Seven Points of Development: Dune

Inspired by a recent post by my friend, Shen Hart, I’ve decided to start looking at some of the key elements that defined my creative mindset.  First up, Dune.

In 1984, the David Lynch film adaptation of Dune came out and it didn’t really do much for Universal.  I was a kid then, so things like grosses, acting, or anything along those lines just didn’t matter to me.  I thought the poster looked interesting.  I had no idea what the plot was, I only cared about that image of Paul Atreides standing before his army.

That and the tagline: A place beyond your dreams. A movie beyond your imagination.

I was thinking, “Wow!  There’s a movie that can beat my imagination?  That’s got to be the best thing ever!”

Regardless, I did not see Dune as a kid.  I didn’t see it as a teenager either.  Only when I hit college, did I actually buckle down and watch the movie.

That poster still lingered in my memory, especially when I would see a VHS copy sitting around at Wal-Mart.  But I didn’t want to spend money on a movie I hadn’t seen.  What reaction I got from others was mixed and I wasn’t sure.  As much as I was transfixed, I wasn’t sure if I wanted to see it.

During winter break 1999/2000, I had a perfect chance.  At home from college, I didn’t have a lot going on for a month.  Things happen and, when your family doesn’t have cable, you go rent movies.  So, with the influence of future girlfriend reigniting my interest in science fiction, I finally watched Dune.

It blew my little mind away.

Sandworms.  Reverend Mothers.  The Box.  Guild Navigators.  Traveling without moving.  The unending impact of life on a desert planet.  All of it added up and, in just a little more than two hours, I went to a place beyond my dreams and my imagination.

I was instantly obsessed.  The notions in Dune were the ideas my favorite comics reached for and my favorite movies hovered around, but I’d never seen just how incredible words could be.  In my obsession, I had to have a copy of the movie, I had to read the book.

Then I needed more.  Dune wasn’t enough.  I needed Dune Messiah, I needed Children of Dune.

God Emperor of Dune tried its hardest to break my little mind again.

I got through all six of Frank Herbert’s books, finding myself thinking of things in new ways.  Before, super speed was what happened when a character could run really fast; after Chapterhouse: Dune, I knew that there was a terrible energetic price to pay for going at such speeds.  Before, I thought of powers as super powers, or maybe supernatural powers; after, I thought about supernormal powers.

While I may not approach the current tie-in novels with the same enthusiasm, I still love Dune and it will also have a powerful place in my heart.


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