Does my Dune have pictures?
So I reshared a collection of images from the David Lynch Dune movie and I noted that Lynch’s vision wasn’t what my Dune looked like… and Joshua Blackketter asked what does my Dune look like?
Well. Even though it was probably the book that made me decide to go to art school, I never actually made any pictures of it I was happy with. So I’m going to have to show a bunch of other people’s art that still isn’t my vision but which I think is fantastic. Thus:
First I think Lynch’s Carryall is unimprovable. No apologies, no explanations for how it hangs in the sky: it does so by sheer industrial charisma. The only misstep is that the spice harvester has nothing in common with its superb brutality of form. But that’s because the perfect, complementary sandcrawler had already been used in a bigger scifi epic a few years before:
The stillsuits, the Fremen, even the Bene Gesserit I have no problem with. Lynch’s guild navigator (start at 3:20 or 4:10 if you’re impatient) is straight up the best thing ever seen in any science fiction film, narrowly beating Princess Aura’s costume in Flash Gordon and Chris Tucker’s hair in Fifth Element. But the Mentats and the Harkonnens… I just wasn’t buying them. Fortunately Moebius’s designs for Jodorowsky are freaking amazing:
That’s the Baron, Rabban and Feyd (in heels!). Imma say that again: Feyd in heels. Melnibonean.
Sardaukar guards. And Piter, the Baron’s Mentat-assassin. All from duneinfo.
Thufir, the Atreides’ Mentat… I’m less convinced about, even though I love the Pieter Stuyvesant callout with the wooden leg. Really the only other character I’ve seen who I think would make a great Mentat is that creepy dude from Game of Thrones.
Sandworms are the best thing evar in the book, but every illustration I’ve seen of them has only been ho hum. The consensus Penis Worm is OK I guess once you get over the whole penis thing.
In my game I have hot glass worms as a partial homage to Dune but adapted for my electroradiant hellscape (and riding them presents several novel engineering challenges). In that spirit, these are my faves:
though if I were to draw one it would be blunt-ended, almost completely submerged, and more like a tunnel drill than a star-mouthed lamprey.
And the architecture. Lynch is pretty good. These are also good:
but you know what I would love?
Finally, ornithopters. Lynch et al said that flapping planes look crap, but I think Miyazaki pretty much nailed it – they’re not birds but dragonflies:
Weirdest thing: they actually work.
And there’s no shortage of orthoptera out there, via Jodorowsky among others, from the graceful to the charmingly awkward:
but my favourite by far is this incredibly cheeky one in a set of custom minis:
My own would have cantilevered counterweights flapping opposite the wings and would be a health and safety nightmare.
Finally finally, apparently Frank Herbert himself really favoured Schoenherr’s magnificently moody paintings. I like ’em too, but I’m a child of the 80s: I like my science fantasy illustration more informative and detailed. Still, you gotta admire his Vladimir Harkonnen: dripping with menace, yet PG: