attain a hand by it or dense sufficient to prohibit air molecules from passing by. These shields are shut sufficient to the pores and skin to defend the wearer from absolutely anything at vary, although a slowly shifting blade can penetrate a defend if wielded accurately. It can be recognized 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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