World Cup: WIRED follows the ‘Dune’ Legacy


Dune, famous, an unfinished task. It has four appendices and a glossary of its own gibberish, and its action takes place on two planets, one of which is a desert covered with wates the size of airport towers. Many important people died or tried to kill each other, and they were all tethered to about eight disrupted subplots. But according to Denis Villeneuve, the director of the latest test to be put Dune on the screen, speaking of the call, “We must do the impossible.”

Frank Herbert’s 1965 novel is not yet a story on a frightening scale. What people mean when they say it can’t be solved is less, maybe, that’s it not possible film and even more begging not to.

Dune a space opera, a metaphor for ecological disaster, a loss of power – and an endless source of inspiration for all sorts of extraliterary quests. In the half-century from the novel’s debut, its ideas and philosophy have been reflected in everything from cyber security and modern spirituality to views of warfare. Its meaning is no longer just on the page; it lives up to how it is depleted and transformed by humans, like a sandworm operating under culture. Villeneuve’s movie was just a shot. Here, we celebrate some of the others. And, OK, well-we’ll deconstruct a stillsuit as well. We’re still nerds, after all. —THE EDITORS

More From the World of Spice: WIRED’s Special Series Dune



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