MONDO EXTRAS

Dune: Messed Eyes Up

by Aaron March 24, 2003
Children of Dune: Part One

From there we go into a lengthy montage which is so obviously pilfered from The Godfather that it's actually kind of distracting. Also distracting is the ovary wailing on the soundtrack, who, in the finest arbitrary apostrophe tradition of Frank Herbert, I've decided to dub Enya'int. We see Chani struggling in labor, surrounded by Fremen midwives. Paul, meanwhile, sits on a ledge, meditating. The death side of the Godfather birth/death equation comes as Korba, Reverend Mother Mohiam, and Edric the Navigator are all executed by Stilgar's men. Korba is placed, still screaming, in a death-still to take his water. Edric is killed by smashing open his spice-filled tank, and Stilgar kills Mohiam personally, with a crysknife to the throat. Throughout it all, Chani continues to thrash in agony, and Paul sits silently, resigned to her fate. And then, as a single solitary tear drips from his blackened eyes, Chani whispers a final, tender "Muad'dib," and we fade to blackness. Commercial.

With Enya'int thankfully dismissed for the remainder of the evening, Paul comes back inside to see his child. Which is precisely why he's shocked to discover that Chani had twins, a boy AND a girl, whom he had never foreseen. Chani calls weakly to him from a nearby bed, and he heads over to clasp her hand in his as he says a tragic (though whiny, and still somewhat petulant) goodbye. "Nothing in this universe is as great as my love for you," she says, and then in an instant she's gone. Farewell, Barbora Kodetova. You may never work in this country again, but I'll always treasure our time together. Just don't tell Lauren Ambrose, okay?

Paul staggers to his feet, finding himself completely blind for the first time as events begin to differ from his vision. "She is gone, Duncan," he whispers, and the key words trigger a memory in Idaho's mind. He draws out his knife, raises it to strike at Paul, and then…flings it across the room to catch Bijaz squarely in the throat. And with that, Duncan regains his full memories of his previous life, much to the delight of Scytale/Lichna, who had hoped that precisely this chain of events would come to pass. Unfortunately, Scytale has also decided to drop the Lichna disguise (accomplished by the very cheap, but also very cheesy, method of ducking his head off-screen for a second and then coming back with his old face) and take Idaho's dagger from Bijaz's throat to threaten the newborn children with. As he holds the babies hostage, he poses a devil's bargain to Muad'dib: He offers to resurrect Chani for him as a perfect ghola, complete with all her original memories. In exchange, of course, for many additional powers and benefits for the Tleilaxu. Paul is very sorely tempted by this offer, and he writhes in near agony as he desperately tries not to accept. Suddenly, his visions return with renewed force. Leto is there, pleading with his father not to be afraid. "We go forward, we go back," he says, explaining his presence in the past, and proudly flaunting the unclothed, hairless chest which is the hallmark of all Atreides men. "Use my eyes," he suggests, and then Paul can see the room through his infant son's eyes. Using the Weirding Way, he dashes across the room to grab the knife from Scytale's hands, and the Face-Dancer is soon lying dead on the floor with Paul standing over him. The visions recede a final time, and we fade to the total black of Muad'dib's blindness.

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Dune: Messed Eyes Up

by Aaron March 24, 2003
Children of Dune: Part One Elsewhere, Paul has come to inform Irulan than he's leaving her behind at the palace when everyone else heads for the desert. He too knows that she was poisoning Chani, and that the poison is what's troubling her pregnancy. Julie Cox looks even more frail than normal here. For God's sake woman, eat a sandwich! Hell, eat Calista Flockhart if you have to! Just eat something. Surprisingly, Paul apologizes for being cruel to her over the years, acknowledging that she was trained by the Bene Gesserit to be exactly what she has become. "It's ironic," he sighs. "But your selfish, clumsy attempts to mother an royal heir actually prolonged Chani's life. And for that I am grateful. Forever." In what will be the first of many Godfather allusions over the next few scenes, he kisses her full on the lips before departing, which is made all the more poignant by the knowledge that it's the only intimate contact this husband and wife have ever had. Outside, everyone boards their thopters for the journey. Stilgar is worried that Paul wants to bring Bijaz and Scytale/Lichna along, but Muad'dib explains that everyone has their part to play. Paul says a tearful, final farewell to Alia before climbing on board, and we slowly fade to commercial. Dear God! You can actually buy some of these costumes in a Sci-Fi.com charity auction! I don't care how good the cause is, I just can't understand why anyone would want some of these things in their house. Quite frankly, they kind of scare me. The Microsoft Butterfly Guy, however, cracks my shit up every time. Somewhere in Arrakeen, soldiers burst in on Korba in the throes of passion with a random girl. It's a pretty racy scene by basic cable standards, and it only gets better when Alia enters and exchanges a knowing, highly-sapphic glance with the girl she obviously hired to trap him. She accuses him of betraying Muad'dib (which he did, with the stone-burner), and the guards haul him away. Out at Sietch Tabr, Chani sits on high desert ridge, poking at a scorpion with a stick. Ahh, sweet blessed continuity. That one even comes from the first book. Duncan emerges to find her there, and she reminisces about her youth as a wild Fremen girl. She even references her father Liet, making our homage to the original complete. Duncan, on the other hand, is beginning to remember more and more of his past, but he worries if those memories are genuine, or merely implanted by the Tleilaxu. Suddenly Chani is struck by her first contraction, and storm clouds on the horizon erupt with peals of thunder and a hail of anvils.

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