Dune was a stunningly beautiful film with a satisfying storyline for both book readers and non-book readers alike. But if you’re a little confused by the ending, you’re not alone. Here’s a quick look at what the ending and Paul’s visions mean, without going into spoilers for Part Two, which hopefully is arriving sooner rather than later.
Paul’s Visions Don’t Always Come True
If you’re a little confused about why Paul kept seeing things in his visions that didn’t actually happen, there’s a simple explanation. This isn’t a universe where the future is set in stone. Paul’s visions don’t always come true. It appears that he’s accessing a series of possible futures, which can change as quickly as the shifting sands of Arrakis.
That’s why he saw Duncan Idaho die right after he landed on Arrakis, even though that’s not technically what happened. It’s also why he saw himself die in a vision of that final fight, when he really ended up surviving.
But let’s backtrack just a little. At the end of the movie, both the Harkonnen forces that attacked the Atreides family and the Sardaukar who they hired (an elite military force of the Emperor) had managed to destroy the Atreides’ people, killing most of their military and sending Paul and his mother Jessica fleeing into the desert. Following what he learned in visions, Paul was able to mimic how the Fremen walk in order to evade sandworm detection until right before they reached their destination.
But the Fremen aren’t so quick to accept them. In fact, Jamis challenges Jessica to a duel and Paul steps in as her champion. In a vision, Paul sees himself die at Jamis’ hand. Which is confusing, because earlier he had visions of Jamis teaching him how to survive in the Arrakis desert.
I was half-expecting Paul to die and then somehow resurrect, but instead he killed Jamis, rendering all of his visions untrue. This further confirms that Paul’s visions are just visions of what *might* happen and aren’t set in stone. Rather, they are set in sand. And if Paul learns from his visions, he can even change them with that knowledge.
What Did Paul See at the Very End?
After winning the fight, he earns the respect of the Fremen and he and Jessica are welcomed into their group.Jamis doubted he was the “Lisan al-gaib” (i.e. the prophesied Voice from the Outer World), but Paul winning the battle at least indicates he might be.
Paul knows his destiny is in Arrakis, so he refuses his mom’s idea of fleeing the planet. As they’re walking to their next destination, Paul sees a Fremen riding a sandworm. This is the power of the desert — the power that his dad had hoped to put on the side of House Atreides. Now that is Paul’s job, even though he’s been depleted to an army of simply him and his mom.
And just in case you’re wondering why the movie ended so abruptly, there’s an explanation for that too… This is just half of a two-part series. Although the second part hasn’t been greenlit officially yet, the director does want to make a second movie. This is simply “Dune Part One” and the first half of the first novel.
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