By Andrew Peregrine
Obviously we’re pretty excited about Dune part II being released this year, and with the new trailers we have a fresh crop of images to get even more excited about. They offer another glimpse at Denis Villeneuve’s vision of the Dune novels and more inspiration to draw on for your games of Dune: Adventures in the Imperium. Over the next few weeks we’ll be taking a look at what the new film might mean for Dune and speculate about what might be coming up in the movie. However, I should add that we at Modiphius are not privy to any insider details about the film at the moment, so anything we mention here is pure supposition on our part.
Two characters we get a first look at are Feyd Ruatha and Princess Irulan. I’m especially interested in Irulan as she’s my favourite character, particularly with her being played by the superb Florence Pugh. We’ve detailed Irulan and many of the other characters from the films and novels in the Dune Core Rulebook. So if you want to bring Irulan, Feyd and many others into your own games, all their details are ready for you there. But every character is much more than their statistics. So the question the gamemaster needs to ask themselves is, what aspects of each character will they focus on in their game? While Irulan had little screen time in David Lynch’s version of Dune, in the Sci-Fi Mini Series she was a shrewd and active politician working behind the scenes. But she is most well known for her chronicle of Muad’Dib. It will be interesting to see how much of a role she plays as storyteller or politician in this new movie.
We also get our first glimpses of the Emperor and perhaps the luscious planet of Kaitain in the second trailer. We see him in the garden talking to Irulan over a game (perhaps cheops) but also facing Paul in what might be the final showdown. While Shaddam (played by Christopher Walken) may seem like an old man past his prime, it is also clear he is a force to be reckoned with as is the weight of the Imperial army.
I was also struck by what appears to be a strong Bene Gesserit theme, particularly in the first trailer. Jessica will face the water of life in this next part of the novel and with that we may see more of the powers and abilities of the Reverend Mothers. It looks like Reverend Mother Ramallo, who guides the Fremen might also be one of the characters we glimpse, along with Margo Fenring, another Sister. While Ramallo and Fenring are both Bene Gesserit, they exist in very different worlds. Ramallo guides (and perhaps manipulates) the Fremen as part of Sietch Tabr. Whereas Fenring is a powerful courtier, a confidante of Irulan perhaps, standing close to the Emperor in the most opulent setting in the Imperium. They are both great examples of how a single character type can lead to very different characters with a few simple background changes. While their abilities might be similar, their motives, style and actions are very different.
As we are talking about Dune, we can’t ignore the sandworms! The trailer gives us a good look at Paul getting to ride one. In the novels he makes a bit of a mess of it, so it will be interesting to see how impressed the Fremen are in the new movie with his attempt. It looked pretty impressive to me, but I’m no Naib. If you want your player characters to face this ultimate test of a Fremen Warrior, we have all the rules in Sand and Dust, the Arrakis Sourcebook. So if your characters have not yet tamed Shai Hulud, now is the time.
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