When you’re a teen-ager like Paul Atreides, it can seem like authority figures are always forcing you to do pointless, excruciating things.
By Ed Park, October 27, 2021
Pressed inside an old book of mine is a gray sheet of paper, folded in uneven quarters, titled “Dune Terminology.” On it, there are thirty-seven words and phrases, including a baffling array of place names (Giedi Prime, pronounced “Gee-dee”), machinery (ornithopter, a “small aircraft capable of sustained wing-beat flight in the manner of birds”), and rituals (kanly, a “formal feud or vendetta under the rules of the Great Convention”).
Moviegoers with tickets to David Lynch’s “Dune,” which premièred December 14, 1984—I saw it on opening weekend at a mall, in suburban Buffalo—would have picked up the glossary from a stack as they entered the theatre, though the guide was unreadable in the dark, and it contained more than a few spoilers. To the novice, it must have looked like homework. It must have looked like no fun at all.