Dune was a 1965 novel by Frank Herbert that became a 1984 film and a 2000 miniseries. For those who haven’t read or seen it, I’ll break it down for you: It’s a complex, far-future tale about the coming of the Messiah. Better yet, we’ll let actor Kyle MacLachlan, who played the-man-who-would-be-Messiah Paul Atreides in the 1984 film version, break it down for you. But not literally — symbolically.
Recently on Twitter, a fan asked MacLachlan to explain the plot of Dune. He responded. In emoji.
As fans of Dune know, it’s a fantastic response.There are characters who speak in code, and there are codes left on the undersides of leaves in a garden. Amusingly, this emoji response does a decent job of explaining the story. But as it lacks a few aspects, I’ll fill in the gaps for you:
Dune is about the ruling family of a water planet called Caladan forced to move to Arrakis, a desert planet where water is a precious resource. The father, Duke Leto, is assassinated, and his son Paul is forced to flee. He is found by a tribe of natives called the Fremen and given the name Muad’Dib, the Fremen name for a mouse whose design is on the planet’s second moon.
Then Paul, who learns to evade the great sandworms of Dune by walking arrhythmically, ingests the Water of Life, so that he achieves a higher consciousness (in other words, “the sleeper must awaken"). He soon uses sandworms to defeat his enemies and seize the emperor’s throne for himself.
Dune is a layered novel that takes at least two readings to completely comprehend Duniverse’s politics, its history, and even planetary ecosystems, all of which play an important part in Paul’s story. I highly recommend it.
And so does Kyle MacLachlan.