THE DOOMED FOLLOWERS OF MUA'DIB: The Summary of Director Diego Castaneda Loingseacháin's Adaptation of Frank Herbert's Dune
(JA's Note: Inspired by Jodorowsky's crazy ideas for his unfinished Dune film, I thought that his attempt to film Dune from his own weird perspective would make for a good parody. I was thinking awhile back that a disaster-ridden production for a Dune movie could be the subject for a mockumentary, like This is Spinal Tap or The Rutles. I tried to envision Dune's story in a manner as Jodorowsky described his ideas. I parodied David Lynch as well, though not as much I did Jodorowsky. The fictional director's last name is where the name Lynch originates from, while the first two names come from Diego Vega from The Mark of Zorro and Carlos Castaneda. I assure you, my fellow Orthodox Herbertarians, this summary for a fictional Dune adaptation in no way reflects what my ideal adaptation of Dune would be. It's an attempt to parody and pay homage to those weird yet creative people who had very skewed ideas about the books we hold dear. I hope it entertains.)
(The director is sitting in an empty room surrounded by blackness)
Director: Here is my vision of Dune. (as the director speaks, the events which he describes are animated in the background)On wild ocean planet, a proud Duke Leto descended from Meneleus and Agammemnon rules wisely and dutifully. His people worship water, and they make love and give birth in their planet's water. The Duke is temperate, and is not known for passionate emotion until he beholds a witch woman. Raised by a society of women who can read minds, provide concubines and wives to the intergalactic nobility, and scheme to rule the galaxy, they hand this woman to the Duke. He will not marry her, but he will take her. The first time he does so, he ravages her in a watery cavern outside the palace. The witches want her to bear a woman-child for breeding and furthering their plans for unconditional galactic rule, but she takes this opportunity to bear a son instead. For only these witches can choose which sex their children are before they are conceived in the womb. At this moment, plankton and bioluminescence swirl around the pool, and swim to her loins as the Duke loves her. It transitions to Jessica giving birth in that same cavern, and the bioluminescence exploding out of her into a marvelous aquatic light dance as messiah Paul is born. He is by birth a creature of the sea, who is making his journey as a land dwelling creature: a culmination of the planet's natural organisms and his mother's defiance.
Grown into a man, Paul is trained by four unique men: the intellectual, the trooper, the bodyguard, and the mentally ill physician. The intellectual, the Mentat called Thufir, is like a human computer, and teaches Paul to process information like super computer would. The trooper, Duncan, teaches Paul, to fight with soldiers in the battlefield. The bodyguard, Gurney, teaches Paul to be constantly vigilant in personal combat. The sick physician, Yueh, teaches Paul the ways of the world he lives in. Jessica teaches him to perceive and survive like a witch, so he is first male witch ever. Intergalactic warlock, so to speak. As he comes of age, he is removed from his home planet, and relocated on Arrakis, or Dune, a planet that is sand, rock, and nothing else. The Emperor, the highest intergalactic ruler, forces Leto to oversee the harvesting of an organic drug naturally occurring on the sands of Arrakis. It is known as the Spice, and tastes of cayenne pepper and sea salt, and is in the form of little spiked brown-red urchin-like balls. You eat a lot of the Spice, it makes your eyes blue all over, like an ocean orb within ocean orb. Leto rules over a city habitat populated with a fusion of Mongolian-Arabian-Afghanis, known as the Fremen.
They worship water, recycle their own water over and over to survive, have Spice-induced blue-within-blue-eyes, and practice a highly mystical combination of Islam, polytheistic religions of ancient Arabia and China, and Shaolin Ch'an Buddhism. Jessica's witch family sent missionaries to convert Fremen to the idea that a prophet will come with even greater witch powers who will expel foreigners and give them limitless water. The sick physician Yueh betrays the Atreides to their old enemy. The Harkonnen, a family of corpulent cannibals who rape and eat men and women alike under the illusion the galaxy is made for them. The Baron Harkonnen is the size of a big refrigerator, and cannot walk, but uses technology to make him levitate. He drugs enslaved men from all over the universe to love him and tell him he is wonderful, but secretly he hates himself, and causing suffering is only thing that makes him truly happy. His nephews are Rabaan and Feyd: one a big stupid violent brute, the other an intelligent evil pretty boy. Naturally, Baron sees beauty and intelligence as the prime traits for his successor, and spoils him over his brother. The Baron takes Arrakis, and Paul and Jessica are taken to the deep desert to be killed. They escape with witch powers, and travel alone for hours and hours while remembering to not walk with rhythm, because that would attract gigantic annelids, worms, from the ocean of sand to devour them. These worms are natural force of Arrakis, and Paul must learn to respect them, like the leviathans from his homeworld.
To survive, mother and son drink re-filtered urine from special filtering suits: he drinks from her cup, and she from his, symbolic of transforming excrement into nourishing liquid. They transition from water taking to water giving. Paul and Jessica encounter the Fremen hideout: a great underground city beneath the rocks of Arrakis. The Fremen are distrustful, and would as soon kill them then let them join. However, Liet-Kynes and Stilgar, the wise Fremen leaders, understand the significance of Paul and his mother. They subject mother and son to tests. For the son, the tests he must pass are to kill, to learn the ways of Fremen, and to ride worm. For mother, it is to learn Fremen religion, to drink poisonous water, and to become a spiritual leader. Paul discovers the witch women have sent missionaries to Fremen, because they see potential in Fremen to be soldiers in service of the messiah they seek to create. Paul and Jessica use the witches' religion and fighting abilities to empower the Fremen, which is heretical in the eyes of the witches. Paul desires vengeance on Harkonnens for killing his father, and gradually learns that the Emperor of his society, a power mad old hypocrite who is insecure of his virility in a great crystal palace, helped the Baron betray them.
Paul sees visions of the Spacing Guild, a transportation corporation comprised of drug addicts and psionically-powerful aliens, and learns that they have helped the Emperor and the Baron destroy his family out of fear that Spice production would be jeopardized. The Guild's aliens were once human many centuries ago, and mutated and extended their lives with tremendous quantities of Spice. The Spice gave them visions that the Duke would wrest the Spice away from them, and take Dune hostage. Their vision had misled them, for by helping destroy the Duke, they encouraged Paul to fulfill the future which they wanted to avoid. Paul trains the Fremen to fight like the witches, and leads them to kills Harkonnens, and destroy machines for harvesting Spice. Paul finds love with Liet-Kynes' daughter, Chani: a mysterious woman who at first despises him, but then loves him with uncontrollable passion. They make love in the windtraps, caverns for capturing moisture from air and making water, and they awaken the bioluminescence of the sandtrout and sandplankton, who can breath both land air and water. As this happens, Jessica drinks the poison water: terrible-tasting water-like vomit of young sandworms infused with Spice. She bears the last child of the Duke, a daughter named Alia, who remembers her ancestor's memories for thousands of years.
The Emperor sends legions to destroy the Fremen, and Paul's son is killed. Paul decides ultimately to destroy not only the Harkonnens, but the Emperor as well. He amasses whole populations of Fremen to ride Sandworms, and attack the Emperor just as he has arrived. Alia in captivity kills the Baron with a needle-knife, and his slaves get their revenge by mutilating and devouring his corpse. Rabaan challenges Feyd for the Baron title, and Feyd kills him. Paul challenges the Emperor to combat: the Emperor instead chooses Feyd to fight for him. Feyd uses illusions, trickery, and speed to counter Paul's witch abilities. In a moment of smug distraction, Paul at last kills him, and throws his body out the palace for a worm to devour. The Emperor next sends his assassin friend to kill Paul, but the assassin recognizes Paul as a long lost spiritual brother and refuses. The Emperor kills his friend, and tries to shoot Paul with lasgun. Paul throws knife at Emperor's throat, and then Paul comes to heal the wound with messiah's touch. He forces the Emperor to live in exile, and demands that the Emperor give him his daughter in marriage.
Paul grows arrogant as Emperor, and demonstrates arrogance by copulating with Princess Irulan, his new wife. She stabs him with poison needle, and Chani, scorned, stabs him with crysknife. Paul is ecstatic, and says: "My destiny is complete. My children, one born of passion and one born from retribution, shall fulfill the path which I cannot bring about." He runs from the women of his life, and jumps out the palace to be devoured by worms. Chani and Irulan, who were impregnated at same time, give birth to new children. The children become the messiah. They make Arrakis capital of universe, and maintain Dune as a desert planet out of respect for Fremen. The Fremen achieve a harmony with sandy surroundings like Caladan's people hold respect for water, and they can communicate with the worms. There are new challenges which happen years later, but that's a story for another time. (As the vision ends, the camera shows the director sitting in a producer's office, with 70s and 80s furnishings and colors) So what do you think?
Producer: It's epic, but I don't think you quite understand what Dune's about. I mean, you take a lot of liberties with Mr. Herbert's original story, which doesn't need any changes to make it better.
Director: Everyone's entitled to their own literary interpretation, no?
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- Jodorowsky's Acolyte
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'...all those who took part in the rise and fall of the Dune project learned how to fall one and one thousand times with savage obstinacy until learning how to stand. I remember my old father who, while dying happy, said to me: "My son, in my life, I triumphed because I learned how to fail."' -Alejandro Jodorowsky