Denis Villeneuve took his time adapting Frank Hebert’s Dunes – even going so far as to split his big novel into two huge films. Fans are patiently waiting for the sequel to its first episode, but Dune: part two is almost here, and it’s bringing a host of new characters with it.
Second part will pick up where Dunes interrupted in 2021: on the desert planet Arrakis, with Paul Atreides enacting a plan of revenge against the forces that tore his family apart. House Harkonnen will once again play a major role in the action, but Second part will also feature House Corrino, its leader, Emperor Shaddam IV (Christopher Walken), and his daughter, Princess Irulan (Florence Pugh). There’s a lot of buzz surrounding the Emperor’s arrival, and while we’ll have to wait a bit longer to see Walken’s character, the Dune: part two The trailer just gave us an important new detail about Irulan.
Princess Irulan is understandably curious about the downfall of House Atreides. His father basically orchestrated their destruction — and the death of Paul’s father, Duke Leto (Oscar Isaac) — out of sheer spite. Paul, his mother Lady Jessica (Rebecca Ferguson) and the rest of the high house are all presumed dead when Dune: part two resumes the action, but Irulan seems to believe otherwise.
We see Irulan reflecting on everything that’s happened on Arrakis lately – and recording his thoughts, probably in some audio diary of some sort. This particular moment may not seem significant in the grand scheme, but it may just hint at an expanded role in the larger story of Dunes.
Irulan is a major presence in most iterations of Dunes. His diary entries provide a fair amount of context in Frank Hebert’s original novel, and David Lynch even used Irulan (as portrayed by Virginia Madsen) to set the scene at the start of his 1984 adaptation. along with the Emperor and, later, Paul Atreides – as well as her penchant for history and politics – Irulan is pretty much the perfect storyteller. But Villeneuve seems to go even further by Dune: part twoby making Irulan the narrator in Paul’s story universe.
In preview with vanity lounge, Villeneuve suggests a disastrous decline for the Emperor and his family line. As heir to Shaddam IV, Irulan in particular has a lot to do. “Her bet couldn’t be higher because she’s afraid her father will lose the throne, that he will lose everything,” Villeneuve explained. If Paul Atreides survived, as Irulan probably fears, that only confirms that war is coming to House Corrino. So why would Irulan devote herself to recording Paul’s story, given the threat he poses to her future reign?
As most fans of Hébert’s novels already know, Irulan will play an interesting role in the upcoming story. Without getting Also much into spoilers, Irulan eventually joins Team Atreides, and later spends years recording Arrakis’ story for future generations. This story is crucial to the legend of the Muad’dib, the messiah figure most believe Paul to be. As his power grows, his legend spreads, eventually reshaping the known universe in religion, politics, and more.
If Irulan is the one recording this story, she is at least partly responsible for Paul’s victory in the Arrakis War, and much more. It is a subtle choice for Dune: part twobut it’s also a brilliant one – one that wraps up the sprawling story and gives a bit more credence to one of Dunesthe most vital characters.
Dune: part two hits theaters November 3.
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