Denis Villeneuve’s Dune is spectacular. It is full of style and aesthetics that do Frank Herbert’s sci-fi book justice. The color palette and the cinematography are truly stunning… and the story is far from over.
No, really. Dune leaves the audience at a cliff-hanger and ends in a way that has the viewer longing for more. Even if it’s 2 hours 36 minutes long, time spent watching the film is like sand slipping through your hand!
The film ends with Chani telling Paul, “This is only the beginning.” Of course, it has one wishing they could sit still for another 2 hours to experience the whole book coming to life.
But that’s sadly that is not to be. Without any further ado, let us dissect the end of Dune: Part One.
Dune starts with Chani’s voice as she narrates the distraught state of Fremen, the people Arrakis under the Harkonnens. However, the Emperor orders House Atreides to “take over” Arrakis to harvest the Spice Melange.
However, the Emperor has an ulterior motive to destroy House Atreides, which leaves Paul and his mother, Lady Jessica, to fend for themselves and find a haven in the sand-worm-ruled deserts of Dune.
Throughout the film, Paul is guided by a voice in his head with visions of two people (Jamis and Chani) whom he comes face to face with in the film’s final moments.
The duo embarks on a journey to find the Fremen tribe that Duncan Idaho had spent his time with when he had first arrived on Arrakis.
They find the tribe along with their Stilgar, and the finale has an unexpected battle where Paul fights (and defeats) Jamis, who invokes the Amtal Rule, and issues the Tahaddi Challenge. This is contradictory to Paul’s visions that showed Jamis as a mentor and not a foe who’d die at his hands.
His other visions come true in a certain capacity as Idaho dies, just like Paul warns him about a dream at the beginning of the film, and Chani hands him a crysknife out of honor before the duel.
Paul hesitates to kill Jamis and tells him to yield instead, but that’s not the way of the Tahaddi Challenge. It only ends with one of the two opponents dying. Hence, Paul and Lady Jessica are accepted by the Fremen in the end with their “a life for a life” rule.
There are other fuzzy visions with different outcomes where Paul dies during the duel or is betrayed by Chani as she stabs him after they kiss; another one sees him turn into a messiah of the people he leads into battle in the name of House Atreides.
But the outcome that we eventually got proves that his visions are not always accurate. As Paul can see the future, it is possible that he sees multiple futures that perhaps depend on the decisions he makes on his journey.
One of the final shots of Chani looking back at Paul in the end is one of the first visions that Paul sees at the very beginning of the film.
The ending serves as a “conclusion” to Paul Atreides evolving as a protagonist and reaching his destination. So if part two doesn’t get green-lit for some bizarre reason, the first film wouldn’t exactly feel like ended abruptly.
Now, even though I wanted to watch more of it, Villeneuve deciding to adapt only half of the book was the necessary choice to tell a detailed story to WB.
If Dune: Part Two gets green-lit by Warner Bros., it will answer all the unanswered questions that people who haven’t read the book might have.
Although there’s no definitive word from the studios, the team is happy about the $130 million the film has grossed internationally so far. WarnerMedia CEO Jason Kilar told Variety, “We’re really, really happy with where we’re at 14 days in.”
Villeneuve has plans to explore the world of Dune further than that. The director recently told Den Of Geek that he wishes to make a trilogy with the follow-up book, Dune Messiah (1969), serving as the story for a third movie.
Dune: Part One is now playing in theaters and on HBO Max. However, if possible, I implore you to go to a theatre for a proper ‘cinema experience.’ Dune certainly deserves it.
Dune (also known as Dune: Part One) is an American sci-fi film based on Frank Herbert’s novel of the same name, directed by Denis Villeneuve.
Part One introduced the planet of Dune/Arrakis, the only place where the enhancer drug “Melange” is found and sought out by many. The Atreides House is sent to the planet as the ruling Duke, as part of their adversaries’ trap. However, the Atreides are aware of the same and aim to defend Dune and their house.
The ensemble cast is made up of Timothée Chalamet, Rebecca Ferguson, Oscar Isaac, Josh Brolin, Stellan Skarsgård, Dave Bautista, Stephen McKinley Henderson, Zendaya, David Dastmalchian, Chang Chen, Sharon Duncan-Brewster, Charlotte Rampling, Jason Momoa, and Javier Bardem.