Dune (1984) (part 8 of 11)

They follow the cave further and find a colony of Fremen, who are the ones who called the worm away. At least that’s what the book explains; here we’re just left hanging yet again.

Their leader Stilgar is played by Everett McGill, who much like Patrick Stewart is able to take the pitiful material he’s given and somehow make an engaging character out of it. In fact, for the rest of the film, you’ll be far more interested in him than Paul. Though, he doesn’t get the best introduction here, as he actually coughs in the middle of his first line. And given the obtuseness of the rest of the film, I really have no idea whether that was intentional.

That first line is about how his tribe will give Paul and Jessica sanctuary… and immediately after this, everyone attacks, until Jessica grabs Stilgar, and he tells them to back off. See, this scene is actually a combination of a few different ones from the book, with various elements from them thrown in seemingly at random, so that no one’s actions make any sense from one moment to the next. See what I mean about Lynch panicking at this point?

Caption contributed by Ryan

“Well, this is embarrassing.”

And just to make this even more incompetent, Stilgar says Jessica was able to get the better of him because she used the Weirding Way, and asks her to teach it to them. Which is taken straight from the book, and yet is still rendered nonsensical, because like I said before, Lynch inexplicably changed the Weirding Way from a martial art to a stupid sound-based weapon. So now he’s refusing to even keep his own pointless changes consistent from one scene to the next, and any chance of the film making sense even on its own terms just went in the crapper.

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Ryan Lohner

Ryan lives in Sparta, New Jersey, a quaint little burg without much for kids to do except go to the movies. Thus began a lifelong love affair, as even back then he grew to love examining why a film worked, or didn't. He is a member of the Sigma Tau Delta English Honor Society, and currently studying for a Master's Degree in Library and Information Science. His hobbies include running, piano, and annoying people with that damn lowercase forum user name.

Multi-Part Article: Dune (1984)

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