Naïve mind wrote:
ULFsurfer wrote:If that was the sole reason, why then did they not conduct these experiments on random test subjects in secrecy on their home planet?
Perhaps to give Muad'dib a dramatic demonstration that it could be done. And perhaps it really required an individual of unusual loyalty, placed in an unusually stressful situation to accomplish this.
"Atreides," Scytale said, "shall we bargain now?"
Behind him, Paul heard a single hoarse curse. His throat constricted at the suppressed violence in Idaho's voice. Idaho must not break! Scytale would kill the babies!
"To strike a bargain, one requires a thing to sell," Scytale said. "Not so, Atreides? Will you have your Chani back? We can restore her to you. A ghola, Atreides. A ghola with full memory! But we must hurry. Call your friends to bring a cryologic tank to preserve the flesh."
To hear Chani's voice once more, Paul thought. To feel her presence beside me. Ahhh, that's why they gave me Idaho as a ghola, to let me discover how much the re-creation is like the original. But now -- full restoration . . . at their price. I'd be a Tleilaxu tool forevermore. And Chani . . . chained to the same fate by a threat to our children, exposed once more to the Qizarate's plotting . . .
The below is complete speculation but is what comes to mind after reflecting on what's been said.
I believe the explanation for why the BT did this experiment "live" (and not in secrecy on their home planet) is largely to be found in the quote provided by Naïve Mind. I.e., Paul himself explains why the Tleilaxu performed this "experiment" in such a brash fashion - it was to be used as a bargaining chip to buy over, and control, Muad'Dib. It was a gamble, sure, and they probably couldn't do it previously (since Bijaz expressed tremendous surprise when it worked), but they felt they had a decent shot at it with the unique situation that was Duncan's loyalty to Paul.
One possibility is that the BT were desperate in wresting control of the Imperium from Muad'Dib, and this "skunk works" project of gholas that can recover the memories of their former life, which may have originally been intended as a platform for immortality of the masters, happened to be adopted as the "best shot" for gaining the upper hand on Paul.
On the other hand, it may also be that they did not a priori
have ghola immortality as an explicit goal that they then "applied" to the problem of Muad'Dib but, rather, that they from the outset wished only
to control Paul, and came up with this crazy scheme to see if it would work. They came up with it because they noted the extreme loyalty Duncan exhibited to Paul. It may have, indeed, only come up as a reaction to having captured/killed Duncan in the first place during the incidents in the first book, and not before (the interaction, motivations, and dealings between Shaddam/Sardaukar and the BT being an unexplored area here).
I think it is very difficult to differentiate between the two alternatives. What is clear is that in any case, the Tleilaxu did suspect or surmise that gholas could reclaim memories of their previous lives, as Scytale indicated when he started bargaining with Paul:
"So it's truly Duncan Idaho of the Atreides," Scytale said. "We found the lever! A ghola can regain his past."
That emphasized "can
" indicates that this was a theory or hypothesis the Tleilaxu were attempting to pursue. The part about "we found the lever!" seems to indicate that they had been working on this for a while, and knew that some kind of lever, or trigger, was needed to have the gholas reclaim their memories.
There is no remaining doubt that this ghola memory reclamation was planned all along when Bijaz utters his exclamation when it fell to him to bargain with Paul:
"Duncan, is it?" Bijaz asked. "Is it truly Duncan Idaho?"
"It is," Idaho said. "I remember."
"Then Scytale's plan succeeded!"
My conclusion is that, although the Tleilaxu most certainly had a plan to force the Hayt-ghola to reclaim his past, we do not possess sufficient information to differentiate between "Scytale's plan" being the reclamation of Hayt's memories as Duncan being devised from the beginning as a way to bargain with Paul, or whether this project was previously existing in some form. In any case, it is clear that once they figured out how to trigger memory reclamation, the masters started using it themselves from this point onward.
EDIT: sorry, edited this heavily a few minutes after posting since I realized my initial formulation was most definitely very wrong.