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Our story continues in Arrakeen. Despite the fat Baron’s victory, he’s not happy at all. In fact he’s shvitzing out! The Baron is having a nightmare, or rather a prescient vision

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Dune: Dune: Pt.2 “Muad’Dib”

Our story continues in Arrakeen. Despite the fat Baron’s victory, he’s not happy at all. In fact he’s shvitzing out! The Baron is having a nightmare, or rather a prescient vision. He sees Paul Atreides staring him down, with a group of hooded people behind him chanting Muad’Dib. The Baron is not pleased. But luckily for him, his nephew, Feyd interrupts his sleep and tells him the “good news” of the deaths of Paul and Jessica. The Baron is skeptical. Unlike Feyd, Vladimir has seen enough scifi flicks to know that, someone’s not dead until you find the bodies, and even then its still uncertain! Feyd is not impressed with his Uncle’s paranoia, and insists that Paul and Jessica died in the desert.Not quite.

While I’m hesitant to admit it, the Baron was correct. Paul and Jessica are alive, their thopter crashed into a Dune in the middle of nowhere. Not that its any surprise. The miniseries still has 4 hours left, and it wouldn’t do to kill off all of our heroes this early.

After Jessica awakens, Paul comforts her and shows her the note from Yueh, and explains that it was his treachery that resulted in the downfall of House Atreides. Imperial Suk conditioning my…. Anyway, Paul continues by explaining to his mother that they need to meet up with the Fremen. And to do so, they need to cross a few hundred kilometers of open desert. Better start moving guys, the desert isn’t getting any cooler.
Meanwhile, on the Imperial throne world of Kaitain, we encounter yet another pissed off noble. Princess Irulan, burst into her father’s office rebuking him for his part in the downfall of House Atreides. Irulan had heard news that Paul and his mother have died while escaping the Harkonnens’. She’s peeved that she was used as a goodwill gesture toward the great house, when in fact her own family was conspiring against them. We also see the first signs that Irulan really did fall in love with Paul after their first encounter on Arrakis.
This chapter can’t all be doom and gloom, so we head back to Arrakis. The Baron is now in a good mood. He’s too busy interrogating the Dr. Kynes, too worry about the fate of a deposed ducal heir. During the process, Feyd is spitting water out onto the floor in Liet’s direction. Wasting water is one greatest taboos in Fremen culture. After chewing out the planetologist, the Baron orders him taken out and abandoned in the desert. A day later the planetologist is delirious from dehydration. He begins repeating “I am a desert creature”, “I am a steward of the sands” etc. The planetologist is all lip, because moments later, a spice blow explodes beneath him. Killing him instantly.

Else where on Dune, Paul is having one of those dreams again. This one tells him to use the Fremen for his struggle against House Harkonnen. It also alerts him to the fact that Jessica is pregnant with his sister. Another tidbit reveled was the Baron Harkonnen is Jessica’s father. We aren’t told of this in the mini-series yet, but we’re told this immediately in the novel. After confronting his mother about his unborn sister, they take off again into the desert. After a boring night’s journey through the desert, our intrepid two only have a few kilometers to go before reaching the next set of rock mountains, and safety. All they have to do is cross the tops of a few dune’s and they’re there. Simple enough right? Wrong! Jessica must’ve forgotten all of her Bene Gesserit body control, because she slips down the side of a rather tall dune, taking Paul with her! The two tumble down the side of the dune, losing much of their supplies in the fall. To add insult to injury, the sound of their fall attracted a sand worm. Paul and Jessica make a bee line for the rock mountains, barely making it to safety in time.

Safety is a relative term. For once they enter one of the caverns, they’re ambushed by Fremen. Stilgar approaches the two and begin negotiating. Stilgar has heard Liet’s orders to leave help the two, but his fellow tribesmen have not. The xenophobic Fremen, tell Stilgar to kill the intruders. When the situation looks to bleak, Jessica and Paul use the weirding way to take command of the situation. Paul escapes to the top of the cavern downing a Jamis, a Fremen, in the process. Jessica on the other hand gets the better of Stilgar and holds a knife to his throat. She uses him as a hostage to gain security for the two exile Atreides. Stilgar quickly agrees with her demands, as do the rest of the Fremen. Jessica calls Paul to join her, but before he can head down to his mother, he is discovered by Chani, the girl of his dreams!

The Fremen tribe with their two new members, begin a trek across the desert. After a nights journey they make it to yet another rock cave. The various members of the tribe begin to disrobe. This would make for an very fun scene save that most of the actors are middle aged Czech bears. Saving it all is when Chani get naked herself, all to the prying eye of the voyeur Paul. Paul doesn’t even make a half assed attempt to hide his staring. He just gazes at her with his Atreides hawk eyes. The hardened desert Fremen spots the lurker, gives him a show, then in a rather un-Fremen like gesture, hides her body.

Later in the day, the tribe hears an explosion out in the desert. Its the same spice blow that spread Liet all over the desert, but the Fremen don’t know this yet. Paul, Chani, Stilgar venture outside the cave to see the explosion. Stilgar comments that its a large blow, that will produce a lot of spice. Paul is surprised to find out that the Fremen also mine the spice.

Upon re-entering the cave, Paul is challenged by Jamis. Jamis is still angry that Paul bested him in the cave, and wants to seek revenge. Jessica uses voice to dissuade him from his challenge, but instead Jamis invoke silence, which force Jessica to be quiet lest be attacked herself.

Paul and Jamis then strip again and adorn themselves in some silly adult diapers. The two would look like sumo wrestlers, except they just aren’t big enough to fit the pants. They come off looking bloody silly. Speaking of blood, back to the fight. Jamis never stood a chance! Paul had way too much skill and training to be defeated by some wild desert Bedouin, but that didn’t stop Jamis from trying. After getting his ass handed to him, Paul offers him a chance to yield. Stilgar informs him that its a fight to the death. Paul is mortified, having never had to kill before. He tries to prolong the fight, to try to avoid the inevitable. In the end, it almost gets him killed when Jamis jumps off a rock toward him, but Paul prevails in the end, with sustaining a single wound. Jamis’s body is immediately carried off to the death still.

The death still is a device that incinerates the body, and collect the residual moisture. The Fremen, the ultimate conservers of water, take the water from their slain victims, and their own dead fellows bodies. The death still is loaded with Jamis’s body, and his funeral begins. Its a solemn ceremony, oddly enough though no one is crying. No one but Paul, who is upset over what he was forced to do. Crying wastes water and is something no Fremen would ever do. So when Paul “gives water to the dead” it comes as a total surprise to the tribe.

Following the funeral, the tribe begin yet another ceremony, Paul’s naming ceremony. Paul is given the opportunity to choose his own new name. Paul decides ask what the desert kangaroo mouse is called. Stilgar replies “Muad’Dib” and asks him if he wants that for his name. Paul says yes, and from that point forward Paul Atreides is now Muad’Dib to his fellow Fremen. or Paul Muad’Dib Atreides. In the book, Paul is also given another name, Usul, or the bottom part of a pillar. The part that supports the rest of the column.This is his secret Fremen name, and only other Fremen may call him that. This name was dropped from the miniseries for simplicity.

That night, Paul experiences another first. It will be the first time he rides a giant sand worm. The experience is a total shock for him and his mother. They never expected such large beast could be tamed to ride on! After first mounting the worm, nothing else exciting happens, and the tribe arrives back in their home seitch, Seitch Tabr. Upon arriving home, the Bedouin tribe first learns of Leit’s death. The death hits Chani especially hard, as it was her father. Who can blame her, would you be upset if your dad, was killed when the desert floor exploded!

The next few scenes are devoted to Muad’Dib seeking his revenge against the Harkonnens. Muad’Dib and Stilgar begin a guerilla campaign against the Harkonnen patrols. They set out false spice patches to attract excavators, and then attack them when they arrive. They are successful that spice production grounds to a halt. Attracting the attention of the Emperor.

Emperor Shaddam is disturbed by the drop in spice exportation, and the Baron’s utter lack of control over the desert people. He sends Fenring to Geidi Prime to investigate the Baron’s activities. Tagging along is the Emperors daughter, Irulan. The princess has her own agenda, she wants to seduce Feyd to find out what truly happened the night House Atreides fell.

The royal party appear on the planet under the guise of congratulating Feyd on his 100th victory over a slave gladiator. Fenring questions the Baron about his ability to control the situation on Arrakis. Count Fenring is skeptical of all the Baron’s answer and subtlety threatens the Baron to get spice production back to normal quickly.

Irulan chooses a more friendly tactic to get her information. She comes in during Feyd’s bath and dismisses the slave girls bathing him, and begins rubbing oils into his skin by herself. After Feyd’s victory over the slave (which in the book almost resulted in his quite painful death!) she takes him to bed. It still PG rated but you get he idea of where its going. After Feyd reveals the information she’s looking for, she takes her leave only to be replaced by another slave girl. We are led to believe that they did not sleep together, but came quite close. Irulan would remain the virgin princess.

The above seen is a rewrite. In the novel, Feyd is seduced by Fenring’s wife. And they do get funky! Lady Fenring’s mission from the Bene Gesserit was to become impregnated by Feyd, so that the Harkonnen bloodline could be preserved, should Feyd be killed before mating with someone of the sisterhoods choice.

Back on Arrakis, Paul begins training a new brand of Fremen warrior, the Fedaykin. These Fremen are selected form the best of the best of every seitch. These fearsome warrior trek to Seitch Tabr to be trained by Paul and Jessica in the weirding way, then sent back to their home seitch to train the others in their tribe. one such group of warriors came from Seitch Gara Kulon, lead by Otheym. They arrive on the scene like true badasses, ready to kill whomever gets in their way. After a brief staring contest, Otheym bashfully swears loyalty Muad’Dib and the Fedaykin. Otheym is unfortunately dismissed by many fans. He doesn’t play a very large role in Dune or Dune Messiah, and many fans feel that he tried to kill Muad’Dib in the second book. This is simply not true, Otheym was one of Muad’Dib’s most loyal Fremen companions, rivaling that of the loyalty of Stilgar.

Soon after training his first batch of the Fedaykin, the Harkonnens get their stuff together and begin boldly attacking the Fremen, patrolling further and further into the desert. This means that the occupants of Seitch Tabr will have to depart for seitch in the southern hemisphere of the planet. Some of the older Fremen won’t survive the trip, including their religious leader Reverend Mother Romallo. Romallo is an old fart, but more specifically she was a Bene Gesserit missionary sent to Arrakis under the Missionaria Protectiva. The Missionaria is the Bene Gesserit directive to create and manipulate religions and cultures to do their bidding. The BG have been interfering in Fremen culture for eons, and as such, the Fremen call their religious leaders Reverend Mothers. These shaman even go through their own version of the spice agony, by taking the water of life.

Since Romallo won’t survive the trip, it is decided that Jessica will replace her. Jessica reluctantly agrees. She knows that if she fails, it will disprove that Paul is their messiah, and will likely result in Paul’s death.But she commences with the act anyway. To become a Fremen Reverend Mother she must drink the water or life, (ironically the water of life is made form the final exhalation of a drowning sandworm) and survive. To do so, she must change the chemistry of the water of life in her body, so that it is no longer a poison. Simple enough right?

Not right. Its incredibly painful, so painful in fact that it awakens the other memories in a person. Outer memories in this case are all of the memories of her maternal lineage. Jessica consumes the water and immediately starts trippin’. In her hallucination she is greeted by a young Romallo who transfers her own other memories to her, and guides her through the acid trip. During which Romallo notices that Jessica is pregnant and curses her. By taking the water of life, Jessica will not only affect herself, but also her unborn daughter Alia. Both souls will become Reverend Mothers at the same time. Jessica then quickly dismisses Romallo from her vision and changes the water of life.

Jessica spits up the changed water, which is promptly added to the rest of the unchanged water of life. This in turn makes all of it safe to drink. Water of Life ceremonies are joyous occasions in a Fremen community. After the water is changed, the entire tribe drinks it and begins to trip themselves. The Fremen loose all their inhibitions and have prescient visions, usually involving sandworms. It also makes everyone extremely horny, and something called a Tau Orgy ensues. After consuming the changed water, the entire tribe indulges itself in the tau! All but Muad’Dib and Chani who decide to forgo the group sex and just do it by themselves in Paul’s quarters. Wadda way to end a show, with lots of gratuitous sex!

Thus we end night two of Dune: “Muad’Dib” with the conception of Paul’s first son, Leto III.

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Dune reviews are © 2003 Ryan Bechtel.
Not for reproduction without the authors express permission.

Dune names, characters and everything else associated with the series are the property of Sci-Fi Channel, New Amsterdam Entertainment, and the assorted publishing companies who own the rights to the various Dune novels.