‘Dune: Prophecy’ Trailer Teases Bene Gesserit Origins, Connections To House Harkonnen & Looks Like A Big Hit

Dune
HBO Max

If you thought Star Wars was being bold by going back roughly 100 years before the events of Episode I: The Phantom Menace with its upcoming Disney+ series The Acolyte, get a load of what the Duniverse is up to nowadays.

When your trailer caption begins with the line, “10,000 years before the birth of Paul Atreides,” you know you’re going bold. This Dune: Prophecy show on Max almost couldn’t be further removed from the Denis Villeneuve-directed, Timothee Chalamet-starring movie duology.

Nevertheless, it looks pretty damn epic as it strives to tell the tale of how the ethereal, mystical, dangerous Bene Gesserit came to be.

Thankfully we don’t get too much spoiled in terms of plot. That’ll come with a later trailer closer to the fall release date. What we do appear to see are two Harkkonen sisters played by Emily Watson and Olivia Williams, along with veteran actor Mark Strong as Emperor Javicco Corrino.

Anyone from the villainous House Harkkonen is innately scary. Combine that with the often nefarious, ulterior motives of the Benne Gesserit, and you’ve got something sinister brewing. Never mind that Strong has played a hell of a heavy in projects like Kick-Ass, Sherlock Holmes and several others to add some interesting layers to the story.

The Benne Gesserit are known for their visions of the future, expert usage of The Voice to bend anyone to their will, and other supernatural powers that Rebecca Ferguson masterfully put on display in the Dune movies as Paul Atreides’ mother. With the content explosion brought about by the streaming wars, I’m relieved to see how exceptional Dune: Prophecy‘s production value looks. Right on par with the two films we’ve gotten in recent years. Such seamless special effects, outstanding costume design, and an innate world-building sensibility that makes such a far-flung, futuristic sci-fi saga so grounded and believable.

Since this is set so far in the past from the movies,there’s plenty of runway to play with the legacies of House Atreides and House Harkkonen. Their conflict thousands of years after Dune: Prophecy obviously revolved around spice, but when did the Harkkonen’s home planet Giedi Prime succumb to darkness and excessive industrialization? Then, how does House Atreides figure into Dune: Prophecy? I haven’t read any Dune books, though I intend to. From what I gather, Dune: Prophecy is based on the Sisterhood of Dune novel by OG creator Frank Herbert’s son, Brian Herbert, and coauthor Kevin J. Anderson.

Don’t know about y’all, but I’ll probably just wait for the show, given how on-par great it looks compared to the smash-hit blockbusters. By the way, we’re going to go even further back in time in Dune: Prophecy, as news broke Wednesday that Jessica Barden will portray a young version of Watson’s character, Valya Harkonnen. That only adds to the intrigue!

Pardon me while I go punch the air to Hans Zimmer’s epic Dune score for the next half an hour or so, and rewatch clips of a white-hot Austin Butler (pun intended) sounding like Stellan Skarsgård. PS: Dune: Part Two streams on Max starting next Tuesday, May 21.

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