Dune, a large-scale space opera, contains many disturbing similarities to Star Wars. Focus on the influence of Frank Herbert’s work on George Lucas in his creation of Star Wars.
A major work of science fiction literature, Dune was published in 1965. Created by Frank Herbert, the saga left its mark, influencing many artists. Among them, a certain George Lucas, who will borrow certain elements of Dune to shape his Star Wars.
In 1977, Herbert’s novel is still in everyone’s mind, unlike our time, when it had fallen back into oblivion before Denis Villeneuve dusted it off. As the memory of the Dune book was present in American memories, the similarities between the two universes jumped out in the public eye.
Journalists from the Associated Press then put the question to the American writer. Is Star Wars Dune Plagiarism? Herbert, bewildered, does not believe it. Moreover, he has not seen the feature film by George Lucas. Shortly after its release, the author, fanned by curiosity, takes his ticket for a screening of Star Wars. The writer’s blood then only turns! The latter, furious, threatens to sue George Lucas. He will eventually give it up.
With the release of Denis Villeneuve’s adaptation, wouldn’t it be time to look at some disturbing similarities between the two sagas? Moreover, for the Canadian, “most of the great ideas in Star Wars come from Dune”, he confided to the site Fandom in 2018.
Paul Atreides and Luke Skywalker
Luke and Paul, hero of Star wars and Dune, have a fairly similar path. They carry great power which must be revealed through training and meditation. The two young men are also considered elected officials or messiahs, supposed to bring peace and prosperity to their respective universes. Tormented and melancholy, Paul and Luke will have to go out of their way to embrace their destiny and rebel against an all-powerful Empire.
Arrakis and Tatooine
Arrakis (Dune) and Tatooine (Star Wars), are two similar planets. They are both desert, arid, and covered with sand and rocks. These two worlds conceal many secrets and hold a central place in the two sagas.
Bene Gesserit Order / Jedi Order
In the universe of Dune, the order of Bene Gesserit is an organization comprising only women. The latter have exercised political and religious influence for centuries within the society of the Imperium. The Jedi Order has a much similar function within the Galactic Republic. On the other hand, acting in the shadows like a Deep State, the Bene Gesserit seeks to lead humanity towards its own goals.
The group members train their body and mind drastically in an effort to gain superhuman abilities. The Jedi do the same, trying to master the Force to perfection. The two communities also share a common taste for outfits that camouflage the face, such as long capes topped with hoods. The Bene Gesserit also uses Voice, an ability that allows them to manipulate people. The Jedi Knights also have the power to command weak spirits by means of the Force, with a hand gesture well known to fans.
Baron Harkonnen and Darth Vader
The villains of Dune and Star Wars have disturbing similarities. Absolutely black, the two men seem as fragile and physically ill as they are mentally powerful. Their powers are terrifying and their determination unwavering. They reign as a tyrant over their respective empires, obeying an evil figure above them: Emperor Shaddam IV for Harkonnen and Emperor Palpatine for Vader.
“The two emperors are driven by the same ambition: to retain their power, whatever the price”, underlines Nicolas Allard in Dune: a masterpiece of science fiction. That said, Vladimir Harkonnen’s evil aura may also match that of Emperor Palpatine. His imposing physique also evokes Jabba the Hutt, Han Solo’s nemesis.
Galactic Empire and Imperium
Just like in Star Wars, the universe of Dune is centered on a gigantic galactic empire. In the story of Frank Herbert, it is named the Imperium. It is headed by Emperor Shaddam IV of House Corrino. Arrakis is the hub of the Imperium because it is the only planet to produce the famous Spice.
Shaddam IV and Palpatine
Desperate to retain power, Emperors Padishah Shaddam IV and Palpatine are the two great antagonists of Dune and Star Wars. Their cruelty didn’t …