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Who Is the Emperor in Dune? When Does He Finally Appear in the Books & Movie?

Who is the Emperor in Dune?

If you watched the new Dune movie, you might have noticed that the Emperor was nowhere to be seen. He was everywhere in a sense — the effects of his actions were felt across the Dune universe. But we never saw him. So where is he? And when will we finally get to see him?

This article will have mostly minor book spoilers and minor movie spoilers.


The Emperor Doesn’t Appear Until Closer to the End of the First Book

Since it’s been awhile since I read the Dune novel, I turned to Reddit for help on remembering exactly when the Emperor makes an appearance in the first book. And as it turns out, it wasn’t a huge surprise that he wasn’t in the movie Dune Part One. That’s because the movie only covers roughly half of the first book. And the Emperor, as it turns out, doesn’t appear until closer to the end of the first book.

Redditor Ghola shared nearly two years ago that the Emperor doesn’t even appear until the very end of the novel.

So with that said, it’s understandable why we never saw the Emperor (or learned if someone has been cast to play his role) in the first movie. He was a huge, looming presence that changed the characters’ lives forever. But we never actually saw him in person.

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Here’s Who the Emperor Is

If you’re wanting some book spoilers about the Emperor, his official title is Padishah Emperor and he’s a hereditary monarch from a royal lineage. So no, he’s not a democratically elected leader. Rather, he’s pretty much all powerful and his title is passed down via royal blood. According to the Dune Wiki, the name Padisha Emperor originated from the ancient Persian word that means “Master Shah” and they’re officially the emperors of the “known universe.” So their rule is pretty expansive.

At the time of the movie, House Corrino has held the Emperor seat for more than 10,000 years after the Battle of Corrin. The current emperor is Shaddam Corrino IV, who is described as being thin and having red hair. He’s married to Anirul, who is of the Bene Gesserit order. As we learned in the movie, the Bene Gesserit are embedded in every House. He has five daughters.

Interestingly, we have no idea who has been cast as the Emperor or if anyone has been cast yet for that matter. But quite a few fans have suggestions.

One of the top suggestions is Alexander Siddig (who played Bashir on Deep Space 9.) Others have suggested Dev Patel. On Reddit, one fan suggested Liam Neeson and another suggested Kyle MacLachlan, mostly as paying homage to the original Dune movie. Because the Emperor is said to have red hair, some have suggested Michael Fassbender. Who would you like to see? Let us know in the comments.

Want to chat about all things post-apocalyptic? Join our new Discord server here or our email list here. And check out our Post-Apocalyptic Calendar, which we will keep updated with confirmed premiere dates.

Stephanie Dwilson started Post Apocalyptic Media with her husband Derek. Her favorite shows of all-time are Battlestar Galactica and Lost, and she's always happy to talk about her cats. 🙂

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