Prepare for Denis Villeneuve’s new movie adaptation with this hands-on vocabulary lesson.
Vun Meg signs Published on September 15, 2021
This glossary of important terminology in the world of dunes is part of ours ongoing press coverage of the Toronto International Film Festival. From ratings to interviews to summary lists, follow TIFF 2021 for all things.
When the news first broke Denis Villeneuve made Dunes, I clicked my heels together like an old-fashioned fireplace. A large budgeted, 21st century adaptation by Frank Herbert seminal Sci-Fi Roman was just too good to be true.
The idea of a good faith Hollywood attempt to do so Duneshis shaky story digested by average moviegoers made me feel a little chilled. While you Difficulty adjusting the book is its own dose of sandworms, less discussed is the problem of which the world of Dunes is absolutely full of invented terms that have not completely hurt public consciousness.
Spice? Gom jabbar? Well done?
People who have no framework of Star Wars vaguely understand what “power” is. People who have never watched an episode of Star Trek can probably recognize the phrase “beam me up” or “set phasers to stun.” Dunes and his glosses of terms are much more esoteric.
Maybe You heard the phrase “the spice must flow”, and perhaps You know that worms and sand get into the story, somehow. But my advice is that most viewers enter the world Dunes about The film by Villeneuve will fly relatively blind.
So in the interest of helping new, honest initiates — or anyone looking for clarity to see the film — I have put together a quick and great spoiler-free glossary of essential terms to understand what is going on in Dunes.
To make things better (haha), I forced the FSR on its own Anna Swanson a helping hand. Her only acquaintance with Dunes Universe ass David Lynch’s 1984 film. As you will see from their serious attempt to define the glossary terms below, the adaptation of Dunes she learned absolutely nothing.
The FSR Dune Glossary
Anna’s best advice: My memory tells me that this is either a planet or a means of transportation. I imagine “Ah-rack-us”, there are “us”, there are different people. Ergo: a planet. And if it’s a means of transportation, then it’s the ‘Ah-rack-Bus. “
What it actually is: Arrakis is the desolate, hostile desert planet on which the majority of the story is based takes place. It is located on the edge of the “known universe” and is the only source of valuable resource known as spice melange. “Dune” is the informal name of the planet. The largest city of Arrakis, its historic seat of government, is Arrakes. At the beginning of Dunes, the Padishah emperor – the hereditary ruler of the known universe – tasks House Atreides to take over the rule over Arrakis.
Anna’s best advice: It’s an armor you can trust. A protective thing. It’s what you did before you went into battle. It sounds like a piece of clothing to me.
What it actually is: The Bene Gesserit are a sister party of women whose goal is to steer humanity in an “enlightened” way. One of the primary ways they do this is through a secret breeding program. Members of the Bene Gesserit are able to control their every nerve, muscle and breath. This mental and physical condition is passed on through generations and allows them to achieve seemingly impossible achievements. It earned Bene Gesserit a reputation as being “witches” and “weird women”.
Anna’s best advice: This is the baby’s first knife. Like they baptized you, and then they give you a knife.
What it actually is: A knife with a blade from the teeth of a sandworm. Crysknives are a sacred weapon of the strangers and can not be covered until blood is drawn. Unfixed circular knives must be kept close to the human body or else destroy them.
Anna’s best advice: This is a musical instrument where you sand sand until it makes a sound.
What it actually is: Anna is not far away. Drum sand is a naturally occurring phenomenon where sand emits a drum-like sound when it rises. The resulting vibrations have the unwanted effect of attracting sandworms.
Anna’s best advice: These are people with some sort of liminal status where they are not completely free. But also not encrypted. Enter slave people Dunes? I feel like there are always encrypted people in these space movies.
What it actually is: Freman are the group of people who have long been drawn to Arrakis. They now consider themselves indigenous peoples on the planet. They are extremely skilled fighters and survivors. And water protection permeates every facet of their culture. Foreigners are recognized for their very blue eyes, a consequence of their constant consumption of spices.
Anna’s best advice: I think this is a really big sword. It’s a kind of weapon. It sounds like a very important weapon. How is it Dunesis Excalibur?
What it actually is: Gum jabbar is a poisonous tipped needle used by Bene Gesserit in the “Gom Jabbar Test of Humanity”, a means of determining whether a subject’s consciousness is stronger than his instinct. If a subject is aware of the deadly presence of Gom Jabbar, which is kept on the neck during the test, they may resist the animal instinct to withdraw their hand from a painful device.
Anna’s best advice: This is a union of two forces. Like there is the Kwisatz and the Haderach. And they were enemies who are now together. What a fusion. It’s Waystar Royco.
What it actually is: To be “Shortening the path“In the”one that can be many places at once, “The term comes from the Bene Gesserit and describes the end goal of the breeding program’s sister program: a man who is able to gain access to a region of prescribed and genetic knowledge that is inaccessible to women. The quiz Haderach would be the amalgam of several characters at once (“Reverend Mom,” “Mentat,” and “Guild Navigator”).
Anna’s best advice: Maud’Dib is a group of people. And they are somehow connected to the worm because the worm lives ‘Didd under the sand.
What it actually is: Maud’Dib is a rich term with multiple, average meanings. Maud’Dib is the foreign name for the desert mouse born in Arrakis. It is also the name of one of the Arrakis’ twin moons. While the greater significance of Maud’Dib is not entirely revealed in the new Dunes Film (eng Dune: Part One), Hints at its larger purpose make it worth highlighting in this glossary. Maud’Dib is not to be confused (or is it?) With Mahdi, the name used by strangers to describe their Messiah.
Anna’s best advice: This is the second Salusas.
What it actually is: Salusa Secundus is an imperial prison planet that resembles the physical conditions on Arrakis like Disneyland. These harsh conditions serve as a training ground for Sardaukar, an elite military power of the Padishah emperor.
Anna’s best advice: I think this is a word for someone who is young and schei. A timid hero.
What it actually is: Shai-hulud is the reverential, impressive foreign term for the sandworm of Arrakis. While the sandworms themselves are a species, Shai-Hulud is more than a description for a physical entity (or entities). Rather, it refers to the stranger’s belief that “the sandworm” (as a concept) is the bodily execution of a powerful deity.
Anna’s best advice: Like if you live in Rochester, New York, and you want to know what the “sitz“Ass. Either that or it’s a dune buggy.
What it actually is: Sietch is a foreign term for a community or settlement. Typically within the desolate mountains and rock formations of the planet, sites are mostly underground. In the Dunes, the great stranger Sietch is “Sietch Tabr,” home of the characters Stilgar and Chani.
Anna’s best advice: Spice is the thing that the planet has as a natural resource. And it’s really valuable. It can also have magical properties. And people want it.
What it actually is: Also known as melange, spice is a powerful medicine found in Arrakis. The most valued commodity in the known universe, Spice delivers powerful abilities, including curiosity and extended life. It also allows the mutated, mentally-charged guild navigators to navigate safely interstellar and galactic space without the help of computers (there are no “thinking machines” in the world of Dunes). The constant consumption of spice is what gives strangers their characteristic blue eyes, known as the “eyes of Ibad.”
Anna’s best advice: I mean this is something you did and it makes you either dressed up or invisible. I also think this could possibly be some kind of armor. It contains the word costume so this must be something you wear.
What it actually is: Wearing a full-body suit in the open desert of Arrakis, the trapped moisture is retained and recycled from the wearer’s body. The suit is designed to absorb liquids such as sweat and urine and filter them into “catch pockets” to allow the recovered water to drip into its carrier. Stillsuits allow humans to survive for weeks in the desert. A nasal device called a “felt-plug” (bonus Dunes Glossary term!) Captures further moisture.
Anna’s best advice: Well it must be something weird. The voice, I think, is like the power of Star Wars. As Chalamet tries to find out who he is by tapping his voice. It calls to the hero.
What it actually is: One of the most impressive physical feats of Bene Gesserit, the voice is a physical technique that allows practitioners to control and force others with just the right voice tone. To the outside observer, the voice has the appearance of mind control when it is effective as to use your “dog training” voice on one and it works.
Meg Shields is the humble farm boy of your dreams and a senior contributor to the film School Rejects. She is currently running three columns at FSR: The Queue, How’d They Do That ?, and Horrorscope. She is also a curator for One Perfect Shot and a freelance writer for hire. Meg can be found crying over John Boorman’s ‘Excalibur’ on Twitter here: @TheWorstNun. (Si / Hir).