MONDO EXTRAS

Dune: Messed Eyes Up

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

We fade up on a ghostly, out-of-focus image of a House Atreides war banner, fluttering in the winds of a planet I'm just going to call Hoth Lite. As she is contractually required to do in all filmed adaptations of the Dune saga, Princess Irulan serves as narrator and informs us that twelve years have passed since the events of the original book. We pan across a frozen landscape littered with dead bodies to see a cloister of facially-tattooed Fedaykin, who are engaging in any number of normal everyday Fremen activities like forcibly converting unbelievers and executing captured prisoners of war. Their leader is Farok, a figure of some minor importance later in the story, and he's interrupted by an underling who tells him that his son has been wounded in battle. This scene doesn't appear in the book, by the way, and was obviously included solely to allow the director to expand his color palette a bit before we go all orange all the time. And also to provide a nice bit of dramatic symmetry, as it turns out that Farok's son has been blinded, and is crying out in fear of being cast into the deserts of Arrakis, which is standard Fremen policy for those with disabilities. Nice, huh? But where were these guys when I was dealing with Augustus Hill?

As is also contractually required for all filmed adaptations of the Dune saga, we now cut to a cheesy pictorial rendering of Arrakis as Irulan intones the by-now familiar opening. "Arrakis. Dune. Once the wasteland of the universe, now an Imperial capital." From there it's off to a busy Arrakeen market, where a "mysterious" hooded figure roams the streets, pausing only to stare with thinly veiled disappointment at a puddle of water glistening on the surface of what was once the harshest desert in all the known universe. A classically-framed glamour shot parts the folds of his robe just long enough for us to recognize Alec Newman as Paul "Usul" "Muad'dib" Atreides, and then the credits commence with a trumpeting fanfare that was clearly written by someone who very much wishes that he was John Williams. As the credits roll (without, to my great dismay, the presence of Uwe Ochsenknecht), we swoop over a CGI Arrakeen that fairly screams, "Look how much bigger our budget is this time!" I'm sure it's completely coincidental that the statues flanking the entrance to Muad'dib's keep bear a remarkable resemblance to giant Oscars. Or maybe that was the only way they could get Susan Sarandon. Who knows?

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Dune: Messed Eyes Up

by Aaron March 24, 2003
Children of Dune: Part One We fade up on a ghostly, out-of-focus image of a House Atreides war banner, fluttering in the winds of a planet I'm just going to call Hoth Lite. As she is contractually required to do in all filmed adaptations of the Dune saga, Princess Irulan serves as narrator and informs us that twelve years have passed since the events of the original book. We pan across a frozen landscape littered with dead bodies to see a cloister of facially-tattooed Fedaykin, who are engaging in any number of normal everyday Fremen activities like forcibly converting unbelievers and executing captured prisoners of war. Their leader is Farok, a figure of some minor importance later in the story, and he's interrupted by an underling who tells him that his son has been wounded in battle. This scene doesn't appear in the book, by the way, and was obviously included solely to allow the director to expand his color palette a bit before we go all orange all the time. And also to provide a nice bit of dramatic symmetry, as it turns out that Farok's son has been blinded, and is crying out in fear of being cast into the deserts of Arrakis, which is standard Fremen policy for those with disabilities. Nice, huh? But where were these guys when I was dealing with Augustus Hill? As is also contractually required for all filmed adaptations of the Dune saga, we now cut to a cheesy pictorial rendering of Arrakis as Irulan intones the by-now familiar opening. "Arrakis. Dune. Once the wasteland of the universe, now an Imperial capital." From there it's off to a busy Arrakeen market, where a "mysterious" hooded figure roams the streets, pausing only to stare with thinly veiled disappointment at a puddle of water glistening on the surface of what was once the harshest desert in all the known universe. A classically-framed glamour shot parts the folds of his robe just long enough for us to recognize Alec Newman as Paul "Usul" "Muad'dib" Atreides, and then the credits commence with a trumpeting fanfare that was clearly written by someone who very much wishes that he was John Williams. As the credits roll (without, to my great dismay, the presence of Uwe Ochsenknecht), we swoop over a CGI Arrakeen that fairly screams, "Look how much bigger our budget is this time!" I'm sure it's completely coincidental that the statues flanking the entrance to Muad'dib's keep bear a remarkable resemblance to giant Oscars. Or maybe that was the only way they could get Susan Sarandon. Who knows?

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