Dune Movie Poster

"In a world where sandworms 1,000 feet long guard creation's greatest treasure - the spice that prolongs life and enables the mind to fold space and slow time.  Where a prophecy will be fulfilled.  And a young leader with incredible powers will emerge to command an army of five million warriors in the final battle for control of the universe and its source of ultimate power.  The planted called Dune."

Dune, which was originally released in 1984, is an extremely complex sci-fi flick, the premise of which we could never fully explain in this small space.  But we will try.  The movie was a film adaptation of a 1965 Frank Herbert novel by the same name.  Although the movie has become a bit of a cult classic with sci-fi nerds over the years, it was not popular with critics at the time.  For example, Roger Ebert gave it one star and said it was the worst movie of the year, and Gene Siskel said he hated watching it.  The movie did not turn a profit at the box office.

This movie takes place long in the future, where the most important substance is the galactic empire is a spice, called Melange, which is actually a drug that can both extend one’s life and make one high at the same time.  The Melange also helps with interstellar travel, which makes it a hot commodity to the Spacing Guild (in charge of space travel and the banking system).  The emperor hatches a plan to eliminate members of the House Atreides by pretending to give them control over the spice planet called Dune, where he intends to have them ambushed by House Harkonnen.  The emperor feels that the members of Atreides are growing too powerful and pose a threat to his rule.

Although the emperor’s plan does not go off perfectly, House Atreides is decimated, and Paul Atreides escapes to a planet where he gains the trust of the natives, who think him their prophesied messiah.  Paul teaches the natives how to use weapons, and they begin disrupting the flow of Melange by destroying the mining operations.  In the end, Paul and his army defeat the emperor and the Harkonnen, and Paul is put in charge.