In the trailer for “Dune: Part Two,” we see a sequence of Timothée Chalamet’s Paul Atreides learning to ride Shai-Hulud, the giant sandworms of Arrakis. Upon his success, the other Fremen cheer him on, while Stilgar (Javier Bardem) looks on in amazement at the outsider, the so-called Mahdi of legend. This is a big moment for Paul and a ritual that goes a long way in helping him earn the respect of the Fremen and become one of their own.
Now this scene and the introduction illustrate what makes “Dune” so special and different from other stories about white protagonists becoming one with a community of color, like “Avatar.” Paul may seem like a messiah to the Fremen, but he’s not a clean hero: he’s a pawn in a plan centuries or even millennia in the making.
In the first film, Paul realizes that the people of Arrakis had been manipulated for centuries by the Bene Gesserit, the religious order to which his mother belongs, to recognize an otherworldly youth as a messiah and quickly embrace him as one. leader. The indoctrination, done through legends and myths spread during religious missions, was done on hostile planets to provide protection should a Bene Gesserit be stranded there.
Paul’s hero’s journey is more of a curse than anything else, an inescapable future that he sees and fails to change. In the first “Dune,” he sees a dream of himself leading thousands to their deaths, and the new trailer shows those thousands gathering behind him (okay, in front, but still). Paul can’t escape his fate, but it remains to be seen where that fate takes him.
“Dune: Part Two” hits theaters on November 3, 2023.