I must not fear.
Fear is the mind-killer.
Fear is the little-death that brings total obliteration.
I will face my fear.
I will permit it to pass over me and through me.
And when it has gone past I will turn the inner eye to see its path.
Where the fear has gone there will be nothing. Only I will remain.
— The Litany Against Fear
Frank Herbert's Dune is what's good.
There's mysticism, drugs, family, religion, hallucinations, politics, romance, deserts, and giant worms. The mythology and sense of religion and the characters are delightfully, intricately woven.
The Litany Against Fear quoted above is one of the mantras that the protagonist Paul was taught by his mother, who is a member of a group of women with supernatural powers called the Bene Gesserit.
Early in the book, a Reverend Mother, the highest preistess of the Bene Gesserit order, presents a test where he must place his hand in a box full of excruciating pain or die: the test of the gom jabbar. The only way out is to overcome the desire to remove his hand and face the pain, proving his humanity in the process.
"You've heard of animals chewing off a leg to escape a trap? There's an animal kind of trick. A human would remain in the trap, endure the pain, feigning death that he might kill the trapper and remove a threat to his kind."
— the Reverend Mother as she holds the gom jabbar to Paul's neck
Paul's father is the Duke Leto Atreides, ruler of the beautiful planet Caladan. Everything changes when the Atreides clan is commanded by the Emperor to move to a new planet, the desert planet of Arrakis.
And I didn't even talk about the spice melange...
Get a copy of Frank Herbert's Dune from Amazon or Barnes and Noble or Apple Books
After you read the book: the documentary Jodorosky's Dune is a must watch. An amazing story of the "most ambitious movie never made."
Buy/rent Jodorowsky's Dune from Amazon Prime or iTunes.
Did you think I'd forget to mention the new movie?
Look, all I'm saying is, make sure to read the book before watching the new Dune movie, which drops in October with a heavy ensemble cast that almost comes close to Jodorosky's vision. Timothée Chalamet leads as Paul, Oscar Isaac is Leto, Jason Momoa is Duncan Idaho, Stellen Skarsgård is the Baron Vladimir Harkonnen, and Zendaya is Chani. I'm not the biggest fan of the David Lynch version from 1984, so I'm cautiously excited for Denis Vilaneuve's take... here's the admittedly epic trailer.
Dune 2021 is set to release in theaters (and on HBO Max at the same time!) on 1 October 2021.